Thursday, February 23, 2006

What a day! We had this feeling that for some reason we needed to go sledding. Why? Well we were not sure. So we went looking for sleds and found them 50 miles north of Las Cruces, NM. We entered this little store and in the corner were sleds just calling our names. Can you beleive that? It is shocking I know. I'm not much of a snow person and Heidi is....well you know. Snow to her is a bad four letter word. Well after we picked out three sleds we headed off to the white sleddding hills. Yes we were going sledding and guess what? It was 65*F and sunny out! Oh ya! Now this was the kind of sledding that I could get use to. Did I mention that the hills we were sledding on were Sand? Yes, pure White Sand! What a blast we had! We raced each other, jumped off the dune edges, piled the sand high and rolled down the hills. After 3 hours I decided that sledding is not all that bad when it is warm out and you don't get cold and wet! As Tristan would say, "This is the best day yet"!

Well tomorrow we are off to San Antonio, Tx. We will be in that area about a week or so. Then onto Orlando, Fl.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Las Cruces, New Mexico

We made two stops in Phoenix and Sierra Vista to visit two different people that Martin used to work with, at Alaska Pipe and Supply, Donna and Vic Lajiness and Esther (Frederickson) Harman. It was nice to see them again and the kids had a great time picking citris in Donna and Vic's back yard and rollerblading on Esther's driveway. We visited Tombstone and Kartchner Caverns while we were in Sierra Vista. Everyone loved Tombstone, it is pretty incredible how they have preserved the town and the re-enactment of the gunfight at OK Corral was great! Kevin really liked Boot Hill and reading about how the people died.

The kids also really enjoyed Kartchner Caverns. They were pretty incredible size wise. After our tour of the caverns we drove to Las Cruces. We are going to go to the White Sands in Alamagordo, which is just 40 miles up the road. One of our levelers broke last night, after we pulled in, and we spent a bit of time today trying to find a shop that had a new one with no luck. It looks like we are going to have to wait until we get to San Antonio to get it fixed so we will have to make due with wood blocks to get it level enough to have the slides out. We really like Las Cruces and this town is definitely on our list of places to live. We love the sunshine and the mountains surrounding this place. It seems very laid back and not too crowded, just something about it that we can't put our fingers on.

Friday, February 17, 2006

This was an e-mail that Martin sent to his friends and aquaintances and I thought it made for a good blog so..........

Just want to let everyone know that all is well. Motor Home living is treating us good and we all are still friends. :) We are in Show Low, Arizona right now. It is a little cold, around 20*F last night and 45*F during the day, so we are again remembering why we are on this trip. It is also a reminder of how much we love warm weather. We feel for everyone that is in the cold and as we hit warm weather we will try to send some your way. We got held up in Desert Hot Springs for a week longer then we expected as the newly rebuilt van transmission took a dump on us. So into the shop it went and a week later we had it back with new transmission #2. We like to think that this one will last longer then 3500 miles. (Note to everyone in the Wasilla area...Do not have any work done at "The Transmission Center".) We finished what we could do at this time on my sisters/brother-in-laws house (ground work, house addition pads, driveway and some concrete pads for the new entry gates) and left Desert Hot Springs, California on Saturday the 11th.

From there we went to Las Vegas to show the kids the sites and to ride the rides. We then went over the Hoover Dam and headed for the Grand Canyon. We spent Tuesday on the South Rim of the Canyon. What a site! We hiked about a mile into the Canyon and passed the pack mules with riders on the way out. That was a site! Not sure I would want to ride one of those things when one side of the 4' wide trail drops off about 2000 feet over a cliff into the Canyon! Crazy! Hiking was just fine.... as far as I was concerned. Kevin is wanting to go back before we end the trip and hike all the way down to the Canyon bottom and camp overnight. So that is now in the planning. We are hoping to do it sometime in September if possible.

We then moved onto the Meteor Crater. It was blowing about 40 to 60 mph, with gusts up to 90 mph when we were there (biggest gust registered was 92 mph). The power went out while we were in looking at the Crater so we left and headed down the road. The Motor Home was being blown all over the road and it was a nerve racking trip to Show Low in the wind but we made it. More then once I thought we were done for but we did make it in one piece. We had a part on the motor home that broke and we could not find the part in Show Low so I fixed it the best I could and will try to find the part down the road somewhere.

On Saturday we are headed to Tombstone and then on to New Mexico (White Sands) and Texas. For anyone that does not know, Heidi now has our family web page up and running for all of you to view. She will be updating it weekly (or when we have internet service) with new pictures, so you can check back every so often for updates. The Web address is She loves to mess with it and will soon be adding the "Freebirds" song to it. She has built the site on her own as she got tired of waiting for me to help. I'm accused of being a little lazy lately......not sure what I'm going to do when I have to go back to work. :) Kevin has also helped Heidi some with the web site, as he is our computer tech at this time. Computers are his life right now and we have figured out that three days without internet, makes Kevin a very unhappy camper. Because of this the site is updated with new pictures often, as we are never long without internet service. Time to go for now......take care until next time, Martin

Monday, February 06, 2006

We THOUGHT our time in Palm Springs was coming to an end!!

Well, we were supposed to leave yesterday morning but here we sit!! Early Thursday morning we drove over to Carlsbad and went to Legoland. What a wonderful place!! Incredible the things they build out of legos. The kids had a great time, especially the rides! Even better, we got to spend the night in a hotel, as we just drove the van over. On Friday we drove into LA, spent a little time on Olvera St. seeing the historical side of LA and then drove around Beverly Hills, Laurel Canyon, Hollywood Blvd, etc. to show the kids a bit of LA.

We drove back to Palm Springs that evening and just about the time we crossed the highway over to Desert Hot Springs the van makes a weird noise and lurches. Something was definitely wrong with the transmission and we just had it rebuilt before we left!! We were almost to John and Jenettes house when we remembered that we promised the kids rootbeer float stuff so we went to turn around and reverse and drive wouldn't work, but neutral allowed us to move forward. So we decided to skip the rootbeer floats and try to make it to her house in neutral. Just as we pulled into the driveway the transmission went berzerks and we had to shut the engine off.

The van was towed over to a shop this morning but they haven't opened up the transmission to see how bad the damage yet. We will know more in the morning. Unfortunately, we won't be able to leave here until Friday, at the earliest. It kind of messes up our plans to see two of Martin's friends but there is nothing we can do about it. We are stuck in nice weather so that is one plus!! And we love hanging out with John, Jenette, and Jolene so it is not entirely bad, just a little inconvenient.