We continue our annual road trips by picking up our car in San Diego, then driving along the southern-most routes into Texas….except it’s about 114F in the Salton Sea/Indio California valleys so we head north into northern Arizona and camp at Prescott. I wouldn’t complain if this was Farenheit but this is Celsius!

So we drive northward to the Grand Canyon and experience a fabulous two days of lightening storms.

What an exhilarating experience to wake up to the huge canyon walls on each side of your campsight….

In Grand Canyon we correct our displays with updated posters and work eastward through the Hopi and Navajo Reservations stopping at the Hubble Trading post and also Ganado

and

This rug will fetch about $6000 when completed–this Navajo weaver has already spent about 4 months on this one and this does not count the making of the yarn.

Leaving Ganado, we stop by the Tomahawk Bar, but just for a photograph:

It’s on into New Mexico to Santa Fe where we set up a basecamp with a friend and then head back up to Bandelier National Monument. This is a very unique place for a many reasons; not the least, it’s completely designed and built by the CCC.

The Ancestral Puebloan (the current PC term replacing Anasazi) dwellings have decomposed leaving holes in the canyon walls–you can visualize the various levels of living areas complete with inlaid artwork on the back wall here:

Seven hundred years later, the CCC built a very elegant, functional and simple fireplace.

They made everything from furniture to the perforated tin lamps:

We stop for lunch here–delicious bread right out of the oven. They measure the temperature by throwning a corn husk–if it blackens, it’s probably over 400F. If it browns and holds some color, it’s 350F….just right. With butter and honey, of course!

Leaving Santa Fe, we meander through the rest of South Central New Mexico stopping for a look at the balloon festival in Albuquerque–this is the mass ascension. I heard there were over 400 balloons and about 100,000 people here and it’s 7am!

This is the Lady’s Club building in Carrizozo, NM also built by the CCC in 1939. The town is now a beautiful arts community with many restored buildings:

And….

We skip Roswell but visit White Sands National Monument, another CCC rich park:

Here Martina and I enjoy the sunset with fellow campers–note our cellophane ‘fireplace’ in the foreground….which didn’t deter this visitor who walked under our chairs moments later:

This is their mating season and they are everywhere. We close the window screens that evening and shake out the bedding before turning in.

A must stop….then….

….we cross into Texas and are greeted by this vista for miles and miles and miles…..

Albany Texas tries to recruit us to live there–here’s the gas station:

and we almost accept!

Arriving in Mineral Springs, we discover this old hotel which was built in 1899 and featured mineral baths. FDR visited here often. Today, it lies empty and in complete disrepair.

Well, it’s time to ride off into the sunset. Stay tuned….

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