The long term journey is the one of retirement. After attending a wonderful retirement ceremony with our good friends at the OSBI (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations), Jo and I found ourselves having the luxury of not having to get up early any more. At least for the time being. Only time will tell how bored we get or how much we might still need some form of income other than what our retirement benefits provide us.
Our short term journey began on July the 5th, after spending the evening of the Independence Day with our sons and grandchildren. Our journey took us 9 days to complete a distance of 750 miles from Oklahoma City to our new home site near Colorado Springs. Thus, this posting is to document that trip.
The first leg of our journey saw us travel a total distance of 119 miles from our site in the mobile home park to Elk City, Oklahoma. It was there that we were the guests, and customers, of Alicia and Slade Tennery, owners of Rolling Retreats, a dealership for the DRV Suites models of fifth wheel trailers. While we were there, we had some work done on out trailer, and as usual, the service was excellent and our friends made it an enjoyable experience.
However, in spite of that, the “campsite” just didn’t have that “It-factor” of being a campsite one would want to stay in for some time. As you can see, there’s not a tree in sight.
After a few days at Elk City with our dear friends and some work on the trailer, we headed off on July 9 and drove the 156 miles to the Oasis RV Park on the west side of Amarillo, Texas. I wanted to have just a little bit of time in that area to go down to Palo Duro Canyon, which is located east of Canyon, Texas. As you can see by the photo below, Oasis RV Park also lacks in having the “It-factor.”
We spent the better part of July the 10th going to and taking photographs in Palo Duro Canyon. A few of those are below. Palo Duro Canyon is a nice place to visit, but don’t do it in hot weather in July. It is actually hotter down in the canyon than it is up on top.
An interesting thing about Palo Duro Canyon is that during your approach to the state park, you start out driving though really flat country that turns to slightly rolling hills, just before seeing the beginnings of the big hole in the ground on the right. Also, Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States.
While I took a number of pictures at Palo Duro Canyon of a Kite soaring above the canyon, the only good pictures I got of wildlife was of a lizard and a wild turkey that “almost” got away from me.
Jo and I would have liked to done more in the canyon, but with the temperatures being as hot as they were and very little wind, we elected to stay safe and not venture very far from the pickup.
On the 12th of July, we left Amarillo and headed north to Guymon, Oklahoma on a 131 mile trip for our next leg of travel. We had initially planned to spend a bit of time near where Jo was raised by going to Elkhart, Kansas. However, again because of the heat and the fact we would be outside quite a bit there, we just stayed in Guymon at the Corral RV Park for a couple of nights.
Even though there was a drive-in theater (also called the Corral), this place also didn’t have the “It-factor,” in spite of have at least a few trees. And, something new I learned is that instead of speaker boxes to put in the car window at this drive-in theater, one just tunes to a specific FM radio frequency to get the audio portion of the movie.
We did enjoy spending time with a dear friend at Guymon who is one of the OSBI agents there. While I’m not sure I should name him here, those in the OSBI will know who he is. He is one of the VERY FEW men that I will allow to hug my wife in my presence. (Maybe it’s because he carries a firearm?) We had a great time eating dinner with him and spending some time visiting.
On July 13, we headed out from Guymon to go to our next stop, which was an overnight stop at the Raton Pass Camp and Café at the summit of Raton Pass. We weren’t scheduled to check into our new home at Mountaindale Cabins and RV Resort until July 14th, so we at least wanted to stay overnight on Sunday where we could at least see some mountainous scenery.
At 207 miles from Guymon to Raton Pass, it was the longest leg of our short term journey. Since Jo has to drive the Ford F150 while I tow the fifth wheel with our Ford F450, she certainly didn’t want to do any long trips as we’ve done in the past when we were in one vehicle and towing a trailer. On those earlier trips, I wanted to get to the mountains as quickly as we could, even if it was an all-nighter as far as driving was concerned.
We arrived early in the afternoon and had the opportunity to take some pictures before having supper in the café at the RV Park. While it still wasn’t a place with the “It-factor,” at least we had more trees, some nice views, and the sound of hummingbirds in our ears. The café smokes their own meat and we had a delicious meal of brisket with a choice of sides.
Then on July 14, we left Raton Pass Camp around 9:00 am or so and headed for Mountaindale Cabins and RV Resort. The last leg of our short term journey was 144 miles, so on the last day of travel, it was a much shorter trip than the day before.
We arrived at Mountaindale and found that our reserved site still had someone else’s trailer in it. A call from the staff at Mountaindale to the people that had our site found out that they were out for the day and that they would have to move the next morning. They “claimed” that no one had told them when to leave, but the park owner assured us that they knew, because it was on their “rental agreement.”
After checking numerous sites for a vacancy and finding RV’s in some of them, we were assigned a site for overnight. I’ll show pictures of both our temporary site and our permanent site so you, the reader, can see how nice these sites are. Mountaindale’s sites are all pretty much landscaped the same with rock walls and shrubbery around in abundance. So, first of all, this is site number 16.
The next morning, July 15, we got up and found that our site was empty, so we moved to the rear of the campground where it is located. It is a very large lot with room for both the Ford F450, the Ford F150, and the Mobile Suites trailer, and it still has a large “back yard” with room for a picnic table, our grill and a fire ring.
Mountaindale Cabins and RV Resort is going to be a fantastic place to live. The owner, the office staff, and all the other workers around are all friendly and nice. One worker has even been informing me where to find the wild turkeys.
We are also blessed with being in a park where the deer visit pretty regularly. Residents are putting out buckets or bowls or any other container with water so that the deer have a place to drink. Hummingbird feeders are all around and it is a joy to again get to watch their antics. So far, I’ve only heard of one bear coming to the park to try to get into the dumpsters.
In addition to all of that, the Beaver Creek Wildlife area and Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area are all close and to the south of Mountaindale. Those areas are claimed to have one of the highest concentrations of mountain lions in the state of Colorado.
Needless to say, with so much wildlife around, about anytime that I go outside, there is a camera around my neck. Check out these visitors, the first of which was right at the rear of our site in 58-A.
As a note to long-time readers of my blog, which has suffered greatly the last couple of years, many posts in the future will be done so that I can also share experiences and images of things we are doing with former co-workers, members of the Lakehoma Church of Christ in Mustang, Oklahoma (great place to worship, by the way), and a few other select “really good friends.”
I hope this post, even as long as it was, is one that all will enjoy. I should also point out for the benefit of family and friends, even if you don’t have an RV, Mountaindale does have cabins, so anyone wishing to visit us might even get us to serve as tour guides for the Colorado Springs area. If such would be in your plans, just be sure and book one in advance, because this is a very popular place. I would add that the off-season rates go into effect in October, which might just be a good time to see Autumn colors in the trees.