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MarthaChuck

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About MarthaChuck

  • Birthday 09/17/1949

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  • Website URL
    wanderingtoes.home.blog

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Where we park
  • Interests
    Photography, museums, local life, micro-breweries, oceans, mountains and deserts.
  • I travel
    Full-time

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  1. The trip was quite nice, great scenery, no big long uphill pulls and not much traffic. Thanks everyone.
  2. Thanks everyone, we leave tomorrow and we are taking Hiway 380
  3. We are leaving Elephant Butte, NM for Cleburne Texas on Tuesday morning. We are considering taking Hiway 380. Does anyone have experience traveling Highway 380 from San Antonio New Mexico (at I-25) to the Texas border? Is it big rig doable? Looking to avoid steep elevation changes or any condition that makes it a big rig unfriendly route. TIA
  4. Riding in the Wilderness -Sonoita Arizona – ATV tour visiting the Empire Ranch Martha and I decided to do an ATV Tour out of Sonoita, Arizona. We opted to take a cross country 4 hour tour which took us through the vast Empire Ranch. It was a lot a lot of fun. Our tour guides were Apache ATV Tours and their website can be found here: http://www.apacheatvtours.com/ The Empire Ranch is located on East Empire Ranch Road, three miles east of the intersection with State Highway 83 (between mile markers 39 and 40). It is 36 miles southeast of Tucson and 31 miles north of the Mexican border. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, the nomination included only the main building of original ranch headquarters which was 160 acres in Pima County Arizona. The Empire Ranch House and facilities circa 1900 (Source Wikipedia) The Empire Ranch represents one of the most successful, long-lived, cattle ranching enterprises in the Southwest and has been in operation for over 140 years. The ranch is located in the ecologically rich Cienega Valley in Southeast Arizona, Ranch owners made full use of and, husbanded well, all of its natural resources – grass, water and soils – in support of their livestock business. The landscape retains a remarkable degree of integrity both of its natural resources and its built structures and features. Those ecological and historic values were recently recognized by Congress when the landscape was designated as the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area in 2000. Now administered by the Bureau of Land Management, the Empire Ranch landscape still functions as a working cattle ranch and its headquarters are being stabilized and preserved. (source Wikipedia) Vaquero’s mounted and ready work on the Empire Ranch (source Wikipedia) The Empire Ranch was originally established in the 1860’s as a homestead ranch of 160 acres with a flat topped four-room adobe ranch house and adjoining adobe-walled corral. In 1876 the ranch was owned by Edward Nye Fish, a Tucson businessman, when it was acquired for $2,000 by Walter L. Vail, a native of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, and Plainfield, New Jersey, and Herbert Hislop, an Englishman. John Harvey, an Englishman from Bermuda, joined the partnership a few months later. Circa 1890’s The economic and financial success of the Empire Ranch was dependent upon the ingenuity and determination of two ranching families – Walter L Vail and relatives and, later, Frank Boice and his descendants. Walter Vail expanded the original homestead through a series of strategic acquisitions of land parcels and water rights and effectively secured control of several hundred thousand acres to support over 40,000 head of cattle. Possession and control of these valuable lands and water sources allowed the Vail family to protect the ecological integrity of their most important natural resources – soil and grass – when other ranchers regularly overused and ultimately damaged theirs. Like other entrepreneurs of the time, they invested in other resources and land uses. The discovery of silver at the Total Wreck Mine provided additional financial support for the Vails’ cattle empire. This lead to the growth of the ranch to an eventually the ranch grew to 115,200 acres, or 180 Sections which made the ranch 180 sq. miles. Today it still remains large by any standard at 46,000 acres owned and operated by the BLM. It is open to recreational activities of all kinds. Ready to depart on the tour Scenery that just won’t dissapoint Ranch resides amidst rolling grasslands at the transition between the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. The Valley is surrounded by the Santa Rita, Huachuca, Whetstone, Mustang and Empire Mountains. The Santa Rita’s are in the background. That ain’t a cow! Lunch break under giant, old cottonwoods More, “not cows”
  5. I hope this helps others that find themselves up against not being able to purchase a "one year" RA policy two weeks after joining FMCA. I was given this phone number to call and get our policy in force 877-581-8581. I called and signed up in less than five minutes, no extra year membership into FMCA required. Have your VIN# ready when you call. Overall it wasn't the big deal I thought it was. And, that's a good thing.
  6. I received an email from FMCA this afternoon. They said to call the RA program direct and that would circumvent the problem I was having. I will call tomorrow and post up the results. Ross my whole gripe was that I had no inkling of what to expect from FMCA when I joined. I would like to be a member a year and then evaluate whether I want to re-up rather than be forced to re-up just to get RA. On the flip side I have already received more value in the way of correspondence from FMCA than I ever did with other clubs. Thanks for the advice though, it seems sound. Maybe I will do that next December.
  7. Here is my rant about RA from FMCA. I am a new member, joined the last week of December '18. I just got around to checking about RA from FMCA. After reading about the service I decided to take it for a year. Our rig is getting older and we wanted to make sure we could get help if something went wrong. So, I go to the FMCA RA link and input my information and get ready to pay and I get a pop up that says they cannot insure me because the period of coverage would be less than a year? I mean come on, new member, first time member and they want me to flip for another membership year before I have experienced the first year? Not kosher. I find this sales tactic divisive. It is also a "bait and switch" tactic. Come on FMCA get your act together.
  8. Going Underground in Bisbee Arizona Bisbee – Circa 1916 Bisbee was founded as a copper, gold, and silver mining town in 1880, and named in honor of Judge DeWitt Bisbee, one of the financial backers of the adjacent Copper Queen Mine. In 1929, the county seat was moved from Tombstone to Bisbee, where it remains. Greed was major motivator in town. As a result the Bisbee Deportation took place. The workers lived and worked in deplorable conditions and also small wages. Therefore the workers went on strike and as a result the deportation took place to prevent profit losses. The deportation was the the illegal kidnapping and deportation of about 1,300 striking mine workers, their supporters, and citizen bystanders by 2,000 members of a deputized posse, who arrested these people beginning on July 12, 1917. The action was orchestrated by Phelps Dodge, the major mining company in the area, which provided lists of workers and others who were to be arrested in Bisbee, Arizona, to the Cochise County sheriff, Harry C. Wheeler. These workers were arrested and held at a local baseball park before being loaded onto cattle cars and deported 200 miles (320 km) to Tres Hermanas in New Mexico. The 16-hour journey was through desert without food and with little water. Once unloaded, the deportees, most without money or transportation, were warned sternly against returning to Bisbee. Workers awaiting their cattle car deportation Source -Wikipedia Workers being held at the local ball park. Note the armed guards. Source – Wikipedia Copper Queen Mine Martha and I visited Bisbee and took a tour of the Copper Queen Mine, a hard rock mine in Bisbee that is played out and is now a tourist attraction. Outfitted in hard hat, miner’s headlamp, thousands of Bisbee visitors ride into the Queen Mine Tour each year—heading underground and back in time. Tour guides, retired Phelps Dodge employees, lead the groups 1,500 feet into the mine and recount mining days, techniques, dangers and drama. Adding a personal touch, the miner-turned-tour guides help visitors experience what it was like to work underground. Tours depart each day, seven days a week, from the Queen Mine Tour Building, located immediately south of Old Bisbee’s business district, off the U.S. 80 interchange. The town is an interesting place though we didn’t see as much of it as we wanted. Instead we did the mine tour and then went to a local micro-brewery. After donning our safety equipment we were ushered onto the mine train. This is the original train that ferried workers underground and back to the surface. It’s very narrow and you sit facing forward while straddling a seat somewhat like sitting on a horse saddle. Tour Guide and previous Phelps Dodge mine worker making sure everyone is ok with going underground. At this point we are about 1000″ into the mine tunnel. Getting ready to dis-embarked the train for a visit to a former work area The group making its way to a stop in the mine for a little orientation to the mining lifestyle Quartz deposits in the mine wall Typical work area within the mine. The bracing and scaffold in the background is typical of the type of reinforcement used inside the mine to shore up the weight above after blasting and clearing the tailing’s from the tunnel or openings Mine supervisors peddle cart. Supervisors used these to get around within the mine. This saved time. Miners would hide these to frustrate the supervisors. Examples of hard rock drills used in the mine to drill blasting holes. The holes were then loaded with dynamite. After the holes were drilled they were loaded with dynamite with a blasting cap inserted and then a fuse which ran outside the drill hole. The fuses were cut to length depending on which holes had to be blown first. The center most holes were blown first to clear space for the rock debris to fall into and then the blasting continued (all in rapid succession from center to the outermost drilled holes). This allowed the debris to be cleared by mine workers without rock getting jammed up inside the diameter of the blast. Mine shaft elevator. This was formed using the same shoring/scaffolding shown above, The elevators were used to ferry men and equipment to and from the surface. They also provided room for fresh air to come into the mine. Mining in Bisbee wasn’t limited to hard rock mining. It also included strip mining and where possible hydraulic mining. This gigantic hole is the “Lavender Pit” The pit is an open pit mine that was mined by blasting through the rock and then using machinery to remove the tailing’s and bring them to the top for processing. After the mining tours we made our way to the “Old Bisbee Brewery” This spot is a local’s favorite and turned out to have great beer. I can recommend the mine tour and the Brewery. It was very interesting to learn the techniques used to extract the ores. The Copper Queen produced some the most pure copper ore ever found it averaged 25% in purity.
  9. Wonderful photos. Thanks for taking us with you. Charlie and Martha https://wanderingtootsies.blogspot.com
  10. Tent Rock National Monument - Pueblo Cochiti, New Mexico These rocks are known by the Native American people of the area as Kasha-Kutawe (Cosh-a Kuta- way) Tent Rocks. They are a geologic wonder. We are staying at Cochiti Lake in Pena Blanca, NM. Our campground rating is shown below after this blog entry. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is (Cost information in the link) located over a mile above sea level on the Pajarito Plateau about an hour’s drive north of Albuquerque. The park is littered with rock shapes known as Hoodoos. Hoodoos, otherwise known as tent rocks are unique structures. In Kasha-Katuwe’s case, they started forming more than six million years ago when volcanoes in the Jemez Mountains began to rip themselves apart in extended series of eruptions that covered the region with almost a thousand feet of ash and pumice. In time, this volcanic debris compacted and hardened, and was eventually topped with a deposit of sandstone. Through time, the tougher sandstone cap resisted erosion, but the softer layers of volcano rock below were slowly sculpted by the whims of wind and water, resulting in the odd, amazing cones that now occupy Kasha-Katuwe. The hoodoos, some almost 100 feet in height, curve, twist and contort their ways skyward, forming pillars that are fascinating to see. We hiked the Cave Loop and it was beautiful. There are two walking trails at the monument. One is called the "Cave Loop" and the other one is an out and back trail that is called the "Slot Canyon" hike. The latter has a vertical rise of just over 600' Some of the views are "other worldly" I hope you enjoyed our tour of the Tent Rocks. Please, if you'd like to comment please use the link at the bottom of the page. We were staying at Cochiti Lake in Pena Blanca, NM. Our campground rating follows. Cochiti Lake - C.O.E. Campground - 4/5 WIFI - No ATT - Yes, 2-3 bars and very slow VERIZON - Yes, 4-5 bars and stable OTA TV - Non-existent SERVICES - 20/30/50 Amp plus improved boondocking sites DISCOUNTS - Yes, All Access and Golden Access Pass rates for us $10 nightly with water available (across the road) and 50 AMP electric REVIEW - Pro's - The first (lowest loop) is boondocking and has water available. The next two loops have water and power. These loops almost brand new with nice bath house. Each site in the second two loops have it's own casita and picnic table and power and water in those loops is at every site is at every campsite along with power. with level and mostly level sites. Pick your site carefully to insure your rig will fit. We were on site 15 in the Juniper Loop. This area has not been renovated, the toilet/shower is not working but we drove to the other shower houses to shower each day so big deal. Con's - Dog waste pick up stations don't have bags (there is a place for them) just a waste receptacle. Check in is a mystery, no attendants at the check in office with signs saying "Off Duty." The same applies to the visitors center, nobody home. How do you deal with it? Register online, pay online and come in and go to your site. The site placards are updated daily so if you have registered you will have a tag on your site with your name on it.
  11. Wind Gust Ripped our Patio Awning Off (Part 2) Read Part 1 - Click Here November 9th 2018 Some of our readers may know about our RV patio awning getting ripped off by wind. Now that we are in the Benson/Tucson area we will be getting estimates for repairs. Getting one blown off while in motion is sort of nerve racking and dangerous at best. And then there is the whole what to do about removal after it happens. I can tell you it's a bit like playing Jenga. If you get it wrong you gotta problem and if you screw up you could damage the coach or RV while removing the wrecked parts. Since we were in disbelief of what had just happened Martha googled what to do when your awning does this while I dug out the tools, rain coat and my 10' step ladder. She ended up looking at Exploring the Local Life's blog for advice since this happened to them. We pondered the problem for a bit before we decided to rip down the remaining awning and awning arms. The bottom line is that if the awning hardware was substantially bent or ripped through it's pivot points and mounting hardware you are screwed. You might as well just take it down. My first thought was that I could maybe save the awning roller. But on close inspection I could see that it was damaged too. Since there was no dumpster nearby I did something I would never do otherwise. I left all the debris in a ditch along the highway. Estimating Insurance Replacement and Labor Costs December 4th 2018 Today's task is to get an estimate started for replacement. I didn't think I would miss having the awning but when you want to grill something in the rain, well, it's indispensable. Tucson where the repair guy's shop (Ricks RV Repar) is located is about an hour away. This requires me to break camp and then re-establish it later in the day. It'll be a pain in the arse but necessary. So, I went to the repair shop in Tucson (Ricks RV Repair) and we discussed my options for a new awning. It'll depend on how much the old custom awnings replacement will cost. It is/was an electric awning with a wind sensor. What I really want to replace it with is something on the order of the type awning Entegra uses. Our side walls are very tall and the old awning came almost straight out from the coach. In this configuration there wasn't much shading because the awning was 12' off the ground. Entegra uses one that looks like this: This configuration will provide the shade we want but I worry it won't take much wind. Not making a decision yet so I have a bit of time. Getting your RV awing ripped off while you are driving really sucks. But it could have been much worse. December 10 2018 We seem to be making some progress on putting together an estimate. Rick from "Ricks RV Service" called me this morning with some concerns regarding being able to get information on the awning that came with the RV. He will be contacting Newmar for information on the old awning by using the original build sheet for the coach. So, we wait again. December 12 2018 Ricks RV Service sent the claim to State Farm and copy to me. The total for replacement and labor is $3,469.00 for the awning hardware, awning fabric and labor. I am going to talk with Rick and find out if we can work within this budget and replace the one awning with two. I would like the power awning on our kitchen slide which is next to the entrance door and a manual awning on the space between the kitchen and bedroom slide with this one set down lower on the RV so we can reach it to put the awning out. I guess I will determine what we can do after State Farm reviews the estimate. More later.
  12. LIFE'S A BEACH - PENSACOLA, FLORIDA Sunset at the Naval Air Station We're at the BEACH! We haven't blogged in a while, so I told Chuck that I'd write one this time. It's been a fairly quiet few weeks, as we've slowed down (yay!) and are doing a lot of just living, instead of playing tourist. After Hurricane Michael disrupted our plans to stay at Pensacola Beach, we spent 2 1/2 weeks at Navy campgrounds in Pensacola, drove 30 miles ands spent a couple days in Alabama, drove 90 miles for a couple days in Biloxi, moving another 35 miles to the beach at Waveland, Mississippi and then are headed for another few days on the beach in Mississippi and Texas before Thanksgiving. A month and a half by the beach isn't too bad! Work, work, work I am amazed at how full life can be when you aren't working full time. I have been working quite a bit lately, as I've been fortunate to have several freelance jobs come in. It's kind of nice to turn away work because you're too busy...although I definitely am not working 40 hour a week. I like putting in a couple of hours a day, but it does cut into my Facebook time. I have also been working on Chuck's family tree. I had a breakthrough where I identified a whole branch of Ketchums that are DNA matches to Chuck, and now I have to figure out exactly how they are related...and they've now added a chromosome browser to MyHeritage's DNA section, so I can try and map gene segments to family branches. Of course, Chuck has thousands of DNA matches, so this is a long-term project. It's getting me familiar with the technology, though. Disk Golf for low-cost fun Anyway, besides work and genealogy, we have enjoyed a bit of disk golf time. Our campground at the Blue Angel Recreation Area in Pensacola had three 18-hole golf courses and the weather was nice while we were there, so we played every day! And Chuck also took time to wax The Beast, so we are nice and shiny again. We also have played in a city park in Pensacola and a city park in Biloxi. It's a great way to get out and get some fresh air and some steps in. Getting some exercise I went and invested in a new Fitbit for myself, and am working on getting those steps in! One thing about living in an RV is if you don't go outside, you don't get much exercise. It's a whole 20 steps from the very front to the very back! When it rains or the heat is too much, I end up walking in place or turning on the music and dancing....which looks foolish (I can't seem to get away from the full length mirror), but hey, it's exercise. Our tourist activities Other things we've done: go to a wedding on the beach, mead tasting, finding Thai restaurants, meeting online friends in person, climb a lighthouse, watch the Blue Angels practice, walk on the beach, visit the Flora-Bama, snap a few sunset pictures, and relax! Late afternoon sky at Blue Angel Recreation Area Trying a Mead Flight at Swan Neck Wine and Meadery NAS Light house At the Famous Flora-Bama Beach at the Naval Station (no swimming allowed) Oak Grove Campground on the NAS Pesacola, the roof was chock-full of acorns after 10 days there!
  13. Getting Your Cowboy On - Tombstone Arizona Viewing Businesses along Allen Street - Tombstone, Arizona 1879 Like most children of the 50's, I grew up with westerns. I watched every black and white television series like The Lone Ranger, Sky King, and Gunsmoke. And we lived for movies like Fort Apache, High Noon, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Winchester 73, anything with John Wayne in it and, well you get the picture. When I learned how close Benson, Arizona was to Tombstone I knew we had to visit. As you might suspect, it is now a tourist trap. But the history is true, the shoot out at the ok corral was real. But there is so much more history to this town. Is Tombstone a tourist trap? Yes. Is it worth going to? If you are fan of western lore and western movies, by all means. Viewing Allen Street - Tombstone Today In 1877 a man by the name of Ed Schieffelin was staying at a place called Camp Huachuca, Arizona and during his stay, he decided to join a military expedition to scout for Chiricahua Apache Native American strongholds. Ed would leave the expeditions encampments to look for rocks within the wilderness despite the fact that fellow soldiers at his camp warned him not to. The soldiers told him that he wouldn’t find stones out in the wilderness and would only eventually find his own tombstone. Fortunately, for Ed, he did not find his tombstone, but he did find something. He discovered a large exposed vein of silver in the place he eventually named Tombstone, an name which he of course took from his military friends. Tough Nut Silver Mine Word of the silver find soon spread and the town of Tombstone grew. If you are a fan of the wild west you have no doubt heard of Tombstone. The area around Tombstone became well known for its silver mines. And more people came to the town. Some were settlers, storekeepers and miners. But others were looking for easy money. These were gamblers and thieves who drank too much alcohol and settled their disagreements with their guns. Big Nose Kate By the end of 1881, the town of Tombstone had a population of more than 5,000. It also had five local newspapers, at least two theaters, a courthouse, hotels and many local drinking places. And a gunfight had already taken place that would forever include Tombstone among the famous stories told about the American Wild West. Doc Holiday One of those famous stories was about gunfight that took place on October 26, 1881 between the town's top lawman, or marshal, and his deputies on one side and an outlaw group called the Cowboys on the other at the now famous O.K. Corral. On the day of the famous fight, those men were gathered near the OK Corral, an enclosed area used to keep horses and other animals. They were armed, in violation of a town ban against carrying guns. They were also drinking alcohol and threatening to kill the Earp brothers. Morgan and Louisa Houston Earp Virgil Earp Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp and Morgan Earp (not positive this is real) Virgil Earp decided that it was his duty to disarm them. His two brothers and a friend, the gunfighter Doc Holiday, went along to help. The four walked down the street toward the corral. Virgil Earp told the cowboys to surrender their weapons. Billy Claiborne ran away. And the fight began. Ike Clanton Historians say 32 shots were fired in the space of about 23 seconds. No one really knows who fired first. But Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton died of gunshot wounds. Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday were wounded but survived. Only Ike Clanton and Wyatt Earp were not hurt in the gun battle. Wyatt Earp's Wife Josephine aka: Sadie Jo Looking At Tombstone Today Today, Allen Street in Tombstone is the "main drag." The sidewalks are boardwalks and the street is dirt, and everything (except the merchandise and the prices) feels like you're back in the old west. There is a "theme park" where you can see a comedy gunfight and of course, the OK Corral, where you can see a re-enactment of the famous event. The courthouse is now a state park, and the gallows where the guilty were hung are still in the yard behind the courthouse. You can tour the town in a Humvee, a trolley or a horse-drawn wagon. There are several museums, only one of which is free. Expect to spend $5 to $15 per person on anything you do. Catch a Stage?
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