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Old 11-17-2009, 06:28 AM   #323
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Beautiful pictures, and Padre Island looks like an idyllic camping spot.
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:14 AM   #324
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Re: Mosquitoes

The Coastal Bend region of Texas suffered the worst drought of the past 91-years in 2009. Until Labor Day . . after which 13" rain fell at our house in CC. The Island is particularly susceptible to thick clouds of them after such weather. This same region hosts several dozen species; the Carancahua Indians used thick layers of animal greases to protect themselves. The rest of us learn to use a box fan at floor level and an oscillating fan at head level. Etc.

Glad you enjoyed Mi Ti's. There may be better, but it is reliable and satisfying every meal we've eaten there the past half-century.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:26 AM   #325
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mosquitos

Okay, this is very minor hijacking but an opportunity to share a little info. We found a soap at Herbaria that has citronella & marigold, is insect-repellent and effective to the point that we have tried it---against mosquitos. The real test will be those vicious no-see-ums in the Carolinas next March.

Natural Citronella & Marigold soap :: all natural handmade soap by Herbaria
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:29 AM   #326
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Barb has wipes that are something like that, but I haven't used them. Maybe I'm stupid; she has one bite; me, one million.

Gene
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:33 AM   #327
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I was covered with no-see-um bites in March, Doug just a few, they itched terribly. Sometimes the buggers like the smell/taste of certain soaps, I think. Effective prevention is worth its weight, IMHO. I will be well armed when we head south in January.
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:25 PM   #328
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We reached Santa Fe yesterday at 1 and came to Trailer Ranch. It's south of downtown on busy Cerillos Rd. We are about 100-150' from Cerillos and it's quiet. There are some pull thrus in the front near the office. The wifi here is excellent. Cable is not very good. We saw a Comcast truck yesterday, but they didn't fix the snowy cable problems, some channels very bad, others tolerable. Comcast has a terrible reputation, so no surprise. Internal roads are narrow, but this is in a city after all. Lots of mature trees. This is better than the last 2 CG's we stayed at in Santa Fe.

We went out for dinner at an Asian restaurant, Jinja, in a shopping center on Guadalupe. We've eaten there 2 or 3 times before, but I thought it wasn't quite as good this time. Sometimes they let experimentation with new recipes get the best of them. Then to watch the WW II series on History. Today Barb's parents arrived on their way home. We went to lunch at Zia and this was a lot better than the last time. Tomorrow we'll go to breakfast at Zia as we remember the huevos rancheros are really good there. Zia is a very well decorated "diner" on Guadalupe with some lamps that are amazing art deco influenced art works. It is not in a diner building, but the interior has some influences of diner style. After that we walked around that area and then to the Plaza. Pretty quiet in Santa Fe right now. Parking is actually possible.

Then we went to dinner at Tomesitas (guess where?—Guadalupe) with the in-laws. I did not care for this restaurant in the '90's, but thought it improved significantly in the "oughts", but we hadn't been there in about 3 years. Now we think it's not nearly as good as it was. The waitress was an unhappy looking sort of person.

Lest you think all we do is eat, we also shop for food. We went to Trader Joe's yesterday, probably will hit Whole Foods before we leave. To my mind, Whole Foods is the Walmart of health food stores, but they got stuff we need.

It seems like we've been to everything in Santa Fe we are interested in having been coming here for 21 years. We now seem to come here to buy food we can't get near home. Trader Joe's especially has some good stuff for trailer dining that will keep for a long time.

Feeling kind of road weary and we talked yesterday about how we would feel driving to Alaska. We've done it twice, but with a trailer, it's harder. Still working that one out. The big number is 3,500. Miles from home to Fairbanks. Without a trailer, we have done it in a week. We have to stop and stay somewhere for more days and take more time or it is a job. At least we haven't gotten road fever this time—that's road weary with psychosis added.

Gene
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:17 PM   #329
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We've been in Santa Fe for 3 1/2 days and I'm convinced something has happened here—meth in the water maybe? The drivers are crazed and they won't give anyone a chance to get on a road or change lanes. In the markets, they drive the same way with their shopping carts—not as bad as we've seen in South Florida where the the seniors will run you down with their carts, but it's a tough world here. Maybe the growth of the area has reached a critical point where everyone is angry. We saw this in Denver in the '90's as that city started to change from fast growth and the roads reached capacity.

We had breakfast at Zia's yesterday and the huevos were very good, the waiter was attentive and a better experience than lunch the day before. Barb later ate leftovers from Tomasitas and felt bad afterward—the more we think about it, that restaurant has really gone downhill. We went to Albuquerque to see Barb's grandmother—alert, making jokes, but showing her age (100). Today we did more food shopping at the zooey Whole Foods with the worst speed bumps in the world. We also found a dinner plate to replace one I broke. We bought reproductions of Santa Fe RR china several years ago. It's called the Mimbreño pattern designed by America's 1st woman architect, Mary Colter, about 75 or so years ago. We ended up buying some other bowls and a serving plate we didn't get before. This pattern is beautiful and hard to resist. It's based on designs Indians created about 700 years ago and adapted by Colter. She designed a number of buildings at Grand Canyon's south rim and La Posada, a Harvey hotel in Winslow.

We have been thinking about Chinese food for weeks, but never stopped anywhere for it. Asian food, yes, but we just want some good old fashioned Chinese food. We'll try Yin Yang tonight.

The snow in the forecast for tomorrow has disappeared and tomorrow's trip home seems clear of weather problems. I'm not looking forward to unloading the trailer and winterizing, but am looking forward to being home.

Gene
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:32 PM   #330
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Mary Colter is one one of our favorites, like the Green Brothers in Pasadena, she was given complete control of the entire design. We're going through Winslow tomorrow, thanks for reminding me to slow down and take a look at her work, rather than that tacky statue, "standin' on the corner".
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:08 PM   #331
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
We've been in Santa Fe for 3 1/2 days and I'm convinced something has happened here—meth in the water maybe? The drivers are crazed and they won't give anyone a chance to get on a road or change lanes. In the markets, they drive the same way with their shopping carts—not as bad as we've seen in South Florida where the the seniors will run you down with their carts, but it's a tough world here. Maybe the growth of the area has reached a critical point where everyone is angry. We saw this in Denver in the '90's as that city started to change from fast growth and the roads reached capacity.
... Gene
You know you've lived in the country long enough when traffic in a town of ~62K gets on your nerves. (We now consider the 5K traffic in Taos to be rough.)


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Old 11-20-2009, 10:30 PM   #332
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Mike, be sure when you go to La Posada to walk down to the railroad tracks and look at the hotel from that side. It was designed to look like an hacienda and to be entered from the railroad, not the highway. It was bought by 3 people in the early '90's and is being slowly restored. The restaurant is the best in the area.

Speaking of design, in the past 10 or 15 years NM has been building bridges, retaining walls and noise walls, and other roadside items with decoration reflecting local, regional and state features, animals, and traditional designs. There was a time when decorated highways and bridges were common all over the country and much good work was done by the WPA, but in later years everything was done very functionally without an appreciation for art.

Our dinner at Yin Yang was ok (we both gave it a B-), but we have done better. The best part were the onion pancakes, an appetizer we don't see very often. There are, according to Trip Advisor, 327 restaurants in Santa Fe and surely we can find better ones next time. This may not be a town for Chinese food.

Then there's Santa Fe Style—howling coyotes, squash blossom jewelry, turquoise, fake adobe items, silver, etc. We used to see a lot of women dressed in SFS, but now we only see older ones dressed like that. Maybe SFS, which like most pop stuff gets overdone, is finally dying out.

Don't get me wrong, we like Santa Fe, but traffic and parking can be too much. There can be too much adobe after a while too.

Don't ever try to tow through the plaza area or much of the central part of the city. The roads are narrow and quirky. Go to a CG or stay on federal highways if towing. Trailer Ranch is fine, although the cable picture is not good at all, but it's Comcast. It's on Cerillos Rd., a very busy highway and difficult to cross but can be done. Most people here go to a left turn lane rather than trying to cross busy roads and do a U turn—that's not legal in a lot of places, but must be here because the cops don't stop people for it. Go off on a side road to turn around and who knows where it leads. This is a road "system" started 400 years ago and best for horses, wagons and walking.

Speaking of cops, there are a lot of police cars in Santa Fe. Is this a high crime place? We saw a Corvette that was a police car—must have been seized in a drug raid. I guess they liked it too much and didn't want to auction it, but it sure seems a waste of money.

This a city with a wealth of cultural activities, especially for its size. I think it's grown to around 70,000. Contrast it to Albuquerque, a city whose motto appears to be to grow, grow, grow, no matter what the consequences and it's easy to prefer Santa Fe.

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Old 11-21-2009, 07:09 AM   #333
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Pictures? Where are the pictures?
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:57 AM   #334
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We're off to Datil this morning, out I-40 east to Holbrook, down 180 and across NM 60,one of our favorite drives. It's windy here in Flag, but the wind is out of the west, giving us a nice push.

Datil, Pie Town, and Quemado*—*remote and beautiful:Southern New Mexico Travel and Tourism Information

National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO): Look Deeper
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:54 PM   #335
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Sorry, no pictures of Santa Fe. We've been there so many times—twice this year—we had no impetus to take photos.

Home at last! On the way back, we stopped at the Blue Mesa dam to change drivers, open the fresh water tank valve to make sure it drained by the time we got home, and use the pit toilet. What a drag, not being able to use the Safari bathroom. We flushed and flushed too many times getting it ready for winter while still in Santa Fe.

Just as we were about to leave, a guy pulls up and comes over to ask us about Airstreams. We were trying to get home before dark, pretty much hopeless by that time, but we had one last chance on the road to talk about Airstreams. I took the chance to tell him about the Airforum and warned him about the addictive quality of it. He'd obviously been doing his homework and was trying to get as much info as possible.

Got home after dark, emptied the fridge and some of the 40 tons of stuff in the trailer and truck. We somehow managed to stay awake to watch all of SNL and then to bed in our giant house where we can get lost, have to walk a mile to the bathroom and otherwise feel like we have been set loose in a mansion after a month in a tincan.

Today after blissfully sleeping late, we unloaded tons more stuff and winterized. Last winter I forgot to blow out the kitchen sprayer and toilet line with expected results. This year, remembered. Antifreeze now fills traps, some in tanks and toilet to keep seals from drying out and filling the lines. We got everything out of the trailer that can possibly freeze and the Safari is about ready to hibernate. Still some stuff to take out tomorrow. Then change the oil and filter in the Tundra, grease it, check it over and the trip is over.

Already have been thinking about other trips—Alaska next spring, other trip ideas generating—Border trip from Cal. to Texas, Route 66 trip, NY-NE trip, Newfoundland. We ask ourselves how we keep going to Santa Fe—maybe we should move to the area? We can live anywhere, but should stay fairly near Barb's parents. There's an oversupply of houses in Santa Fe, so prices are manageable outside the city. I guess we could fit that in too. Maybe 2010 will have 2,000 days so we can do everything we want to. First, more improvements to the trailer. I'd love to replace the dinette table with a hardwood one. They had some hickory ones for sale cheap at JC, but they were scratched and would be difficult to restore. And there's always more things to personalize the trailer and more things to fix. And more remodeling on the house—for our pleasure or to sell. Maybe a 4,000 day 2010 is necessary. Now to take a shower in our giant shower—maybe I'll put a box in it to simulate a wheelwell just so I feel at home.

Gene
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:01 PM   #336
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Gene,

Glad to see that you're home, safe and sound. Thanks for taking the time to post your adventures on the forum. It was really great meeting you and Barb when you were in our area......wish you could have spent a bit more time. I can't remember having drank Apple Cider before, but I finished off the jug and have now decided that I like it.

I've just about completed planning our Northeastern adventure next year......not that I plan ahead......would you believe that I already have reservations for Prince Edward Island in July?

BTW, turns out that I've been suffering an allergy attack and not the flu....just had to find the right meds.....should have stuck to Jack Daniels!

Happy trails,
Ron
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