Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 15: Blackwell Horse Camp to Marietta, Ohio

Thursday, December 2: I took only one photo yesterday – and that didn’t come out well, so you miss the scenery from Missouri and Illinois. That’s the problem when I know the driving day is going to be too long – I don’t stop for photos I know I’d like, like the St. Louis Arch, the rolling hills of Missouri, the flatness of Illinois farmland. I spent Wednesday night at Blackwell Horse Camp, south of Bloomington, Indiana in Hoosier National Forest – dark, quiet, level, and free. Getting in well after dark, I didn’t do much besides heat some supper, read a bit, and sleep. In the morning, here I was – and there were riders heading out.

The first part of my drive today was through the National Forest and rural Indiana – hilly, and not always paved, but the scenery was worth it. Having missed a turn that wasn’t labeled the way I was expecting, I turned around, stopping in Houston at the old schoolhouse – no, not the Houston in Texas!

I didn’t write down where this amazing mural was:

The sun was setting when I stopped in Waterford, Ohio, about 20 miles from Marietta, where I am visiting friends. It got to be truly spectacular – but by then I was on narrow, winding roads with no place to pull off for photos.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 14: Santa Fe to Ford Lake, Kansas

Monday, November 29: My Roadtrek and my cousins’ Pleasureway said goodbye to each other – and I said goodbye to the family remaining in the house, and I and the Roadtrek headed east and north. My first stop was for fuel in Las Vegas – no, not the one famous for casinos!

Then on across the eastern part of the state, leaving the Rockies (some of which were showing snow) and out onto the high plains.

Then it was on into

And then Kansas – although there was no marking of that state line; for a while there seemed to be equal numbers of license plates from Oklahoma and Kansas, and then they were mostly Kansas. I was back in cotton country, and then back to wind farms.

I ended the evening at Ford State Fishing Lake

just north of Dodge City, Kansas. Kansas State Fishing Lakes are a reason to visit Kansas all on their own – free camping, on water, usually quiet and dark, with level spaces, and the chance to kayak if time permits. Yes, it does say self-pay station – but there isn’t one, and from previous experience, and their web site, I didn’t expect to pay. Although I would have been willing to; this is a great value. I got in too late – it was already dusk, and the sun had set – so I ate dinner, knitted several rows, and went to bed.

Tuesday, November 30: Up before the sun, I went down to the water, taking photos before the sun got above the trees.

Then I got the kayak back in the camper, and drove and drove and drove; it clouded over, and I didn’t make many stops – and they weren’t scenic. I ended in Warrensburg, Missouri, to visit friends. There was a good sunset, but no good place to get its photo.

Roadtrek Roadtrip: Productive Day in Santa Fe

This was a day to get things done. My tasks for the day: get all the good napkins ironed after laundering,

get some knitting done, make a baby blanket for the incipient great grandson,

get some knitting done, start packing, get some knitting done, plot my route for the next couple of days, make the chocolate mousse for dessert. I would have taken a photo of the seven mousses, but it was time to eat, and I didn’t want to delay that! And I would be knitting now, but there are eight people between me and my knitting, watching a sci fi spoof movie (Galaxy Quest); I’d hate to get in the middle of that.

Roadtrek Roadtrip: Shidoni Sculpture Park

Saturday, November 27: Two carloads of us headed off to Shidoni. This compound includes a sculpture park, a gallery, a glass studio and shop, the foundry out back, and an interactive museum (closed today). It’s been years since I’ve been able to wander here – it’s been closed the last couple of times I’ve been to Santa Fe. Outdoors, sculpture is spread over several acres.

Here are some of the sculptures that caught my eye this time:

And then there was this natural sculpture in the tree –

Then it was home for a while, for food and naps and recuperation. In the evening some of us took the long way to pick up pizza – going around downtown to see the lights. The Plaza lights are something you’d see in any over the top decoration, going for density rather than style; what makes the Southwest special is their farolitos (luminaria). These are plastic, now, except when people put the old style paper bag with candle inside ones out on Christmas Eve.

A Day to Give Thanks

Native pottery on the mantlepiece

At least one part of my family has been on this continent for about 400 years. As far as I know, none of the ancestors were documented immigrants, or people indigenous to this land. I have a deep appreciation for the arts and cultures of the  native peoples of this land, and my cousin has a nice collection of local indigenous pottery. I give thanks that my ancestors were tolerated by the people in the east who first lived in this place, and thanks that there is a deep tradition of beautiful pottery in the pueblo communities here.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Santa Fe Entertainment

As more and more of the family gathers, sitting around a jigsaw puzzle is a prime form of entertainment. This Dr. Suess puzzle, by Liberty Puzzles, was the first one completed. Liberty makes beautiful wooden puzzles, with intricate pieces, and a fiendish way of making things challenging! Working puzzles together is a way to carry on conversations with a changing cast of characters, while engaging in an enjoyable task.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 13: Lamesa, Texas to Santa Fe, New Mexico

Saturday, November 20: Having ended yesterday’s post with the moon shortly after it rose, I thought I’d start today’s with the moon shortly before it set, taken in the park in Lamesa where I spent the night. It’s a municipal park, free and only for tourists and transients (that’s me!), with free water and electricity service. It was dark enough (some streetlights, but none shining in my windows), level (where I was; I did see one camper had had to use blocks on one side), mostly quiet (a city street runs through the middle of the park, and was not used much between 11PM and 6AM). I would definitely stay there again.

The first half of my drive today was flat. Flat, flat, flat; straight roads as far as the eye can see, boring, boring – except for the occasional town, or cotton field being harvested.

Then it was in to New Mexico, and the first part of that state was still flat. But the rail tracks run along the road – I saw several trains

and a locomotive that had been left on a siding.

I had just been through the town of Tolar – this sounds like quite a memorable event!

Tumbleweeds would come bouncing across the road, coming to rest at the next available fence. I did see a herd of antelope, but they were photo shy.

Then New Mexico started to develop more visual interest –

I pulled into the cousins’ house in Santa Fe in good time, about 3:20 – having gone into the next time zone, gaining an hour of travel time helped!