A Camping Trip

Don’t we live in a camper, you might ask? Yes, but we decided to take a short break from our duties at Gail and escape the heat for a few days. We elected to borrow my Mom’s little camper and head to the nearest higher altitude. We left the heat of west Texas around mid morning and by early afternoon we were in the mid 60 degree range outside of Cloudcroft, New Mexico. It’s hard to believe this place is only 280 or so miles from Gail. It seems like a world away.

If you’ve been following us lately, you may remember this is the place we’re headed first when we leave Gail in July. I’ve been coming here my whole life and it’s one of our favorite places. We found a nice campsite here in the Lincoln National Forest Apache Campground and as of the time I’m writing this entry, we are the only ones here besides the very friendly campground hosts, Carl and Gladys. At $20 per night, this campground isn’t a bargain considering there are no hookups. They do however have water spigots at the entrance of each loop. There are other options in the way of dispersed camping all throughout the Lincoln, but most are difficult to get into at best if your rig is very large. We may give a few of those dispersed locations a try in July. We scouted out a few that we may be able to get our 34′ trailer into. Of course, I’ll reporting here on how that goes.

The weather has been absolutely perfect so far with lows in the morning in the 40s and afternoon highs in the 60s. We would usually take a few mid length hikes while were here, but this time we’re just relaxing and enjoying the solitude and scenery. Our humming-bird feeder has been absolutely buzzing with activity. When we return in July, we’ll take several interesting hikes and some bike rides and report them here.

Tomorrow it’s back to Gail to finish residing my parents house, but we’ll be back on the road before too long.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t already done so, please check out my novel “Indian Paintbrush” in Kindle form here, or in paperback here; and Sharon’s photographs can be viewed here.

Here are some photos from the forest and campgrounds around Cloudcroft.

Our little borrowed trailer at our campsite

Our little borrowed trailer at our campsite

Our campsite in the Apache Campground, Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico

Our campsite in the Apache Campground, Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico

One of the other sites in our loop

One of the other sites in our loop

One of the very clean vault toilets in the campground

One of the very clean vault toilets in the campground

The Silver, Saddle, and Apache Campground entrance sign

The Silver, Saddle, and Apache Campground entrance sign

View of our truck from a cliff along a hiking trail

View of our truck from a cliff along a hiking trail

My beautiful wife of 15 years. I always try to save the best photo for last.

My beautiful wife of 15 years. I always try to save the best photo for last.

Till next time…

Brian

 

 

 

 

 

More House Painting… and Another Bike Ride

We’re still busy in our temporary home in Gail, TX, Borden County. We’ve started painting the south end of my parents house this week. We finished the north end last week. After we finish the south end, we’ll be half-finished replacing siding and painting the whole house. Then we just have to cover the 5 front columns in stone veneer.

The goal is to be done by the end of June so we can get out of the summer heat and up to higher altitudes. Our schedule isn’t set in stone (we try to never have a detailed plan), but we do know our first stop when we leave here around the 1st week of July will be Cloudcroft, NM. It’s about a 300 mile drive from here. That’s about as far as we usually travel in a day. We’ll probably stay up to a couple of weeks there.

Cloudcroft is small mountain community in southeastern New Mexico at about 9000 feet elevation. I have been going there literally my whole life and I never grow tired of the cool summers in the tall pines. It’s a beautiful place to camp and hike. Be sure to check back here frequently when we start moving especially. Hopefully, my blog post will be more frequent and more interesting when we get on the move again. We’ll be hiking, riding, camping, writing, and taking photos in new places.

If your new to this blog, be sure to check out the “About Us” section to see what we’re about.

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We took a short 15 mile bike ride yesterday morning around Gail and outside of “town” some. It’s nice to get out and ride, but as I said in my previous post, it can be hard to find a place to ride safely around here. I took a few shots from around Gail so you can get an idea of the feel of this very small west Texas county seat.

Borden County, Texas Courthouse

Borden County, Texas Courthouse

 

Gail, Texas post office

Gail, Texas post office

A view along our ride

A view along our ride

The historic Borden County, Texas jail

The historic Borden County, Texas jail

Old rock gas station next to the post office

Old rock gas station next to the post office

The old Dorward Drug store now houses antiques

The old Dorward Drug store now houses antiques

Borden County museum

Borden County museum

Anyway, that’s our home for now.

I’m still trying to get back to writing my second novel. I’ve got a good start but I have a long way to go. It will happen though. When this last family project gets done, I’ll have more time to devote to it. It is coming more easily than my first novel, Indian Paintbrush.

If you have any interest, it’s available in Kindle form here or in paperback here. Writing is part of the way I support our unique lifestyle along with Sharon’s photography. She takes photos everywhere we go of the unique people we cross paths with as well as the scene wherever we park. Please take a look at her galleries here.

Thank you to all of our new followers. I hope our look into this unique lifestyle holds your interest.

Brian

 

 

 

 

 

Bicycling West Texas

We’ve cut back a little on our running as of lately. Mostly because we just need to do other things for our health besides running. Too much of anything can end up being not so good. The scenery here in our current location isn’t exactly our favorite. Especially this time of year when everyday seems to windy or hot, or both. We normally try to be in higher altitudes among the trees by this time of year. But, projects here will keep us stationary for another couple of months so we might as well make the best of it.

Biking has always been enjoyable for us. Even before we started traveling and living fulltime in our RV, we frequently rode our road bikes and mountain bikes both. We haven’t done much of either since we left the campground where we hosted in Washington state last summer. Some of the reason is, like I said, the scenery. The other reason is we’re in oil field country here and the traffic is horrific. It’s not just that there is a lot of traffic. It’s that many of the drivers we see are so bad. That seems to be even more the case since this latest West Texas oil boom. Never before have we seen so many speeding vehicles and fatal accidents due to driver distractions in this area. I don’t even like to drive anywhere from here in Gail unless necessary anymore, unless its to leave the oil country. One has to wonder if all the money that comes with a boom is worth it.

Anyway, let me carefully climb back down off this giant soap box and get back to the subject at hand. There are some county roads around here that are usually pretty desolate and we can feel somewhat comfortable riding some of them without the fear of emanate death. The other problem with being in a small country town is number of loose dogs that hate bicycles… or people running… or cars… or anything that moves within 100 yards of them. That’s why I carry pepper spray. It seems every time we head out to get some exercise we must fend off some sort of attack. Well hell, I crawled back up there didn’t I?

We aired up our tires, dusted off our seats, dug out our shoes and helmets, and filled our water bottles. It was actually pretty nice out when we left for our 33 mile ride. But by the time we returned, it was getting close to 100 degrees.

My beautiful wife riding in front of me.

My beautiful wife riding in front of me.

If you don’t like mesquite scrub and cactus, you probably wouldn’t enjoy this area. But, it does have rugged beauty that’s unique to the area if you pay attention. And, we got a great workout. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the road is actually quite hilly. We’ll mostly stick to bike rides for our cardio for a while to give our bodies a much-needed break from the impact of running. For me, biking is very relaxing when I’m not concerned about being run over every couple of minutes. I think we saw a total of 4 or 5 vehicles on our 2 1/2 hour ride.

Sorry. Sharon made me include a pic of myself.

Sorry. Sharon made me include a pic of myself.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it here before, but we like old stuff. Almost any kind of old stuff will do. We enjoy almost any history, antiques, ruins… whatever. We always notice old forgotten roads and bridges and remnants that many people probably don’t see. We’ve hiked on old closed highways, discovered old bridges that no longer go anywhere, and hiked many old railroad grades(these are our favorites). Sometimes, only bridge columns or less are left buried in the landscape. It’s interesting to us to stop and think back to when now old vehicles and trains traversed these long gone paths, moving along at a much slower pace than people do today. I think that’s one of the things we love so much about hiking and biking. You’re forced to travel at a slower rate than when you’re trying to just get somewhere by modern transportation. You can’t help but take in your surroundings and sometimes we’re amazed at what we see and what has been left behind so long ago. To me, these structures and remnants still have value, even if they can no longer be utilized the way they were originally intended. At least to us, there is much value in history. And so much of it can still be seen first hand all over this country.

This is what is left of an old one lane bridge on a county road in Borden County, Texas.

This is what is left of an old one lane bridge on a county road in Borden County, Texas.

Thanks for spending a few minutes with us.

Brian.