Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Flagstaff, AZ the locals call it "Flag"

During an evening walk in Hinkley, MN, we ended up outside an Uncle Kracker concert, pulled up a bench and watched the performance on the big screen. In Duluth, we found a country music festival in the park on the harbor. We never know what we will find in our wanderings. Today, I gave Mike wrong directions for lunch and we ended up in the historical part of town and found a Hopi celebration.

Now that fall is in the air, I like to take a cemetery crawl or hear stories of haunted places where ever we might be. The Monte Vista  has many stories of "eternal patrons". One  story is of a ghost in the next stall of the restroom, closing the door and disappearing. They say "that happens once a week".

It was quite a treat to watch the artists at work.

Court house from the 1800s
Trailhead to the Lava River Cave
This is where we are going?

Signing in so they know we are in there when they find the truck.

Once we got to the point that we couldn't see the light anymore, we turned off our flashlights and couldn't see a thing. I was glad we had a couple of backup flashlights in case the batteries ran out. The light at the end of the tunnel.

On my way out. We had to move about with a crab crawl. We were the only people over 30 hiking in there and it was tough.

We wanted to check out the ski slopes of Snowbowl and they did not allow hiking. So we took the ski lift up. It was the slowest lift I have ever been on.

We were told that the Grand Canyon would be seen in the distance. There it is behind the hill that is a volcano.

Elden Pueblo at the base of Mt Elden from 1075-1200 AD. the archeologists were working on the site when we were there.

An alpenhorn concert in the RV park one evening.

A good end to our time in Flag.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gallup, NM

Gallup, NM has always been a place we would stop on our way to somewhere or just pass by. We had been driving a few days and felt that we needed a day off and take a hike or bike ride. After looking on the internet and finding the Quaking Aspen Trail in the Zuni Mountains and High Desert Trail System, we decided to check it out.
We rode 8 miles and the trails were in good shape even with the recent rain


When we arrived at the trailhead we ran into Alvin Whitechair, the district ranger. He was waiting for the local 4th graders to arrive and learn about  the Zuni Mountains and taking care of them. He was very knowledgeable and taught us about the area which was quite interesting.
The ranger noticed a tarantula running by. He was smaller than those in Colorado. 
We took our GPS since we didn't have a printed map but found out that every intersection had a map like this.

Most of the time, all we heard was our tires on the ground and the wind in the trees. The slick rock wasn't so slick and bounced my head around a bit.


There is an initiative to increase the mountain biking and hiking trails in this area. Hopefully, they won't tell anyone. It was so peaceful and the only other person we saw was a lady arriving when we were leaving.

The trails have been managed very well and mitigated nicely for water and rain.

After a little investigation on the area, we won't be passing by anymore without seeing what else we can find. I hope to spend some time in Red Rock Park or Ramah next time.

A monument to Fort Wingate Calvary

  The United States established Fort Fauntleroy on the site of modern Fort Wingate in 1860, as part of a campaign against the region’s Navajo population. The Civil War disrupted the campaign, and Fort Fauntleroy’s troops quickly deployed away from New Mexico.  Fort Fauntleroy served briefly as a mail station before being abandoned 1865.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Lake of the Ozarks and Ha HA Tonka State Park in Misouri

It was a tough day of towing the trailer due to the cement roads that were so rippled that our heads were bouncing off the seat and a windy day with 35 mph wind gusts that made us look like bobble heads and it was only 200 miles. We made it to Madison, had a tornado warning and without improving weather in the near future, we decided to head onward to our next destination.

We did try some cheeses and liked the portabella and chives in white cheddar quite well.
Osage Beach at Lake of the Ozarks State Park is great with huge spaces. Now that the kids are all back in school and not many people around, our campground had the host and us this morning.
Hiking in the evening along Lake Ozark

Almost got hit in the head with all of the falling acorns. I wonder if the squirrels wager on how many people they can hit.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Beautiful natural springs

Castle on the hill overlooking the lake after it burned down.

View from the castle

Limestone formations throughout the area

Natural bridge.

Turtles all around catching some rays.

One of many caves in the limestone inhabited by bats.
It is a long drive to Arizona and any suggestions about places to see on the way are appreciated. We will be driving thru Oklahoma on the turnpike and then the panhandle of TX. I am trying to psych myself up for that.

Cuenca, Ecuador

An Expat Destination The morning after returning to Quito we boarded an hour-long flight to Cuenca. Driving up the winding roads would have ...