Pulled out of the Cleveland County Fairgrounds at 9:00 am on Thursday 4/18. We took smaller roads and enjoyed the views…cows, farms, horses.
We followed rain all the way to our destination although we only got rained on (for just a little bit) about 45 minutes from our final destination.
We made about an hour stop for lunch at Kelly’s Kitchen in Somewhere, Oklahoma. Just a small park at the intersection of two roads with a couple of picnic tables. We were the only ones there and it was a little on the chilly side so we ate our lunch inside.
We made it to the Caddo River Access RV Park in Glenwood about 4:30 pm. Got backed into a site easily enough, unhitched, got things up and running inside and then were off. We grabbed some grub for the road and headed over to Mike’s moms for a visit. We ended up visited for several hours before getting back home about 8:00 pm.
We received a new converter while we were at the warehouse and Michael was able to install in Friday morning. It took less than 30 minutes (including emptying the basement and placing everything back in) and we were back in business.
Eggs so fresh Mikey had to clean the poop off!
We got a surprise visit from our friend, Cherie, Friday afternoon. We visited for a little while before she had to head home to cook some dinner and we had to get back to work. The sweetheart even brought us fresh eggs from her sons chickens!
The Barnett family
That evening we had invited Michael’s mom, niece, brothers and cousin to join us at the Fish Nest for dinner. There were eleven of us in all and it was nice to have everyone in one place, which doesn’t happen very often.
Saturday Michael started working on building a ramp off the front porch of Alice’s house. She uses a walker these days and without the ramp she can’t get out to her front yard to water plants, weed etc. She asked Michael if he could put something together for her.
Corey using his muscles
Alyssa removing all kinds of screws
Alyssa helped him on Saturday by removing a ton of screws from an old ramp that he was hoping to reuse some of the boards for but didn’t end up using them after all but he was able to reuse a lot of the screws.
On Sunday, cousin Corey helped by digging some trenches for the new ramp to sit in so that Alice would have a smooth approach to and from the porch using the ramp.
Monday was all work…no play. Boo!
Tuesday we did some work in the morning and then Michael rain some errands (haircut and picked up propane and Quikrete) while I stayed home to get some ‘home’ stuff done.
Long time friends
That afternoon we met with Cherie and her husband, Bill, for an early dinner at El Diamente in Glenwood. We don’t get to see Bill very often so this was a special treat. We had such a good time visiting and catching up.
Time to screw down the decking
After dinner we headed over to Alice’s so that Michael could put down a concrete base for the ramp to sit on. While he worked, Alice and I sat outside on the front porch and visited.
Wednesday we met our friends, Brock and Tammy, in Hot Springs to enjoy lunch at World Buffet. Tammy is my ‘Chinese Buddy’ as we both love it. Brock and Michael went to school together and got into mischief together as kids though I’d never met Brock or Tammy until a few years ago but we’ve become good friends.
Afterward we ran a few quick errands and then headed back out to Alice’s to visit and finish work on the ramp. Michael really did a nice job and it looks great and works well for Alice who tried it out right away.
We were home about 8:30, giving me time to do some work, pack the following days lunch and do some move prep as we were hitting the road the following more….final destination….GRANDBABIES!
Brrr! It was cold hitching up to leave Amarillo! 39 degrees…with a ‘feels like’ of 20! Plus it was WINDY! My flip flops didn’t quite cut it! 🙂
The Leaning Tower of Groom
Not long after leaving Amarillo we came across two interesting sites along the interstate. Our friend Rachel had told us about them so we were on the look out. Both were in the small town of Groom Texas. The first was a large cross located at an area the church…similar to others we’ve seen during our travels.
The second one was what is referred to as the ‘Leaning Tower of Groom‘. It’s a water tower that never met code so someone bought it and decided to use it as a ‘landmark’ and make it lean.
Car parked in the way
We pulled out of the Big Texan RV Ranch about 9:00 am and headed west on I-40 toward Oklahoma. It was time to check in at the warehouse. We pulled into the Cleveland County Fairgrounds about 4:00 pm and found only one site that didn’t have an RV in it. It was a 30 amp site…but we can make do with that. However, someone had parked a car in the spot. Since they don’t take reservations and there is no saving spots we just pulled in next to the car and hooked up to power, electric and sewer and assumed that whoever was using the site as a parking lot would move the car when they realized an RV had moved in.
About 9:00 pm that night we heard people outside and assumed that the people were back and would move their car. I could tell they were complaining so went outside to find out what the issue was.
Two men (one elderly, the other a little younger than us) were checking out the hook ups and told us that we were in their site. We disagreed. They had a receipt (that they waved around constantly) saying they’d paid for the site and that the car was saving the spot and asked if we had a receipt. We told them that the normal procedure was to go to the kiosk, take an envelope, fill it out with site information, add payment and drop it back in the box. No receipt involved.
Snuggled into the whole site after the car moved.
They insisted that we move…we told them no…that we’d paid for the site and were in it. They called the police. After a lengthy wait it was determined that we’d stay in the site (they had to move the car so that we could scooch over further into the site). They were found another site around the corner. Two hours of our night…wasted.
I’ll just bet that whatever person in the office allowed them to pay in advance and park their car in the site got a talking to. We had a couple of other people here in the park tell us they’d tried to do that and were told ‘absolutely not’.
Friday we spent the day at the warehouse. Both Alyssa and Preston were there so we got caught up on all things PTB. I invoiced several customers and did my normal work while Michael piddled around in the shop, spoke with customers on the phone and worked with Alyssa to determine the best way to utilize the space in the warehouse as it’s getting fuller and fuller all the time.
After work, Michael and I went out for dinner. We tried a new place, Sam’s Southern Eatery and were very pleased. Being Lent we both went with the 6 piece jumbo shrimp dinner (came with 8 shrimp!) which came with two sides. Michael went with fries and cole slaw and I had fries and green beans. It also came with 2 hushpuppies which were pretty spicy. The shrimp was excellent and more than we could eat…will make some alterations they next time we go.
Saturday was spent at home…doing nothing…and it felt SO good. It rained all day and well into the night. It was cold and gloomy and perfect to have the fireplace blazing all day. I hung out in my jammies all day and cleaned up the DVR of several TV shows that I was behind on.
Sunday the sun came out and we ventured out. First to Furr’s to enjoy their breakfast buffet. After breakfast we took a drive out to Thunder Lake State Park. While staying at the fairgrounds while in Norman is convenient (4 miles to the warehouse) it’s getting harder and harder to get a site since there are so many ‘permanent’ people staying there.
We’d been told that the state park had full hook up sites and since it wasn’t too far away (about 15 miles) it would be a fairly easy commute. It turned out to be a pretty drive and the park had nice views as well. We saw several sites that were long enough to accommodate this new monster of ours. Not sure if we’ll stay there though as there were quite a few low limbs and we try not to get the coach into tight squeezes.
Alyssa receiving a pallet of shipping supplies
Monday it was back to work at the warehouse. Business has picked up so much that we decided that we needed another fulltime person in the warehouse. I met with a young man who was looking for fulltime work. He happens to be friends with one of our installers and has helped him with several installs so he has some knowledge of disc brakes which is great.
Busy crew working to get orders out.
Everything worked out just perfect and the stars were aligned just right and we were able to have him start the following day. He dove right in, using the new press we purchased for the shop. He used it to remove 9/16 inch studs from 4 hub/rotors and then used it to insert 5/8 inch studs back into the hub/rotors for a customer.
Things went very smoothly while we were at the warehouse. Michael got some things that he needed to take care of done while we were there. We discussed some new shelving options for better storage in the warehouse. It was a good visit.
Our last night in Norman we took the crew out for dinner at Kendall’s in Noble. Just a small restaurant but their claim to fame is chicken fried steak. They have one of those food challenges where if you eat so much (and make yourself miserable) you get your meal free and get honored. None of us participated…but three of us did enjoy the chicken fried steak, while two others had the fried catfish and the fifth went with a chicken breast sandwich. Very good and I wouldn’t mind going back.
Thursday 4/18 we headed out of Norman at 9:00 am…headed for Arkansas and a visit with Michael’s family and our friends.
Even though we only had 115 miles to travel between Tucumcari, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas…Michael insisted we leave early enough so that we could still reach Amarillo by ‘morning’! Goof (He even insisted we listen to ‘Amarillo by Morning’ as we drove. LOL!
Packing up to leave has become much easier since we have the rooftop satellite dish now (no more setting up and breaking down the tripod) and quite a few things less things that have to be stowed as most items have ‘homes’. Makes things way easier.
We pulled out of the Blaze-in-Saddle RV park in Tucumcari at 8:32 am mst and reached the Big Texan RV Park just before 11:30 am cst and got settled into our site for the next week. We lost an hour with the time change…that’s the reason we had to leave so early on such a short travel day.
Check out this goofy parking pattern!
The park used to be a mobile home park so the sites are set up pretty strangely. We were escorted to site 118A…a nice long pull through but its set up so that another camper would pull in behind us…I guess they’d have to back out. All around us, rigs came in and were escorted through other sites, over the grass, any which way they could to get to their site. Weird set up.
Friday we worked 1/2 a day and then went and ‘played’. We went to a movie, got our toes done and have a veggie pizza for dinner (Lent). PTB is still super busy (almost 1/2 way to this months sales goal by the 5th of the month!) So we take advantage of the quiet when we can!
The movie we saw this week was ‘Us‘. Labeled as a horror/thriller, this one had me a bit leery (I’m a chicken)…but with a 7.4 rating on IMDb we decided to check it out. It wasn’t really scary (didn’t hide once) but it was really kinda dumb in my opinion. Michael thought the plot was good…me not so much. Not one I’d recommend. At least the popcorn was good!
We chose 575 Pizzeria, again, because of its high ratings on Yelp. Thankfully, this one turned out to be on par. Just a small place but welcoming. We ordered the ‘tine Trio (Olive tapenade, spinach artichoke dip and bruschetta with brick fired bread) for starters. It turned out to be quite yummy. Michael doesn’t care for olives in any form but tried the tapenade and didn’t die. 😉
Our small pizza with (tomatoes, onions, pineapple, red peppers and black olives on half). The server topped with fresh grated cheese at our table and it was really tasty.
Giving Tim the ‘High Sign’
We were pleasantly surprised to find that Molly & Gene C were in the same park as us and arrived the same day we did. They’re the inlaws of Tim from T&S and also have a Landmark. We’d followed each other on Facebook but not met in person. We were pleased when we they stopped by to say ‘Hi’ on their way out to do the touristy things. What a treat!
Saturday we headed out to do some exploring. First stop: Cadillac Ranch This one had been on my list for several years and it was fun to finally make it happen. We made sure to stop at Walmart prior to our visit to pick up a couple of cans of spray paint (purple for me, copper for Michael) so that we could engross ourselves in the experience!
Mudhole = fun!
We picked a not so good time to visit…it rained the night before and the area around the cars themselves was a lake…ok so maybe a pond. Our plan of adding to the art was a bit harder to get done…but we did it!
Help! My feet are stuck!
We got our feet covered in mud (almost lost my flip flops a time or two), Michael found an egg inside one of the cars and we just had fun being silly. Michael’s copper paint covered two hubs and I just made a purple heart with our initials in it…hard to see…but it’s there! The paint was so thick it was crazy…and it just dripped.
Cadillac Ranch RV Park display
We also made a quick run through of the Cadillac Ranch RV Park and quickly determined it wasn’t a place we’d stay…pretty yucky. But I didn’t take the opportunity to take a picture of the Cadillacs and cowboy out front!
Check that out!
Second Stop: Palo Duro Canyon – This was not on my radar at all…didn’t know anything about it at all until my cousin, Ryan asked if we were going to visit while we were in Amarillo. He sent me a link and I did a little more research and found out we definitely we needed to add it to our list of things to see while in town.
Lunch with a view!
It was a great way to spend our Saturday! I packed sandwich fixings and we took our time driving through the state park, stopping several times to check different things out. We enjoyed our picnic lunch at one of the day use areas while watching hikers and bikers come and go from one of the many trails in the park.
Known as the ‘Grand Canyon of Texas’, Palo Duro Canyon is the 2nd largest canyon in the US. We both found it amazing as we drove to the park that the scenery was fairly flat and boring and then out of nowhere the ground gave way to his gorgeous crater. The colors…layers….outcroppings…unbelievable. This is definitely a don’t miss stop when in the Amarillo area.
Unique little place
Final Stop: Little Buddhist Temple – This was another Roadside America find. While the place was interesting it definitely could have used some tender loving care. The most interesting thing we came across was a ‘cemetery’ of sorts…within the brick wall ‘fence’. Each column held (what we believed to be) the remains of a follower of the Laotian Buddhist religion.
A few of the memorials were taken care of…clean, orderly, loved. But most were in disrepair, dirty, forgotten. Nevertheless, it was an interesting stop…just wish we’d been able to go inside the temple to learn more.
Another check off the old bucket list!
We topped the day off with dinner at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. This is the home of the 72 oz steak dinner challenge. Eat a 72 ounce steak, shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad and a roll with butter. The participant must eat everythingin the allotted 60 minutes. We didn’t have any takers while we were there but there was a winner the previous day…it had been 6 months since the last winner.
72 ounce steak meal
We chose to go the ‘normal’ route and each ordered a 12 ounce ribeye, loaded baked potato and a cup of the veggie soup. Everything was very good…though our server was lacking. She tried to deliver salads to us (not ours), didn’t give us spoons for our soup (waited about 10 minutes for her to finally bring them) and sent the expediter to our table with the wrong main course.
We had two gentleman come to our table asking for requests to play for us. Of course, Michael requested ….Amarillo by Morning. They did a great job and their performance added to the experience.
There they are! Left center
When we got home we found out that Molly & Gene had been to the Big Texan that evening too! After looking at my pictures I found that I had taken a picture of the dining room and they’re in it! LOL
My expert marksman!
After dinner we wandered around a bit…stopping to play a shooting game (I got 23/25 and Michael got 25/25)…checked out the creepy pics in one hallway and sat in the Big Texan rocking chair. We also did a little shopping in the gift shop – gifts for ourselves, our boys and a good friend.
When we leave Amarillo on Thursday it will be the last time we’re in Texas until this fall so I we got our Texas cravings out of the way.
Breakfast is served!
First we found a place that has jalapeno & cheese sausage kolaches and stocked up…a dozen. They freeze well so we’ll have them for quite some time to come. They’re great on travel days…just pop ’em in the microwave for a minute and go!
We also had dinner at Whataburger on Tuesday. We got done with work about 3:30 (woot!) and went to the closest location for dinner. Was a nice little treat.
Our last day in Amarillo was a warm one…89 for a high…however, overnight it got down into the high 20s…brrrr! And it was windy! There was a gloomy haze that hung over the whole area all day and the wind rocked the coach all day and all night.
I forgot to mention that when we came home from our day out on Saturday we didn’t have any lights. Michael did some investigating and figured out that the converter wasn’t working properly. If he charged it we’d have lights (and the ability to lower our bed!) but the charge didn’t last.
He called Heartland an Monday and explained the issue to them and they ordered a new converter and were supposed to ship it out to our warehouse on Wednesday. Hoping it arrives on Friday so that Michael can install it over the weekend.
In the meantime, Michael bought a new battery charger and has been using that to keep the converter happy. Without, we have no lights (other than the two lamps), air conditioning, hot water. Anything that actually plugs into an outlet worked fine (TV, microwave, lamps, fan, chargers, etc).
Tuesday, March 26th we were back on the road heading east and away from Arizona where we’d been since early January. Seemed strange to say goodbye but we were both ready.
Our journey took us to Alamogordo, New Mexico (just under 300 mile drive) where we stayed at the Boothill RV park for 2 nights. That gave us a chance to get caught up with work and laundry! We hadn’t had full hook ups or access to laundry in 11 days!
The park turned out to be a nice place with a long pull through for us to pull into, laundry facilities, nicely manicured roads, etc.
We also took a day trip to Cloudcroft. (Read about that HERE) While there we enjoyed a very romantic (and pricey) 6 course meal at Rebecca’s. We both enjoyed it so much and had wonderful memories that we decided a ‘do over’ was in order.
Our server finishing our Chateaubriand
We made reservations for Wednesday night and looked forward to it all day. We arrived shortly before our reservation and took a seat at the bar for a few minutes before we were escorted to our table.
I’d checked their online menu to be sure that they still offered the Chateaubriand special…they did…6 course meal (appetizer, soup, salad, sorbet, entrée & dessert) for two. When our waitress told us what came with the meal she said, ‘soup or salad’ and had to question her and was told that it had been changed to one or the other not both. I told her that wasn’t what their website stated and she said ok.
Completed dish. We had so much leftover we had ‘Chateaubriand Hash’ for breakfast a couple of days later!
She came back later and said that the manager said I must have been looking at a menu from somewhere else…Yelp, Travel Advisor, etc…because their website was up to date. I had my phone next to me and it had their website pulled up so I showed her and she said…’Oh, I’ll have to yell at my manager’. In the end we got the meal we were there for at the price we expected.
Our meal spanned several hours and we enjoyed it very much…we even took leftovers home to enjoy at a later date. The drive back down the mountain was as enjoyable as it was in the past…one we’d recommend anyone taking if in the area.
First time we’ve ever been escorted to a site by a bicycle
The following day, Thursday, we pulled up stakes and headed north to Tucumcari, New Mexico. Just 230ish miles, so it was a fairly easy drive. We pulled into the Blaze-in-Saddle RV Park about 3:00 pm and were escorted to a nice wide pull-through site for the next week.
We didn’t have any real plans for Tucumcari…it just happened to be along the route toward Norman and we’d never been there so it was as good a spot to stop as any.
LOTS of wind mills
Saturday March 30th was my 53rd birthday and with no real plans we ended up driving to Clovis (80 miles south) to do some errands and grab some dinner. The drive there was kind of ‘blah’…not a lot of scenery other than LOTS of windmills and not much traffic either.
Much prettier drive home…
However, the drive home was a bit more scenic (we took a different route) – cows, farms, mesas, etc…still not much traffic…but that was ok.
We tried Thai City for dinner and weren’t real pleased. They didn’t have the appetizer we ordered. My soup came after my meal (Michael got his before his meal). Michael’s battered chicken was soggy, my chicken was bland. Just not the best experience.
Our dinner companions
On Monday, 4/1, we were blessed to share dinner with our Heartland friends, Don & Vicky and Vicky’s mom, Cristell. Don & Vicky live about an hour south of Tucumcari but Cristell lives in Tucumcari. We met for dinner at Del’s…open since 1956! We had very enjoyable meal and really enjoyed getting the chance to meet Cristell.
Our spot for the week.
We really enjoyed our stay in Tucumcari and have already decided we’ll be back. With not a whole lot of site-seeing to worry about we got plenty of time to work (it’s been CRAZY busy) and also had time to relax. There are a few things we’d like to see in the area so we’ll plan accordingly next time.
Our neighbors for several nights
The park has been busy with over-nighters all week….many being snowbirds heading back north for the summer. Some even had horses with them and there are horse stables right behind us…so that was fun!
Our week’s stay went quickly and tomorrow we continue west…but only 115 miles to Amarillo, Texas where we’ll be staying for another week. Have some exciting things to do during our stay…can’t wait.
We arrived at the Stronghold Ranch about noon on Saturday the 23rd. The Stronghold Ranch is the home to our installer Dennis and his family. They settled there about a year ago and have been working hard to ‘make it there own’ ever since.
It’s in a gorgeous location at the foothills the Cochise Stronghold…beautiful views abound! They installed 2 RV sites so that customers can come to their location to have an install down and also enjoy the surrounding area.
You should how awesome the inside of this little place is…Dennis did ALL the work!
They full-timed in their class A motorhome until they got their casita built and livable. Now their motorhome serves as an Airbnb destination! What a couple of entrepreneurs! Here’s a link to their listing Click HERE.
We had such a wonderful stay at their ranch. They were perfect tour guides…sending out out on a couple of scenic drives that we awesome. One nearly giggled me right out of my skin.
We settled in easily, visited with Dennis and Mavis for a couple of hours and then set out to get some lunch and take a drive through the area.
Sandy’s Restaurant & RV Park was what Dennis & Mavis recommended so that’s where we headed first. A small place with a homey atmosphere…just our kind of place. We both ordered burgers & soup. Food was very good and the service was excellent. Tony, our server, was awesome….friendly and fun.
Sandy’s homemade pastries were highly recommended so we each picked out a couple to take home for later.
One of several structures we came across on our first drive.
After our late lunch we headed out for a scenic drive on the Ghost Town Trail which was beautiful. We saw quite a bit of wildlife as well as remains of buildings. We took our time, stopping to view certain things, etc. It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon…especially after the crazy busy week we’d been through.
The following morning we headed out fairly early so that we could go back to Sandy’s for breakfast…just as good as the previous days ‘lupper’. Service was just as good as the previous day as, Sandy, the owner, waited on us. The place was quite busy but she still took the time to give us friendly, personal service.
The Cochise Stronghold
After breakfast we headed to the Cochise Stronghold Campground where we were expecting a better view of the Cochise Stronghold and possibly some more information than what we could find online. Unfortunately, we didn’t find it. (Click HERE for the online version) We just figured with such a historic past we’d get more information. Oh well…it’s a beautiful area nonetheless.
It was a fun drive too…we drove through at least half a dozen washes…some fairly deep…others not so much.
Came across several of these and were a bit shocked by the first one but we just opened it up…closed after we went through and continued on our way.
We also took Dennis’ advice and took another scenic drive…this one along the base of the mountains. Apparently, he meant for us to only drive so far down the road and then turn around…however, we missed that part and kept going. We drove the entire 8.5 miles and let me tell you…it was crazy in spots! The entire drive was fairly rough…some much more rough than others. Most of the drive the road/path/trail was plenty ride…however, the last couple of miles it got pretty narrow!
At one point I laughed so hard, Michael stopped the truck and just stared at me to make sure I was ok. While I cursed Dennis a few times during the really crazy part….we really had a lot of fun. LOL The views were stunning and the terrain magnificent. We didn’t see many animals at all…though we did see ‘evidence’ of cows having been around.
How awesome is that?
At one of the very narrow parts of the pathy/trail we rounded a corner to find two cows in the middle of the road and a small pond to the right where there were several other cows hanging out. It was actually a very pretty scene…of course I had to take some pictures to share.
Just chillin’ with Dennis and Maddie
We got back home by mid-afternoon and did some work before heading over to Dennis & Mavis’ place where we had a cookout. Nothing fancy…just good old burgers & dogs with some side dishes. The weather was gorgeous so we sat outside visiting and sharing stories.
After a while we had a group of about eleven javelinas join us. Apparently they stop by each evening to graze on the grass in the yard. Mavis has name most of them and can tell you about their habits…two are twins, one baby not very old, a couple always get down on their front knees where foraging, etc.
We didn’t bother them…they didn’t bother us. Mutual respect.
About the time that it really started to cool off we all headed into the house to enjoy a bowl of ice cream. We had such a great time and we treated like royalty by these two humble and gracious folks. Now we just have to talk our kids into joining us next time! 🙂
Dennis hard at work install a set of disc brakes
While we were there…one of our recent customer came for a three night stay to have his disc brakes installed. Since we do a good portion of our sales online or by phone we both really enjoy getting to meet our customers in person.
Bob & Carla did pretty much the same thing we did while they were there…took a couple of drives but they also visited Tombstone which isn’t much of a drive either. We enjoyed getting to know them and wish them safe travels.