A day trip to Vogel Canyon

For one of our outings while in the La Junta area we decided to check out the hiking trails in the Vogel Canyon area that was located just a short 20 mile drive away from our campground.

 First off the Vogel Canyon Recreation Area has 4 different hiking trails that are accessible from the main parking lot.

 The Canyon Trail is a 1.75 mile round trip trail that is rated easy to moderate, The Overlook Trail that is a 1 mile round trip trail that is very easy and is handicap accessible, The Mesa Trail that is 2.25 miles and is rated moderate and the Prairie Trail that is a 3 mile round trip trail.

And away we go!!

Trails are pretty well marked

 We sort of mixed and matched the trails as we went along but we started on the Canyon Trail and took it to the end and on the way back something caught our attention and the next thing we knew we were on the Overlook Trail and then the Mesa Trail LOL!! Can you say SQUIRREL!!

 The canyon consists mainly of sandstone and is spattered with pinon pine and shortgrass prairie. It was carved out by a tributary of the Purgatoire River and has three permanent springs located at the bottom of the canyon. And the sandstone walls of the canyon have some Native American rock art dating from the 1200s to the 1700s and there are a number of spurs from the main trail that lead over to the canyon walls so you can check them out.

Why do people feel the need to deface things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For us the Canyon Trail was our favorite part of the day and is where we finally ran across one of those darn Tarantula’s that were supposed to be migrating through the area. Actually it turned out to be the ONLY one we saw LOL!!!

OH, I know it went in that hole!!

And there it is!! It just came out of it’s hole.

During the 1870s a spur of the Santa Fe Trail was developed by the Barlow and Sanderson Mail and Stage Line, and we came across a section of this trail on our hike.

You can see the old wagon trail taking off to the left.

 We also came across the old ruins of the Westbrook settlement from the 1930’s. I couldn’t find any real information about the settlement but they sure had a nice spot with some nice views and I bet it was much nicer when the river was flowing through.

 The Overlook Trail even though basically just a gravel path was sort of fun to walk at the end of our day because it allowed us to look out over the canyon and reflect on where we had hiked earlier down below.

Taken from the Overlook Trail.

 We didn’t do any of the Prairie Trail, I’m sure there might have been something interesting to find but when we looked out over where it ran we just saw a narrow single track trail going out through the flat prairie land and it just didn’t call our names.

 All in all another nice day, we didn’t see another soul during our outing which was perfect with the COVID crap going on.

 Be sure to come back and check out our next outing which I think we both agree was our favorite outing while in the La Junta area.

A little funny, we had someone say that because we opt to wear masks and avoid larger crowds that we are sheep and are isolating ourselves. Well if I look back on the things we have done with hikes in different parts of the country (and so many that we have not even blogged about yet) and seeing friends (again so many that we have not even blogged about yet) since the COVID thing started all we have to say is that if this is being a sheep and being isolated,,, we’ll take it!! BAhhhhh. Is that how you spell a sheep sound LOL!!! 

 

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Travel day to La Junta Colorado

 The time finally came around that we needed to lift our jacks and roll away from the Oakley area and continue our trek towards Creede Colorado where we planned to attend a New Horizons rally, BUT we had a little extra time to kill so another stop between here and there was in order.

 We hit the road at about our normal 9am and headed Southwest on HWY 40 until we reached Kit Carson where we headed south on HWY 287 for a bit and then Southwest on HWY 96 to Ordway. At Ordway we headed south on 71 and then back east a few miles until we reached La Junta KOA Journey in La Junta Colorado.

 The day turned out to be roughly 210 miles of pretty good and sometimes not so good 2 lane highway out through some pretty boring country for the most part.

 We are not normally fans of KOA’s and if we hadn’t been lucky enough to get what was probably the best site in the entire park I’m sure we would have felt that way about this KOA as well. But as luck (and paying extra) would have it our site turned out to be very nice. With that said we would have had a hard time getting into 90% of the sites in the park. But we won’t worry about what if’s LOL!!

 So where the heck is La Junta Colorado and why and the world did we end up here you might ask? I know I did but Diane picked this stop so I had to ask her and you know what her answer turned out to be? She said something like this ((I don’t know where La Junta is except it is on our route or at least CAN be on our route to Creede AND there is a Tarantula migration due to go right through the area!!)) WHAT THE!!!! A TARANTULA MIGRATION!!! Hmm, this just might be the last time I let her pick our stops LOL!!!

 Ok, other than being known for big ass spider migrations La Junta sits at an elevation of 4081ft and is located in southeastern Colorado on the banks of the Arkansas River about 60 miles east of Pueblo in what is primarily shortgrass country and is actually the county seat of Otero County, La Junta has for more than a hundred years formed a junction for commercial, agricultural, and ranching ventures. Before that La Junta was the junction where the Santa Fe Trail branched south to New Mexico, while a lesser route continued west to Pueblo and beyond. The Santa Fe Trail was one of the nation’s first great trade routes.

La Junta (Spanish for “the junction”) was named for the fact it rested at the intersection of the Santa Fe Trail and a pioneer road to Pueblo and now has a population of around 7000 people.

 Once we rolled into town and took our normal driving tour my first impression was that Diane led us here to do nothing more than see some big ass scary spiders!!! More on spiders to come in a later update.

 Ok, to be totally upfront we did find a couple really cool things to do in the area but I think for now we will call this update complete, maybe you will come back and check out what neat things we found in the area.

 Stay safe and be well!  

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A visit to the Prairie Museum

 One of our last outings during our stay in Oakley was a short drive west to the town of Colby where we toured the Prairie Museum. Once we arrived we paid our admission of $6 each (the old fart fee) and started our tour.

The Thomas County Historical Society was organized in 1959 as a non-profit educational organization to collect photographs, artifacts and histories of the region. When they received the Kuska Collection in 1975 they opened the Thomas County Museum just one year later.

 In 1988, the Society closed the Thomas County Museum in downtown Colby and opened the Prairie Museum of Art & History in a new 21,500 sq. ft. museum building, 1/4 mile north of I-70 between exits 53 & 54. Over the next few years, the Cooper Barn, Eller House, Nicol School, Lone Star Church, Vacin Barn and the sod house were added to the 24-acre site.

 Because it was going to be a hot day we decided to tour the outside displays first and then the inside displays where we could take advantage of the air conditioning.

 As we exited the back door the first thing we came across was the Eller House that was filled with typical furniture, clothing and oddball item that you would have found during the 1930s.

 

 

 

 

Diane, you are always peaking in windows!!

 

 

 

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In the back yard was a wooden blade windmill called “umbrella” or “morning glory”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also in the back yard was a 3 hole outhouse, no farm is complete without a outhouse and this one was a 3 hole outhouse!! We only had a single hole when I was growing up. Yes, I grew up using a outhouse. Diane was not lucky enough to have that creature comfort LOL!!

This is a nice outhouse.

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Then there was the one-room Nicol School building that represents the 94 one-room rural schools that once dotted the landscape in Thomas County.

And then there was a sod house that’s shows how the homesteaders used materials at hand to construct their homes on the treeless plains. The late 19th century dwelling exhibits furniture, clothing and other artifacts of pioneer life on the prairie. Volunteers constructed this particular sod house on site in 1984.

This is the outside of the door. Pull the rope and it would release the latch inside.

At night they would pull the cord through the hole so the latch could not be opened from the outside at night.

 Of course no community is complete without a church. This charming white country church was built in 1915 about 13 miles north of Gem, Kansas. Its life as a church is by no means over. Here at the museum site the little country church has hosted Easter sunrise services for the Colby Presbyterian congregation, as well as being used as the location for several weddings.

They said to try and ring the bell. LOL, not that easy.

They said to try and ring the bell. LOL, not that easy.

Looks like we were the only people attending that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There was a sign inside the church that said it was ok to pull the rope and ring the bell but I think they had a camera focused on it so they could get some laughs watching people try because we both literally hung off that rope and didn’t get as much as a ding LOL!!

 And then the Cooper Barn. This barn is the largest barn in Kansas, measuring 66′ wide, 114′ long and 48′ high and holds a wealth of Thomas County history. Over 100 years of agriculture history, artifacts and photos are displayed within the massive barn.

We could SO live in that barn!

 It was moved in one piece (YES one piece) to the site in 1992. Each summer many weddings are hosted in this gorgeous barn. In 2008, the Cooper Barn was voted one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas Architecture. In 2015, visitors and fans voted the Prairie Museum of Art & History and the Cooper Barn as one of 70 don`t-miss Kansas Bucket List experiences.

What a great loft!

Ventilation shaft

 There was also some old rust lined up outside the barn, and you know I can’t resist some good rust LOL!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By this time we had pretty much explored everything there was to see outside and the temps were getting up there so we decided it was time to head inside to see what they had to offer.

 Now let us tell you, from the outside we had NO IDEA the inside displays were as massive as there are. When we started walking and would come near what looked to be a dark hallway the lights would automatically turn on and open up an entire new section to see. Then at the end of that hallway another light would pop on and lead us farther in and then another and another!! It made me laugh and I was so amazed that I actually went back to the beginning, waited for all the lights to turn off and then tried to video the chain of events but it didn’t turn out unfortunately.

 There is no way we could have taken the time needed to see everything they had but there was  collections of furniture, ceramics, toys, dolls, stamps, clocks, coins, silver, jewelry, and tons of other things.

 For example this collection of school uniforms, jerseys, costumes, jackets, cheerleader outfits, souvenirs, yearbooks and other Colby High School artifacts.

 And this impressive exhibit of over 1,000 pieces of glass that includes Bohemian and Venetian art glass and pieces by Steuben, Gallé, and Tiffany. (I looked some of these things up and whew)

 

 

 

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There was also a collection honoring those who serve by displaying uniforms from several branches of the military from WWI thru Iraq 2. Equipment, photos and other memorabilia are also shown.

And toys, holy cow there were more toys displayed than I could even begin to take enough pictures of to do it justice. The centerpiece of the 1,000 plus toy collection was an operational Lionel train and a vintage coin operated horse. The toys range from the 19th century to the 21st century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there were well over 1000 dolls from all over the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, well I guess you get the idea by know, this place was huge and we spent a good chunk of the day checking it all out.

There are days I feel like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Once we finished we searched out a good spot to eat, and a late lunch / early dinner and made our way home. Another great find and one we would recommend if you find yourself in the area.

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A visit to Lake Scott State Park and the Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park

 HEY, you came back!! So we assume you were curious on what we found around Oakley to do. OK then we’ll tell you.

 One day we headed out for a road trip that first took us to the Lake Scott State Park that was a 40 mile drive dead south from our campground to have a look see.

The 1,020-acre park surrounds the 100-acre, spring-fed Scott State Fishing Lake, and a 160-acre wildlife area lies west of the park and as soon as we drove in the gate we got a view of these critters.

 

The park is supposed to be one of the most historic locations in Kansas with more than 26 archeological sites that have been documented in and near to the park. The remains of the northernmost known Native American pueblo – El Cuartelejo, a National Historic Landmark, is located in the park.

 And the Steele home, the dwelling of the original settlers on the area, has been preserved much as it was 100 years ago.

 And we rad that about 1 mile south of the park is Battle Canyon, the location of the last Native American battle in Kansas but we didn’t visit it.

From driving through the park looked to be a good spot for camping if you like boating, swimming and fishing and there are a couple hiking trails but we didn’t check them out.

 After the State Park we were of to our next destination, The Little Jerusalem Badlands that were just 10 miles away from the park if you opted to take the gravel road route, which we did. It was only 17 miles if you would rather stay on pavement.

Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park actually pretty new is as far as being a State Park and was established by the Kansas Legislature in 2018 and the 332-acre park encompasses 220 acres of badlands.

The main showcase in the park is a mile-long stretch of 100-foot-tall spires and cliffs of eroded Niobrara Chalk, a layer of rock deposited about 85 million years ago.

 Niobrara Chalk was formed by sediment that settled at the bottom of an inland ocean called the Western Interior Seaway which covered most of central North America roughly 70 to 140 million years ago. The sediment became compressed over time, and the seaway floor was lifted by the same tectonic shifting that formed the Rocky Mountains.

 There is a designated and well-marked trail that winds through the 1 mile stretch of badlands and at the end you need to turn around and return on the same trail. By the time we got there after visiting Lake Scott State Park it was mid-day and getting pretty darn warm and there is absolutely no shade so plan accordingly. We are pretty sure that we saw some buzzards circling over us that were betting on our not making it back to the car LOL!! But it did seem like a long 2 miles in the heat.

 It’s pretty baron “but is IS called the badlands after all” but if you keep your eyes open there are a few interesting plants along the way and a few insects to keep you occupied as you stroll along.

 After we finished at the Badlands we were pretty much spent so we turned the AC on high and made our way home and pretty much called it a day.

 Be sure to come on back because we were not finished exploring in the area just yet.

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Another Oakley Kansas stop

 In our last update we mentioned that the New Horizons Ambassador’s Rally had come to an end and it was time to make another move, so Sunday morning we rolled away and drove 220 miles west and landed at the High Plains RV Park in Oakley. Yup, you have heard us talk about that spot 2 or 3 times in the past.

 It seems that every time we are headed to New Horizons, Oakley is a good stopping point to allow for an easy and short travel day before rolling in. And it seems every time we leave New Horizons Oakley is a good stopping point before jumping to the backroads that we like to travel when continuing west. Of course raveling from or to the east is an entirely different story.

 Normally our stopover in Oakley is just one or two nights but this time because we didn’t really have any plans until the New Horizons Owners Rally in Creede Colorado which we planned to roll into on September 3rd we had some time to kill so we decided why not hang around for a few extra days and check out the area more thoroughly.

AND to sweeten the pot for our stay our friends and fellow New Horizon owners Skip & Gayle planned to stop in for a night before moving on to their next destination between now and the Creede rally. In fact they rolled into the campground just an hour or so after we did. Life is good!!

 Unfortunately a night didn’t leave much time to really do anything other than get together and dive into the next little town up the road and have dinner and head back to the campground where we visited well into the evening before calling it a day.

 Then the next morning we said our “see ya down the road’s” they lifted jacks and were gone like the wind. Well ok a light breeze because they don’t move very fast in the mornings LOL!!! But we would be seeing them again in just a few short weeks at the rally.

 And just like that we were all alone. But don’t feel sorry for us because we had a couple things to check out during our stay that turned out to be pretty interesting. BUT, you will need to come back to see what they were.  

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A visit to the Seelye Mansion and the Brookville Hotel

In our last update we mentioned that New Horizons had another outing planned so let’s talk about that a bit.

 After a day of meetings we all scurried off to our homes and got ready for a late afternoon tour at the Seelye Mansion in Abilene which was a 25 mile drive west of the New Horizon factory.

 New Horizons had booked the entire place for our tour and it was very very interesting.

The 25 room Seelye Mansion was built in 1905 for Dr. A. B. Seelye who made his fortune in patent medicine with the A.B. Seelye Medical Company

When he played you should have seen his feet dancing on those pedals.
The guy at the piano owns the house and actually lives in it.

Most of the home’s furnishings were purchased at the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair

 Dr. Seelye’s daughters, Helen and Marion, were little girls when the home was built. They never married and lived in the home into their 90s leaving almost everything right where their mother had placed it. The current owner purchased the mansion in 1981 while they were still alive and shared the Seelye Mansion with them for several years.

A OLD Nutcracker assortment.
Some people find old dolls creepy.

The electrical fixtures & appliances and most of the furniture & decorations are still original. Other items are only 80 years old, added when Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled the Seelye Mansion’s interior in the 1920s. Even the wiring and light switches are original.

Although no longer used, the Seelye mansion has 70 original Edison light bulbs and some are still functional.   

 There were a number old Edison music machines that fill the house.

 And check out this old iron and how they rigged it to be screwed into a fuse socket for power, I love it!!! And I love the rest of the old irons they ad sitting around.

Check out he cord how it has a screw in fuse at the end.

And holy cow the old lever operated bowling alley which was also purchased at the World’s Fair was a huge hit. AND everyone that wanted to got to try it out!!!

Diane is about to try her luck!!

The Box Ball Alley was produced by American Box Ball in 1905 and only 4 if I remember correctly remain in existence and this particular one supposed to be in the best shape of any and is valued at 1 cool million dollars if my memory serves me (that’s a problem with getting behind on the blog) so we were amazed that they let people try it, what a once in a lifetime experience. Well unless you do multiple tours LOL!!!

 After we all finished at the Seelye Mansion we made our way to the Brookville Hotel were we had reservations for dinner.

The Brookville Hotel traces its roots back to the 1870’s when the railroad started laying their tracks out across the prairie to meet the expected rush of Longhorn cattle coming up from Texas along the Chisholm Trail.

 Originally known as the Cowtown Cafe, the hotel was one of three to spring up in what was expected to be a railroad divisional center. Brookville suffered greatly when the Union Pacific Railroad relocated its round house to Junction City. Despite the steady decrease in population, the Brookville Hotel continued to do business in the small town.

In 1915 the first Family Style Chicken Dinner was served at the Brookville Hotel and it has been famous for their Chicken Dinners ever since so of course it made sense that it is what was arraigned to be served. Along with Sweet-Sour Cole-Slaw (Family Pennsylvania Recipe), Mashed Potatoes w/ Cream Gravy, Cream-Style Corn, Baking Powder Biscuits and then it was all topped off with a bowl of home Style Ice Cream, mmmm, mm.

 A sad note, while doing this update I referred to the Brookville Hotels website for some information and ran across this very sad note.

 **It is with a very heavy heart that we must announce that the Covid, and the lack of traffic has forced us to close.

We hung on as long as we could , but the writing was on the wall.

We would like to thank everyone for your patronage of the Brookville Hotel over the last 125 years that the Martin family has operated it.

Mark is grieving over this decision and the fate of our employees. Please keep him and them in your prayers.

We have been a part of so many family celebrations over the years and we will miss you all.

Thank you for making us part of your families.

Peace and Grace

Mark and Connie**

 That’s so sad but it makes us even that much more thankful that we were able to experience it before this happened. We wish them well.

 On that sad note I guess we will call it good on this update. It may seem odd to say that we had a good time sitting in a parking lot but our warrantee work experience was pretty painless and we certainly had a great time at the Ambassadors event once again and the folks at New Horizons took great care of us through it all.

 Ok that’s it for this update and that’s it for this visit to New Horizon. The Rally ended Friday night, we hung around through Saturday just because and Sunday we lifted our jacks and made a move. You will have to come back to see where we went next and what cool stuff we came across there.   

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New Horizons Ambassador Rally

 As we said in our last update, hanging around in a parking lot waiting for the New Horizons Ambassador event to start was a pretty easy thing and we stayed very occupied doing so with fellow New Horizon owners and friends rolling in.

 Almost every night there was some sort of gathering, either sitting around in the parking lot having drinks or breaking away with small groups and going out to dinner. There was always something going on.

 Then came the Ambassador event. The first two days New Horizons reserved a conference room at a local hotel which worked out well this year and allowed for great spacing with the COVID issue lingering in everyone’s mind.

 During these group sessions we get to hear some of the things that have been going on behind the scenes with New Horizons and what things are coming in the future.  We also get to voice any issues we may have come across with our rigs and talk about possible solutions AND talk about new ideas as owners that we feel could make New Horizons even better.

 Many of the things that we remember talking about in last year’s Ambassador’s event have been implemented and there were a number of good ideas voiced again at this event, a couple of those ideas were committed to right there and then. It sure is nice to be involved with a company as a customer that really does listen to their customers and actually reacts instead of just give lip service.  Hey, if they plan to remain one of the top rated 5th wheel manufactures in the United States this is the type of thing that will help them achieve that and they are smart enough to realize it.

 We will also mention that New Horizons had a number of their department leads attend these meetings so that we could address them directly and they could hear it straight from the customers instead of getting a filtered second hand version. Another sign that they take these comments seriously.

 Another thing we all did in small groups was tour the manufacturing plant, something that we have done 3 times now but you know me, I love this stuff so I will always jump at any chance I get to tour a plant LOL!!

 

We toured everything starting in the frame shop (if you notice the iron is stamped USA).

Right through every single station ending in the cabinet shop and then toured a couple recently completed units.

 Unlike so many other tours we have done the employees were able to take time and chat with and answer any questions we might have as we went through their department and it was easy to tell that they took great pride in what they were doing.

 With the employees in mind on one day we had open house’s where fellow New Horizons owners could tour the other owner’s rigs and the New Horizon employees were also allowed to do so if the owners were ok with it, and we certainly were.

 As the employee’s toured they had a chance to see how what they were building was being used by the owners and as I spoke with them they seemed genuinely interested in how we used the coach and I think I could see the cogs turning in some of their minds on things they may not have thought of before and how what they do effects the end users like us, again fun and great to see.

 On another day we had a seminar on HDT’s “heavy duty trucks” which I found interesting even though I don’t think a HDT’s would ever be in our game plan. But again, I enjoy that stuff so it was interesting to check out some of the trucks.

 While mostly the guys were doing the HDT thing a bunch of the girls were doing a craft project and drinking Mimosa’s. When I went in to use the restroom I got the impression there was more Mimosa drinking going on than crafting.

 There were a couple outings involved during the rally but I think we will talk about them in a separate update so this one doesn’t drag on BUT at the end of the rally New Horizons fed us one last meal before it was all over. They fed us well during the entire rally, that’s for sure.

 They catered in a great BBQ meal this year and had plenty of drinks flowing and music playing and the festivities went well into the evening.

 Oh, Austin brought one of his snakes to the event and as you can see Diane had to get involved. I would have but someone had to take pictures LOL!!! That’s my story!!

 OK, we will call it good for this update but come on back to check out what other fun things New Horizons put together for us to do.

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Time for a little warrantee work

 Ok, in our last update we mentioned that we had rolled into the service area at the New Horizon plant in Junction City Kansas on Saturday and we just putzed around the remainder of the weekend killing time by yacking with a couple other New Horizon owners that happened to  be either waiting for service OR picking up a new rig so the weekend went by pretty quickly.

 Then Monday rolled around and with it our scheduled appointment that we actually made 5 months earlier to make sure we were secured a spot. Well Monday didn’t start out as planned, because we had an early morning appointment and were obviously sitting in front of the bay door when it rolled and up we made the mistake of ASSUMING we would be contacted. Well we were wrong LOL!!!

 After some time had gone by we made ourselves known and were at that time informed that we probably would not be worked on as scheduled but they would start on us Tuesday morning instead, bummer we thought BUT even though the service manager”Ken” told us he would have us in and out in one week when we made the appointment we actually scheduled ourselves there for TWO weeks from all of the stories we had heard about New Horizons service department LOL!!! We are no dummies.

 Tuesday morning rolled around and we were up, had our mourning routine finished, pulled the slides in as requested by the shop and were out the door before 7am. They have a nice lobby to kick back in if you choose but with the COVID thing going on we opted to take a couple of our lawn chairs and just kick back in the shade most of the day, well until about 3 in the afternoon when it normally just got too hot to be comfortable and then we would retreat into the lobby to chill for the last hour or so of their work day.

 Around 4PM the shop doors closed and we took that as our signal that the coach was ours again.  They do great work but communication isn’t the strongest part of their process.

 Wednesday morning we duplicated our Tuesday morning routine and found ourselves kicked back in our lawn chairs enjoying the morning sun at 7AM. Wednesday however was another day that didn’t go as we had planned.

 As we sat in our chairs, Diane reading and me, well doing a dozen worthless things because sitting still just isn’t my thing, we couldn’t help notice that they were working a lot on a unit next to us but we didn’t really see any activity on our coach but we thought what the heck, just let things roll.

 Well by mid-afternoon one of the workers came over and said, we had a hot rush issue pop up on another rig and it’s getting pretty hot outside so why don’t you go ahead and use your coach because we probably won’t get to you any today”. And that was ok but it would have been nice if we were told that a little earlier, geezz. So Wednesday was pretty much shot but they promised that they would be back on our rig Thursday morning first thing.

 Thursday once again we were done with our morning routine and were sitting in our lawn chairs at 7am enjoying the morning sun and this time they were working on our rig almost before we even got out the door.

 This turned out to be a very productive day and they actually almost finished everything on our list of things to be done, but not quite. But again they promised to be on us first thing Friday morning.

 Friday rolled around and you guessed it, we were sitting in our lawn chairs in the sun at 7am LOL!!!

 Now we know that we could have just packed up and went out for a couple day trips had we wanted to but I was in the mindset that I wanted to be handy just in case there were any questions, AND throughout the week we had a couple sit down chats with Cole “our salesman” “more on what that was all about at a later date” so we didn’t really just sit on our asses ALL the time. And we did break away for a couple mile walks each day in the immediate areas around the shop to break up the days.

 By mid-afternoon on Friday we got the word that everything on our list was completed and we were free to roll!!!

 So long story short HAT’S OFF to Ken and his crew. When I made this appointment roughly 5 months ago Ken said he would have us in and out in a week. I mentioned a couple of the things on our list and questioned his week estimate and he stuck to his week. Well even though they started a day after our scheduled time and even got bumped out of line 1 entire day by an emergency AC issue Ken and his crew had us completed by 3PM Friday. In and out in 1 week just like he said. Great job guys! OH, AND they were a man down!!

 What all did we need done you ask? Well we had a couple sections on the lower skirting that screws were obviously torqued to tightly during the build that in turn broke and allowed the skirting to come loose that needed repaired, they had installed our solar controller horizontally when it should have been installed vertically according to the manual so they needed to correct that, a hinge broke on our power cord door so they painted up a new one and replaced it, our water pump had issues so it was replaced, we had them service the generator while we were there and we had them pack our wheel bearings while we there also just because and we had them inspect the caulking on the roof and touch up anything that was obvious.

 There were a couple other petty little things that I very easily could have done myself but because they were under warranty and we were going to be there anyway we just had them take care of.

 So nothing earth shattering or plan altering was wrong with our coach but things that needed to be taken care of to make it 100% heathy again, actually the coach is now in better shape than it was when we rolled away with it new. That statement can be said about a lot of rigs on the road after the first years bugs get worked out.

 At that point we had a decision to make, our original plan was to roll away when the work was done BUT because we are New Horizon Ambassadors and a 3 day Ambassador event was scheduled to take place the following Thursday we had the option of sticking around for it.

 Our plans before COVID hit had us across the country during the Ambassador event so we hadn’t planned to attended but because we cancelled most of our plans and bumped up our trip to New Horizons for our warrantee work it almost made sense to hang around, except when invites were sent out we indicated that we wouldn’t attend so we needed to make sure that by us sticking out it wouldn’t through a monkey wrench into anything first.

 Of course when we made mention that we would like to attend we were told it was no problem at all which we figured would be the case but we didn’t want to assume.

 So because the shops work day was basically over and it was a Friday we just stayed settled in front of the shop for one more night before hooking up Saturday morning, made our way to the dump station at the rear of the shop and then found us a spot on the side of the manufacturing plant that had power and water and set up again and started our wait for the Ambassador event to start.

 Other Ambassadors had started to roll in a little early for the event and we still had a couple things to go over with Cole “our salesman” so hanging around in a parking lot actually wasn’t bad at all and the time went by pretty quickly. Hey, you can gather and party in a parking lot to LOL!!!

 Ok, that’s it for now, come on back and hear about the great time we had at the Ambassador event.

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Headed to the New Horizon Mothership in Kansas

Ok, August 6th rolled around and it was time to end our stay in Pagosa Springs and head towards Kansas and the New Horizons mother ship to have some warrantee work done. YES, I said August 6th, that’s how far behind we are on the blog LOL!!! Hey, when the good times are rolling it’s hard to take time out to keep up on the blog I’m afraid.

Once we lifted our jacks and hit the road we really had no destination in mind to stop at on our trip to Kansas, we just knew that we had roughly 650 miles to cover and we had 4 days to cover them so there was no real rush except that we knew the earlier we rolled in on a weekend the better chance we had of getting a spot in the New Horizon lot with power hookups.

The first day on the road we traveled took HWY 160 up over Wolf Creek Pass, through South Fork and to Del Norte where we switched to HWY 112 and then HWY 285 and followed it until we reached Poncho Springs where we jumped on HWY 50 which wiggled its way through Cotopaxi, Texas Creek and Canon City and finally Penrose where we switched to HWY 115 which took us way to close to heavily trafficked Colorado Springs LOL!!!

Just a spot we pulled over for lunch on our first day of travel.

Once we wiggled our way through Colorado Springs on HWY 24 we were finally spit out at Limon Colorado which sits right on I-70. That made for a 315 mile day that consisted of mainly 2 lane mountain roads and one high traffic area “Colorado Springs” so we figured that was enough for one day, more than enough.

There are a couple truck stops in Limon but we have never been fond of parking in truck stops so after a little effort we found a side street where we parked next to a grassy field without the constant groan of truck engines and the annoying sound of refrigerated trailers running all night and had a pretty peaceful night.

Home for the night.

Once we settled in Diane made a run to Taco Bell, we watched a little TV and we called it a night.

We watched as a storm skirted around us.

Friday morning (8/7) after a good night’s sleep we had breakfast and a rather leisurely morning knowing that we only had 384 miles remaining before reaching New Horizons and had 3 days to do it in if we wanted to take that long.

**OK OK, I know some of you detail oriented people are saying  WAIT A MINUTE, you said you had roughly a 650 mile trip planned from Pagosa Springs to the New Horizon plant and you drove 315 miles on the first day so you should only have 335 miles remaining NOT 384. Well go ahead and shoot us, we decided to take a more scenic route rather than the most direct which added a few miles, geezzzz LOL!!! **

During breakfast we decided that we should make Oakley Kansas a stopover before making our way to New Horizon because we knew of a nice little campground that was an easy off, easy back onto the freeway that had a fuel stop right across the road and even more importantly it had a restaurant called Cap’n Jacks Pub that we have eaten at a couple times before and we knew that we loved the food. Plus it was only 160 miles down the road which sounded pretty darn good after the long travel day we had the day before.

All tucked in.

A few more rigs rolled in that evening but this is how it is during most days.

So we called ahead and secured a site for 1 night, had a nice short mellow travel day, rolled into the High Plains RV Park about noon and just had a relaxing afternoon until about 5:30 and then had another great eating experience at Cap’n Jacks before chillin in front of the TV the rest of the evening.

You can see Cap’n Jacks right in front of us.

Saturday morning (8/8) after out stopover in Oakley we only had 220 miles remaining to reach New Horizons and that was all freeway, not our preferred roads to travel but for this trip it seemed suitable and made for another easy travel day and we rolled into the New Horizons lot around 1 in the afternoon.

Once we reached New Horizons we were lucky enough to find a spot with power and water right in front of the shop where we needed to be to have our warrantee work done so the pan of arriving early in the weekend worked.

Then all we had to do was kill time until our appointment on Monday morning, NO PROBLEM!!

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Finishing up in Pagosa Springs

Ok, we have to finish up on our Pagosa Springs stay so we will bunch a lot in this update so we can move on.

When we first got to our campground in Pagosa Springs we were given one site which you see in this picture.

That was the site we had the first couple weeks before we had to move over just 1 site to the right..

But after a little over a week we had to move over just one site, don’t you hate that? Especially when we saw 3 or 4 people come and go in the site we had first after we moved, couldn’t they have just had them stay in the site we moved to? Oh well, I suppose they might have requested that site and then THEY would have had something to gripe about LOL!!!

The empty spot to the left was our first site we had for a couple weeks then we had to move over 1 site LOL!!

The view out our rear window in the second site we had.

Both sites were good so it didn’t really matter, it’s just the having to move thing.

Between all of the hikes we talked about already in the last few updates we played Pickleball probably 3 or 4 mornings a week which was great.

A visit with our friends Bob & Dawn. Pickleball courts in Pagosa Springs.

It amazes us how Pagosa Springs is obviously not a struggling town yet they have poor Pickleball courts compared to many towns we have come across that obviously are struggling far more than Pagosa Springs. Don’t towns realize how much of a growing sport Pickleball is and how many people traveling look for it?

We took a day trip to Durango to hit the Farmers Market and to check out the new location of the Pickleball Courts in town.

Pickleball courts in Durango

Pickleball courts in Durango

Farmers Market in Durango

And we had lunch at one of our favorite spots in town (Jean Pierre Bakery & Wine Bar) that we felt pretty safe in with the COVID thing going on. We were introduced to this spot by our friends Tom & Dianne.

Jean Pierre Bakery &; Wine Bar

Jean Pierre Bakery & Wine Bar

Jean Pierre Bakery & Wine Bar

Speaking of Tom & Dianne we took a drive to Bayfield to pay them a visit one day. They also full-timed for a number of years but have now settled down on a nice little chunk of land and have done the place up very nice. And I can’t believe that we didn’t take any pictures during our visit. We must be slipping LOL!!

During our visit with our friends Tom & Dianne. I can’t believe we didn’t get any other pictures!

And of course we couldn’t drive by the Malt Shoppe or the Bakery in Pagosa Springs without at least stopping once LOL!!

And yes, another bakery!!

Of course we had to have a burger and a shake

And when there is a Farmers Market in the area we can’t resist.

Farmers Market in Pagosa Springs

Even though we were a little reluctant we did make a trip downtown one time to walk the streets and pop in and out of a few shops and were very pleased that every one of them were requiring masks which at least made us feel a little more comfortable.

Downtown Pagosa Springs

Downtown Pagosa Springs

Downtown Pagosa Springs

And we had a number of visits from Aria and Pagosa. They had a great time playing and it was fun to watch how they handled the size differences, Pagosa with her great speed and Aria with his height advantage LOL!!

Aria and Pagosa having a little fun

Aria and Pagosa having a little fun

We also had a great visit with our friends Bob & Dawn at their house in Pagosa and they gave us some great hiking ideas. Even though we think they were trying to kill us because a few were at some high altitudes LOL!!!

A visit with our friends Bob & Dawn.

We hope to see Bob & Dawn this winter in Arizona if they decide to get out of the snow and travel with the COVID situation.

There were a number of other things we did during our stay but like we said, if we don’t finish up blogging about Pagosa Springs we will be so far behind that we may NEVER catch up LOL!!!

Williams Creek Reservoir

Williams Creek Reservoir

 

 

 

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It must be obvious that we like Pagosa Springs, in fact we like it enough and know of so many hikes that we want to do but just didn’t have time for that we have already made reservations for next summer. Wow, that’s not like us!!

That’s it for now, be sure to come back to check out our next move.

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