Friday, August 11, 2017

Home!


Ninety days, 18 states, 9,785 miles, 4 national parks, one presidential library, 2 farm stays, 2 casino parks, 11 Walmart parking lots, 2 county fairgrounds; through desserts, mountains, forests, prairies and cities, our epic 2017 western adventure has come to an end. The Wanderer is parked in the drive waiting to be emptied and cleaned before going to storage. Roger (aka the pick-up) is in great need of a bath. We won’t talk about what needs to be done in the garden.



It's worse than we imagined!



 As for ABN and Captain, well we are headed to Dry Ground to see if we can catch up with some friends. 



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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fun on Dick and Janie’s little farm

in northern New Mexico.


Janie is Captain’s cousin. She and her husband, Dick, have created a most wonderful home outside the small town of Dixon. Their home is built in the traditional New Mexico style with thick (like 12-18 inch) adobe walls.

Nods to their extensive international travels and glimpses of Janie’s beautiful oil paintings can be seen throughout.

Their little farm provides fresh vegetables from the garden as well as lamb, turkey and chickens.

An accomplished culinarian, Janie delighted us with outstanding authentic New Mexico cuisine and the best mustard crusted roast lamb that we have ever tasted (all fresh with no preservatives.)  

Located on the farm is Vivac Winery, owned and operated by their sons.
Jesse explains the process to Captain. Notice the notebook on the bench, it is contains the notes about their various wines and processes since the beginning of Vivac in 1998.. 
Loving California wine and most recently experiencing the delicious wines of Washington and Oregon we were a bit skeptical about New Mexico wine. Were we surprised! Chris and Jesse have successfully created some spectacular wines. Our palates favored their MALBEC and 2014 AGLIANICO (an Italian varietal new to us.) Their award winning GR√úNER VELTLINER, a crisp white, is one of their most popular and is delightful to sip on a warm day on the patio.

Vivac Tasting Room is located at the junction of Hwy. 68 and 75. Weekends will find Dick playing with his band or backing up another band.
That's Dick in the colorful shirt.

Leaving The Wanderer parked on the farm, we took Roger

for a day trip to Santa Fe mostly to visit the Georgia O’Keefe Art Museum; a truly fascinating artist and individual.
Georgia O'Keefe Art Museum




With Dick and Janie we took in the Home and Garden Show in Taos which proved to be an excellent way to explore the adobe architecture and life styles of Taos. Of course, ABN’s favorite was the Rosarita Compound of older casitas (little houses) tastefully furnished with finds from yard sales and consignment shops. The best parts were the lovely courtyards.





















Cousin Janie and Captain

Located not far from Taos is an Earthship Compound.



Constructed with earth packed tires and recycled materials, these dwellings are independent of the grid. Power is generated by wind and solar. Water is collected from rain and snow; grey water is used to flush the toilets. Treated black water is used to irrigate plants in the gardens and greenhouses.

Apparently Earthship Communities can be found throughout the US and other countries of the world. Truly an interesting concept.

With a consistent, year-round temperature of 58°, this concept would make a pretty neat wine cellar, hmm….we’ll have to think about that. 




And then there is the Rio Grande passing through the area.

About 800 feet down is the river.

It just happened that our good friends, Kathy and Jesse from North Carolina were also in Taos and we were able to get together and catch up.

Do you notice a bit of glow on their faces? They are in Taos to welcome a brand new grandson.

Inspired with wholesome food, art, a lifestyle of adventure over acquisitions, ideas for reclaiming and re-purposing, we leave New Mexico with memories for a lifetime, a half case of Vivac wine and Janie’s instructions for making enchilada sauce. 

After a quick stop in Tulsa to visit Captain’s Aunt Vivian and Uncle Keith
in their beautiful retirement center; 


and with Cousin Kathy and husband Mark,



we continue to make our way toward home. 

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Indescribable

If you have been to the Grand Canyon then you understand when we say words and photos cannot begin to describe the formations,


the vastness, 

and the colors.

If you haven’t visited the Grand Canyon, you must go and see for yourself.

Having visited here twice before, Captain explained to ABN, you really can’t get a good perspective unless you hike down into the canyon. So we did; two miles down Bright Angel Trail

Two Mile Switchback
and two miles back up to the rim, stepping aside to let the mule train pass.

Sunday we set the alarm so we could watch the sun rise over the rim.

and attend worship service provided by three college students from A Christian Ministry in the National Parks (ACMNP)
View at Sunday Morning Worship Service
Even though the two of us made up the entire congregation, it was still a beautiful experience.

The Wanderer was parked at Mather Campground inside the park for 3 days and 4 nights with no electricity, water or sewage hook-up. With the solar panel upgrade, we did just fine. We were pleased to share the campground with a lot of young folks (most folks our age must have been in the full service campground or perhaps at one of the lodges.) And, of course, we had the company of many squirrels, ravens,

 mule deer and some elk.


It was a welcome break from the internet and television (hope we didn’t miss anything that was truly important.)
Refreshed, we said good-bye to one of God’s beautiful masterpieces


and are continuing our journey toward home.
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