Category Archives: On The Road

Traveling in our Coach

~Lake Rita Blanca Park~

Looking out over the dried up portion of Lake Rita Blanca from a trail
Looking out over the dried up portion of Lake Rita Blanca from a trail

Lake Rita Blanca means Little White River. The name comes from the Spanish Sheepherders that inhabited the area in the mid 1800s. Lake Rita Blanca is located near the town of Dalhart, Texas south of Rita Blanca National Grassland. It is located in Hartley County, on the south side of Dalhart.

Howard found this camping spot, which at one time was a Texas State Park. I have tried to find additional information, on the web, about this camping location and all I can find is the statement – call the City of Dalhart for information.

Eight site with full hookups.
Eight sites with full hookups
Another view of our site from the other end of this beautiful park.
Another view of our site from the other end of this beautiful park
We are up the hill
We are up the hill
Howard washing off the coach
Howard washing off the coach

No longer a Texas State Park, now a Dalhart city park. There are eight RV sites, overlooking the lake, with FULL hookups: Electric, Water and Sewer. Howard was a happy camper stating: ‚ÄúSteady, good voltage‚ÄĚ.

Price to stay ~ $15.00 ~ a night! The sites are located in a big gravel lot, which is level. There are utility poles with lights that light up the area at night. Since arriving on Tuesday we have had only one other RV camping here, they stayed one night and left. We are all alone, but not lonely!

We have enjoyed hiking the trails in the park, watching the wildlife in and around the  lake, visiting the downtown area and meeting some of the locals.

Lake Rita Blanca Trailhead
Lake Rita Blanca Trailhead
Lake Rita Blanca trail
Lake Rita Blanca trail
Having fun!
Having fun!
Whoa, beautiful fall colors
Whoa, beautiful fall colors

We were on a hike yesterday and stopped to speak with a lady walking her dog. She mentioned that Hilmar Cheese built a plant here in Dalhart. She told us that Hilmar is responsible for maintaining the beautiful trail we were walking. They did this to please their employees, which they moved from California to Dalhart in 2007 when they opened the plant. We later looked them up on the web and read about Hilmar building a state of the art faciltiy here. We drove to the plant today to see if they had a store and if they gave tours, but they didn’t. They do at their Hilmar, California plant.

Brown Cow
Brown Cow
Hilmar Cheese Plant
Hilmar Cheese Plant, Dalhart, Texas

We quickly learned that if  you want to eat out in Dalhart the best place to do so is at the local grocery store deli. The grocery is named United and I have to say it is a lovely store! Their staff are the most friendly people working in a grocery store I have ever met. The hot food at their deli was excellent! I also purchased some Hilmar, Pepper Jack cheese.

United Supermarket
United Supermarket

After leaving the Hilmar facility we drove through downtown Dalhart, just to experience the local area. The streets downtown are layed red bricks.

Downtown Dalhart
Downtown Dalhart
Dalhart Court House
Dalhart Court House
Memorial to 305th Airdrome Squadron
Memorial to 305th Airdrome Squadron

A little history of Lake Rita Blanca: (taken from the web)

Lake Rita Blanca is located in the High Plains region of the Texas Panhandle. The vegetation is a native, short-grass, prairie plant community. This plant community, blue grama-buffalo grass series, is representative of much of the High Plains region and provides a unique opportunity for education with the local schools and the general public.

Although Lake Rita Blanca no longer has a fishing recreation opportunity, it is the second-most important wintering area in the Texas Panhandle for migratory waterfowl in the central flyway. Each year, thousands of ducks and geese come to Lake Rita Blanca to winter. It is estimated that the number of geese alone generally ranges between 40,000 and 100,000. A large number of neotropical, migratory birds also frequent the park each spring and summer.

In addition, there is a wide variety of wildlife, including scaled quail; bald eagles; mule deer; and swift, gray, and red foxes that make their home in the park.

Recreational opportunities offered at Lake Rita Blanca includes hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, nature walks and educational classes.

Lake Rita Blanca is located just south of the City of Dalhart off of US Highway 385/87 and FM 281.

Lake Rita Blanca
Lake Rita Blanca
A Lone White Pelican
A Lone White Pelican
Lake Rita Blanca at sunset (another view)
Lake Rita Blanca at sunset
Lake Rita Blanca
Lake Rita Blanca (another view)
The Setting Sun beautifully highlight the Reeds
The Setting Sun beautifully highlight the Reeds
Blackbirds enjoy the Reeds
Blackbirds enjoy the Reeds
Last nights setting sun
Setting sun last night

I have some  more photos, which I will post.

Travel Notes:

Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Departed: Capulin, New Mexico

Arrived: Dalhart, Texas

Traveled: 111 miles

Current location: Lake Rita Blanca (Dalhart city park)

Visited: Three nights (third night tonight)

In the morning we head to Copper Breaks State Park.

“Life’s journey continues another day”

~60,000 years ago it erupted~

On Monday, October 28, 2013 we left Colorado City, CO and traveled to Capulin, NM, with plans to stay at Capulin RV Park and visit the Capulin Volcano National Monument. For an interesting story about how a family from OK settled in Capulin, NM visit their web-site at http://www.capulinrvpark.com and read their story.

Like so many people, traveling Hwy 64/87, we for many years drove by this beautiful national park. We are very glad we decided to stay and visit the park. It is a pleasant way to spend a couple of days to include: hiking, birdwatching, picnicking, photo taking and to learn a little history of the area. What a diverse and beautiful country we live in!

Capulin Volcano National Monument is located off of Hwy 325, three miles north of the town of Capulin, NM on U.S. 64 and 87 and 30 miles east of Raton and I-25.

Entering the Volcano National Park
Entering the Volcano National Park
Elevation at Capulin Volcano
Elevation at Capulin Volcano
History of Capulin Volcano
History of Capulin Volcano

The following information was taken from this web-site: http://www.nps.gov/cavo/index.htm

The Mountain Tells Its Story:

Capulin Volcano erupted into existence 60,000 years ago. Capulin’s birth occurred toward the end of a period of regional volcanism that began 9 million years ago.

Capulin, where The Grasslands of the Great Plains and the Forests of the Rocky Mountains meet:

Although Capulin is primarily known for its volcanic geology, the park boasts a rich diversity of plant and animal life. The grasslands of the Great Plains and the forests of the Rocky Mountains combine at Capulin to form a unique ecotone which provides habitat for 73 species of birds in addition to numerous other animals. Mule deer can be found in abundance both at the base of the volcano and on its slopes, while elk, black bears, coyotes, and mountain lions occasionally make appearances within park boundaries.

Cah-poo-leen:

Plants in the area include prairie grasses and wildflowers, pinyon pine, ponderosa pine, and juniper. Legend has it that the volcano was named capulin (cah-poo-LEEN) after the Spanish word for chokecherry. The chokecherry grows throughout the park, along with mountain mahogany, scrub oak, and three-leaf sumac. (I can only imagine how beautiful it must be in the spring.)

You can read the full story, at the Capulin Volcano National Monument web-site:

http://www.nps.gov/cavo/index.htm

Too bad it was a cloudy, overcast day; however it was beautiful anyway!

Looking out across the plains
Looking out across the plains

This is the view once you reach the top of the volcano.

Looking down into the volcano
Looking down into the volcano

Look close in the upper right of the photo and you can see people down at the base.

Volcanic Rocks
Volcanic Rocks

This view is at the base looking up a wall of rock.

Howard taking a shot!
Howard taking a shot!
The Bag Lady and her doggies!
The Bag Lady and her doggies!

Look at the fur on Skye and Kloud to get a feel of just how windy it was at the top, and don’t pay any attention to the lady dressed like a Bag Lady!

My pack
My pack

One of the many picnic areas the park offers, table was sitting off to the right. We are so glad our “girls” love to hike!

The Pack
The Pack

You can see the different types of vegetation in the background. A self-portrait with camera sitting on a picnic table. I had to set the camera and run over for the photo. I guess the girls, both looking in different directions, didn’t want their photo taken.

A beautiful area
A beautiful area

A beautiful area filled with diverse terrain.

Falls Colors
Falls Colors
More fall colors
Volcanic rock everywhere
Sunset
Sunset over the Plains

We left the coach around 5:30pm and headed toward the Monument in hopes of seeing a beautiful sunset. We were not disappointed. views in every direction. At one point we pulled off the road and when I rolled down the window to take some photos, I heard a chorus of moos; their song was extremely loud. Maybe they were admiring the sunset as well.  This is cattle country!

A wonderful way to end a wonderful day!

“The reward is the Journey”

~Gone to the Dogs~

A  few photos, prior to us leaving Colorado

Skye at the Colorado City KOA
Skye at the Colorado City KOA

I wonder what she is intently watching?

 

 

Kloud at the Colorado City KOA
Kloud at the Colorado City KOA

I think Kloud was watching her new friend.

 

 

Skye and Kloud meet a friend.
Skye and Kloud meet a friend.

I don’t know the name of Skye and Kloud’s new friend, but he sure was a photogenic guy!

 

 

Rest Area in Trinidad, Colorado
Rest Area in Trinidad, Colorado

Our last stop in Colorado before heading over Raton Pass.

 

 

Leaving Beautiful, Colorful Colorado
Leaving Beautiful, Colorful Colorado

Colorado flag waving in the breeze

 

“Enjoy your journey¬†wherever you are”

 

~Travel Notes~

Tuesday morning, October 29, 2013

I thought I would write a quick update on what we have been doing and where we are this morning.

We left the KOA in Colorado City, CO yesterday morning around 9:00am after a relaxed breakfast. We pulled into a gas station, just before entering the interstate, to top off our tank. Price was $3.6099 a gallon. If I remember correctly last year when we left, in the middle of October, the price was $4.39.

We drove 111 miles to Capulin, NM and stayed at the Capulin RV Park. This is a one or two night RV park, friendly owners, and just 3 miles from the Capulin Volcano National Monument.

This National Park is well worth a visit!! I took a ton of photos and after downloading them , I will show you what this area looks like.

Currently, we are traveling east on 64 toward Dalhart, TX. Our plan is to stop at Lake Rita Blanco Park (use to be a state park) to see if we can see migrating birds. Our ride today is 100 miles. Tough day.

Sorry no photos, but hopefully tonight I can post some. We took a ride at sunset last night and the setting sun was awesome!

I wish everyone a joyful day!

“Life’s pleasures are all about the Journey”

~Not Too Far, but Far Enough~

The Rambling Rose is on the road again!!

Our back yard for today.
Our back yard for today.

 

Sunday, October 27, 2013, Loveland, Co to Colorado City, Co –¬†Not too far, but far enough!

 

We woke up at 6:00am with the Denver Broncos on our mind. Say what?

Our plans included starting our 2013/2014 winter season today for two reasons:

~First, according to the weather forecasters, old man winter is suppose to pay Loveland a visit on Monday or Tuesday. They are predicting cold temperatures and snow. Time to leave!

~Second, we were just not ready to leave on Saturday.

We wanted to leave Loveland prior to this Canadian Winter Storm hitting our area, so departure day was today. We knew a Broncos game would begin, in Denver, around 2:00pm and we didn’t want to get caught up in the traffic it would generate. So we had no choice, get up early and travel through Denver beating the traffic.

Up at six (way too early for us) and on our way after running through hooking up the tow car, which we hadn’t done since April. Plus, checking all other items like tire pressure, lights, brakes, CB radio and the list goes on. Check, re-check! ¬†Routine kicked in and everything was completed with no problems. So off we went

We breezed through Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, thank goodness for Sunday mornings and people sleeping late. Traffic was minimal. 

¬†We stopped at our Leaving-and-Returning-Home-First-and-Last Stop location –The KOA in Colorado City, CO.

It is a convenient and pleasant place to spend our first night on the road.  Stopping here for one night gives us a chance to relax a bit after a hectic time of getting ready to leave home for six months.

We pulled into the KOA around noon, ate a nice lunch, took a few walks with the doggies, rearranged some things in the coach and just enjoyed the day.

Looking west toward the Wet Mountains
Looking west toward the Wet Mountains
Colorful Colorado
Colorful Colorado
Sunset, October 27, 2013, at Colorado City, CO
Sunset,
October 27, 2013, at Colorado City, CO

In the morning we head to Capulin, NM to visit the Capulin volcano.