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volume 5                         May  1994                         number 4
New Mexico
Land of Enchantment
INSIDE
New Mexico
•  Potpourri 
•  Campground Update
•  Good Places to Eat
•  Letters, Letters, Letters
•  This' N That
•  Signs and Things
•  People
•  Signs and Things
Next month---Colorado. It promises to be a great issue. You won't want to miss it.

Gila Cliff Dwellings
From high desert, to snow covered mountains, or from the big cities to the wilderness, New Mexico is enchanting. And from prehistoric Indian culture to the atomic age, there is a lot to learn in the state. 
Gila National Forest
We started our tour of New Mexico in Silver City. It is not a town that is on the way to anywhere; you must search out Silver City and it is worth every minute you spend there. 

Silver City began as many of the old west towns did with the discovery of copper, silver and gold. When American prospectors discovered the city
in 1870, the rush was on. It should have died with the silver crash in 1893, but the high dry temperatures were desirable. The town promoted these properties, and it became a haven for invalids and tubercular patients. In the three years since we had visited last, we noticed that Silver City has been discovered again. Many new stores and restaurants have opened up. There is still a lot of mining done in the area and with the mild climate, it has become a retirement haven. 

When you visit the town, be sure to make your first stop the Chamber of Commerce on Hudson Street. They will give you a 16 page newspaper detailing four scenic tours in the area. The first, of course, is the town of Silver (as the residents call it). There is a nice walking tour which will introduce you to the cabin site where Billy the Kid spent part of his childhood and the jail site where he also spent time. The Big Ditch Park is interesting. It used to be the main street until a series of floods from 1895-1906 wiped it out. The street dropped 55 feet and was made into a park. It is interesting to note that the original front door (no longer in use) on one store opens to the big ditch. Silver City Museum is well worth a visit and then pick out one or more driving tours from the newspaper. 

Nearby Pinos Altos (tall pines) was once a gold mining town; between the Apache raids and the bar rooms, it was a wild town. Now it is quiet place at the edge of the Gila (hee-la) National Forest. The fort and store, opera house, Judge Roy Bean store and other such places are fun to visit. We enjoyed ice cream sodas in the general store. 

My dad and stepmother live in Silver so we had visited before. But we had never been to the Catwalk near Glenwood or Mogollon (mug-e-own) a ghost town. We left the city on US route 180 heading northwest. It was a pleasant drive crossing the continental divide four times. Glenwood is a quiet village and there are a few places to stop and eat. It's a typical rustic, hunting, fishing type of town. Five miles down a side road (well marked) is the Catwalk---a narrow walkway clinging to boulders in Whitewater Canyon. Originally it was a gravity fed water line that supplied water and power to a nearby ore mill. In 1935 the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) put in a metal walk so visitors could enjoy the canyon. It was a fun walk and not at all scary. If we had been prepared with water and better hiking shoes, we could have walked miles beyond the Catwalk on the trails.

Back out to 180 and continuing northwest, a sign indicates the road to Mogollon.Right away another sign warns that the nine mile road is narrow,  curvy, and after the first four miles, it becomes a one lane road. Trailers and any vehicle longer than 16 feet are advised to stay away. We were, of course, in the Toyota so it was OK to go on. The road went up right away and the scenery spreading out in front of us was spectacular. But then the road got narrow and wound around the mountain as tight as a watch spring. “It was a scary drive,” said Ron. “At each curve, I held my breath and tried to peek around the curve before proceeding. I just hoped that if someone was coming down that they were going as cautiously as I was.” 


Main Street Mogollon

Wally Eavenson
In the summer, there are tours and events going on. But since it was spring, there were few others up there, and we made it up and down without encountering anyone. At what appears to be the top of the mountain, the road descends into what is left of this once bustling town. Despite Apache attacks, this town produced millions of dollars in gold and silver ore in the 1800's. About 2,000 people lived there with 20 saloons, general stores, two churches, schools and many cabins and shacks. 

We wondered how the original people ever got there and tried to imagine families and all their possessions being hauled up there in wagons. As we walked the street, I noticed a store that was open. Inside the Ol Mogollon Theatre, Wally Eavenson, one of the residents of the town greeted us and I asked him about the year round residents. Wally explained that 12 live there all year and that it is pretty quiet even in the summertime. The locals get together to play poker once a week. After seeing mail boxes I wondered if mail was in fact delivered. Wally said that mail comes three times a week. Wally's store is a treasure hunter's delight and you'll find everything from two working player pianos to antique jewelry and Indian arrowheads for sale. 

I wanted to continue on through town on the dirt road that went to Snow and Wall Lakes, but the forest service hadn't finished plowing out the winter snows; the road was closed. Ron was glad because that would have meant about 100 miles of dirt roads sometimes climbing to over 9,000 feet.

Route 152
Another adventure ride we took was over route 152 from Silver City to Hillsboro. It would have been a nice short cut when leaving Silver and heading to Albuquerque, but once we took the drive in the Toyota, we knew it wasn't meant for motorhomes. Narrow winding roads cross over the mountain. It was a beautiful drive with several breathtaking scenic turnouts. One looked out over the ghost town of Kingston where 7,000 once lived. It is another town affected by the depression of 1893. When sliver prices crashed, the town died.
The Hillsboro Country Store and Cafe is small but loaded with cute sayings, old signs and old Life magazines that you can leaf through while waiting for your sandwich. Carleen and Chad have owned the store since 1986. (See Good Places to Eat—pg 3).

A trip to Silver City would not be complete without a visit to the Gila Cliff Dwellings in the beautiful Gila National Forest and we did that again too. It is a special area with wonderfully preserved prehistoric Indian homes. It amazes us each time we go. 

Albuquerque is someplace that we had wanted to re-visit for a long time. Our first visit there was only an over-nighter when we had motorhome problems back in 1990. This time we planned a two week visit---one week on the west side and one on the east.

Old Town is a quiet, friendly place to shop for everything from expensive pieces of art to trinkets. We took in the Natural History Museum located in Old Town but passed up the Art Museum. Instead we visited the many art galleries. I really enjoy wandering into the shops even though we seldom buy. Lots of times I wish I had a house big enough to hold the beautiful paintings but then.... The full-timing lifestyle saves us both a lot of money. There are several good places to eat in Old Town and all of them serve authentic New Mexican foods which combine Native American and Spanish flavors. And you will always be able to get green chile---a New Mexican trademark. 

The Atomic Museum at Kirkland Air Force Base gives a great background to the atomic bomb and its development which took place in Los Alamos and Almogordo. To carry this one step further, plan to visit the Bradbury Science Museum in nearby Los Alamos. We especially liked the movie (even though it was dated) at the Atomic Museum. The hands-on displays at the science museum covered lots of technical stuff like lasers, but it takes greater minds than mine to understand it all. The history part there was good. Both museums are free and well worth the visit.

One shouldn't visit Albuquerque without taking a drive down Central Avenue; that is old US Route 66. It is like being in two places at once---the pre-interstate 30's---50's and today. The old motels sit there like they belong. You won't find a Red Roof Inn or the like on this stretch, but there must be 50 of these little old motels and they are doing OK. There's a lot of nostalgia on Route 66. We had fun driving as much as we could of the route, that is, until it merged into I-40 and disappeared.

While in the Albuquerque area, we took several long drives. One was to Santa Fe. That is a real pretty state capitol. I swear every building is made of adobe, a red clay looking material. It is a very southwest looking town. They have an old town too, but it is called The Plaza. The shops are a lot more expensive than those in Old Town, Albuquerque, but otherwise it is similar. Walking from the visitor center towards the Plaza, we visited the so called oldest house in America (1720) and the Loretto Chapel. 

The chapel features the Miraculous Staircase. The choir loft in old churches did not have stairs to them because the choir members were men and they could climb a ladder. When this chapel was being built for the Sisters of Loretto, it was almost finished when they realized that the planned staircase to the choir loft would not fit. The nuns prayed about it and one day a traveling master carpenter appeared. He soon built an incredible spiral staircase with two complete 360-degree turns and no central support. The carpenter vanished without receiving payment. 

Bandelier National Monument is just a short drive from Santa Fe so we drove on out there to see their collection of prehistoric Indian dwellings. Just on a lark, we checked out the campground, liked it, and decided to move our house there and do the “dwellings” tour after we were “living” there. Our drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe then Bandelier and west to I-25 was a lovely drive although a bit long (250 miles all totaled). There were lots of mountains (and snow), rushing mountain streams and few people. Near Albuquerque on I-25, we saw signs for an Indian Casino which advertised 24 hour bingo. We started to go in, but the smoke was too thick, especially after the pristine air we had been in. We decided to pass. 

While camped at Bandelier, instead of driving, we hiked from the campground to the Anasazi cliff dwellings. It was only about 2 miles one way to the visitor center, but we hiked another mile or so to visit the ceremonial cave. That is a 140 feet climb up a series of ladders. I got up the first ladder and couldn't go any further. I am not fond of such heights. Ron made it all the way and said it was well worth it. The whole walk was wonderfully laid out and the literature used as a guide made it very easy to understand. The national park did a very good job here. Our hike back up to the campground was tough, but the sights
made it worthwhile.

We thoroughly enjoyed our five days camped at Bandelier. It was quiet and wonderfully relaxing. We did lots of reading (no computer to play with without electricity). 

From Bandelier, we headed to Taos for just two days (it was on our way to Colorado). I had wanted to see that city, but didn't want another 240 mile round trip drive to do so. The architecture in Taos is much like Santa Fe only much more casual. It is a popular ski area and many of the accommodations cater to the ski crowds. We took a short drive while there on what is called The Enchanted Circle. If you go to Taos, take the time to drive this 70-80 mile drive. Starting in Taos go east on US 64 to the ski village of Angel Fire. Your eyes will be treated with velvet green hills, topped off with a dollop of snow (at this time of year), lots of lush meadows with cattle grazing and many condos and cabins clustered around the chair lift area. It is charming. Continue on
to Eagle Nest a short distance up the road. There is a lake to add to the already mentioned scenery and instead of condos and ski shops, there are campgrounds and bait shops. This is a summer resort where fishing is great. Turn west on state route 38. The road goes higher and higher. Snow appears in the shaded areas on the roadside. All of a sudden we saw a couple of beautiful homes---very rustic but expensive looking and immediately after the homes we entered the national forest. The drive was the most spectacular ever! The road went down for miles and at the bottom was the tidy, quaint village of Red River. I haven't said this in a long time; I wanted to stay there forever. In the whole state of New Mexico it was the best. Only about 800 people live there year round. It is a ski area. In the summer, hikers come to take to the many trails, and we understand that the wild flowers on the mountain trails later in the spring are breathtakingly beautiful. After Red River, we completed the circle (turn south on state route 522 after Questa) but it seemed anticlimactic. I kept seeing Red River and wanted to go back.

We covered a lot in a month but did not feel rushed. We didn't tour every day and found lots of time to visit with dad and Frankie in Silver City and two couples we met in Port Isabel, Texas, this past winter who live in Albuquerque. You remember me writing about Carl and Lois Sprague and Bernie and Betty Pohlman don't you? Both of the guy's work involved atomic weapons in some manner and Carl gave us a personal tour of the weapons at the Atomic Museum.

New Mexico is beautiful, more mountainous than you might think and a very unique place to visit.


CAMPGROUND  UPDATE
                                           by Ron
(Please remember that this report was written many years ago and the campgrounds may or may not be in business or as they were.)
From our experience, New Mexico ranks pretty far down the list when it comes to good campgrounds. Many have limited facilities and are costly. This month's report includes a national park, two commercial parks and two very marginal CCC parks.

Silver City RV Park, Silver City, N.M. This park is downtown and is handy for the area. The daily rate is $14 plus tax with one day credit for a weekly stay. The owners try hard and keep the rest rooms and laundry spotless. The hookups are average, but the sites are very narrow and the cluttered sites occupied by "permanent" residents subtract from the campground environment. Your other choice is a very expensive KOA seven miles out of town and it's nothing special.

Enchanted Trails Camping Resort, Albuquerque, N.M., CCC pg 286. Handy to Albuquerque (10 miles) right off of I-40, this desert campground will only offer you water and electricity (sewer sites are reserved for members). Sites are narrow and on a windy day you may be glad they are because the RV next to you will help protect you from a sand storm. Their sewer system malfunctions and sometimes it may be a problem to even dump at their one inadequate dump station. The facilities are poorly maintained, however the commercial campground across the highway is not much better and charges $25 a day. It's all relative and part of the full-timing adventure.

Red Arrow Edgewood, Edgewood, N.M., CCC pg 287. This campground is about 30 miles east of Albuquerque and is handy for Albuquerque (off I-40) and side trips into the mountains. We thought Enchanted Trails was bad until we stayed here. Sites are narrow and  not level, interior roads are bad, and electricity is marginal or nonexistent (we were out of power for two days,
but we hardly noticed the difference). Water pressure is so low that most campers filled their fresh water tank and operated off their own pump. CCC has suspended this park, but it's still open pending a review. In spite of all this, the manager is very arrogant and acts like he's doing you a favor by letting you
stay there. Skip this one. 

Bandelier National Monument, near Los Alamos, N.M. As in most national parks there are no hook-ups, but this park is beautiful and accessible to most RV's. Spring and fall will give you a wide range of sites. There is a well maintained modern dump station in the park. The hiking and historic Indian cliff dwellings will be a treat. Thirteen miles away is the historic city of Los Alamos and good shopping. Camping rate is $6 ($3 if you are over 62—I can't wait until July).

Taos RV Park, Hwy 68, Taos, N.M. Daily rate of $15.30 (with G.S. discount) is reasonable for this resort area. Sites are narrow but the hook-ups are excellent. The park is well maintained and is only a mile out of town on Highway 68. The manager will come out to greet you before you get your RV stopped and will escort you to your site. It's a good place to stay when visiting Taos.


Potpourri
              by Ron
The gas tax in New Mexico (among the nation's highest) is not restricted to road usage like many other states. It shows.

Since Ted Turner & Jane Fonda bought a humongous ranch in New Mexico, the joke here is that they now own most of New Mexico (they do), but they will let you visit it.

Albuquerque has a popular AAA baseball team called the Dukes. They are very similar to the Detroit Tigers---good hitting---no pitching.

Most of you know that Barb is fascinated with things of yesteryear. It seemed like every time we went to Albuquerque, we would always end up on old route 66.

You won't believe the places that our Toyota pickup truck has been lately---up one way narrow mountain roads and over a wooden deck suspension bridge that spans a canyon 1,053 feet deep. Do you think that Barb's passion for back roads goes back to her high school days?

This month's campground report may be a bit negative, but already I can promise a glowing report on some Colorado campgrounds. Stay tuned.

I have some mixed feelings about our new acquisition---a camcorder. Generally, I don't care for them, but I have to admit that it is a good way for the family (especially the grandchildren) to visualize our lifestyle and to see us once in a while.

I had forgotten that Albuquerque is the home of some famous race car drivers, like the Unsers and Parnelli Jones. Both families still have garages there.


Good Places to Eat
(Remember that this report was written many years ago and the restaurants may or may not be in business or as they were.)

All of these are in New Mexico
El Torito Steaks & Mexican Grill, Silver City. Locally owned. Great place to eat. Varied menu (not just Mexican) includes breakfast, burgers and salad bar. Liver and onions is even on the menu. But the Chimichangas we had were exceptional. Very tasty and spicy hot too! 

Hillsboro Country Store & Cafe, Hillsboro (state route 152). This little place serves wonderful hamburgs, in a nostalgic setting. Try the jalapeno burger.

66 Diner, Central Ave, Albuquerque. Real nostalgia to Route 66 fans. The building, the neon signs, the music, the thick white ceramic mugs and the slow service will remind you of a time gone by. The menu is typical 40-50's fare. There is a catch. The building is new---capitalizing on the interest in Rt 66.

Teriyaki Chicken Bowl, is a local chain (10 stores) in Albuquerque. It is Japanese fast food and fabulous! They only offer three or four items, but the TCB (teriyaki chicken bowl) is the most popular. It is a good sized bowl of hot rice topped with crisp cooked broccoli and carrots and grilled chicken slices which are covered with a thick sweet teriyaki sauce. Real yummy! 

La Placita Dining Rooms Old Town, Albuquerque is another exceptional place to eat. We enjoyed our first sopaipillas (deep fried indian bread normally enjoyed with honey) there. Try their special---sopaipillas stuffed with chicken, beef & beans and topped with green chile. The price is right too---only $5.95. Good enough to die for. 


LETTERS * LETTERS * LETTERS

Love new home

...We absolutely love our new home [94 Monaco Dynasty]!  From the first time I stepped inside, it felt like home. The wide body sure makes a big difference. You wouldn't think just six inches would do anything, but it gives you so much more room. After we put the coach on order, I gave many second thoughts to the front door style, but it hasn't been a problem at all. It opens up the floor plan without any interruptions. We asked for an extra piece of carpet and had it bound for a runner in the living room. Also glad we “paid the price” and got a screen door---makes for perfect cross ventilation....

A reference to my remark about “router router.” I was not referring to the honey wagon to get rid of the black water, but the invention of the “macerator.” When the couple who boondocks in the desert told us about this, it was certainly a learning experience for me. I guess it “churns up” all the waste and it can be pumped out through an ordinary hose and carried away. They trucked theirs into town for diposal. So for all your readers, and especially Bil & Darlene from Michigan---there is another way to “rid the tank” of black water!...

We really enjoyed your testimony on “Five Years on the Road.”  You have always been, and still are, an inspiration to us all...

Judy & Wayne Richards
Bryant, Arkansas

Won't make it to Alaska this year 

...Clyde had to go back to Houston for more surgery the latter part of February when a routine follow-up physical revealed a large accumulation of fluid in the sack around his heart. Additional complications caused him to spend another 4-5 hours in surgery, and he has had great difficulty bouncing back from this one. I guess four surgeries in eight months is a bit much to ask any body to bear. He is feeling good now, but just does not have the stamina he needs to make the extensive Alaska trip we had planned for this summer. Some of our family and friends think our current itinerary is still too much, but when your home is wherever you park it, and we plan to stay put for weeks at a time, it isn't really as bad as it sounds....

Bette & Clyde Salter
full-timers from Texas

Friends say it will never work 

I just finished reading your book An Alternative Lifestyle... I saw you on GMA and tried to get the book from bookstores. Finally I called GMA and they told me how to get it.... Alan & I have been talking about full-timing for quite awhile. I have read everything I could find. Yours is the best book I have read....

We own our own business so we plan to retire April 1, 1997. We figure it will take one month after we retire to get rid of things. We have a 1991, 34 ft Sun Stream 2000 by Gulf Stream....

A lot of our friends tell us it will never work out. A lot of them say we can't live that way. We feel we can. That's why we read everything we can get our hands on. 

Anna & Alan Nater
Plymouth, Minnesota

Fifth wheel sounds good 

We just finished reading your book, An Alternative Lifestyle. Enjoyed it so much, also learned a lot from your experiences. 

We plan to be full-timers in three more years. Presently, we are professional truck drivers. We think we won't have any problems in adapting to living in our 40 ft fifth wheel with a slide-out in the living room, after living in the cab of an 18-wheeler. We're looking forward to revisiting a lot of the places that we have passed through....

Loran & Shelby Haney
Monette, Arkansas

Helped with tortoise research

We missed seeing your appearance on Good Morning America but sure enjoyed reading about the taping. What a novel experience.... Even though we seem to be at opposite ends of the full-timing spectrum, we always find useful and interesting information in Movin' On....

Our month as volunteers on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona was exciting and rewarding. We met many interesting people, picked up a lot of litter (and gained a real appreciation of the scope of the litter problem in our public lands) and were able to see a lot of pristine desert and wildlife during our 4 X 4 drive patrols on the refuge jeep trails. We even got to help the refuge biologist with his desert tortoise research project. One of our jobs was to locate the tortoises with radio equipment. They had tiny transmitters attached to their shells and our task was to home in on them using a portable radio receiver and antenna (like a TV antenna)—no mean feat as the tortoises lived on a rocky mountain slope. It was really a thrill to scramble up over the boulders, hauling our bulky and unwieldy equipment, and come eye to eye with a tortoise right where the signal indicated he would be!...

We're now working our way up the California coast to visit family and friends and then---who knows?? Full-timing sure is not for those who require a structured life!....

Ellie & Bob Henderson
Full-timers from California 

Helpful bookseller

Thanks so much for sending we potential “full-timers” the book and newsletter; we're enjoying both so much!...

You asked how we had been able to get your name/address. I had seen you interviewed on GMA, but had not written down the address given at the time. Sometime in February, I had gone to Barnes and Noble, a great bookstore, in Enfield, Connecticut to buy your book. I was so disappointed when I couldn't find it because we were leaving in a few days for some sun and fun at Marco Island, Florida and I had wanted my husband and I to have it for our reading collection. I went to the information desk to make sure I had looked in all the right places and the young man there confirmed the fact they did not carry it. However, he gave me some hope when he told me that he was marrying into your family and would be able to get me an address so I could order the book. He called a couple of days after I had returned from Florida and gave me your address. That's the story of how I sent my request to you instead of the publisher! After all that, I can't remember his name, but he was very kind and helpful and I'm sure will be a great addition to the family!....

In 1986 we bought a little place on a small lake in New Hampshire and since we own a business in Massachusetts, we have been thinking that a good way to spend early retirement is to sell our base home in Massachusetts and the business and keep the New Hampshire place for our children's use and to return to someday. We have been looking for a couple of years at different types of campers to explore all the places we've read and wondered about. After reading your book, I think we'd like to take off tomorrow!...

Thanks for your terrific book that's both fun and informative.

Sara Lee & Charlie Bartley
Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Dear family,
Who is this wonderful young man? We don't know who this is or who he is marrying. Please let us know so we can properly thank him.

It's time

We really are enjoying your book... We are definitely going to try it for a year. We are in the process of “selling out” in California and buying a motorhome. We hope we will enjoy this life and can go on and on. We are 69 and 72 years! It's time. Thanks....

Geneva & Jack Barker
Auburn, California

From pop-up to travel trailer.

Your book...was given to us by a friend and we can't put it down. It is so full of great information. We are “entry level” RVers and need all the advice we can get. 

Our new Jayco Jay 32 ½' travel trailer will be ready mid-May. Until now, all we have had is an old pop-up camper and we have only used it within a 200 mile radius....

Our plan is to get the “bugs” out this summer and in August we will be campground hosts in Vilas County, Wisc. Then before the snow flies next November, we will head for Southeast Florida and spend December at St. Augustine Beach, Florida. We have a daughter in Jacksonville, Florida.

It would be wonderful to meet you in Somewhere, U.S.A. along the way. We will traverse northern Florida, get a taste of Texas and end up in Arizona before heading home in mid-April.... After reading your book, I feel that I know you and we wish you good health and Happy Trails.

Marlys & Bernie McGaver
Dresser, Wisconsin

Agree on generator use 

Enjoyed your article on Big Bend. We were there in March of this year. We are now in Livingston so will hand carry this re-order for Movin' On. We were going to discontinue the newsletter since we are now full-timing, but we get a kick out of it and don't want to be without it.

We, too, think of our unit as our “house,” but we sometimes stay in National parks, Forests and Corps of Engineers parks without hookups. We, too, don't run our generator in any of these places. There are exceptions; we ran it for battery charging and micro waving at Canyon Lake and we didn't even feel guilty---we were the only ones in area 5. There was no one to bother! This park is designed for hundreds and during the week there were no more than 5 or 6 units in the whole park! Keep the letter coming.

Russ & Retta Lou Nagle
Full-timers from ???

Enjoyed Seminar

... We very much enjoyed your seminar and we enjoy your newsletters so keep them coming.

We had intended to leave the middle of May, but both of us have medical problems that will keep us here thru at least the 1st week in June. But that's OK. Now I/we have time to visit with our daughter more and go thru all our old pictures--- before we leave.

Only 10 more working days. Yea!...  We appreciate the info on campgrounds and all the other articles in the newsletter. 

Louise & Bob Jones
Full-timers from San Antonio, Texas

Subscribing to Workamper News too

We are thinking of RVing full-time in a couple of years. We have had very little experience with RVs but your book has convinced us that this is what we want to do with our life. We love to travel and see the United States as a challenging highway for us. We will have to work part time as our financial picture doesn't allow for full-time travel. We are subscribing to Workamper News for that area....

We have recently sold our home and have downsized to an apartment. Next we will downsize to a 5th wheel. I like your ideas about the recipes, etc. It will be hard to part with family heirlooms.

Carla & Jerry Baker
Amarillo, Texas 



This 'N That
by Barb

When we were camped in Silver City, I remembered why I don't want to live in a neighborhood. This urban park was next to regular houses and our site was right at the fence line. We had been out for the evening, drove into the park and smelled smoke (BBQ type smoke), but it was real thick. The guy who lives in the house at the fence, was smoking a pig in his huge smoker and the chimney for it came up over the fence and pointed right into our opened jalousie bedroom window. The motorhome was thick with smoke. The campground owner talked to the neighbor, but this was to be an all night smoke. Even after we closed our windows, it was an almost unbearable evening and for several days, until the whole coach was thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom, the smell was horrid. This was one time I wished that the ceiling in our Bounder wasn't carpeted. Have you ever tried to clean carpeting on the ceiling?

On a positive note, it sure is fun to wave at other motorhomes as we meet them on the roads. This especially happens on two lane roads. And the Bounder owners wave real enthusiastically like we are old friends. There must be an unwritten bond among the various RV owners. Motorhomers wave at other motorhomers and 5th wheel owners wave at other 5th wheels etc. We haven't had many 5th wheelers wave at us even when we wave, but they set a little lower. We are at eye level with other motorhomes.

There's a new BOF (Birds of a Feather) group in Escapees for those full-timers who want or need to work while on the road. Workers on Wheels puts out a bi-monthly newsletter that is very good. To subscribe for 1 year send $10.00 to Colleen Sykora, 101 Rainbow Dr, #2174, Livingston, Tx, 77351.
[2001 note: She only has a web  site now. www.workeersonwheels.com]

Something I forgot about is the size of margarine sticks. Now that we are in the "real" west they are short and stubby just like they were when we were in the west several years ago. Maybe it is because I am used to the longer sticks, but I don't like these fat ones. They don't fit in my refrigerator as well either. Can't figure out the reason behind the change. Does anyone know? The manufactures must go crazy making one size for some states and another size for the rest. 

I am hooked on Brach's gum drops. They are fat free and a great thing to have in the candy dish for those times when sweets are a must. We have been buying the large bags in grocery stores all over the US and know the price to be $1.19 most of the time. We are in Colorado right now (and oh it is beautiful---can't wait to write about it) and I went to the Safeway stores in two cities looking for my gumdrops. They had plenty of Brach's candies in the candy isle, but the price was $1.87. NO WAY!  I called Safeway and talked to customer service who referred me to the pricing manager. He said they should be $1.29 (OK so that's closer to $1.19), but in this area the competitor is charging $1.87 so they are too. When I stated that I thought the idea behind competition was to lower your price a little below the competitor, he said “not always.” He promised me that when we get to Colorado Springs later this week, the price will be $1.29 and added that if it isn't, he will supply me with lots of bags free. So, we'll see.

Wow! Did I get a perfect Mother's day card from my son Jim, and his family. It was a pretty card and said:  “To My Mom on Mother's Day” then on the inside it continued:  “Wherever you are..will always   be home to me.”  It looks like the world is beginning to understand full-timers. But I can't imagine how long it took them to find a card just like that.

Since we got a little camcorder, I got this bright idea about how to preserve those precious things folks hate to get rid of. Video tape (or photograph) everything you hate to part with before you part with it. You can look at these things as often as you like without having to dust them. 

We use our newly acquired camcorder, that I bought from my dad, differently than most. We video tape a little of the places we visit and a lot of what we do, edit and copy it to another tape and send it off to the kids and grandchildren so they can see how we live. We just sent the first one out and promised more if they like it. 

Ron had a brilliant idea recently that is really paying off. He thought that we might do our seminars for free at RV dealers; this would bring people in to look at (and buy) RVs and we could sell our book. We want to thank Myers RV in
Albuquerque again because they agreed to give it a try. Sarah did a good job promoting it and about 75 turned out for the Saturday morning seminar. We have two more scheduled---Pikes Peak RV in Colorado Springs, May 21st and Stevinson RV in Golden on June 4. This may be a new addition to our travels.

We are getting good orders from libraries and want to thank all of you who are sharing our book with your local library. Some of them order bunches. For example the Toledo, Ohio, library district ordered 17. Keep up the good work.

Lots of new publicity will be out soon. We have a classified ad in the July issue of Trailer Life (which will be out in June). Nancy Cornell did a story on us for some health magazine and that will be out this summer. The Denver Post is doing a big story on us early in June. The September issue of Word Perfect Magazine has a little story about the book and how it was done. Have you ever heard the syndicated radio show Great American Road? Keep listening. We'll be on soon. I know a lot of this is work, but it is also fun. And the wonderful letters we get from folks who appreciate what we do makes it all worthwhile.


People !
What would you do in this situation? You are hiking a trail in a national park where there are many signs pleading with visitors to “Please stay on the trail to prevent the destruction of unexcavated ruins” and you notice a woman on a ridge off the trail, and her male companion is off climbing the fragile cliff area. 

Or how about this situation? You are in a national forest area---on a trail leading to a scenic place. It is a nature trail with those little signs giving the name of plants etc. There are plenty of people around and right before your eyes a woman, crouches down and starts breaking off branches of a bushy plant. It looks like she wants to try to grow this plant from these shoots.

In both cases, I spoke out politely, but the response resembled a “so what.” Why don't some people care? Is this getting worse or is it my imagination?


Signs & Things
Signs in the Hillsboro Country Store

If you can't find it here, we can 
tell you how to get along without it.

29 Flavors of Ice Cream
but we're out of 28 today.

Boomerangs are coming back

Save electricity
Move in with a relative

Mountain View Janitorial Supply

Talk dirty to me

Bumper sticker in Taos

I miss my “ex”
but my aim is improving


The answer to the word search from last month was: Big Bend National Park
Copyright © 2001, Movin' On with Ron & BarbTM- All Rights Reserved 

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