Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Boys and Their Toys

Bill's sister, Alberta and her guy,  Ernie, recently took a vacation to Monterrey, California.  Besides visiting with family (this is Ernie's hometown) they went to car shows and car auctions.

Ernie bought the car shown in the next photo...
This car was intended to race in the NASCAR circuit, but, as sometimes happens, it became obsolete before it ever hit the track.

This place in Monterrey, aside from the other car shows, also has an auction where very prestigious automobiles are put up for bid.

There was a Ferrari that sold 27 million dollars!
Can you even imagine bidding on such a car?
Heck, when we were at Monte Carlo, in Monaco a couple of years ago, I was impressed just standing beside a red Ferrari that was parked on the street...  I'd probably have swallowed my eye teeth just thinking about bidding on that one in Monterrey last month!!!!

 Anyway...  Ernie bid on this automobile, and is now the owner of this "potential" NASCAR vehicle.  Last night it was delivered..... 

 This truck brought it to Ernie's shop last night, and they unloaded it this morning.
 This morning, Bill & I stopped by the restaurant where Ernie has breakfast.  He, and the driver of that huge transport tuck were having breakfast and we joined them.  This photo shows (big photo on the left) Marky...  a young man who works for Ernie....  he took the car for a spin in the next-door parking lot.  Now... this car can go 200+ mph....  Marky got in it...  took off...  and SPUN out through this parking lot, into the lot next door.  The upper left just shows the dust he made..... I mean, this guy was MOVIN' ON!!!!  Spun around and came back to where we all were standing.  When he got out of the car, Marky was shaking like a leaf!  He loved it!  Can you imagine driving a car...  a car that's never been raced...  a car in pristine condition...  a car that your boss just bought in California at a very prestigious auction...  one that your boss has never even sat in...  through downtown parking lots....  and even though that ride lasted less than 5 minutes.... YOU did it!  And you brought it back still intact and good shape?  Heck, I'd be more than shaking.  As Marky said...  he thought he might need a set of clean underwear.

What a treat it was talking with driver of the truck.  He actually lives near Orlando, Florida, but spends about 3 weeks of each month transporting VERY expensive cars throughout the USA.
 A view of the engine of the car Ernie bought...  as well as a couple of other shots...

I loved talking with the driver.... He'd told us about the multi-million dollar Ferrari he'd transported, so I had to ask him what vehicle in the "low life" category he'd had on board.

He told us about a heap of "parts" he'd picked up,,,  not even a total vehicle.  I wish I could remember the name, but it was right down there with our little Scion type car.  Oh well....  we never aspired to be the big "players" in life....

We all had other things to do....  Bill took a guy who may work out as a great "handyman" to a rental house we own here in Farmington to check on some work that needs done....  I headed off looking for some geocaches.

An hour or so later, we both found ourselves back at Ernies.... and looky here....

Looks like a Tom Sawyer, "Painting the Fence" kind of scenario to me...
Guys who ordinarily would be at their day jobs...  running wires for the electric company, guys who really do have day jobs...  all were very happily washing this great car that Ernie had brought to Farmington.

Quite a beauty, isn't it?
Even if you have no interest in this kind of thing, a person really has to admire the engineering, the technology.... and really...  the pure speed..... that this thing can attain.

I'm always amazed at the diversity of life we see...  and live.  

That's All For Today!

Friday, August 30, 2013

I (Can't) Walk The Line....

Am I singing that Johnny Cash song?


We were involved in an automobile accident this evening. (Thursday)
The driver of the car that hit us couldn't even take one straight step.

First off, we were with Alberta, Bill's sister, and we all are okay.
We had been to her company's picnic and it was over early so we decided to drive out to see a new casino that has been built since we were here last.
Right at the entrance to the casino there is a left turn lane with a separate turn signal.  Alberta was driving her car and while we were waiting for the light to turn, I started to take a photo of the gorgeous sunset.
The car shook violently, there was a huge bang, and then we settled back on all four tires again.  Then a car zoomed around us on the driver's side and turned into the casino drive.  We all scrabbled to find our glasses and put them on... and managed to get the license number.  (All of us got our glasses either knocked off or askew!)
Bill was in the back seat and I think he got jerked around the most...  his head hit the back seat rest.  Alberta was clutching the steering wheel so hard her hands still hurt.  What happened to me is kind of ridiculous...  I was holding my little Canon up to my eye and when the car was hit, I guess I slammed the camera into my glasses and cheek bone.  (now that it's over I can think of all kind of one-liners about the dangers of taking too many pictures).

 A witness who was behind the "hit and run" car also got his license number and she called the sheriff as she was walking up to see if we were okay.
I have no idea how much damage was done...  only that the force of the hit could have caused structural damage that doesn't show here. (I've obliterated license plate numbers for privacy)

We were told to pull into the casino drive and wait for the sheriff.  As we're waiting for the law to arrive, this truck pulls up beside us. 
After the guy hit us and drove into the casino area, he ran into this guys truck.
The man driving the truck said there didn't seem to be any damage to his truck and he had to take his wife to work...  and he left.  But he added that the hit and run driver was up at the casino entrance, passed out at the wheel and that security had taken the keys to the car.

We waited a long time for the police to arrive...  this is on the Reservation and they had to drive from Shiprock.  Once they did arrive, they went directly to the hit and run driver.

Apparently, the second crash deployed his seat bags.
Bill walked up to the casino and took this picture...  the driver was sitting in his car, awake by then, and was talking to bystanders...  and the police.

It took quite a while to get around to us....  We watched as the guy failed the "walk the line" test, as well as whatever else he was asked to do.
He kept complaining that the police were violating his rights.

They finally hauled him away....  cuffed.  As the police were trying to get him to get into the cruiser, the guy kept saying he "seriously had to go to the restroom".  Shiprock is about 30 miles away...  I hope that cruiser has plastic seat covers.

The guys family was in the casino...  they came out to "claim" the vehicle.  I guess it was driveable, although there did appear to be antifreeze or water coming from under the hood.

When the police finally got around to Alberta, it took another half hour or so to get information...  insurance (the other driver has no insurance), registration etc.  He got statements from all three of us.  And the young woman who was 2 cars behind us and had called the law stayed around and gave her statement....  including the fact that the driver had passed her on the berm just before ramming into Alberta at the traffic light.

I know cars can be fixed and I am thankful that we are all okay.  I am also thankful that that young man didn't kill or maim anyone with his stupidity tonight.
I was not happy to learn that when driving on the Reservation, Native Americans (probably everyone?) are not required to have insurance.

Alberta will have to bear the cost of the whole thing...  her insurance premium will no doubt go up.  It will take time to get her car fixed.  
I just remind myself again that we are all okay.

And, if you're really interested....
It really was a beautiful sunset this evening.

That's All For Today!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Some Wildlife Here....

No...  not OUR life...  it's pretty tame.  But there really are some neat critters around...
We saw this prairie dog village near Hogback
It was fun to watch the critters run in and out of their dens.  We didn't see any little ones this time.... it's probably too late in the year to see them.

There are Black-chinned and Broad Tail Hummingbirds here, and this time of year should be seeing the Rufous Hummingbirds.  I'm having a devil of a time trying to get a clear enough photo to make a positive ID.  The female Broad-tail and the female Rufous are quite similar.
 Trying to get a good look at the size and shape of the tail isn't easy either...

 This one looks more like the female Broad-tailed Hummingbird...  it has the buffy undercoat.
I feel like I'm looking at one of the flycatchers and trying to decide exactly what I'm seeing.... exasperating!
Oh well...  the males are more colorful anyway, maybe one of those will show up.

Around here there are lots of lizards... 

 I have no idea what species this guy is...  don't think I even have a reptile field guide with me.  I only know we see lots of them running around.

And... here's a species I've never seen before...
I told Bill it looks like a cross between an airplane and a helicopter.  He told me that's exactly what it is.  It's a VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) Aircraft.  Alberta's house isn't far from the airport and we saw this plane several times this afternoon.  Alberta told us it comes out of Flagstaff, AZ about once a month to practice ....  what else?  taking off and landing!  It's quite a noisy plane, but even with the sound alerting me to get my camera ready, I still had a hard time getting a good photo.

On Thursday we'll be taking our rig in to a local RV shop.  We've had some problems with the lighting system...  time to get it checked out.

If you happen to be a geocacher, maybe you, too, are finding a cache each day to earn that souvenir.  I didn't do well the first 2 weeks of the month, but since we left Texas, I've had better luck.  Truth is, I'll be kind of glad when August is over and the "bonus" time is over.

That's All For Today!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hogback and Other Trading Posts

If you've ever traveled in this corner of New Mexico (conveniently called "Four Corners" as about 30 miles from here is the only place where 4 States come together at one point), you're probably familiar with the Trading Posts along the highways.

While many of the trading posts are owned by non-Native Americans, most of the items for sale are Navajo or other Native American made.  One of my favorite places to stop when we're in Farmington is Tom Wheeler's Hogback Trading Company.
The Hogback sign in front of the store...  bales of hay are for sale out of that pickup truck on the left.  The upper right is the entrance to the store, and the lower right is of the Hogback range - there is a sharp ridge along the top, giving them their name.
 The trading posts have a dual purpose.  They not only sell beautiful jewelry, rugs and other art, they are also pawn shops.  
 Pawn shops play a very important role in the Indian culture.  They use the shops like you or I would use a "safe deposit box".  Say some unscrupulous relatives are coming to visit....  you'd bring in your beautiful squash blossom necklace and other prized jewelry and hock it at the pawn shop.  You know, and so does the owner of the shop, that you're only leaving it their for safe keeping.  As long as you keep up the pawn fees, your stuff is safe.  Many years ago we were here and I peaked into the vault.  The WHOLE, walk-in vault, was lined with silver and turquoise jewelry.  None of this would ever end up as "dead" pawn (unclaimed), it was just there for safe keeping until the owners felt they could bring it back in their home.

Tom Wheeler, who owns this trading post told us that now he has a room full of saddles...  again, for safe keeping.  There are rodeos every week on the reservations and it's quite easy to get your saddle stolen.  Saddles are an expensive, but very salable commodity.  He holds 7 saddles from one family...  been holding them for 28 years.  Once a year the family comes in, pays the pawn fee, retrieves their saddles for the annual 3 day festivities up at Shiprock.  After the parades and event is over, Monday morning they bring back the saddles...  pawn them for another year.

Tom has lots of Indian Rugs...

 These are all Pendleton Wool rugs from Oregon.  Not cheap by any means!  The hand loomed rugs are upstairs and that was closed off today.  A handwoven rug costs a fortune...  even a very small one can cost hundreds of dollars.  Many years ago we were visiting Bill's parents and I spotted a dirty, wadded up rug in a barrel in the garage.  Jack, Bill's dad gave it to me... I packed it up and sent it home.  I sent it to the local dry cleaners.  I'm guessing it's maybe 3' X 5'.  Later I found out that it is a Two Grey Hills rug and should never have been commercially cleaned like that.  Also, I should have insured it before shipping it.  I didn't go upstairs to see what Tom had there today...  I'd probably have just drooled all over them.

These pieces are from the Wheeler Estate Collection
 Tom's great-grandfather came to New Mexico from Illinois in the mid 1800's.  He set up a business bringing wagon trains here and getting folks set up as homesteaders.  He had 27 children!  I asked Tom if they all had the same Mama...  he said, no...  there were 2 different wives.    I guess that's one way to get help with all the various businesses he started.

The wool yarns are from another Trading Post, but it's quite common to see hand-dyed skeins of wool for sale here.
 While most is probably used in weaving, I'm sure it makes warm, snug sweaters as well.

Again, from another store...
 Some of the trading posts have a mix of the old and the new.  In fact, you should always ask for the certification papers if you buy a true Native American crafted piece.  

 One time when Bill & I were visiting, we stopped at every Trading Post between Cuba and Cortez.  Then the stores were the old kinds...  now quite a few are convenience stores and gasoline stations with a small shop tucked away in a corner.

 All those "needlepoint" pieces of jewelry are made by the Zuni people.  Navajo is more likely to use the chunk of turquoise "as is" and design the silver that holds it around that shape.  I love both styles.
Tom told us another story about the woman who has pawned her jewelry with him for over 40 years.  She comes in a couple of times a year to "visit" it and pay the pawn ticket.  He says she gets it out, holds it, sometimes gets teary eyed...  then puts it back until the next visit.  Tom has been directed who to give which piece to each of her children when she passes on.  She doesn't want them to have it now...  she still likes to visit it...  and, she doesn't want her kids to sell it for the money.

Another Trading Post....
 The Bob French store specializes in native rugs.  Oh, so beautiful!

As you can tell, we had a great time driving out to Hogback...  visiting with Tom Wheeler...  stopping at a few other posts...  We never know when we'll get back out this way....  it's been 4 years since the last time, so we try to see as much and visit as much as we can crowd in our short time here.

Stopping at the Trading Posts is always a treat!

That's All For Today!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Settling In and Getting Busy

We've been here in Farmington, NM,  at Bill's sister, Alberta's, and as usual, we hit the ground running and haven't stopped yet.

Catching up with family is good...
 Breakfast yesterday at the Blue Moon restaurant...  Melanie (our niece), Alberta and Ernie...
This is a diner that is straight out of the '50's....  it's always fun to eat here no matter which meal of the day.

Later we visited Bill's cousin's family...
 Here's Tim and Polly
Tim and Bill were in the same graduating class in high school...  I think Polly was a year younger.  It had been quite a few years since Bill had seen them as they had lived in California for many years before returning to Farmington.

This morning we headed over to Ann's Diner....
 That's Herman Wethington (one of Bill's many "4th cousins" that live here in Farmington and Herb Bass.  They both worked at Mountain Bell...  that's where Bill worked after high school, before he went in the Air Force, and again later before college.  These guys have a cup of coffee every morning at that coffee shop so when we come in town we know where to catch up on the latest.  Bill & Herman share their great-great grandfather as their common relative.  But... if you're a Wethington...  you're related!

Alberta has a lot of sunflowers blooming in her back yard.  I'd been watching the goldfinch as they worked on the flower heads for seeds....  finally got a good enough look to see that they are...
 Lesser Goldfinch
These guys are smaller than the American Goldfinch that we're used to.  See the black head and back?
Look closely and you'll see the yellow breast as well as the white patch on the wing.
I hope to get some better photos while we're here.

There are also hummingbirds.  I haven't seen any males yet, and the females are hard to ID.
Since the most prevalent hummers here are the Black-chinned and the Broad-tail, I'm thinking that this is the Broad-tail because I've gotten pretty-good views of the white spots in the tail feathers.  But... the jury is still out until I get a better view.  Alberta says it's time for the Rufus to be migrating through.  I hope that's while we're here and they stop at our feeders.

Bill's busy working on some electrical stuff for Alberta.  She has a "to do" list for him and he's anxious to get going on it.  I'm having a good time geocaching.  Since this is International Geocaching Month I've been trying to get a "cache a day"...  well, at least while we're here.

We've been having some rain.  In fact, yesterday, while I was in the car waiting for Bill to do his shopping at Home Depot, there was a horrendous rainstorm!  Wish I knew how much rain came down in those 20 minutes or so...  had to be a couple of inches.  Amazing!

That's pretty much what's going on here.  But I'll bet I'll find more to write about soon!

That's All For Today!

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Fun Evening at the Bar D Ranch

While we may be in New Mexico, Colorado is just a few miles north....  and Durango, Colorado is only about 50 miles up the road.  Last night Bill's sister Alberta, her daughter, Melanie, Alberta's good friend Linda, Bill & I headed up that way to take in an evening of entertainment at the Bar D Ranch.
 The highway we drove runs along the Animas River.  It was just north of these signs that I saw my first Bald Eagle in the wild...  perched in a tree along the river bank.  This was in the early 1980's and Bill's Dad, Jack, was still alive.  We 3 took many drives through roads that a lot of folks would consider just cowpaths.  What fun that was.

 Here we're dropping down into Durango, Colorado.  Durango is kind of a trendy town...  kind of reminds me of Santa Fe, NM, or maybe Bisbee, AZ....  artsy-fartsy, but still has good food, fun shops, and an interesting downtown area where you can wander around.

 This doesn't begin to show the true spirit of Durango...  I think one of the hotels is where Louis L'Amour is supposed to have written some of his westerns.  There are all kinds of funky clothing and jewelry shops....  and we even passed a park where it looked like a Brew Fest was going on.

 But on we went...  a few miles out of Durango is the Bar D Ranch.  This place has been around for years....  the entertainment is very family oriented.  There are some short paths to walk, a small chapel-like building where cowboy poetry is read several times a week, a miniature railroad, several boutique-like shops....  and.... the highlight of the evening...  the Chuckwagon dinner and live entertainment.
 This old Conestoga Wagon is along one of the paths .....  with the Bar D Ranch logo on the side.

Tickets for the evening cost $24 for person.  This includes the chuckwagon-style dinner, and an hour or so of musical/comedy entertainment.  I think it costs $2.00 more if you want a steak instead of chicken or beef (not steak).

Some of the sights on the grounds...
When's the last time you saw "Big Hair"?  I tried to be discreet when I took that (upper left) photo, but have to admit that I didn't see Big Hair even while in Texas.  The Upper right photo is a metal entrance to the shopping area.  The lower left is a wagon full of beautiful flowers and the lower right is in one of the shops.

There is also a small scale railroad here.  I think tickets to ride cost $2.00.  Bill and the girls decided to go for a ride.  However, somewhere along the ride it started to rain and the train lost "traction" due to some grease on the wheels mixing with the wet.  They asked the adults to get out and push...  That's Bill in the upper right, and Melanie, our niece, in the middle   Fun ride, huh?
I think Alberta (Bill's sister) took this photo using Melanie's phone, but they sent it on to me as I was up in the big tent, keeping dry and enjoying the pre-show entertainment.

 The grounds are just lovely...  this waterfall looks like it's a mountain stream.  The upper right photo is the small chapel... stained glass windows and all.  The lower right photo is of a young cowboy just waiting for the entertainment to begin.

 Before the musical entertainment there is a "Chuckwagon Dinner".....  Don't know if you've ever been to one, but they can serve about 700 people in a very short time.  Each table has a number and as each table number is called, those folks get in line.  The dinners usually consist of a serving of beans, a baked potato, the meat of choice (chicken, beef, or steak... or a combination of those), a biscuit, a serving of applesauce and a piece of spice cake.  You also get a tin cup of either water or lemonade, as well as a cup of coffee if you want it.
I say "usually" because there are "Chuckwagon Dinner/Entertainment" sites in various places in the USA.  We've been to see "The Sons of the Pioneers" in Tucson, AZ and another group, just outside of Wichita, Kansas.  The format is pretty much the same at all these establishments, but certainly different enough that you don't feel like you've "been there/done that" kind of thing.

After everyone goes through the line, sits down and eats their dinner, the place is quickly put back in order and the fun begins.

Here at the Bar D Ranch, the owner and main person is Si.  He's the head of the Bar D Wranglers.
 You're in for an hour or so of music, joking around, and just all-around good times.  Even if you really don't like "country" music, you'd have a good time here.  These guys make fun of each other, sing songs that are parodies of songs you know, and obviously love what they're doing.  In the lower left, the photo shows a stuffed opossum.  The guy wearing the blue shirt in the lower middle photo is Si....  remember that song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"?...  well, Si's words are a bit different....  the 'possum ends up roadkill and in the skillet.  I know...  sounds corny, but you find yourself laughing until your sides hurt.  The upper left photo... that guitar player was singing "Low Riders in the Sky"...  to the tune of "Ghost Riders in the Sky".  My favorite this time was a parody of "Old McDonald Had A Farm".  The critters weren't quite as you and I learned them....  an asthmatic horse?  A bull that stutters?  A dyslectic sheep?...  how about a Foul-mouth Chicken?  I think I laughed for the whole hour!

Okay, this next photo wasn't taken on the ride back to Farmington... I took it on the way there....  BUT....
It was dark by the time we headed home (around 10:30), but had it been daylight, the scenery would have been spectacular.  

As you can tell, we had a great time.  The shows end Labor Day Weekend, so we were very happy that we got here in time for one of the last of the season.   

Today, Sunday, the rains came.  Very welcome, as things have been mighty dry around here lately.  We'll be here for a couple of weeks before heading east, so I'll see what else I find "report" on during that time.  But. for now.....

That's All For Today!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Day in Albuquerque... Then On To Farmington

Thursday morning we made a couple of quick stops in Socorro, NM after leaving the Bird Watcher's RV Park, just outside of the Bosque del Apache before heading on to Albuquerque.

You can't get Green Chile Cheese Bagels just anywhere...
Smith's grocery, in Socorro is where we shopped when we lived here, so of course that was a mandatory stop before heading on.  

Driving the 81 miles north on I 25, we crossed back over the Rio Grande River...
Looks so low you could almost walk across it here.  We'll cross over it again north of Albuquerque when we head up to Farmington on Friday.

Much of the land in New Mexico belongs to either the government or is Indian Reservations.  Quite often there are casinos on the reservations...  many are huge, resort-type establishments with hotels, restaurants and top-name entertainment playing on a regular basis.  Some have golf courses and other recreational facilities.  Gasoline and cigarettes are usually sold... always at a lower cost than off the reservation because they do not have to pay the taxes that non-native Americans pay.

The Isletta Casino and Resort has been steadily growing since we stayed in their parking lot overnight in 2001.  (they even had a few electric hook-ups that were free back then).  Now, we stay at their very nice RV park, which cost us $37.50 for one night.
The railroad tracks run alongside the park, which is kind of nice if you like to hear the trains go through at all hours of the day and night.  There is a commuter train that runs from Belen (about 30 miles south) up to Santa Fe (the State Capitol)....  stopping at various stations along the way.  The RailRunner is very inexpensive to ride, but we didn't take it to go into ABQ because the scheduling is obviously for working folks...  several early morning runs into ABQ, but no return runs until late afternoon.

As we had a few errands to run in ABQ we drove in.  We've always found ABQ easy to get around.  I 25 runs directly north and south, kind of dividing the city east and west.  Then I 40 runs across east and west,
making it fairly easy to head to whatever area you want to go.  The place where the two interstates intersect is called "The Big I", and when we were here in 2001 there was a lot of construction making travel slow and tedious.  Now traffic flows freely with very little delay.

We were heading  downtown...  Central  and 5th Streets...
The Man's Hat Shop
This is where Bill likes to buy his hats.  He has a lovely "fawn" winter hat - it's his "dressy" hat.  His everyday hat is one of those Stetson's you see on cowboys everywhere.  That was the one that was worn out and needed replaced.

The Upper Left:  The new and the old.  I might add that that old one was put in the trash bin at the store.  The Upper Right...  making a choice.  The lower middle and right...  All those choices!  And...  the lower left...  Bill in his brand new Stetson.  I love it!

We cannot go to Albuquerque and not visit our favorite Mexican food place....
 El Modelo is anything but a fast-food joint!
It's not a sit-down restaurant, although there are picnic table outside at the right if you'd like to eat there.   
They make all kinds of Mexican dishes...  everything from menudo to tortillas...  but....
The tamales and the chili rellenos are our favorites.
The tamales are HUGE!  So big that while they are made in corn husks, they put waxed paper over one end to hold it all together.  And the chili rellenos are to die for!  (maybe literally as we are NOT talking health food here...  grease just drips off them as you're eating...  could be lard, for all I know)  I can only say that a person probably wouldn't want to indulge in this fare every day.  But... once in a while...  YUMMY!

We spent Thursday night at the Isletta RV Park and headed north again on Friday morning.
 Farmington, New Mexico is about 175 miles north of ABQ.  Much of the land is under BLM (Bureau of Land Management) is Reservation.  You'll see the occasional small town or pueblo, but for the most part it's high desert.  At 4,500' to over 7,000', Rt 550 is very scenic.  When Bill was a kid the road was NOT a 4-lane highway.  It took HOURS to get from Farmington down to ABQ.  Now it's a beautiful 4-lane with speed limits of 75 mph.  

Just north of Cuba we cross the Continental Divide.  During the winter months it's always a relief to get over and to the other side as snow and icy roads are likely.

We took a lunch break (upper left)...  had sandwiches of those bagels with a filling of roasted green chilies, fresh cheese and avocados.    We never saw the elk ... but then, never saw a deer or a pronghorn either.  The lower left is a homestead at the base of a mesa.  The lower middle is of a truck that passes us...  that load of trusses was sticking out REALLY far on the right.  I think the driver forgot that as they barely missed our rig and side mirror on the left.  The lower right......  if you read Tony Hillerman, one of his books talks about a mailbox at one of the trading posts...  that green box is that mailbox mentioned in that book.  It looks like this trading post is closed now, maybe the 4-lane has made places "closer" and folks shop in the bigger towns now.

It was really hazy and visibility wasn't good as we're driving into Farmington.  Usually we can see Shiprock (a sacred volcanic core) way out in the distance.  We barely saw the Angel Peak at that recreation area.  And the San Juan Mountains, over in Colorado were just an outline on the horizon.

We got into Farmington Friday afternoon.  This is where Bill was born and raised and where his sister still lives.  Every time we are here we see it continues to grow and expand.  But I'm sure, to Bill, it's still his hometown...  where his parents and grandparents are buried, where thousands of memories were made.

 Alberta (Bill's sister), and Ernie....
It's always good to be with family again.

That's All For Today!