Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Thursday, we left Tuscon, Arizona and headed in the direction of Yuma.  An easy pace was planned.  We were looking forward to cruising down the road and enjoying the scenery.     
Wellll, much of the time the the scenery was left in the dust.  Not only the scenery, but also, the road was not easily visible at times. 

We spent an uneventful night in Yuma, taking our time getting back on the road since the final leg to San Diego / Oceanside was to be a short, uneventful ride.  

Our first obstacle was the Border Patrol.  Just like cattle leaving the feed lot, we were being directed into a small chute (one lane), having our health evaluated, (ahh..."do you have any fruit on board?" "are you U.S. citizens?" So we took our place in line to meet the "fruit police" and border patrol.  

I had two oranges and some Cuties in a basket.  The Cuties were origonally from California.  I knew we were safe there.  But, I had two oranges that I was hoarding to use in the cranberry salad for Christmas dinner and I had no idea where they came from.  

Mr. Fruit Police enters the motorhome. I show him the basket.  He confiscated my cranberry salad oranges!  I bet he just wanted a snack.  

He sure looks too nice to be an orange-naper doesn't he.  I should have hidden those oranges under my pillow.  Then I would still have them since I have yet to fix our Christmas dinner.

I just did not want to take a ride into the desert in this SUV!  He probably would have just pushed me out of the SUV by some sticky ole cactus and said, "find your own way, you fruit smuggler!"

But he did not and we, with no illegal fruit, continued our way toward Guajome Regional Park in Oceanside,   San Diego County, California.  

Ahhh, this is the sign we had been anticipating since our excape from the Border Patrol!  Time to settle in for ten days!  No more PDS for us, by George oops! by Paul.  

A little later, after we had settled in, we were delighted to have our daughter Jojo welcome us.  

No, she is not Apache or from any other Native American tribe.  She is wearing her Cyclops headlight that she uses to walk her fur kid. 

The next morning, very bright and very early, our fur kids, Oliver and Olivia took me out for a walk.  It was time to explore!  Yippee!  

I think Olivia found some kink of Eucalyptus, at least that is what it smells like.  I really do not think she was smelling the plant, but for a creature under the plant.

 They led me to this beautiful lake.  We walked around the entire lake and what to our wondering surprise, we found.....a Chirstmas goose?  Whatcha think?  

I told Oliver and Olivia that  we needed to pass on the goose since we are on the plant based way of eating.  Sadly, they left and continued their explorations of the foothill in San Diego county.  

Soon they were distracted by new sights and smells. They found some creatures picnic area under a Date Palm tree.  They also found many holes in the ground.  Holes of various sizes and once under the surface, they went right, left or straight ahead....Hum, a well fed underground city for creatures.  

 Even I found something I like and remember from our trip out here two years ago.  I am going to show you the trunk at ground level since that is what I love.  

 This is the root system and trunk of an olive tree.  I love the shapes the trunk and roots take at ground level.  This makes me think of the claw-like feet of a very long legged bird.  Okay, I'm kinda strange, I know, but that's the artist in me.  I will recreate this in one of my paintings.  

That evening, Jojo invited us to her camper.  Oh my, did I have a surprise in store for me.  I was greeted at the door by said daughter with my birthday crown!    As you can see, John got a kick out of this.  I was just in shock.  

 Jojo is not a follower of the plant based way of eating, but thoughtfully prepared potato-leek soup with no animal fat!  It was sooo good!  What a thoughtful daughter.  

Dinner was followed by a delish chocolate bundt cake.  Oh my, the first cake I have had, welllll in a long, long time.  

Then we played the funniest game called Apples to Apples.  We had five players:  Jojo, Jojo's friend, Cathie, Cathies daughter, Becca, John and I.  We will be getting this game to play with friends as we travel.  

Again, our day left us with another breathtaking sunset.  

Have we ever told you that we REALLY, really, enjoy fulltime living and travel?  

We are so thankful for doctors, nurses, therapists..... anyone who had a hand in making John well enough to live our dream of traveling the U.S.A!  Most of all, we are thankful to God, who gave these health care professionals the talent and the desire to make their patients lives better.  

We are also thankful to yo all for your kind thoughts, words and prayers during these last nine months.  

God Bless, travel safely!  

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Paul gets the ball rolling
Wednesday, December 12.... 12.12.12  We arrive at Alternative Resources and was greeted by Paul, the fearless leader of AR. 

We how have a Sioux Falls, S. D. address!   

The two front office workers were constantly busy answering the phones.  Many questions come in and courteous answers go out!  
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Alternative Resources!  

I was surprised to see how many people use their mail forwarding services.  

U. S. diplomats get their mail from the United States by using a mail forwarding company.  I guess we are in good company. 

Karen at Alternative Resources
Our thanks goes out to all the bloggers that suggested A.R.  

We had a couple of glitches, but with Karen's help and a few cell phone calls back to Indiana and Kentucky, where we purchased our Tiffin), things began to work out.  

Faxes raced from South Dakota, to Indiana, Kentucky and Georgia.  Questions were quickly answered and we will receive our license plates and registration in the mail soon.  

Goodbye Snow!  California, we Are on Our Way
We obtained our driver's license with our ugly mug shots and off we went.  We told the campground they could keep the snow and left for warmer climes.  

The Natives are Restless
The trip back into Iowa, Nebraska then to Oklahoma was uneventful.  Maybe I should say boring?  You can see here that Noah and Olivia were so bored that a dog, cat wrestling match entertained John and I.  

The highlight of the drive?  Wind.  It was trying to push us back to South Dakota, but we prevailed.  We were in search of sunshine, warm air and palm trees.

But first, we had to drive through Texas!  Texas has many dust storms.  Dust can make your throat dry and you can sneeze over and over!  Excuse me, Bless you were the words most spoken.

Horizon meets the ground....dust storm

At one point, it seemed to be clear, but we could not see the sky ahead.  The dusty camouflaged the sky and horizon.  

We took Sunday off.  John stayed in all day and the only times I went out was to take the Oliver and Olivia out to do their duties.  The wind was so bad that they did not want to be out there any more than I.  I did learn to use the motorhome as a  wind break.  Now that made life more pleasant.  
Got Gas?

The rigs drilling for natural gas were doing their work, but  We seemed to be too far north to see any oil rigs.  

We have seen a few of these in Southern Indiana.  

Our first day in New Mexico offered contrast to our travels.  I enjoy the diversity our country has to offer.  Diversity not only in scenery, but also people.   

It seems the construction of the interstate almost destroyed this little building.  I am so glad that it did not.  This picture does not do it justice. 

We drove later than usual Monday.  It was dark and we could see lights across the horizon.  I kept trying to remember the name of a movie that had a scene similar.  

When we pulled into Roswell, New Mexico and saw all the UFO hype in business windows and on the marquee of the theater
Has Anyone Seen ET in Roswell, NM?

Artwork at Underpasses near Roswell, NM
Roswell, New Mexico was a hoot!  Their movie theater is named the UFO.  Wal Mart welcomes their guests with artwork of space creatures.    Alien artwork even graced the underpasses of the interstate.  I never did see ET though.

Leaving Roswell sent us in search of White Sands National Monument Tuesday morning.  

Desert White Sands in the Horizon-miles and miles away.

Again, across the horizon I saw this white line. Neither John nor I could decide if it was Desert White Sands. 

Visitor's Center Sign

We toured the visitor's center, read the information on display, then decided to drive loop tour of the dunes. 

Desert White Sands National Monument
The visitor's center was educational.  The volunteer was eager to answer our questions and guide us to the places that she considered essential to see on the tour.  

The Dunes of  White Sands New Mexico
White Sand tries to Occupy the Road
The Dunes
Adaptable Vegetation in White Sands

More Dunes
White Sands New Mexico
What a Beautiful Place
Wind Blown Dunes Through Streaky Windshield

White Sand as Far as The Eye Can See
Wind's Art in the Sand
Plants and wild life have, over the years adapted to the harsh living conditions.  They thrive in the high desert of White Sands New Mexico.

Hardy Plants Adapt to the High Desert - Over 5000 ft.
A Yucca Tries it's Best to Survive

Young Yucca

The Yucca will try to survive by increasing it's root system upward as the white sands grow higher around the plant.  But after a few years it will not be able to pull enough moisture from the earth and will die.  

Other plant life has a deeper root system and will be able to survive longer, but the dunes keep moving and occupying more of the desert floor.  

High winds were expected the next day.  We knew that the scenery would change and we wanted to stay for another day.  We will be back.  I am sure that we will not be able to recognize what we left behind yesterday.  

Oliver Finally is Able to Run!
The fur kids, for the first time since we left Indiana, were able to run without the encumbrance of a lead.  They ran and jumped on each other and ran some more.  They played tag and hide and seek.
Olivia Looking for Wildlife

The sand is packed so that their footsteps sounded like horses galloping.  It was just downright cool!
John Climbs a Dune in White Sands, N.M. 
Just seven months after John was on life support and then back in the hospital over Thanksgiving, he is out climbing the dunes.  God it good.  

Of Course, He Must Look for Rocks

Oh yes,  he is always on the lookout for rocks.  He even had a trip planned for yesterday to visit the Rockhound State Park in Arizona.

I believe this man is like the plants at White Sands National Monument.  He digs deep and has his roots firmly planted in God.  This day has made Christmas even more special for us this year.  

The End of Our Day at White Sands, N. M.  

We left White Sands knowing that we will return.  Soon.  

The perfect ending to a perfect day!  

Thank you for stopping by.  Please feel free to join as a follower and leave a comment.  

God bless you all in your travels and you all that are enjoying your homes.