Friday, November 18, 2011

Santa Fe To Apache Junction

We made it to Apache Junction last Friday, and the weather has been perfect.  We did run into a little snow in Kansas and New Mexico.

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The temp. dropped below freezing just about every night.

We made a few more stops on the way.  Santa Fe is a town we have always wanted to visit, so this year we put it on our list, so glad we did.

Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United State.  It’s a beautiful town, loved all the adobe buildings.  The old town has so much shopping, Mike almost went nuts.  He really likes to shop, you will find him standing outside waiting patiently for me.


The Museum Of Contempory Native Arts. 

Santa Fe The Catheral of St. Francis Of Assisi        P1080654  P1080661

The Cathedral Basilica Of St. Francis Of Assisi.  The New bronze doors were installed in 1986 on for the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral.  They contain twenty bronze panels depicting scenes or events in the history of the faith in Santa Fe.

P1080665  Cross of the martyrs

When we were done downtown we walked to The Cross Of The Martyrs, which is just about a 15 minute walk.  During the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, 21 Franciscan fries died in a fight between the natives and the Spanish.  A single white cross sits on a terraced hill overlooking Santa Fe to honor those men. 

Every year on our way south we stop to see my sister in Albuquerque, always a nice visit.  Albuquerque is another favorite New Mexico City.  I just love the old town with all the shops. 

Just been hanging out here.  Mike does his 3 mile walk and I go to the pool for 40 min. of water aerobics every morning. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Word From The Blue (Mike)

Monday November 7th 2011

After spending 3 days in Pender NE, we finally got down to business.  The picture is of our tow bar completely rebuilt and ready to go to work.  They replaced the ball swivel, new boots on the slides, and replaced and tightened all the nuts and bolts. I also got another set of locking pins with the same keys as my other set. 


I talked to Mike the service manager about the repairs I did to the base plate.  He promptly chewed me out for not having them do the repairs. 

We went over the repairs done to the tow bar, and asked for the bill, and was told there would be no charge.  Lets see, 3 days full service camping, repair of 3 year old tow bar, and a set of locking pins, no charge.  I sure do like a company that stands behind it’s product, something not seen very often in the RV industry.

Blue Ox will be getting all my future towing business and a big recommendation to anyone that asks.  Thank you Blue Ox. 

We left Pender, NE and have started making our way to AZ, made it as far as Alma NE, and park in Bugbees restaurant for dinner, Sandy had roast beef and I had the last chicken pot pie.  Mine was very good, Sandy's not so much.  We are parked here for the night. 


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wind, Quilts, Craft Show, and Donkeys

Pender NE

Saturday November 5, 2011

Pender NE is home of Blue Ox tow bars, which is what we have on the back of the MH to tow our truck.  Mike has had some issues with the tow bar so we are here to have it worked on.  Blue Ox has a very nice RV park, with full hook-ups, right next to the factory and service department.  Monday morning they will come to the MH and pick up the tow bar.

P1080631  Blue Ox Campgroun Pender NE


The wind gusts are so strong that Mike has to put rocks in his pockets to keep him from blowing away after all the weight he has lost.  Really.  He made me write that.  The wind was so strong last night we went to sleep in Nebraska and woke up in Kansas. 

As we drove thru town we noticed quilts painted on 4x4 or 3x3 foot plywood pieces mounted on post in yards or attached to garages. 

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The barn quilt project was started by a few women from town who took a driving trip through Iowa and saw quilts painted on the side of barns, and thought they could do something similar. The quilts were done for the 125th anniversary of Pender.  They have over 200 quilts in yards in and out of town.

For a small town with a population of about 1100, they have a lot going on.  There was a very nice craft show at the VFW, that we checked out.


Pender is a farming community and seems to be thriving.  We saw very few empty store fronts driving through town. 

We saw this fella across the street from the RV park.  I’m not sure what the difference is between a donkey or a mule, but I think this is a donkey.

Donkey Pender NE

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Our Second Day in West Bend Iowa

We had to walk thru the Grotto one more time before taking off on Friday.


Another shot of the Grotto

RV Park West Bend Iowa

The RV park next to the Grotto.  Just $15.00 a night with electricity.

P1080601         Christmas Chaple in Peter and Paul Catholic Chruch West Bend Iowa

Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church adjoining the Grotto…. The Christmas Chapel in the Church.


The alter and stained glass windows. 

Friday afternoon we are off to Pender NE to have some work done our Blue Ox tow bar.  Mike has an appointment set up on Monday morning. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On The Road Again

After spending the summer at the lake in northern MN, and a few weeks visiting family and friends, we are headed to AZ.

We will be stopping to do some tourist stuff on our way.  Our first stop is the Grotto of Redemption, located in West Bend Iowa. It is a collection of nine grottos depicting scenes from the life of Jesus. Made of of rocks and minerals, this grotto was built by Father Paul Dobberstein and took 42 years to complete. Believed to be the largest grotto in the world, it is also the world's most comprehensive man-made collection of rocks and minerals.

Father Paul Dobberstein was a German Immigrant ordained in 1897.  He became ill and promised to build a shrine to the Virgin Mary if she interceded for him.  After his recovery he started stock piling rocks and precious stones from around the world. Construction of the Grotto begun in 1912.



The Main Entrance to the Grott0

We are spending the night in the campground adjoined to the Grotto.  Not sure what our next stop will be, but Mike always seems to find new places to visit.