Spanish missions dot the countryside in New Mexico just as they do in other southwestern states which were once part of Mexico. Some of them are still in use today. Others , like this one , are in various degrees of ruin. The Indians here left because of a drought and raids by hungry Apache Indians. Other missions were destroyed after the Indians grew tired of forced labor and suppression of their traditional religions and rebelled in 1680, killing some of the Franciscan friars and settlers and forcing all of the others to flee to El Paso , Texas. The Spanish reconquered New Mexico in 1692. More pictures –http://cid-4ce32117b0082fb8.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/New%20Mexico
This place is really cool. The length ,diameter and number of logs scattered over such a large area makes it a unique treasure. Until 1906, when President Roosevelt set aside some of the land as a national monument , people were carting off so many rocks that it was in danger of disappearing. Now all the rock in the park is protected and some people think that there’s a curse on it! Every week the rangers receive a few packages in the mail with returned rocks and sometimes letters apologizing and explaining that nothing had gone right since the rock had been taken! We didn’t take any – ;). More pictures-http://cid-4ce32117b0082fb8.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Petrified%20Forest
After we left Vegas we stopped at the Grand Canyon for a few days to spend some time with my sister and her family. Every year for the kids’ spring break they go on a trip and sometimes we are able to join them – a lot of fun! As you can see in the picture above , snow was still on the ground. Fortunately we had a couple of beautiful days but with snow back in the forecast , we decided to get off the mountain. Next stop-Petrified Forest! More pictures here: http://cid-4ce32117b0082fb8.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Grand%20Canyon
We had very fast trip south through the high deserts of Oregon and Nevada and are settled in dry , sunny , warm Las Vegas for a few weeks of caulking and sealing.
Along the way we took a tour through Goldfield. We can’t resist ghost towns. It’s strange to see all of these big buildings deserted and crumbling.The town is right off the main highway and is not a complete ghost town but the houses are falling apart too so most of the residents live in trailers. With the price of gold today it looks like the population is growing. More pictures here: http://cid-4ce32117b0082fb8.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Goldfield%20%5EJ%20Nevada
This is the dry side of the gorge in eastern Washington. The population is sparse – fruit trees , cattle and wind turbines out number people but it’s a beautiful place.
The gorge cuts through the Cascade mountains between Washington and Oregon. It was formed when the Glacier Lake Missoula ruptured it’s ice dam and a huge wall of water rushed down the corridor. This happened at least 25 times and formed the gorge which is 80 miles long and 4,000’ deep at some spots. Because of the width of the river and the steep walls of the gorge there are very few spots where the river can be crossed.
The salmon runs on the river supported local Indian tribes but dams to stop flooding , supply electricity and ample water for irrigating fields have destroyed some of the best fishing areas and wild water. The US government and Indian tribes are working to restore the salmon runs and at the same time support the needs of the communities.
We moved into the new motorhome two weeks ago and everything seems to working right. We still have some minor finish work on the inside and we have to make sure all of the exterior is sealed. Our lawyer is sending a bill to Ken for the repairs. Ken probably will not pay without a fight but the lawyer doesn’t think that we have to stay around so we’re outta here!
Interior before we fixed things.
Ken returned the motorhome to us after having it for a week. He told us that he found no water in the cabover when he was installing the new trim strip. We removed a few of the screws and water came streaming out. There was also evidence that he had tested the gray water tanks and that they had leaked. More lies! We decided to go to another shop , get everything fixed and deal with Ken later.
Patch that leaked (again!) New tank installed by new shop.
Water draining out of the screw holes. Drying out the cabover to reglue it all.
Ken has been patching and patching. The tank has been leaking and leaking. He had to work on another job so he brought the motorhome back to our campground about a week ago. We decided to go to a repair shop , pay to get a new tank installed and then sue Ken for all of the extra expenses that we’ve incurred because of his ineptness. But before we could do that we discovered two more problems. One is a tiny leak right behind the driver’s seat. The other is the separation of the fiberglass sheathing from the luan underlayment on the cabover section of the motorhome. Our lawyer said that we have to give Ken a chance to fix these so back to the shop it went. He’s also trying to fix the tanks one more time.
These are the tanks that he’s trying to fix. They’re stacked in a T shape and leak at the seams.
Ken in the compartment. Installing a new tank would have been faster and easier!
Hope everyone had a good time over the holidays -we spent the day with Eden and Burt so we had a great Christmas! All the parts that we ordered to finish the motorhome were delayed because of the holidays but they finally started coming in last week. We could be out of here! Buuut…… we got a leak! Ken joined two gray water tanks ( shower and sink waste water) together and that has become a reoccurring problem. He’s on his third patch job and if that doesn’t work he’ll have to start over with a new tank.
This was funny – the Ford dealer delivered the truck with 1/4 tank of gas. Ken used most of it up test driving the motorhome and never put any more fuel in it. On the day we picked it up from Ken’s shop ,we had to drive a few miles to the gas station. We just made it- flat on empty as we stopped at the pump!
We’ve been running around town getting the process started on everything that still needs to be finished – graphics designed and made , cushions measured to be sewn , new water tank ordered ( Ken installed one that is much too small) and bits and pieces bought to finish the inside. I’ll post some more pictures as we get things finished but for now –
MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!