About Me

My photo
Welcome to the travels of Doug and Nada. We love the Lord and are traveling full-time in our motorhome with our German Shepherd, Homer. Homer is the star attraction wherever we stop and he gets us talking and sharing with many people. DON'T FORGET: YOU CAN ENLARGE EACH PHOTO BY CLICKING ON THE PHOTO! The newest blog post is at the top and they go back in time as you scroll down. If you want to see each photo larger, you can just click on the photo and it will enlarge. If you decide to leave a comment, don't forget to sign it so we know who left it. ;-) Folks: This site is under continual construction as we travel and see this beautiful country. Check back for more updates and photos. Thanks for visiting with us! May God bless your day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

October 2008 - Mighty Colorado

We just had to include a few photos of the "mighty" Colorado River! These photos are in Ehrenberg, AZ.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

October 2008 - Hoover Dam

Another revisit! From the Grand Canyon, we traveled to Las Vegas where we stayed for several days. We paid a second visit to the Hoover Dam and we were surprised at how the area had changed since 1998. Henderson, NV has grown to meet Las Vegas. What used to be 10 miles of open desert is now condos, stores, and homes. We visited with Ginger's brother and his wife, Rick and Gail. They showed us around Las Vegas and told us stories of living there as Christians and as a businessman who has put shutters on the homes of many of the stars. We went to Hoover Dam and couldn't believe the change there. They are building a bridge just downstream from the dam which you can see on several of these photos. Soon, you will no longer drive over the dam - a safety precaution since 911. Remember the washer/dryer problem we had back in Colorado? Well, the temporary fix from Colorado stopped working so while we did some sightseeing, we had a new washer/dryer in the motorhome. A humorous sidelight about this is we have been getting some campgrounds which unknown to us making the reservation ahead of time were located close to a noisy highway or train tracks. We have discovered the trains run all night sounding their horns for the cross streets. (In Las Cruces, we noted the trains ran every 20 minutes 24/7) So when I called to make our Las Vegas reservation, I asked each campground: ""Are you next to a noisy highway or train tracks?" The answer to those question at our Las Vegas campground was "No" so I made the reservation. As we pulled into our campground site Monday evening, two huge fighter jets went over so low that we could read the numbers on the underside of the wings. Turns out we camped one mile from Nellis AF Base which is home of the Top Gun Training School and also the home base for the Thunderbirds. We feel like we are back home only these planes are a LOT louder than the A-10s that went over our house to do their practice bombing runs at Indiantown Gap. Yesterday, 4 of the F-16s took off together in formation. Now that was really a noise! Now I'll have 3 questions for campgrounds: Are you near a noisy highway, train tracks, or an airport/airbase? Anyway, here is a photo of one of the planes going over and some photos of Hoover Dam. Hope you enjoy.
Doug and Nada

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 2008 - Grand Canyon

Nada wanted to go back to the Grand Canyon in the worse way and go the whole way to the western edge of the park and also to the north rim. Well, we did go back to the Grand Canyon (because the weather warmed up) but we still haven't been to the North Rim or to Hermit's Rest!
The North Rim was closed for the winter and it had snow - it is 1000 feet higher in elevation that the South Rim. The road from Bright Angel Lodge west to Hermit's Rest was closed as they were putting in a new road bed. So I guess we will need to have another trip to the Grand Canyon in our future! One thing we did do that was out of this world was take the hour long helicopter ride over and down into the canyon. We can't say how much we enjoyed this! It was one of those thing we thought MIGHT be worthwhile but we weren't sure if it really would measure up to our expectations. One has no idea how huge the canyon is, how far it stretches, and how deep it is. We flew the quietest helicopter there is. We flew at 90 MPH and it seemed like we were standing still. They do not fly in the areas of the south and north rim. You fly east to what is called the Marble Canyon section of the Grand Canyon and that is where you dip down into the canyon. We saw where the Little Colorado River joins the Colorado River. It took me back to 1869 and I could almost see John Wesley Powell climbing the walls of the canyon here at the confluence in search of game animals since they had lost most of their provisions in some previous rapids.

In the last photo, we had the joy of seeing Bright Angel Trail where Doug and Josh had hiked part way down into the Canyon back in '02 and our friends Mary Ann, Nate, and Miriam Eagleson had camped last year. Indian Gardens is the lush green area you see about the middle of the photo. I also had to check to see if a favorite Bible verse is still on the wall of Lookout Studio and take another photo of it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 2008 - The Wild West... Tombstone, AZ

We traveled back in time as we went to Tombstone, AZ - "the town too tough to die." There we saw a re-enactment of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday's shootout with the "cowboys" (the old west term for those who did not obey the law). We ate lunch at Big Nose Kate's Saloon where customers were encouraged to "dress for dinner." That is Doug, with two guys from Germany, who are dressed and ready for their dinner!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 2008 - New Mexico

As I said in the last post, we had run out of USA in our search for warm weather. We decided to stay a few days in Las Cruces, NM to see what the weather was going to do and also to sightsee at White Sands near Alamagordo, NM. Las Cruces was warm and sunny and we were relishing the warm weather. We drove to White Sands and visited a pistachio orchard just north of Alamagordo. Boy were those nuts good! And we had the best pistachio homemade ice cream we have ever had! On Monday we made it down to Las Cruces, NM where we camped for the last two nights. We took a day trip over to White Sands National Monument and Alamagordo, NM. Didn't see any stealth fighters on this trip, though. This is where they are based and fly their missions from. We had gone through that area back in 2003 but had not taken the time to stop and see it. In Alamagordo we went to a pistachio grove and had the most delicious pistachio ice cream! Then went to White Sands and had fun playing on the dunes and watching children sledding on the dunes with saucer sleds. White Sands is the only gypsum and field in the US and is the largest in the world. Gypsum sand does not get warm like beach sand so even though the sun was intense and it was near 80 degrees, the sand was cool to our feet. Homer had such fun. He thought it was snow and tried to roll and eat it for water content - found out it wasn't what he thought! He had so much fun running and digging in it. The Ranger was laughing at him and said " No problem! What he digs up the wind will move and cover over 15 minutes after he leaves." The dunes move about 30 feet a year and it is a sort of self perpetuating situation. Since there is no drainage from the Tularosa basin, the minerals are dissolved by the rain water in the mountains and come down to the bottom of the basin where the water evaporates and leaves the crystals behind. The wind blows them and they scratch each other to form the white particles of sand as they tumble. About 1/4 of the sand field is in the national monument. The rest is part of the White Sands Missile Range - site of the first atomic bomb test, the Trinity Site, and home to most of the US missile testing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

After leaving Rapid City due to the weather report, we crossed the southeastern corner of Wyoming and stayed the night at a working buffalo ranch - quite an interesting place. The weather was following us so we stayed on the moved through the Denver area. We stopped in Colorado Springs, CO - locals call it "The Springs." While our washer/dryer was being fixed in the motorhome, we (Doug, Nada, & Homer) went sightseeing. First was to the Air Force Academy. The first photo is looking south over the AF Academy grounds. The second photo is of Pikes Peak from the southern edge of the Academy. I (Nada) have been to the AF Academy twice in my life and both times I have been blessed to hear beautiful choirs. In 1969, the cadet choir was practicing when I visited with my parents on a family vacation. This time it was a choir from the Ukraine which was sightseeing while on tour in the US. They were actually on their way to Lancaster, PA where they would be giving a concert! We especially enjoyed seeing the airplane models that Opa, Doug's dad, flew in WWII. We also visited Focus on the Family's headquarters where we ate lunch at Whit's End. Oh no.... we listened to the weather report and guess what they are predicting for the Springs!!!! You guessed it... SNOW! So we headed further south stopping in Santa Fe, NM because of violent winds and thunderstorms. These big motorhomes aren't the easiest thing to drive in the wind! We then continued on south through Albuquerque (where they delayed the annual balloon festival because of the weather) to stop in Las Cruces. We had run out of USA in our search for warm weather!

October 2008 - South Dakota

We spent several days in the Black Hills outside Rapid City, SD. Part of the time was fun and part was taking care of details. We first took care of the details: declared our residency there, got our SD licenses, and voted early in the Presidential election. Then we had some fun. We visited Mt. Rushmore again... This time we stayed until after dark and were thrilled with the view. I always loved the daytime photo Miriam Eagleson took of Washington's profile when we all visited this area back in 2002. This visit, I was able to get the same view at night.

Our plan was to spend a few days in Rapid City and then keep heading west from Rapid City and visit some of the other places (Devils Tower, Yellowstone, Tetons, and Utah) we had visited in 2002, but God had a different plan in mind. The weather report was for S N O W – a four-letter word in our vocabulary. They were calling for over a foot of snow through out Wyoming and Utah so we changed our plans. We left Rapid City and headed south.

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 2008 - South Dakota

Driving across South Dakota was made more interesting by a stop at a huge Cabelas store. Mile after mile of prairie. Such wide-open spaces.
We stopped in Wall at Wall Drug. They have a really interesting story how the business was started. You can read about it at: http://www.walldrug.com/t-history.aspx. We had been here before, but needed to see it again.

We also toured the Badlands again - even had someone take our photo in the same spot where we did a photo with Josh back in 2002. In the fourth photo, look closely at the top of the highest point and you will see two folks who hiked to the top. The badlands is one national park where you don't have to stay on the walkways. In fact, they encourage you to explore. Next up is the Black Hills and Rapid City!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 08 - Heading West

We left Virginia on October 2nd and headed west. We traveled late into the night for two days just stopping at two Walmarts to catch some sleep. We stopped outside Des Moines, IA to eat a delicious lunch and visit with some homeschool leaders, Kerry and Kristi Northway, who we have not seen for two years. We sure enjoyed their fellowship and delicious food! Then it was back on the road again. We made it just over the border into South Dakota where we stopped at a real live campground.

No photos of this area of our trip as we were on a mission: Get as far west as fast as we could! Besides all there was to see was corn and soy beans being harvested by huge harvesters.