365 Days on the Road

April 27, 2014 we headed out on our grand adventure to see the country. We sold the majority of our belongings: minus the books, photo albums, and home videos, those went to storage, and moved our family of six into our 35 ft Zinger.

 

Getting Rid of our Belongings

 

Since that time we have lived in four different states and added to our Band of Travelers a new member, Lucy Valentina, born February 14 in New Mexico.

Lucy Valentina

 

In Texas we saw our first rodeo and climbed Enchanted Rock.Llano, TX Rodeo

Enchanted Rock TX

From there we moved on to Cloudcroft, New Mexico where we lived at an elevation of over 9000 ft with a glorious daytime temperature of 70 degrees. I saw my first herd of elk and the wild horses of the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

Cloudcroft, New Mexico

And the children had the time of their lives sledding in summer at the White Sands National Monument.

White Sands National Monument

Not finished with the Land of Enchantment we moved north to the Four Corners area where we visited 700 + year old cliff dwellings and took a six hour train ride from Durango, CO to the old mining town of Silverton.

spruce tree dwelling

Durango Silverton Train

We stayed in New Mexico longer than intended as we waited for the birth of our precious sixth child Lucy.

As winter drug on we decided it was time to move to a warmer climate and ended up in Huachuca City, AZ. Here we learned about people like Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp. We visited Tombstone.

Oliver and Doc Holiday

Oliver and Doc Holiday

Bisbee.

Bisbee, AZ

Old Tucson.

Medicine man show

The Chiricahua National Monument.

Chiricahua National Monument

And the Saguaro National Park.

Saguaro Cacti

These are but a few of the places we have been and the sights we have seen. As a family we have learned more about our country’s Western history than either Jim or I ever learned in school and we have walked streets where some of that history was made.

As we start our second year we look forward to continuing our education as we trek across the country.

 

The Trials of Traveling

sickness

 

To those of you who read my blog I would like to apologize for the lack of activity here over the last month. Let me explain why I have been so unproductive lately. You see I come from a the flatlands of Indiana where the highest point in all the state is 1257 feet and I lived no where near that ‘high’ bit of earth. For the last five weeks I have been living at the unnatural elevation of nearly 9000 feet. This can have some rather unpleasant effects on the body, such as headaches, nausea and vomiting, tiredness, and shortness of breath; all of which I have been suffering from in one form or another everyday. It also seems to have another strange effect in which all the victim wants to do is veg out on season after season of The Duggars (strangely this symptom isn’t listed on WebMD).

You would think that this would be enough suffering for one poor Hoosier who’s just trying to explore this vast country of ours, but you would be wrong. Cloudcroft is a tiny tourist town and when the cool-weather-seekers go home the population dwindles to about seven hundred people; not enough to support a proper grocery store. So to retrieve the weeks rations you must descend the mountain and visit one of the more populated towns. This is when my old friend Mr. Motion Sickness kicks in. So even if my oxygen-deprived body was giving me a bit of a reprieve all I have to do is take a short drive to bring back the nauseousness that I have grown so accustomed to. So between napping and vomiting I haven’t been able to do much writing.

Needless to say I have had to scratch climbing Everest off my Life Goals List. ; )

Thanks for sticking with me,

M.A.

Cloudcroft, Shangri-la in the Sky

 

Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery. John Ruskin Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/mountains.html#Pm0Lj1cg7IvZlF7W.99

Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.
John Ruskin 

On June 28 we left the sweltering heat of Texas and made our slow trek to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

The trip took longer than it would have, had we not been pulling an over 7000 lb. camper. And it would have been cooler as well, for we rode the entire way without air conditioning. Very pioneer us, don’t you think? ; )

As the flat, dry lands of West Texas passed by at no more than 55 mph we eventually entered the Land of Enchantment (New Mexico). I must admit that I was not very enchanted. Flat, scorched land, sizzling heat  and oil well after oil well greeted our beauty-starved eyes.

Like pilgrims searching for Shangri-la we pushed our 12 passenger van ever onwards toward the promise of green mountains, tall trees and cool air. At the base of the Sacramento Mountains we rested in the cooler clime of Wal Mart as the thermometer outdoors read 104 degrees.

After summoning up our courage and saying a prayer we headed up the mountain to Cloudcroft at 8650 feet. At 30 mph our modern horse-drawn wagon lurched and pulled its cargo ever closer to our destination, and if you were impressed with our fortitude while traveling without the comfort of air conditioning (and I’m sure you were), you should be doubly impressed with the fact that we spent that two hour trip up the mountain side with the heater on doing our best to keep our only mode of transportation from overheating.

But as we climbed to heights that we had never been to before, the temperature began to drop and before we had even reached our journey’s end we were enjoying a cool 74 degrees.

So we did it! We made it to the Sugar Pines RV Park in Cloudcroft where we thanked God for His mercy and I quickly succombed to altitude sickness, vomited and went straight to bed. : )

Home sweet home for the next two months.

Home sweet home for the next two months.