Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sierra Madre Rose Float

Our tour group is helping decorate the Sierra Madre Rose Parade float.

The title of our float is "I Think I Can".  I think this is taken from the story, The Little Engine That Could.  I guess every baby-boomer in the US remembers that story from their childhood.

Here you see volunteers cutting roses and discarding the excess stems in the barrel.  The theme of the story The Little Engine That Could is that you should keep trying, no matter the obstacle, and you will be successful.

Over a thousand volunteers will be involved in construction of the float.

The Teddy Bear is almost finished.

Middle school volunteers - The floats animation includes 18 wheels turning, three cars rocking side to side, smoke billowing from a stack, and the front of the train rising and falling to show that it is trying and trying its best to crest the steep mountain.

These are the four float princesses, chosen competitively from Sierra Madre High School.  To enter the competition, a student must have a 3.0 grade average.  It is considered a great honor to be a float princess. 

More volunteers - This is the smallest float in the parade - It is all volunteer and all donation organization - this makes the "I Think I can" an appropriate title.

Treky says, "Sometimes that's the way it is with us - Long distances, bad weather, bad roads, etc but we just keep on trying".

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Mexico to California

As we move West, the sky seems to get bigger.

We can see mountains and weather in the distance.

As we get closer, you can see these mountains are not the "rolling green hills of the East - never the less, they are beautiful.

Treky thinks these rocks look like a whale with its mouth open.

We stopped in Quartzsite, Arizona to get gas and paid $2.42  per gallon.  There was a Burger King at the gas station and I bought three French Toast sticks.  While I sat there in the parking lot eating the toast sticks, I noticed:

two homeless men with a sign that said "Food".  My first thought, "If I give them money, they will probably spend it on alcohol or drugs".  As I watched them, I noticed that each one had a small dog.  Tippy  suggested "If you give them money, at least the dogs will get some food and those dogs love those men as much as I love you".  So, I gave them $10.00 each - probably a dumb thing to do - but I have to live with Tippy and that made him happy.

Beard is getting a little longer.  Tippy thinks I should cut if off and glue it to my head - Why do I keep him around?

Ron, Tippy & Treky

Monday, December 29, 2014

Rock Hound State Park, Luna County, NM

Rockhound State Park is located about 20 miles from our campground.  The sign says that it is on the rugged slopes of the Florida Mountains.  This is one of the most unusual state parks in the nation.  Here, rockhounds are encouraged to take home up to 15 pounds of rocks that they pick up in the park.

My impression is that the park is mainly a campground and several marked walking trails through the mountains.

Tippy says, "We've seen a trillion rocks and we don't need a campground - Let's go!"  You can see from the expression on his face that he is bored.  He gets that way easily.

This is the park visitor's center.  It mainly features a gift shop.  Admission to the park for one day is $5.00 per vehicle.  The architectural style of the visitor's center is pretty much followed throughout Deming including residences and commercial buildings. 

I pointed this plant out to Tippy and told him that the park is not all rocks.  His response, "It's rock colored".

This is the only "green" plant we could find in the Florida Mountains.  If you were looking for Florida Mountains, would you think to look in New Mexico?  I wouldn't.

The wind is blowing out of the west.  The weather radio says that it is blowing 40 to 70 miles per hour.  One night while we were in Deming, the temperature went down to 16 degrees F.  Treky kept us warm and steady.

Ron, Tippy & Treky

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Deming, New Mexico Museum

I enjoy museums - Deming is in Luna County and this is their museum.

An old time pay telephone - Note the slots at the top of the phone for coins.

There are thousands of dolls here.

This looks so much like a painting that I found it hard to believe that is actually a quilt.

The museum is beautifully decorated for Christmas.

And their table is set for Christmas dinner.

Members of the New Mexico National Guard fought in WWII under General MacArthur in the Philippines.  They were captured by the Japanese and suffered through the Death March.  Several were beheaded by the Japanese. Pictured here is a list of the Luna County men who served in WWII and pictures of several.

There are thousands of pieces of Native American pottery and also handmade baskets.  You could easily spend and entire day in this museum and not get bored.

Maybe someday, we will come back this way.

Ron, Tippy & Treky

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Christmas Dinner

The annual LoWHI Ranch campground Christmas dinner was held in the clubhouse.  There were 38 campers there.  The turkey (smoked and baked) was furnished by the campground along with dressing and gravy.  Each camper furnished something for a side.  Everything was wonderful.  Had this event not occurred, most of us would have eaten in our camper alone as no restaurants are open on Christmas Day.  The food and company were great.

 This serving table contained the main items: turkey, dressing, mac & cheese, gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy.  In addition, there were two tables for sides and salads and two tables for deserts.

This is one of the desert tables.

What did you bring me from the Christmas Dinner?

What?  Only two lousy oatmeal cookies?  Not really - Tippy got four bite size pieces of turkey.

All in all we had a good Christmas day with emails and facebooks greetings.

Ron, Tippy & Treky

Friday, December 26, 2014

Deming, New Mexico Veterans' Park

For lunch, one day, I had a beef Tostato  at the Sun Rise Cafe in downtown Deming.  The cafe is owned and operated by three women.  They advertise that their specialty is Mexican and American food.  I ate breakfast (American) there one day too.  The Tostsato costs $6.00 - it was worth three times that much.

Much of the undeveloped area around Deming looks like this - sand, rock and tumble weed.

While driving around Deming, we saw their Veterans' Park.  The words at the bottom of the sign: "Go spread the word - Tell the passerby - That in this little world - Men knew how to die.

Some members of the New Mexico National Guard were at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Another memorial to Pearl Harbor

I know that this is an anti-aircraft gun - It could have been mounted aboard ship (Navy) but most likely it was from the New Mexico National Guard (Army).

Another memorial

Old Army tank.

Because Tippy is a good conversation starter, I was able to talk to several Deming citizens.  Most are of Mexican heritage and most have been here for decades.  Some have opened up and told me that while they are proud of their Mexican heritage, they resent being called "Hispanic".   They say that their ancestors came from Spain in Europe and they are no less Caucasian than those Americans who have English, French, Russian, etc ancestors.  Everyone that talked to me about this emphasized that "Hispanic is not a race".  They feel that they are Caucasian.   I had not thought much about this before coming to Deming.

We hope you had a good Christmas.

Ron, Tippy & Treky

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Around the LoWHI Ranch Campground

Treky has site # 2 at the LoWHi Ranch campground.  The campground is owned and operated by the Loners on Wheels club.
Normal camping fee is $32.00 per day.  We get a 50% discount by being members of Passport America.  Membership costs $45.00 per year but on this five days alone, I have received $40.00 discount.  So far on this trip, Passport America membership has saved me over $100.00.  Campground fee includes water and 30 amp electricity.

Among many "odd" decorations in the campground, Tippy found this Bird House Condominium. 

This is the view looking out Treky's windshield - that's not a real duck.

Toy soldier ready for Christmas at the front of the campground office.

Snowman too

 Clockwise - the United States, Canadian, LOW (Loners on Wheels) and the New Mexico flags flying at the campground office.

Tippy says, "You gotta be very careful hiking up your leg - some of these leaves are very sharp".

Can you believe - a rock maze - Tippy and I could not navigate it.

Some camper's  little red wagon filled with pretty multi-colored rocks - some polished and shinny and all pretty.

This shrubbery is different than anything we have seen.  Someone must have liked it - Tippy says, "It didn't plant itself".

This part of New Mexico is very dry - my lips crack open.

I will eat Christmas dinner with the other campers here at LoWHi Ranch.

I expect to have one more post from here and then we will be headed for Pasadena.

Ron, Tippy & Treky