Day 488: Tulsa

Welcome Committee

We arrived in Tulsa after a very windy drive, and found an absolutely beautiful site in Keystone State Park, which is just 20 minutes from Kit and Tami.  The park is pretty much empty so far, but we do expect it to pick up for the weekend.  And the solar power system is still rocking!  No need to plug in, even with a cloudy day.

There was a welcome committee that followed David around as he was trying to take pictures of our site.  He could not shake these ducks!

Wednesday and Thursday nights were spent enjoying dinners and catching up with Kit and Tami in their new home.  Their house is looking great, and we hope to help them put in their vegetable garden this weekend.  Tami has a Vitamix, which I confess I am very jealous of.

After a day stormy, cold weather, it is starting to heat up.  The trees are on the verge of popping, and David will likely get a chance to go “bugging” with Kit on Sunday.  On a walk around the park, we got a glimpse of just how big they grow ’em here in Oklahoma!

Awesome Hopper


After we saw Kit, I “let” David shave the beard he was growing.  He really was doing it at my request, but with his high school reunion coming up, it really isn’t fair to ask him to keep it.  Of course, I got one last shot of the Longshoreman look before he shaved…



I spent today running around to the post office, Home Depot, Whole Foods, Radio Shack, etc.  It took me a ridiculous amount of time because I totally did not know my way around, and even with two GPS systems, I should have planned better before I left home.  It was all good in the end, as the weather was warm and lovely, and we enjoyed this beautiful sunset…

Fiery Sunset


~ NR

Day 484: Wind Aided

Today’s adventure was a long drive straight through the rest of NM, a not-so-RV friendly gas stop in Amarillo, TX, and finally across the border into OK.

The weather started to pick up, and we battled enough wind that we decided to stop earlier than planned.  Thank goodness for that easy access Walmart in Elk City. 

Hope you don’t mind the lack of pictures for today’s entry.  There just weren’t any People of Walmart moments.

I was supposed to fly from Tulsa to Austin Tuesday morning for a quick visit with my mom, but that is now canceled.  I was cutting it close; thought I could pull it off. 

Weather forecast for the Tulsa area is looking ominous, and we have 4 hours of driving to go. Crosswind, hail, etc. are not our friends. 

Please pardon my geek moment, as I give a little squeal that this post was done entirely from my phone.

From the passenger seat…
~ NR

Day 483: What Lake?

Santa Rosa Lake SP Map

Our travels took us to Santa Rosa Lake State Park in Santa Rosa, NM.  The $10 fee covered a night of camping with no hook up; a dump station and a drinking water source were available.  Unfortunately, there was no cell service in the CG.  But we were able to set up the satellite dish and get our soccer fix by watching Fox Soccer Report.

Site #7 in the Juniper CG had a nice half-circle to park in, a covered picnic table,  and a bar-b-que, if we were so inclined.   The winds were pretty steady, so it wasn’t really a day to hang outside of the trailer.

Site 7
Site 7

We hit the water source and filled up with about 36 gallons of water using our water filter and 6 gallon jugs.  Then, it was time to explore.  Only 2 of the other 74 campsites were in use: one by an RV, and one for tenting.  The place was basically deserted on a Sunday late afternoon in April.  Go figure.  Of course, this campground did just open for the season on April 1, and the lake has been closed for boating since Aug 2012, which might be a logical explanation for the lack of use.

The walk to the dam overlook was straight uphill, but afforded an aerial view of the CG and our RV way off in the distance.  This area is clearly experiencing continued drought, as the vegetation looked thirsty.  I know we are chasing Spring across the country by traveling from West to East at this time of the year, but this was more than that.

Lookout View

The lake was practically non-existent.

Drought Lake


This is an Army Corps of Engineer site, and could really be a spectacular place of recreation.  We will likely stop here again on our way back West in August to compare the seasons.

Tomorrow is a long drive from NM to TX to OK.  Almost there!

~ NR

Day 482: Lava Beds, Prairie Dogs and a Bobcat

As we make our way to Tulsa, we traveled today from McHood Park in Winslow, AZ to the Joe Skeen Campground on BLM land in the El Malpais National Conservation Area, just past Grant, NM.  It was a easy drive on I-40.

This campground has 10 sites, each with a shaded picnic area, bar-b-que and fire pit.  Best of all, it is FREE.  With this being Saturday, we just hoped that one site would remain for us – and that was it, one site available when we arrived around 2 pm.

Once we got the rig leveled, glides out, scarfed down a salad, and made sure Hobby was a happy cat, we took off to see the sights.  First up was the La Ventana Natural Arch. The second largest of New Mexico’s natural arches,  at 135 feet, was eroded from sandstone deposited during the age of the dinosaurs. It was quite large, with a nice path leading to the front.  The sandstone had such wonderful color in the afternoon sun.

La Ventana Natural Arch
La Ventana Natural Arch

Along the drive, I kept seeing something on the side if the road.  Not a chipmunk or squirrel…Wait…it is standing?  Prairie dogs!  Everywhere!  Since I was driving, I couldn’t take a picture.  We had no idea that they were in New Mexico. They were so cute.  I guess you will just have to take my word for it.  

A few miles down the road we found the Lava Falls trail.  This is a “young” lava area, only about 3,000 years old.  Following a cairn trail, and armed with a park brochure, we scrambled around and had a wonderful time.  My pictures just do not show the depth of the cracks or the texture of the lava rock like I would like.

McCartys Crater
McCartys Crater

There was a lava fall, which was easily a couple stories high.  Also, a sink hole (or three) as well as areas showing the results of WWII bomb tests!  And we had the area all to ourselves.  It was quite different to be running along, following the cairns, and not being able to see the footprints of the hikers before us.  The volcanic rock just doesn’t show the trail use like the sand and dirt of the desert.

We finished the hike just as the sun was starting to go down.  A breeze was picking up, and the temperature was dipping.  Thanks to the time zone change, we lost an hour today, so we still had more energy than daylight (always a good sign).

This place is teeming with wildlife.  As we were looking at a group of cattle that seemed to all be walking themselves into a corner in a pasture (we speculated that the feed truck was due to arrive at any time), a bobcat raced across the road just ahead of us.  We watched it gracefully vault a fence and then it was gone.  Wish we could have seen more of the wild cat.

Not bothering to hook up the satellite tv tonight, as we are just going to read and get ready for the road tomorrow.

Until the sun rises again… NR

A “Mind” with Parkinson’s

It appears he can do no wrong.  Any quirk, mental glitch, hesitation, forgetfulness, misinterpretation, misunderstanding, trip, shuffle, fall, any reduced physical ability, loss of attention, laziness, verbal outburst, sleeplessness, agitation, hateful thought, lack of humor, confusion, sloppiness, lack of precision and thoroughness, even extreme thoughts of sexual fantasies can all be attributed to Parkinson’s Disease!  Is this a curse or is this freedom?

It’s not him, it’s the Parkinson’s.  He said that because of the Parkinson’s.  He did it that way because of the Parkinson’s.  Oh, that’s because he has Parkinson’s.  Don’t worry, he has Parkinson’s.  Never mind, he has Parkinson’s.  Don’t say anything, he has Parkinson’s.  Can’t you see, he has Parkinson’s.  You can’t stop him, he has Parkinson’s.  Poor boy, he has Parkinson’s.  Don’t stare at him, he has Parkinson’s.  Feel sorry for him, he has Parkinson’s.

Let him go, he has Parkinson’s.

~ DK

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