Tuesday, September 2, 2008

9/1/08 - Houston, Texas

We drove from Ozona to Houston - home at last! When we got home we found that three of our azaleas had died and one of the big plants in the back yard had toppled over because it got too big. Here are some statistics of our trip:

Length of trip - 83 days
Miles driven - 12,297
Gas cost - $3,486.76
Campground cost - $1,325.42
Average gas price per gallon - $4.16
Average miles per gallon - 14.685
Average gas cost per day - $42.01
Average campground cost per day - $15.97

Monday, September 1, 2008

8/31/08 - Ozona, Texas

We drove all day and made it to Ozona, Texas - halfway between El Paso and Houston. We stayed at a semi-dumpy RV park in Ozona.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

8/30/08 - El Paso, Texas

We left the Valley of the Fires and drove through Carrizozo, an old railroad town that has seen better days. We went to the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site which contains over 20,000 petroglyphs scratched on boulders by the Jornada Mogollon Indians over 500 years ago. About the same time Michaelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel. Then we drove to White Sands National Monument where we had lunch. Then we drove into El Paso (back in Texas at last!) where we got the Pathfinder’s oil changed. We stayed at an RV park in El Paso.

8/29/08 - Valley of Fires Recreation Area, New Mexico

As we left the RV park in Albuquerque we took pictures of a couple of classic cars with matching trailers. We stopped off in Soccoro to have lunch at Soccoro Springs Brewing, then we drove to Valley of Fires Recreation Area near Carrizozo, New Mexico where we camped. This area in the Tularosa Valley was covered by lava flows from vents in the valley floor 1,000 to 5,000 years ago. This flow is 2 to 5 miles wide, 44 miles long, and as deep as 165 feet. We hiked on a trail through the lava flow.

Friday, August 29, 2008

8/28/08 - Albuquerque, New Mexico

We hooked up and went about a block away to the Aztec Ruins National Monument. This is a heavily restored Pueblo Indian ruin dating back to about A.D. 1,100. Then we drove to the Chaco Culture National Historic Park in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. This involved driving on a 13 mile dirt washboard road which took us an hour to drive each way – I thought every rivet in the Casita would break, but none did. Between AD 900 and 1150 Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Pueblo Indians. Part of it was crushed by a major rock slide in the early 20th century. We drove to Albuquerque and stayed in an RV park. On the way we saw a beautiful desert sunset.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

8/27/08 - Aztec, New Mexico

We drove to Mesa Verde National Park where we saw the famous cliff dwellings of the Pueblo Indians who lived here from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1,200. Then we went back to Durango where we went to two brewpubs and a microbrewery (Ska Brewing). We stayed at an RV park in Aztec, New Mexico.

8/26/08 - Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

We drove around the rim road on the south side of the Black Canyon and took pictures at all the pull-outs and short trails. This canyon is very steep and deep – some of the canyon walls are as tall as 2,700 feet. The overlooks are scary – they are on the very edge of the sheer canyon walls. In many places light colored pegmatite dikes crisscross the darker gneiss rock of the canyon. We hooked up the trailer and drove a few miles down the road to Curcanti National Recreation Area where we saw one of the old steam trains that used to traverse the canyon – it was on the last remaining original trestle crossing the Gunnison River. Then we drove south over high mountain passes through Ouray to Silverton where we had a beer at Silverton Brewing. When we were here a few years ago we rode the narrow guage railroad train between Durango and Silverton. We camped for the night at a National Forest campground near Durango.