Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Vega, TX

We left OKC on Monday morning with the wind blowing the storms away and soon were treated to blue skies. We’ve been through Oklahoma twice before, both times in the Spring, and had to dodge tornadoes each time. This time we got to appreciate Oklahoma’s beauty.

Before long we had passed into a Texas and the landscape changed from farmland to wilder cattle country.
We arrived in Vega mid afternoon and settled in. It is still cold, and the campground owner told be that winters here are “awful.” He was an interesting man with lots of stories about his cats and about the woman who lost her arm trying to keep her female dog from being assaulted by a pack of male dogs. Suddenly he interrupted himself. “Do you like peppers?” he asked me. I said I did and he pointed to some jalapeƱos on the counter and told me to take some. I replied I could use one or two and he said, “How about five? I picked them this morning, the last of the season, right before that sleet hit.”

I guess I’ll be making salsa!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Oklahoma City

Bob and I took a much needed break from daily driving to linger in Oklahoma City for an extra day. What a nice feeling to be able to lounge in the morning rather than to pack up and go. There is a reason for our hurry, however. Having waited around to be a part of our grandson’s birth (and with no regrets at having done so!) we now are facing the possibility of winter weather as we cross the lower plains states and travel across the mountains of New Mexico. We want to be back in Mesa before it becomes much more difficult to travel. When we awoke this morning the temperature was a cool 36 degrees and the wind made it feel even colder.

Yesterday was fun-day, though, and we visited the National Park Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum here in OKC.
This is the largest cowboy museum in the world and features iconic Western artists such as Remington and Russell, a Native American Gallery, a replica frontier town, a rodeo gallery, and a gallery dedicated to cowboys in film. Here are some of my favorite images.
The original and largest copy of the sculpture, The End of the Trail, by James Earle Fraser
Grand Canyon, Kaibab Trail by Clark Hulings, 1873
Abraham Lincoln was considered a “western” president, signing the Homestead Act in May of 1862, the College Land Grant Act of July, 1862, and the Railroad Land Grant Acts of 1862 and 1864.
Prosperity Junction depicts a late 18th century western town at dusk.
ThIs triptych is one of six painted by Wilson Hurley which are the largest in the world.
This sculpture is called Canyon Princess, by Gerald Balciar
Today we are back on the road and headed for Vega, Texas for the night. The tape that Bob put on the side view mirror is not working very well but since it is a mirror with two sections he is able to use the bottom mirror and get by until a better fix can be found.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Arkansas and Oklahoma

Bob and I woke up Thursday morning in Tennessee to a beautiful sunrise. What a lovely spot!
Then we were off to Russellville, Arkansas, about 275 miles away. We had no troubles getting to Arkansas and spent the night in a nice little park just off the highway. First thing this morning (Friday) we were back on the road and headed for Oklahoma City.

Bob and I have been keeping watch behind us on this trip to make sure we didn’t run afoul of a Hurricane Michael. In doing so, we completely missed the fact that Hurricane Sergio was in front of us. Sergio landed in Mexico and has been making its way eastward towards our path, bringing rain to Arizona, New Mexico, northern Texas, and Oklahoma. Today we met up with the remnants of it and we saw rain.
We were doing just fine until we were driving through a construction zone with concrete barriers at the edge and a big truck blasted past us way too closely on our right, whacking our side view mirror in the process. Bob pulled off the road as soon as he was able and checked it. Fortunately the arm bracket did not sustain any damage, but the mechanism that adjusts the angle of the mirror is not working properly. Bob is addressing it and will figure out how to fix it I’m sure. We had planned on two nights here in Oklahoma City anyway to give us a little break from the daily drive so the timing works out.

While we are in OKC I’m hoping to visit the Cowboy Museum here. I’ll let you know how that goes!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Through Virginia and Tennessee

Bob and I have been steadily moving westward daily and are currently spending the night in a little town about 50 miles east of Memphis, Tennessee. While we missed the effects of Hurricane Michael, we did seen some rain Tuesday and Wednesday. It wasn’t bad, though, and we pushed on.
We had a nice campsite last night with a pretty view of a lake.
Auggie has been snuggled in by my side for these trips, and much prefers being close to having to sit on the sofa. I have the GPS stuck to my window so I can direct Bob, and my Kindle on my lap. Sometimes I need to look at my Kindle rather than see how close we seem to be to passing trucks or the side of a road that drops off. It can often be a little scary riding in the passenger seat although I have the utmost confidence in Bob’s driving abilities.
We waved hello and goodbye to Nashville as we passed; we visited that fine city a couple of years back and had a wonderful time, but this trip we have set our sights on Mesa and will not be delayed.
The Cumberland River was pretty as we crossed over it.
Our campsite tonight overlooks fields of cotton.

We have changed time zones and are now on Central Time for a few days. Friday morning we cross into Arkansas.

Monday, October 8, 2018

On the Road Again

Bob and I left Cherry Hill, NJ this morning about 9:45 and headed southwest. The day began with some fog and haze as we started over the Delaware Memorial Bridge...
...but soon the clouds burned off and we started seeing blue skies. Here was the view crossing the Potomac river.
Virginia is just so pretty, with picturesque farms all over.
Today we drove through five states: New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and then on into Virginia. Our northeastern states are so much smaller than the states farther west.

The campground that we are in is near route 81 so it will be quick and easy to get back on it tomorrow as we continue through Virginia. This is a part of the state that is new to us so we are enjoying the trip very much.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Happy, Happy Birthday Baby!

Yesterday (Sunday afternoon) we got the call—Emily was in labor. Bob and I went to the house and spent a lovely afternoon playing with Emily and Anthony’s two beautiful daughters. Emily and Anthony walked around the neighborhood to help labor progress.
Eve and Quinn had fun taking pictures of each other with their camera.
At 5:40 we got the call from the midwives upstairs. It was time. Two pushes and the baby was out.

His parents have named him Silas.
Silas was born at home with his dad, two sisters, grandmother (yours truly) and two midwives present. Bob stayed downstairs with their dog, Ella, but was very happy to see his handsome grandson after Emily was tucked up into bed.
It was a beautiful birth.

Plans are to remain in NJ until October 8th when we will head west and south to Mesa, AZ.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Out With a Friend

One of the best things about coming back to NJ again this fall was being able to meet up with my friend Sabra for lunch. Sabra is a weaver and a knitter and we have a lot in common so it’s always fun to catch up with things in her life.
We met at Sirtaky, a little hole in the wall Greek restaurant in Mt. Holly that serves the most amazing food. It was vegan-friendly, too, so I will definitely go back again. Our waitress was fabulous, offering us a glass of a fruit beverage she was “working on” to drink with our meal of roasted vegetables with baba ganouche.

We are still waiting for that baby to make his or her appearance!