Monday, December 31, 2012


Not mine...I only wish

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose." ~ Dr. Suess

Thank you all for checking in from time to time and may the coming year be all that you wish for...but for sure bring you continued Good Health and Happiness..and the best adventures ever!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

To Family..Friends and Especially Fellow Bloggers....Merry Christmas..

Wishing all of you a VERY Merry Christmas.....and may the coming year be  Filled with Great  Adventures..

Yours Truly.... a Long... Long....LONG..Time Ago
Ernest Harmon AFB Newfoundland...

Do you feel Lucky...well do you??...
We usually are in Kansas City during Christmas, but this year for the first time we decided that we would stay home and the Kids could come here.....what fun it has been...the talking , laughing, going down memory lane....The stories that are told that you don't remember, but are the ones that are important to the truly was a evening of love, family, and togetherness...I'll close for now as I want to get back to the action......Have a Grand Christmas Eve and a Grandeur Christmas day...Horst sends

Saturday, December 22, 2012


I am know

....and so 2012 is coming to a close....The Mayan Calendar closed out...the Earth didn't spin out of control into the Sun.... and this morning I witnessed the sun rising over a hill top ...we WILL have Christmas.... 2013 is around the is good. What a year it was for me personally...seems like I was gone more than I was home.....if memory serves me correctly I went in the Spring to the Hill Country to do some Bluebonnet photo Ops....wanted to head north to Oklahoma but severe weather stopped that idea..ended up going East to the Giddings area....had to cut the trip short...but it was still a great adventure...met some other photo buffs trying to get that perfect Bluebonnet shot...
Horst kelly Photographer

Next was the long awaited trip to the Northwest....which I did instead of a Canada/Alaska trip...Finally launched at the close of July, and didn't return till the end of Sept....but what a memorable trip that was...the places I saw, the people I met, the things I learned especially about myself...Thank you Rob...and experiences and memories I have, that... I can't find the words to adequately describe ....and God willing it won't be the last time I venture to that area....

Horst Kelly Photographer

Then came was a short trip to Charleston SC for the promotion of my Navy SIL....what a fun time that was...short but quality time...the a trip to Kansas City for to go the the Plaza and see the Christmas sooner did I get back to the Homestead, then I hitched up Ms Casita and headed off to Southwest Texas to Big Bend....

Horst Kelly Photographer
.....a short trip, but a trip that provided me a great deal of knowledge on Boondocking, the capabilities of the Casita in a cold weather environment...and how to slow down and enjoy what is right in front of you...besides the obvious...(thanks Barney)....

It was also a year of making new friends, both face to face, and on Blogs and Camper Forums....all with a common thread/interest: a zest for life, adventure, seeing firsthand this GREAT Country and its People, and having that  "Gypsy or Nomad" spirit....what a great time it was to share my own adventures with others and also to read those journeys that our kindled group was embarking on.

I feel very fortunate to be able to
 live my dreams...not worry what tomorrow might bring.....and am surrounded by the most supportive group of friends, family, and especially my wife.....I think Rob and I are the only two folks who have spouses that are so supportive of these journeys.....or maybe they need those breaks from us to rejuvenate themselves(haha).....I don't know what the New Year and Father Time will have  in store for this old nomad....but whatever he gives me I will take, smile, and venture to a new sunset & sunrise.....

Horst Kelly photographer

As I write this  I started thinking about the Jimmy Buffet & Martina McBride song..."Trip around the Sun"...I couldn't articulate my feeling any better than that that's how I will close todays blog...For your listening pleasure.... Happy Trails, Horst sends

Monday, December 17, 2012

One Last Surprise...

Horst Kelly Photographer
Horst Kelly Photographer
Update 12/19/12...added a couple photo's ....Its now Sunday the 16th...but lets go back to early Wednesday is cold...I would guess in the 20's....inside Ms. Casita its 45...that's what I set it at last up, kicked up the furnace to 60 degrees, made coffee and waited for the sun to "rise and shine" hitched up by 0745....waited until 0800 so I could run the generator and make sure my tires are probably pressured...a few minutes later I was rolling towards Panther Junction to gas up...19 miles up the road...first thing I notice is that the dust has  settled I'm thinking, maybe I should stay a couple more, I already called my bride and told her I was heading east and would be home on Thursday....There is always another time for Big I start heading north to Marathon then east on US90.....stop at Sanderson for gas...check all the systems....stretch my legs...and continue my trek home...still haven't decided where to stay...not too many places to bed down a camper on this stretch of America....

Decided that I would stay at Brackettville...known among other things as the place the John Wayne Alamo set was built...and still used today for movies...what I didn't realize until I went to the RV park is that it has a historic Fort...Ft. Clark is the history lesson..

John Wayne's Alamo movie set

John Wayne's Alamo movie set

"Founded in 1852 as Las Moras (the name of a nearby spring and the creek it feeds), the town initially was a supply stop on the old San Antonio-El Paso road and a supply depot for the U.S. Army's Fort Clark (the fort was established the same year). Later the town was named Brackett after Oscar B. Brackett, the owner of the first dry goods store in the area, and in 1873 when a post office was awarded "ville" was appended to the name to differentiate from another town.
The town grew quickly through the 19th century as Fort Clark grew, but the town's existence remained very strongly tied to Fort Clark's fortunes. Fort Clark was for many years home to the famous Buffalo Soldiers--and, demographically, Brackettville had a larger proportion of Black Seminoles (people of mixed African American and Seminole ancestry) than the rest of West Texas. Their language, Afro-Seminole Creole, is still spoken by some in Brackettville.
Horst Kelly Photographer
After the Buffalo Soldiers moved out of Fort Clark, the fort remained a cavalry post, and virtually every cavalry unit in the U.S. Army was stationed at or trained at Fort Clark at one time or another. In 1943, the U.S. Army activated the Second Cavalry, which was to be the Army's last horse-mounted unit. By 1944, even the Second had been mechanized, and Fort Clark, so long a center of mounted cavalry, was targeted for closure. Before its closure, the fort was used as a German prisoner-of-war camp.
After the fort officially closed in 1946, it had a variety of uses, until in 1971 it was converted into a resort/retirement center. The historic district of the fort is now on the National Register of Historic Places. However, the resort is not the economic engine the fort once was, and Brackettville has shrunk from its peak population during the war years.
A federally funded brick high school for local black students was completed in April 1944; officially classified as a four-year high school, it is believed to the only one of its kind between San Antonio and El Paso at that time.
North of town is a tourist attraction called Alamo Village, built in the 1950s as the set of John Wayne's movie The Alamo. Scenes from the 1969 comedy Viva Max! were shot here. As of July 2009, Alamo Village has been tentatively closed to the public but is still available for film production and special events such as weddings and receptions.[4]"

Horst Kelly photography

Horst Kelly photographer

Its a very intesesting and historic Fort...I almost decided to stay here an extra day to tour the Fort....again said no...its close enough to home that I could make this a day trip....the RV Park its self is well managed,,,,,and has access to the fort itself...cost is 23 dollars...full hookups, cable, wifi(maybe.. depends where your site is)...2 golf courses(par-3) which if you stay at the park is 18 hole cousre , you receive a discount; 3rd largest swimming pool in Texas; 21 miles of hiking/biking trails; license required....and more...I will return here....

Got on line and found out Barney also left on a little to cold for him....on Thursday I rolled out around 0730...I had not unhitched...and the rest trip of was pretty much a non-event. Backed into my driveway before High Noon....and a conclusion to another great adventure....

Soo...what would the postscript be....Maybe it ought to be what a wonderous state Texas is for history, exploring and adventure....I think Cj Cozygirl made a very valid statement about not realizing the different types of vistas that exist in Texas....that is a very prevelent observation...prior to moving to Texas in 1997 I had the same mindset....and that has become a plus for's like being a kid in a candy store....what do I experience first.....there is so much to see...learn about...become one with....and the vastness is travel from San Antonio west to New Mexico takes 10 then travel through New Mexico, Arizona to San Diego, Ca. takes another 10's a vast land mass with diverse terrain, and a great history......
Horst Kelly Photographer

I'll close for now...I thank all that followed this adventure....I hope I didn't bore you.....until the next adventure...Happy Trails...Horst sends

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Journeys End...But Every Miles A Memory

Horst kelly Photographer
Late post…wrote Tuesday…The Good news…no wind last night…the Bad…it was cold..the ugly…it will be colder tonight…mid 20’s….its ok…I have a furnace , the battery is fully charge..and propane is at 95 percent..set the heat at 50 degrees ….get my artic sleeping bag, horse blanket…long johns…and a couple shots of Jack Daniels prior to hitting the sack…I will be a “Babe in the Woods”…..
Horst kelly Photographer

Horst kelly photographer

Today started at 0500…why… I have no clue…got up made some coffee and sat outside…that was a bright idea….41 degrees and I’m watching the sun rise…decided to go to a lookout..not for the sunrise, but for a Mountain Lion…neither one developed…it’s another one of those foggy/smoggy days….came back made some oatmeal….and knock, knock…its Barney…we had a nice chat…he is leaving Friday….still at the dispersed campsite…he is under the same impression as I am…the wind/fog/smog…or what ever… has left a lot to be desired…we said our goodbyes…I went to the store to check on email…decided to see if I could get some morning Mountain shots…while I had cell service I called my GOOD Buddy Rob Rupp…had a nice chat…we’re going to try to get together at Flint Hill's in the Spring …I’m really looking forward to that adventure…Rob Is a REALY NICE person….
Got back early afternoon ..decided to pan fry on trout…called Barney to see if he wanted to partake…somehow had the wrong number…Soooo…pan fried trout, grilled corn on the cob, salad…and an ice cold beer….ok Jerry….beat that…haha.
Had two trout left, decided to run by Barney’s to see if he wanted one…not home….so I came back…working the Genny…will go out to try and get some last minute shots and maybe find a Mountain Lion…

Its now way dark…still no mountain lion…am running the Genny one last time…set the furnace…going to read and go to bed…plan on hitching up by 0700…will decide my destination tomorrow…until then…Happy Trails…Horst

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All Days are GREAT…some are just better then Others



Lets start this blog with “lights out” last night…since I knew the temps. where going to drop I got myself all cozy in a sleeping bag and horse blanket over that…all was well with the universe……until about 0130…I woke up to Mother Nature deciding she would show her “bitc…..” side..excuse the French…the winds where screaming in from the north… anywhere from 20 to 40 mph…the Casita was rocking and rolling…since the sides of the Casita where parked north to south…it became quite an ordeal…but I did manage to get back to sleep…and hoped Mother Nature would  do the same!!!


Big Bend landscape

0600..and the inside temp. was at 52…which was great…out side about 38 degrees…I think…the wind was still blowing strong…there was dust and dirt blowing everywhere…not going to be a good day for photography… couldn’t get a decent sunrise shot…made my coffee..and decided to drive to the store for Wi-Fi…its only a mile away… my next surprise…mule was riding rough…something was amiss…stopped, got out looked around…my left rear tire looked low…took a reading…9.5 PSI…its suppose to be 35…drove back…got the compressor out and filled it to 35…since photo ops where about zero today..I thought I would do some Christmas cards..and see how much and fast the psi drops…about that time Barney stopped by…he had come to the store to use the Wi-Fi and decided to stop and see how the winds affected me last night..also mentioned that there was a tire place over at Study Butte…and to tell me he saw a Mountain Lion…..what a great day for him…..well I  did encounter a Road Runner..haha..


Mule Ears

I decided to venture to the tire place…about 50 miles down the road…they found the problem and 45 minutes later and 20 dollars lighter, I was on my back to my safe haven…turned on the Genny to charge everything..and relaxed..still no photo ops with the wind…

Around 1615 I thought I would take a drive to Mule Ears to get a late afternoon shot…wind had calmed down a bit…to the west and south..trip is probably about 50 or so miles…with a speed limit of 45 and a few other stops, it takes a while…got there… took some photo’s and decided to see what the evening light at Santa Elena Canyon would be…by the time I got there the sun had set..and the “magic moments” had escaped….there is always tomorrow…


Mule Ears…another view

The ride back, be it about 70 miles, was a trip to behold…I have never experienced driving Big Bend at this time of evening….twilight to darkness…I was in awe….the landscape, mountains as they set themselves in a silhouette was like going to the prom for the first time…sipping  your first glass of Jack Daniels, getting behind the wheel of your first car….yes it was on par with those experiences…oh well…I digress..

By the tine I got back to the camper it was pitch black…the only light is what the moon and stars provided…camper was 59 degrees…turned on the furnace, ran the Genny for 30 minutes…and now am ready to do some reading and call it a day….Thanks for stopping by…Horst sends

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Westward Ho…in Big Bend

 I've been able to post my 3 most recent blogs in the last 6 scroll to your hearts content...for you viewing pleasure ..haha!!!

For some reason I woke up at 0300(Sunday morning)…and couldn’t get back for another few winks….so I did all those manly things one does…got some coffee brewing and decided to make some over easy eggs, maple favored thick bacon, biscuits…and just grazed…watching my stomach worked…the sun is starting to peak over the horizon….I load up the Nissan with camera gear and head out..destination Santa Elena Canyon…
What a vast magical place…
First stretch was from Rio Grande CG to Panther Junction…a mere 20 miles..remember the speed limit is only 45 MPH..then on to Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive…and what a drive it was…lots of stops, hikes and some photos…and the weather was perfect…stopped at Sam Nail Ranch…photo below, Homer Wilson Blue Creek Ranch, Burro Mesa Pour Off,  Mule Ears…and then to Castolon…and finally Santa Elena Canyon Overlook..what a educational Day…Though I had been to many of those places before…However, today,I saw it from a different perspective…I will go back in the next 2 or so days to capture some of it in better light…I hope…..
Sam Nail Ranch…what remains
Got back around 1500 hours..figured how why my blogs had not posted in the last couple days…finished that…ran the Genny to charge every thing…ate a “Mountain House” dinner..and getting ready for the cold front to move in…25mph winds and temps. from 28-33 out the artic sleeping bag, long johns, horse blanket…and where is brandy when you need it…
Mule Ears..will return for sunset Photo
Its only suppose to be in the lows 50’s tomorrow..but I will venture out and explore… it’s the way of us “Casita folks”…right Jerry…I’m having a great time…hoping Barney is doing ok…he mentioned that if it was going to get COLD, he may head to Sturdy Butte for an electric hook up…he doesn't have a propane heater…
Until tomorrow…Happy Trails to all..

Rio Grande …and much more



The previous is also new…just posted…if you interested…The day started started about 0500 this morning at the dispersed camping site…as the sun rose over the mountains to the East…it was like being down at the 50 yard line of the Super Bowl….or maybe the 18th green at the Masters…or maybe as you are sliding through the “Pearly Gates”….you get the picture…it was magnificent… a cup of coffee. camera and a sunrise…what else can one ask for….


My Sunrise today….are you jealous

Barney came out of his igloo around 0700 to catch the magic light…and then we talked awhile…and around 0830..I departed…drove the 20 something miles south to Rio Grande CG…they let you use generators…found a great spot…set up , did some chores, made some calls, worked some issues and by 1130 or so was relaxing…went about two miles down the road to the village store, they have wifi, to post a bunch a stuff…couldn’t get the blog entry from yesterday to take…will try again tomorrow…and who was their…Barney…we talked for a while and then I took off to do some exploring…first to Boquillas Canyon Overlook and the Canyon Trail…got some photo’s, nice quarter mile hike up, then and then return…at the top you saw the Rio Grande and Mexico…when I left there decided to come back, get a memory card and venture to Grapevine Hills…


about 15 miles from  the campground and another six on a washboard road…there are  about 5 dispersed camp sites on that road….photo ops limited …but a nice ride….got back to camp…got the charcoal grill out..grilled a Portobello mushroom with Feta cheese and sweet corn on the cob….Mmmm…Mmmmm…good…and here I sit writing another Blog entry….and more fun awaits tomorrow…hopefully I can post this stuff…


have a GREAT week…and happy trails..Horst sends

Big Bend…Endless Adventures



So this morning I woke up at 0430….couldn’t seem to go back for another forty winks …got up, made some coffee…got online and before you know it …I could see a little light…got cleaned up and went out side to get a photo of those magnificent Seminole Canyon sunrises…but it was not to be…a  cloud cover from horizon to horizon set over the Canyon…so I decided to hitch up….about ready to take a second helping of java when Barney came to the site….he was also about ready to start the convoy south to Big Bend…


The Convoy

We left a little after 0800…He took the point and we where on our way to a new adventure…stopped at Langtry..couldn’t find Judge Roy Bean so continued west on US 90…stopped for lunch at a roadside picnic area, ….and continued our adventure…reached the ranger station early afternoon got a boondocking site at Hannold Draw and a half hour later..where in place…originally we were going to stay for two nights, I now need to get someplace with wifi…so I'll leave tomorrow to be close to internet access…hopefully Barney and I will share another campsite  before I head home…I have enjoyed his knowledge , wisdom, and friendship….


Our hike…

after we got set up we went for a little exploring back up north…found some interesting stuff…Barney took some photo’s and will tell the rest of the story….but it was a great time…and then off to the Basin Lodge for Dinner…we both enjoyed our  grub..and by the time we left it was pitch black…dark….high beams didn’t help…but we made it back…called it a night…called my bride and now I’m ready to call it a day…but what a grand day it was……..until tomorrow..Horst sends


Dinner photo..out the Lodge window…say goodnight Barney

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Is This a Great Country or What…..



Let me say once again…Don’t spend your money traveling overseas…this great Nation has more to see then any 10 countries on our fair planet..


The Maker Of Peace Statue by Bill Worrell

Ok, I got that off my chest….got up this morning about 0500..made my coffee and sat outside to catch the first sights and sounds of a new day…Today was the day Barney and I had committed to do the Pictographs of the Lower Pecos River..located on cave walls…it was about a 90 minute tour…I think today a little longer…there were only 4 of us…and I will say our tour guide Randy was very personable and extremely knowledgeable of the history…so first a history lesson thanks to copy and paste from the brochure…


Pictographs in cave

“The past inhabitants of Seminole Canyon left their mark in
several ways, most notably through rock paintings called
pictographs. The park contains some of the most outstanding
examples not only in Texas, but in the world. Extensive
pictographs of the Lower Pecos River Style, attributed to
the Middle Archaic period of 4,000 years ago, adorn rock shelters
throughout its canyons. These and pictographs
from other periods give park visitors a visual link to the
canyon dwellers of the past.
Of course, art supply stores did not exist hundreds or thousands
of years ago. Early artisans obtained everything they
needed from nature – variously colored minerals for paint
pigments, animal fats and urine for binders, shells or flat
rocks for palettes, and fibrous plant leaves for brushes. The
canyon walls themselves served as blank canvas.
Why did the canyons’ past inhabitants produce pictographs?
Scientists do not always agree. Recent research into the
meaning of Lower Pecos River Style murals suggests that
the images may communicate important elements of the
culture’s belief system, such as shamanic journeys to the
land of the dead and a symbolic relationship between deer
and peyote, a hallucinogenic cactus.
Pictographs of the Lower Pecos River Style adorn the canyon.
The park’s semiarid landscape represents a mixture of
species from the Edwards Plateau, the Chihuahuan Desert
and the South Texas Plains.”



The hike was not that strenuous, for me however it became a matter balance..since I have very little  feelings in  my feet..and I should have worn tennis shoes vs. my hiking boots, the terrain got a little dicey …so I did not go the last 50 feet or so…nothing a person with normal feelings in their feet couldn’t do….just something I have to deal with sometimes…Tetons and Glacier hikes didn’t present that problem…it was still a great experience…one which I recommend to everybody..


The day was also spent picking Barneys brain about camping, boondocking…and also various  camping places in the wilderness…the man has more maps then National Geographic…with all kinds of info..this afternoon we took a trip to Del Rio…had lunch and later this evening while watching the sun disappear  I got the “advanced course” in traveling, camping and hitching…I super and productive day to say the least…tomorrow is a travel day to Big Bend…sparse internet so posts will probably be hit or miss

…Happy Trails…Horst

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

…And I thought I knew Seminole Canyon

I was up by 0600 hoping someone would be at the drugstore…knowing full well they don’t open until 0830…but one can hope…so I did some chores, bonded with my bride…early morning “chats” are always the best….did my last minute checklist….called the pharmacy ..and by 0905 I had picked up my meds and was rolling towards points west…going through San Antonio on I-10 and US-90 at that  time of the morning is not fun, especially pulling  3000 lbs and and every 18 wheeler seems like he is going to roll over you… but we made it…the sun was out, the temps where just right and I was smiling…..Five hours or so later, around 1400 hours I rolled into Seminole Canyon State Park…asked for my favorite site E029…got it, as I was driving to my site saw  Barney’s camper..his truck gone and I left a note…no more then 10 minutes after parking Barney knocks on the door…..we decide to stay another day so we can do a guided hike tomorrow…and then the adventure with Barney begins..
11 09 09_0915Seminole Canyon
He takes me on a short exploration…the fascination of this event was his knowledge of the area and what certain things meant…we saw some relics…he could instantly tell which was old and which was not …and his knowledge of the history of the area was amazing…my interest had always been the ancient Native American  History that dates back some 10000 years…but there is also a whole other history… that of the railroad…thus the title of the post...and there was artifacts of that all over the grounds…and what I appreciated is Barney would explain each item, but then make sure it was placed back the way we found it…
11 09 09_0918Seminole Canyon
We then went back to my camper and he took the time to talk me through “camping 101”…from A to Z…..what an experience…this year has been a real Human treasure find…first Rob and now Barney…Barney is a Renaissance Man…I look forward to Big Bend and having him share some of the secrets of that area…until tomorrow…I took no photo’s today, but I’ll post some old ones…Horst
11 09 09_0988Seminole Canyon…Like is Good

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One Step Forward Two Steps Back…




So here it is, one day to launch…all systems are go… coordination's with Barney have been made…the mule is hitched to Ms Casita…everything is packed…I plan to depart around 0700…make one final check….PSI on tires, check…food, check, …gas, check…clean clothes, check, frig on, check…..enough meds…..oops..nope, bottom line I need to get a refill and its after 2000 hours…so it will be 0900 before I can launch….woe is me… oh well, what is….is!!

IMAG002ABig Bend 2008 Trip

It will be interesting to see how Big Bend looks this time of year…though this will be a short trip, I hope to get some photo opportunities …and I look forward   to meeting and spending time with Barney and getting his keen insights on camping stuff and the overall life-style….I do envy wanderlust lifestyle ….

IMAG046ABig Bend 2008 Trip

So tomorrow  it is…about 225 miles on US-90 west ….a great road, through small towns that etch out a living and are extremely proud of their heritage…the backbone of this great nation…..I think my next assignment will be spending several months traveling and seeing all the small towns of Texas…why they exist, what makes them tick, their history, how they have survived, and of course their football program..especially those towns that play “6 man football”…any suggestions will be appreciated…

IMAG020ABig Bend 2008 Trip

Ok…I now close and will hookup with this blog when I have Wi-Fi…until then…Happy Trails to all…or at least a good glass of wine. Horst sends

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another Adventure Countdown



I finally got all the stars lined up and I heading for Big Bend mid week…..first leg of the trip will be to Seminole Canyon State Park…my favorite stopping off point and winding down point when traveling west….and I’m getting “Bonus Points” as Barney of  will be there and then we’ll head to Big Bend…we’ve tried to meet up on previous trips, but it never worked out…its always nice to connect with another Wandering Nomad….

0006Big Bend 2008 trip

I still have a bunch of “stuff” to do prior to hitching up….I almost forgot that one propane tank is empty and the other one is just about there…..I’m taking down the blinds and putting up curtains…will experiment with a easy hang solution …..see how it holds up on this trip…want to get a runner to put on the floor….and a couple of other enhancements….plus…get a new laptop…on the road I carry a Aspire one D255E netbook….it has not preformed as I thought it would…my own fault…just doesn’t have the memory, processor speed, and other stuff I need, especially with trying to do photography work on the road….so I thought I would get an early Christmas present….

Web DSC_0075Big Bend Trip 2008

Well, I’ll keep this short and update again prior to launching …have a GREAT weekend…Horst send