Welcome to my photo journal.

Friday, October 31, 2008


We headed up the road about 60 miles today, but before we left we took another drive thru Riverview Park and spotted these vultures a good Halloween start. We are spending 3 nites here just outside Keokuk, IA at a pretty little spot Hickory Haven RV. The cats should enjoy watching all the birds and squirrels.
We took an introductory drive to Nauvoo, IL just 20 miles away. It is a National Historic Landmark. Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints with his followers set the ground work for what would become one of the largest cities on the American Frontier in the late to mid 1830's and 40's. Through the decades, Nauvoo's history has been painted by colorful cultures that remain evident today in the architecture and historical remnants. Escape the present and discover the past in Nauvoo which includes the Sac & Fox Indians, the Mormon movement, the Utopian Icarians and later German settlers who all played a vital part in the final landscape of Nauvoo's history.
Tomorrow, we will escape and explore more of Nauvoo.
This the Nauvoo Temple, dedicated June 27, 2002. It replaces the original temple of 1841.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some pics of Hannibal

We ran into Mark Twain on our photo tour of Hannibal today. He was in casual dress today and he was nice enough to give us an autographed photo. We didn't visit any museums just drove around town, it has some lovely old homes many of which are being remodeled. It's nice to see they care enough to fix them up, several are B and B's. We drove thru River View park it was in it's fall glory. We had a nice lunch on the main street and later an ice cream cone at old soda fountain. I also ran thru a really nice quilt shop located in one of the historical buildings. Tomorrow back on the road.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!!

We are in Hannibal, MO tonight, left around noon today. This is my first time here and it was so close. We had a slow start the cats all hid and it took awhile to dig them out. I guess they don't like traveling!
More from Hannibal tomorrow.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


We are again waiting for the motorhome to be finished, I didn't think an oil change and a recall fix would take so long but again it's on the motorhome.

We had to have a tire fixed on the Focus this weekend, there was a slow leak. So it's good thing we weren't on the road.
We went to Oklahoma Joe's BBQ with our friends yesterday, I always get the same sandwich I think its called the Q it comes with 3 onion rings on it.
I would like to mention a website that was on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, I don't usually go to these sites but I thought OK I'll visit this one www.diabeteshandprint.com if you make a handprint they will donate $5 to diabetes foundation or camp. I know my niece really enjoyed the camp, she just learned she has diabetes last year.
Til next time, maybe we will be on the road.
The challenge is in the moment, the time is always now. James Baldwin

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


This is the last photo I took at Quiviria NWR Monday morning, we got up at dawn to find the spot where the sandhills cranes spend the night and watch them take off for their feeding spots for the day. It is a sight to watch and listen to as they all take off almost at once and with them hundreds of geese. Worth getting up for!!! We then drove home in the wind, which is not fun in our big rig. We spent Monday nite in Ex. Spgs WalMart, then moved home the next morning and had our water turned back on for our short stay. So I have caught up on the laundary and have enjoyed a couple of long hot showers.
I can't believe this weather, rain, cool and blizzard warnings for western Kansas. I hope we have an Indian summer while we make the trip to IN to have our slide fixed.
Time to go thro pictures and pick out a few to take to WalMart to print.
Should be on our way to IN this weekend, Ken is taking the RV in for an oil change and a recall on the power steering filter ??? here Fri.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Quivira NWR

We are near Stafford, KS at Pines Haven RV park, a small park just off 50 hwy. We decided to visit Quivira NWR and Cheyenne Bottoms near Great Bend, we knew it would be a little early for the big migration but we were near and Ken has always wanted to visit. We are only a couple weeks early, there are a few Sandhill Cranes here, we spotted a group in a field this morning and there are alot of white fronted geese at Cheyenne Bottoms. I was excited in capturing a photo of a Kingfisher, I almost have a good photo of a White-face Ibis. We decided to take part in their celebration of NWR week, they hosted a pig roast, a few demonstration's and a program given by a Buffalo Bill reenactor.We will probably hit the road again tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Touring Tucumcari

We decided to stay another day and look around Tucumcari. The fellow with the beard at the Tee Pee Curios told Ken about a few places he liked, he is a photographer and that is his photo on the cover of the magazine he is holding.
We are staying at the Cactus RV park they used to be the Cactus Motor motel, most of the rooms are still standing.
We went around town photographing the murals and some of the old neon signs which they are trying to save. We visited the Mesaland Dinosaur Museum yesterday and today the Historical Museum both were very good for a small town. The Dinosaur was especially surprising as it houses a lab for the community college and the community college is famous for its bronze foundry which they make the dinosaur bones into bronze dinosaurs. Ken visited with the director of the museum and the students have found 2 new dinosaurs in the area. Lots of bones and old volcanos in the area.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Going east

We are now heading east, we have an appointment in IN to get some work done on the RV as our slide still leaks. This is one of the last photos from the Balloon Fiesta Friday nite, the glow was canceled as well as the rest of the weekend flights as it was too windy. It was only good for kite flying! I feel bad for all the people who made the trip to see it this weekend. On TV, they enterviewed a family from Michigan they brought their 80 year old mother to see it, it was what she wanted to do for her birthday and she didn't get to see a balloon fly. We just took it easy, and on Sunday went for a drive to Bosque del Apache.
Wet and cold is the forecast, (in fact a winter storm warning is out) Ken doesn't like to drive in the rain so we may stay here in Tucumcari a day or so til it clears up. The sun was shining when we left and we hit light rain here in Tucumcari.
It's nice to have full service spot again, I can make my early morning coffee even have a daily shower. We have our heat going this evening too. I can do dry camping easily but it is so nice to have that daily shower! Next is to do a little laundary.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fri Chase and Accident

Here are a few photos of Thurs. evenings Special Shape Glowdeo.By now you probably have heard about the fatal accident at the Fiesta. While with our chase crew we saw it dangling from the power line and then break free. I caught it flying away. If you are interested about reading about it I found an article at http://www.lcsun-news.com/. There were several hard landings today, but our balloons both landed safely. It was interesting that they try very hard to stay out of the Indian Reservations with surround Albuquerque. If one lands in one you have to call for permission to enter and get an escort just as you would if landing on a military base. Our driver in our chase vehicle thought our balloon the bee had landed on reservation land as it was just outside their casino. We were part of a chase crew for a couple who had two balloons, she piloted the bee and he piloted the clown. We started at the launch site with the bee and ended up loading up the clown. The lady dressed up as a zebra is a launch director, they give the OK or thumbs up for the balloon to take off from the site. All the directors dress differently but all in striped zebra outfits. It takes two years to learn to be a zebra. We have learned a lot about this dangerous sport of ballooning, but we both still want to go up in one.
It was windy tonight so this evenings glow was canceled. The weather forecast for the weekend isn't looking good either, more wind and rain.
Balloonist's Prayer
The Winds have welcomed you with softness.
The Sun has blessed you with its warm hands.
You have flown so high and so well,
that God has joined you in your laughter,
and set you gently back again
into the loving arms of Mother Earth

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bandelier and more Balloons

Wed. after the balloon launch we took a drive to see the Aspens in their fall color and we visited Bandelier Nat'l Monument. It has old Indian ruins, here they used the caves on the sides of the cliffs for homes. We also stopped at Jemez State Monument which is also Indian ruins. This morning was the Speciality balloon flight, there were about 60 of them.
After the the Speciality balloons got under way, there was the grab the prize competition where there are poles at different places and the pilots try and grab envelope on the pole. There were also targets to drop sandbags to see who got the closest. There were targets in our field in the RV park too. We heard from our neighbors who stayed at their RV that balloons also landed in this field and they went out to help several. I guess one chase vehicle got stuck in the mud too.
So we missed all that excitment by being over in the Fiesta field.
My camera decided it had had enough, so we bought me a new one at WalMart after we hit I Hop for breakfast. It was lucky the camera lasted to nearly the end of this mornings fun.

The fun thing about this mornings balloon launch was the balloons could fly to a certain level and then come back to the field, it's called the box effect. One balloon came back 4 times! It was strange to watch balloons coming and going. Next time the Balloon Glow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

So Far at the Balloon Fiesta

Here are some of what we've been up to the last few days.Sat. was a nice morning, we caught our shuttle early 6 am to catch the dawn patrol (that is the 4 balloons glowing) they go up first to test the winds.
There are several specialty balloons I just caught a few Sat.
Then as the forecast predicted the Storm hit Sat. late afternoon.
It wasn't fun for many of the RVer's leaving the next couple of days, many had to be pulled out of the mud. We hope our mud will be dry when we leave.

Monday morning's competion was canceled because of high winds, but Monday evening's Gas competion was a go.

Tuesday morning we got up early to be on a chase crew. We helped launch it from the festival sight and then rode in the chase vehicle. We saw alot of the local area while chasing the balloon. They landed in yard but it was gated and locked and we had to move it over the fence to across the street to a small pasture where the owner gave us permission to bring the balloon down.

We have also volunteered to crew Friday morning and evening for a different balloon.
We have also visited the Petroglyph National Monument here.
Today we had lunch with the Carlows from home, they are heading home from their trip to CA. They came to the balloon festival this morning.
More from Albuquerque later.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In Santa Rosa

Today we're in Santa Rosa in a campground off Route 66 again. This campground has a BBQ restaurant in the back of the office, we probably won't try it this time as we had a late lunch. The campground was almost empty when we pulled in at 11:30am and now it is full, with most of us going to the Balloon Fest. It ought to be interesting getting into the campground tomorrow in Albuquerque with all the RV'ers arriving. And wouldn't you know it's calling for rain Sat. nite thru Mon. morning, good thing we are planning on staying for the whole week. We did a little driving around, found the Blue Hole where divers come from all over to dive, it is 81 feet deep. It's just a couple blocks off Rt 66. There were several divers there today. We also drove a few miles south to Puerto de Luna a little Spanish town that has a few ruins left of the court house and a pretty little church. Billy the Kid had some kind of relationship with the town, I think you can find a little something about him throughout the area.
This little moth was on the flowers in the campground, they were covered them and Painted ladies, Sulfurs and bees. I also picked up a Queen Monarch butterfly off the road, but my photo was a bit blurry.
The WiFi connection here is great, I may not have the luxury of posting very often at the Balloon Fest, we'll see.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On the road to Albuquerque

We had a nice trip so far, we stopped at Amarillo for a couple of nights. We visited Palo Dura State Park where we saw lots of butterflies, painted ladies, coppers, Monarchs and this one which I think is a checkered spot. We saw this fellow on the side of I-40 and then got to visit with him at the Texas Visitors Center. He is traveling from Tulsa to Phoenix on horseback with his dog.
I just had to see the famous Cadillac Ranch just outside of Amarillo, I didn't know one was to take a can of spray paint to add your name to a car. Some tourists from Germany offered their cans but we declined so you won't see our name there.

We stopped at the New Mexico Tourist Center and the lady there was telling everyone about the air show at Tucumcari today so of course we had to stop and go to it. It was fun and I got some good photos. The Golden Knights were there, and Bob Carlton Silent Wings both were at the KC airshow. I think the plane in the photo is Greg Poe flying FAGEN MX-2. We're staying at a RV park on Route 66 in Tucumcari, there's not much on Route 66 anymore everything has moved out to the freeway, so sad.