Monday, October 24, 2011

Interstate 10 or US 90......Sonora Caverns or Seminole Canyon

I woke up around 0430...why I don't know...only had about 5 minutes work to be ready to roll.....so I read my email...fixed cereal...got cleaned up....now its 0500...Mmmmmm, now what....could drink a 6 pack of beer and pass out 'till 9 or 10......so I checked all my tires....read the pressures with a flashlight.....checked the lug nuts....checked the spare.....now its 0515......maybe the six pack isn't such a bad idea.....so I made some more coffee sat outside at the picnic table and watched the sun come up.....at first light I finished my hitching and said Good-Bye to Van Horn, Texas.....home of the Tequila(sunrise) lady and John Madden's favorite Mexican "chow down" place.......as Jerry said in his comment yesterday...its the memories.....
I started this morning deciding I was going on I-10 to the Caverns of Sonora...about 200+ miles down the road...then I got to thinking about one of my favorite spots for "winding down" and solitude...yup that be Seminole Canyon State Park, Tx....so at Ft. Stockton I hooked a right off of I-10 and went south to Sanderson Tx....and made a left onto US 90 to Seminole Canyon.....a bit over 220 total miles from Van Horn...if you want to know more about the drive, Sanderson and the like, go to my old blog and look at Jan 2011 trip... I go into some detail....why did this font just change....oh well...its ok.....anyway I get here late afternoon...ask for my favorite site "E-029".....right on top of the hill....overlooking probably 300 or so miles of West Texas.....BTW...no one else is here....as usual....so you want to know how desolate, its the only place in my 5 plus week trip...into very isolated areas I might add....that I have not had cell service...the State park does have wi fi, so I can communicate that way, but no cell, even with my Wilson Sleek Booster....I love this place......Fixed dinner and sat out and watched the sun set and the stars come out......its time to say good nite...and this was my wake-up call today...
Good Morning........America




Today I decide to do the six mile hike to the edge  of the Canyon......Its very peaceful......stops along the way....today as I was enjoying the quite....I heard a screech and rustling...look around and there where two Javelins...don't know who got the worst of it....them or me....there are ugly and have been known to charge people...didn't happen today...but I sang for the next  4 miles.....was
 a great relaxing hike...came back and did some maintenance on the Casita and rearranged stuff in the Xterra....took another drive..here are some photo's....


Hiking the Canyon Horst Kelly Photographer




There are numerous places to go to in a 50 mile area.....as long as you don't go south....without a passport....that be Mexico....spent the rest of the afternoon on some other trails and some photo's along the canyon/river...very peaceful.....







I grilled a steak for supper...with all the fixing; mushrooms, salad, beets and stuff.....sat outside watching the sun set, then watch as a 1000 various constellations pop into the heavens.....wow, and the occasional "falling star"...this is "down time" at its best...I do sleep well....



On my Hike Horst Kelly Photographer




I plan on getting up early, and since I hitched up earlier this evening, I'll roll after a cup of coffee..it's going to be about 220 miles or so...I plan on taking Ms Casita to Camping World prior to going home, dropping her off to have them fix it "right" this time....and then heading home....another 35 or so minutes.... am ready to hug and be hugged!!!! well the font changed again....help me figure this out!!!

Within the next few days or so I will post a summary of my trip, my thoughts, etc.....I will say, I enoyed it immensely...yes there where some "speed bumps", but that's life...and in relm of things there were minor....very minor.....what was amazing to me is if one would ask "what did you enjoy the most".the only true answer I could give is every new adventure...they all had very special memories and to pick one above all others is impossible.......special days make for a very special trip!!!! But the best part of a trip is coming home to that special "person".....Can't wait Hon...

last "trip" sunset Horst kelly photographer
.
and my final  "trip" sunset   Horst Kelly Photographer
For all of you that joined the trip at some point I thank you......and until the next trip.....as my hero Roy Rogers use to say "Happy Trails to You"...Horst sends

















Sunday, October 23, 2011

Van Horn and John Madden connection

Woke up around 0530, cleaned up and got dressed..ate a little cereal..and sat outside to watch the sun come up over the mountains at Alamogordo one last time....I've really enjoyed my time here and wouldn' t mind at all going back to the Sand Dunes......great place to hike and get yourself lost ......

3 Rivers school house 1905 Horst Kelly Photographer


Got everything done  and buckled down by 0700 and was ready to roll...not really sure where I'm going to stop for the evening....somewhere around a 200 mile point...traveled south on US 54 for about 100 miles to El Paso....what a desolate  piece of road ...one town...and the only reason to call it a town is they have a Post Office....all the other buildings...all six of them are boarded up....name of the town is Orogrande..use to be a mining town and at one time ...had a population of 2000...but that was  long, looooong time ago...

Got to El Paso and what a zoo getting through town....and its a Saturday morning....how many garage sales can  they be having....Another 2 plus hours and I was in Van Horn, Tx...stopped for gas...saw a  park and decided this would be it for today...Eagles Nest RV, $29.00 and some change...full hook-ups, pull through.....basic gravel , each site had a small picnic table....woman who registered me....was playing on the computer, had a pint of Tequila...half empty....its five o'clock somewhere...ha....

Horst Kelly Photographer


I didn't unhitch....just stabilized the camper...plugged in the electric.....and I  was set up ...they have loaner bikes...reminded me of the one Paul Newman used in Butch Cassidy...even had a basket in front....Van Horn has one street....or so I thought...saw a Mexican place to eat...went in and that's where the story begins....John Madden use to stop here every time he was going to the other Coast...Chuy's Restaurant became his watering hole...he has mentioned it on TV, time magazine, etc...his favorite dish....Chicken Picado....guess what I had......the walls are covered with letters, cards, photo's jerseys, etc, from just about every sports figure in the USofA.....the trip back was was not fun...full stomach, up hill against the wind, and no gears and losing air in the rear tire....that was a work out.....

Thats about it...bed time is here.....until tomorrow...Horst sends

Friday, October 21, 2011

Petroglyphs and evening visit to White Sands

Today was my final day in the Alamogordo area....two things I wanted to do was visit the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site...run by the BLM and then do a late afternoon visit to White Sands National Monument.....
Horst Kelly Photographer
Three  Rivers was about a 30 mile drive north.....its out in the middle of no where....I got there about 0830, filled out the form got my brochure....got Clyde, my trusty walking stick, and started on the half mile up hill hike....you are among rocks and boulders...and a small narrow path....the half mile will rise in elevation about 100 or so feet...no big problem.....in the summer I would be more careful as it appears to be a haven for rattlesnakes.....but today....not even a sign of a slither.......

This place is amazing ...it is the "Petroglyph candy store"...of all time..the "Treasure Trove"....I have seen more impressive, ornate ones but the amount that are here...and not on cliffs or sides of hills...but right there, to your right, your left, and in front of you....etched in small boulders...wow...what an adventure...I spent over two hours looking at each one ......

Horst Kelly Photographer


If you are into this sort of thing....this is a most  trip that your will enjoy.....to think about how old they are, what they represent...what was the story being told......why here.....I was on a natural high...of course this stuff fascinates me....sorry I know I'm going overboard...but hell...its my journal....

Horst Kelly Photography
Came back...downloaded the photo's, checked my emails, did a little "fix it" stuff in the camper....made lunch..started preparing for tomorrows departure....and then about 430pm headed for White Sands.....one more time.....
I picked a spot I though might provide some photo ops.....and started hiking the  dunes....my problem is that I got caught up in the place and forgot about the photography...I probably had hiked 2-3 miles and sat down and watched the changing of the sky and the dunes...lost track/sight about all else...

Soooo...I noticed a camera in my hand and remembered why I was here...I know I did not do this place justice....
Horst Kelly Photographer


It is a place that one can get caught up in and really enjoy...wheather through photography or just having a picnic with the family....hey, they provide sleds to slide down the dunes...I was wishing I had the "Grandkids" with me.....

It was a great last day ......I enjoyed my adventures to day.....but look forward to getting home and being with my "honey"......I'll close for now and probably edit some stuff at "O dark thirty" tomorrow morning....Happy Trails...Horst sends



The Dunes ...and the Missile Range

After losing my post 4 times last night....I quit....tucked the little net book to bed.......and thought maybe a fresh start tomorrow morning would be best for both of us.....so here it is the 21 Oct about 0600 local, sipping my first cup of coffee and talking really nice to the "net book"....we'll see how this turns out.

Sand Dunes Horst Kelly Photography


Yesterday I was up by 0500, getting ready for my trip to the Sand Dunes...about 15 or so miles from where I'm staying...I wanted to get there in time to catch the first light....the sky was clear...I little wind...but that's ok...

Went through the gate about 0715 and started the 8 mile drive....I knew of a couple places I wanted to try and photograph.....this is like some of the other places...a 35mm does not do it justice...it's hard to reflect its personality...but it will be forever part of my memory..........

Horst Kelly Photography


These Dunes are completely different in the structure, consistency, and color from the Dunes in Colorado....the color remind me of the sandy beaches of Destin, Florida.....very bright....a little history....


"Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Here, dunes have engulfed 275 square miles of desert creating the world's largest gypsum dunefield.
White Sands National Monument preserves this dunefield, along with the plants and animals that have adapted to this constantly changing environment

Horst Kelly Photography


My first "speed bump" of the day....my camera wouldn't auto focus.....I changed lens to rulethat out, but the same thing.....took some photo's on manual, but worried that my eye sight, even with glasses was going to screw the day up....tried one more thing...just for grins...I reset all the controls back to default....and it worked...auto focus returned....

I spent about two hours hiking up and down the dunes...I plan on going back this evening (21 Oct) and trying to catch the last light ....the dunes are easy to walk on as the surface is like concrete, except for the fine layer on top...not at all like walking through sand.....next it was off to the White Sands Missile Range about 30 miles south west....

Horst Kelly Photography


I got through the gate with no problems...due to my Air Force sticker...drove around the installation. It is said to be the largest US military installation in the US...clean and well maintained......The north end of the Range marks ground zero where the first atomic bomb was detonated on 16 July '45... .though the Museum is small, it is very informative and loads of useful info to include a "Hall of Hero's"...people who helped shape the early days of Missile and Space.....

The static displays had numerous missile platforms to include the V-2 and other firsts...very interesting....again I spent about 2 hours there and for me it is a worthwhile stop....
Horst Kelly Photography


















Drove back to camp. went to Walmart, also got an oil change...went to the Pistachio and wine outlet....time for dinner and sitting by the pond to see if Jaws the Bass..will jump up...tried to load a journal...and called it a night...we will now see if I can publish this current redo.....


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

3 Days Late....Deming, City of the Rocks and Silver City

Well....its been 3 days since my last post....mostly my fault for not getting to it...but last evening I had the project about 90% complete...was working on the last 10% earlier this evening and this little net book just couldn't take it anymore.......the pressure got to it and "Bam"...deleted the entire blog entry, photo's and all....so its time for a "do over"......where do I start....

Got up on the 17th to go see Shakespeare Ghost down...about 55 miles back west of my camp......had my morning Java...read the brochure on the town...and headed on the dreaded washboard road for the next 8 plus miles.....after an hour on I-10 I got off and another 10 miles or so was at the Ghost town.....do you see any photo's posted.....no...well there is a reason.....Shakespeare is taking a break after the summer session....and only does guided tours certain times of the month....the brochure I read made NO mention of that SMALL detail......I guess I should have spent more time reading his "sonnets"....so that was a 110 mile ride just for grins......

amount of beer Horst can consume on 110 mile wasted trip 


Got back to Deming and really didn't feel like doing much....rode around town, not much to see so I went back to my little slice of heaven and cleaned vacuumed and did minor maintenance on the camper...by the time I was finished it was time to eat dinner and kick back and watch the stars dance in the heavens....tomorrow will be another day to behold.......Got up around 0500 the next day...full of energy, feeling full of my self...today I was 'Bullet proof'" sat outside and watched the sun rise...took a shower without hot water....damn...I am bullet proof......today I was "Red Ryder"...now that dates me......my Agenda says City of the Rock and Silver City, both are North of here by about 30-50 miles....

City of the Rocks Horst Kelly photographer
Got to the City of the Rocks about 0930...entrance was a do it your self type of arrangement...so correct change was the drill for the day...it was five dollars...about the time I was finished filling out the paper work and stuffing the envelope with 5 dollars worth of pennies..another person pulls up and is beside himself....alas...he doesn't have the correct change.. is also a photographer...from Arkansas and really wants to photograph this place....all he has is a twenty and 2 one dollar bills...is willing to give me his 20 for five dollars......but I have 3 ones to go along with his two singles... and hand them to him...he says..."you would do that for a stranger"..so I introduced myself and then we talked for 10 or so minutes....and stranger we weren't anymore.....we set up our stuff.....and ventured our own way...another life long friend...
City of the Rocks Horst Kelly Photographer


To me this place was a cross between Stonehenge and Jurassic Park...it is very difficult to photograph with a 35mm..one needs a large format camera to capture the personality of this place....my humble thoughts...not an excuse for poor photos....I enjoyed hiking around among these odd structures..then I heard a voice say..if we where in Mexico.....the people would say...this is where God stood.....

City of the Rocks Horst Kelly Photography


There was this guy about my age staring at a huge rock being held up, or so it appeared... by a small pebble.....the light wasn't right so I couldn't photograph it...though I shot it.....we introduced ourselves and talked for 30 or so minutes....subject of campers came up....and I said I had a Casita....and he also had one...camped right here...he has been full-timing for several years and loves it.....what I small world.....and this is the second time on this trip....reference Monument Valley for those of you just landing on my journal....we parted and
went our separate ways and tonite I wonder how he is getting along.....Next stop...Silver City...it was about 25 miles up the road....to me it was a "Tale of Two Cities".....How did Shakspeare back up into my mind...oh bother, back to Silver City...it is two towns ...to me...when you drive in you see Walmart, Fast food chains, and all those modern neon light things...at the north end you find the old Silver City....

Silver City Horst Kelly Photographer

it was a rather sad place...more shops had a "for sale" on them.... the shops that were still in business.....some open only 2 or 3 days a week....and the town has a "personality"...if only.......but the odds are not in her favor.....I spent a couple of hours walking the old streets, wondering how things where 50 to 100 life times ago......but its a reality check...and one can only hope that the Country can get back on its feet....


Mural..Silver City Horst Kelly Photographer

The afternoon sun was fast approaching evening so I headed back to the Ranch for some chow and a quite evening of star gazing....tomorrow on to White Sands and a new adventure.....Happy Trails...Horst sends.....








Photo of the day...Horst Kelly Photographer



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Next Stop "Hidden Valley Ranch"...Not the Salad Dressing...Deming


at my current campsite Horst Kelly Photographer


Reading my last Journal entry on Tombstone....maybe I was a little harsh on the good citizens of the township....or not....I don't know...I just hate when folks look at "stuff" through a dollar sign vs. a historical perspective...but that's just my opinion...and not a statement of fact.....

Today was a travel day to Deming NM, about 200 miles east...to Hidden Valley Ranch....a little north of Deming on US180...more on that later.....

Most of the drive was on I-10, though getting to 10 on State 80, I met a Border Patrol Station....pulled over for an inspection....with sniffing dogs...I asked if they wanted to look inside the camper, they said no...the dogs will tell them if there is a concern.....Wow.....good enough then!

I-10 Texas Canyon N.M. Horst kelly Photographer

When I reached I-10 the drive became one of boredom.....witnessed by the speed limit climbing  to 75mph, and I maintained my 55mph, I did put my "blinkers" on to give folks ample notice that I am a "turtle" on the I-10  race track....somewhere around exit 49 is The Continental Divide....I just never thought about it being here....well of course it runs North and South...doesn't stop in the Mountains of Colorado.......another senior moment.....also about this time 30 or so classic cars flew  past me and I mean classic...to include a 56 and 57 convertible Bel Air Chev.....in mint condition...wow, that got the cob-webs out of my brain......really nice.....and they where moving along about 65-70mph.....wish I could have gotten some photo's of that......


Horst Kelly photographer


Next thing I knew I was in Deming and took US 180 north to Hidden Valley Ranch  Rv Resort....this stretch of road is not likely to win the sub-division of  the month Award...but I continue...make a right turn onto Keeler Rd....and for the next 8 miles its dirt, washboard....I want to turn around and regroup but nothing wide enough to allow that to happen.....I get to the entrance...the sign says  "If you wanta be in the country, you gotta drive on a country road to get there"....and all the frustration melts away.....

Very rustic...you could tell that it is or was a working Ranch, nestled in a valley with mountains on two sides...the owners are very friendly, laid back...most things are on a honor system...they have a Club House, books Dvd rentals, Video rentals, walking trails, showers, etc...have a 160 sites...Passport America rate is $12.81 per night...can't beat that...oh... have wi-fi...though my Verizon cell works as well as my 3gb data system.....very nice place to kick back and relax.. let the games begin...Horst

photo of the day Horst Kelly Photographer






Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tombstone...and not much else


Got up this morning about 5am...made coffee...sat outside.....long sweats morning....finished yesterdays blog, and looked at my adventure for today....Tombstone, Bisbee, and Ft Huachuca.....I got to the cemetery before they officially opened, but they are gracious enough to let me in...so far I'm batting a 1000....took the photo's the light wouldn't let me have yesterday afternoon, and just looked a the cemetery as one space..interesting to see they had one corner just aside for  the Chinese folks that died in Tombstone...

Horst Kelly Photographer
There are  a dozen more markers I enjoyed reading that I will post on my website after I return home..it's just gets too complicated with this basic net-book.....I fell in the love with the two ladies that managed the office...they called me "son"...that gives you a clue how old they where...it was one of the few places in town where I felt that they where featuring Tombstone as a Historical institution,  rather than a commercial tourist (DisneyLand) trap......ok enough of my soapbox...it was early and things where all still closed, which was ok with me....let me stroll the town and be able to reflect its history without being distracted from the street vendors, hawking the towns venues.....for a price....when I got to the featured place in town..the "O.K.Corral"  I saw that it was not open yet...asked the gentleman that seemed to be getting the place ready if I could take a few photo's of the area, didn't want to see the show, gun fight, etc, but was willing to pay for the opportunity to photograph this special place....answer was NO......so I walked around town taking various photo's...sa a fellow with old western garb and a parrot sitting on his shoulder  seems a little out of place for a western town.....is this Tombstone or Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras.....anyway..I got some photo's and again was able to put myself in a time warp back to its "heyday"...and that was a great feeling (experience)....BTW, when I got back to the O.K. Corral, the large gate was open...Soooo...I started clicking the shutter, moving closer to the entrance...some folks behind me started doing the same..and guess who saw us, and flew like a rocket to close the gate....the other folks said thanks....very nice of you...haha..
O.K. Corral...Horst Kelly Photographer

A Little House of Pleasure...Horst Kelly Photographer
The Famous Newspaper Horst Kelly Photographer
Caption of the Day...still relevent






Went to Bisbee...did not Realize the 1000 Step Walk was the event of the year...No parking any where..road leading into town had cars backed up a 1/4 mile or more...I said no thank you...I'll pass...it wasn't even 0930 yet...wow...Next on my "Bucket List" was the old part of Ft. Huachuca..entered the main gate...ask for directions...also got a map...long story short, ask for directions 3 more times, was told  the map is out dated....after an hour and forty-five minutes still couldn't find it...then it took another 45 minutes to find the Main Gate back out....got home and washed clothes, fixed dinner, got ready for the Deming New Mexico area..City of the

Rocks State Park...30 miles north of Deming.....irrespective of stuff that happened I enjoyed this area..and would come back....until tomorrow, take care..Happy Trails Horst

Packing up for Tombstone and Bisbee......and the O.K. Corral

Sorry about not posting yesterday....intentions where good...execution sucked....Got up on the morning of the 13th to do some serious trail hiking around the Superstitions.....My plan was to do Siphon Draw Trail first....a 4 mile round trip that winds up the canyon...no switchbacks...just a steady climb....and moderate elevation....lots of rocks and stuff....did that..and then as I was about 2/3's down caught Jacob's Crosscut Trail...0.8 miles along the base of the mountain...came down and got on Discovery Trail that ends up at the Campgrounds....I will say that the hiking poles my Doctor suggested really helped, not only for lessening the impact, especially down hill, but also for balance!! I'ts early evening...my intention is to take a shower...cook dinner...do the blog....and go to bed.......
So I got two of those tasks done....shower and hit the sack.....oh well tomorrow is another day..and time to saddle up.......
This morning woke up about six....cleaned up, coffee and sat outside to see the sun rise.....My goal was the Tombstone Territories Rv Resort....a home base for a couple of days...to see Tombstone, Brisbee, and Ft.Huachuca....it was a drive for the most part south on I-10....a little more than 200 miles....about 5 hours for me....the Rv park is about 15 or so miles west of Tombstone...then another 20 or so south to Brisbee....Park is an average park...gravel....facilities are great, laundry room, great Recreation area, pool, hot tub......and positive attitude..plus Passport America discount....so the price was around $16.00 per night...not bad ...Got here about 1pm...set up about half hour later and started my touring....1st stop...Tombstone...
Horst Kelly Photographer

I walked around the town...photo ops are better for early morning......yes it is for the tourist crowd...but it still has significance for the immense history of its time....plus I enjoy the Western Frontier.....it shows another side of America.....the down to earth...nuts and bolts side....I did not go all through the old part as I plan on doing that tomorrow.....spent about an hour here and headed for Bisbee.....from a historical perspective, it a mining town founded in 1880 and nestled in the mile-high Mule Mountains. Bisbee was once the largest city between St. Louis and San  Francisco...today ...it is a laid back,,.probably houses more antique shops per square block then I have ever seen...artisan shops, local Breweries, cafes and some old time saloons....It sits on a hillside with narrow streets that wind in and out of town...the personility of the town appears (to me) to be out of our own '60s generation...and the offspring have retained that focus.....crossed paths with one woman...who said "I guess you heard  me talking to myself....but I'm not crazy..."

Horst Kelly Photographer

There is a staircase that boasts to having a 1000 steps.....and on Saturday Bisbee is having their 1000 stair climb........thats a heart attack waiting to happen......So...I'll be coming back tomorrow to hopefully catch a little of that..until then....Horst

Horst Kelly Photographer...start of 1000 step stair climb



Horst Kelly Photographer




Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tonto National Monument and Tortilla Flat

I woke this morning about 0530....made some coffee and watched as the sun came over the horizon...and the moon was still up on the west...so I started clicking away trying to capture the moon and the morning glow of the mountains...

that photo needs a lot of work...but has potential....after cleaning up I decided to go to Tonto National Monument...it has two cliff dwelling...one is closed, the other is a self guided tour.....a half mile hike on a paved road....with 350 feet of elevation gain.....I missed any chance of good light...you need to be there when it opens at 0800..onto National Monument...and the long way around, which ended up being about 90 miles from the campsite...it was a great drive... a lot of scenery....and the roads where well maintained.

Horst Kelly Photographer
Now for the history lesson about the Cliff Dwelling...."Tonto National Monument is a National Monument in central ArizonaUnited States. The area lies on the northeastern edge of the Sonoran Desert, which is generally arid land with annual rainfall of about 16 inches (400 mm) here.[1] The Salt River runs through this area, providing a rare, year-round source of water.
Horst Kelly Photographer..Tonto Cliff Dwelling






The National Monument is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest, which includes low plains, desert scrubland, and alpine pine forests. The Upper Sonoran ecosystem is known for its characteristic saguaro cacti. Other common plants include: chollaprickly pear, hedgehog, and barrel cactus (flowering from April to June); yucca, sotol, and agavecreosote bush and ocotillopalo verde and mesquite trees; an amazing variety of colorful wild flowers in good years (February to March); and a lush riparian area which supports large Arizona WalnutArizona Sycamore, and hackberry trees.
The area around Tonto National Monument also includes several designated National Wilderness Areas, including Four PeaksSuperstition, and Salome Wilderness Areas."

By the time I got back it was close to another "Golden Hour", so I headed up to Tortilla Flat...what a great drive that was..mountains on both sides...about a 20 mile drive from the camp...also ends with Canyon lake...another gem.....I'm going to take the drive again tomorrow ...early....will download and share photo's then.....got back about 630pm and sat outside watching the mountains,,,wondering where the lost mine was.....maybe tomorrow it will show me the way..until then...Happy Trails...Horst
View from camp site.....say good night.....





Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lost Dutchman....will I be the one to find the Loot

Last evening..after photo's and getting the Armadillo ready for travel, I grilled a steak and had a salad to go with it....got out my maps and book of the "Southwest"....where to next....after much debate with the team...BTW, the team consists of me and only me....but I still manage to have a good debate...... I decide to go to the Superstition mountains and stay at  Lost Dutchman State Park..its only about 160 miles from Sedona...down south on I-17....then a couple of loop-de-loops....and you're there ....I hope......its good to have all these options.......and there are no mistakes or bad decisions.......what a concept...this retirement thing is!!!!


I've had my coffee, hooked-up and ready to "lets roll" by 0730...say a good-bye and happy travels to a neighbor...and it off to find the "Lost Mine"......hey, it could happen.....


View from my back window
Its a very relaxing ride.....and before you know it, I pulling into the campsite......its in the middle of no where, though there are some tourist traps leading in....ghost town, mining town and other stuff.....I get a site...I think other than the resident ranger and vol host, I'm the only one at the park...price is $25 per night...it has water, elect, and a dump station...sites have a picnic table, grill and campfire ring....but the view...from my back and side window... I have a perfect view of the Superstitions...what do you think??? I've signed up for 2 days, but may stay longer.....its got numerous trails....and the solitude is next to utopia....its hotter than Sedona...I'm running the AC right now...we'll see what the night brings....


Its now 8pm....I grilled and am sitting outside in wonder...there appears to be a full moon rising to the left of  Superstition Mountain.....what a view.....My mind wonders back a 100 or so years...and what was happening out here.....


view from campsite looking west
To me the Superstitions represent the classic Arizona mountains....The lost Dutchman State Park is the hub for hiking  and exploring the area...For photo's the park is a later afternoon and evening photo shoot.....this is a great place...as I sit here and reflect, I am in awe at my surroundings....and what I am able to capture, wondering and hoping my Grandkids will be able to witness this......




just another view at sunset


I'm calling it a day....get up early...do some hikes and some photo shoots...I can't believe I have internet capability and can tether my cell phone to my netbook...wow....and 50 years ago no 10 years ago.... there was no phone service out here......thanks for checking in...Horst


Have I said that I'm loving this adventure......more to follow


















Monday, October 10, 2011

Discovering Sedona

Horst kelly photographer
Wow...never having been in Sedona...I didn't know what to expect.....It goes out of the way to satisfy the appetite of just about everyone....it has luxurious golfing resorts, art galleries, jeep tours, hot air balloon rides, bi-plane tours, mountain biking, hiking....numerous marked trails, and the list goes on........then of course is the scenery...if you can disregard the crowds...Sedona has outstanding vistas.....the amazing contrast of red and green....
I spent the better part of the day driving to various parts of the surrounding area for photo ops...one neat place was on airport road...at the end of the drive, you are on top of the hill overlooking the entire city.with super views of the mountains.....Another great place was up Schnebly Hill Road...there is a place to park...great views as well as hiking trails.....Its a place where you will be hard pressed to see everything in one day.....especially if you come here on a 3 day weekend....which reminds me ...I saw several folks protesting.....signs said "stop genocide...don't support Columbus Day".......wow that's a stretch...

I have an Air Force friend that lives in New Jersey, but bought a vacation home" here in Sedona.....so last evening I called the only number I had for him.....figuring its his home phone and there are also back in NJ...long story, long...he calls later last evening...there are south of Sedona......we plan to meet and he arrives this morning at 0930...we talk, laugh, sight see...he shows me his vacation home...then we go to a pizza place...total 4 hour time spent together..but real quality time...only down side is that his wife had other stuff to do.....my wife loves those two and when she found out we connected...was pissed...Haha!

A great day....I am having problems loading photo's on the blog....so if I don't post photo's, it's 'cause the "Blogs Gods" won't let me...Later  Horst


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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Monument Valley and a Regroup

This the first time I have had internet access since leaving Durango on  the 5th of October...The trip to Monumnent Valley was uneventful ....after Shiprock there was nothing but isolation and a few small hamlets such as Becklabito, Teec Nos Pos, Red Mesa, Mexican Water....and then my Campground, which was at Mexican Hat, about 22 miles north from Monument Valley...the campground was nothing to write home about....one couldn't even tell it was a campground...but the views where spectacular...and it  was sitting right on the San Juan River.....the owner or manger reminded me of the maintenance guy on the '70's TV series One Day at a Time....had  a tattoo on his arm said "USMC"...and could tell you stories about anything and everything.....and had a opinion about all things big and small...though for him it wasn't an opinion...it was a statement of "fact"....

View from camper..Horst Kelly Photographer
I never can get enough of this area....though on this trip Mother Nature decided to show who was "Boss"...it either rained or was overcast for the better part of the 3 days I was here...I tried to go down on the 17 mile self guided tour twice and turned around both times because of rain...so I gave up on that...I drove and hiked around the area and thoroughly enjoyed the experience...especially the solitude...and learning more about the Navajo in the area.... and what a meager existence they have....the small  jewelry stands along the side of the road...most where closed for the season....so what do they do to earn money in the off season...

Heading into Monument Valley..Horst Kelly Photographer

I went up and down route  163 so many times trying to catch the magic light, I felt I owned that stretch of highway....even drove the 44 miles or so to Kayenta twice......for one photo of a rock called Agarthia Peak...I think...took the photo, but no magic light appeared....





Horst Kelly Photographer

Now for some "Twilight Zone" stuff...one evening I was the only one at the campground and about 8pm I hear someone pulling in...look outside and there was a Casita being pulled by a Xterra...wow..Darryl and Darryl.....what are the odds???......went out to greet the person....guy was older than me...I know , hard to believe...from California....just traveling around....enjoying life.....spent the evening reliving the 50's and the early 60's......Gene Vincent is alive and well.....we shared some coffee and opinions early the next morning....he headed East and I was planning on going West.....if only the politicians would talk and listen to these folks...instead of...oh well..
Horst Kelly photographer
I'm about to leave for places West....Page, Zion and Bryce, and I hear about snow storms in the area....time to call a staff meeting...the team decides to "hook a left' and head south.....decision...go to Sedona , Az....so hitch up the wagon and head south on 163 until Kayenta..for the third time....turn right onto to 160 until just past Tuba City , then 89 south to Flagstaff and catch  I-17 south...a 6 degree downhill for 13 or so miles....had it in third most of the way...then onto 179 north for another 17 miles to Sedona....why didn't anyone tell me it was a 3 day weekend and the preferred destination for the " Free World" was Sedona.....or so it seemed..bumper to bumper for 10 miles....pulled into the campground...wow it's like a small subdivision...I got site no. 65....it was an end slot and there is no way I can get the Casita in there....I ask for another site...nope...but there will have "Stormy" come out to help....Stormy comes and says he will guide me in...I hand Stormy the keys to the Xterra and say...do your Magic..he does...we drink a beer and I then set up...have I told you life is good and so are the GREAT people of the USA.....ate dinner and then met Steve from the site next to me...it's 630pm and we talked, swapped lies and and where amazed at our common interests until 1030 or so...more on our swapping tales tomorrow.....its time to call it a day....a little Eric Clapton.....and then a good night....later  Horst

Gooseneck..Horst kelly Photographer