Category Archives: Travels

Thanksgiving came early

     Thanksgiving came early around the Cordray camp.  We camped about 28 miles east of Durango, CO in the San Juan Nat’l Forest on the bank of the Piedra River.  If the beauty of this place, the sound of the river rapids, and the songs of many different birds wasn’t enough, it got better.09051907392

     We had a hunter camped near us that was there bear hunting.  As he was leaving, he stopped and gave us a turkey he had shot.  He said that his wife didn’t care too much for wild game.  I told him thank-you and we will definitely enjoy that fine blessing.

     I set about gathering firewood before I plucked and cleaned this bird.  I need to say right here that I went in the brush a good bit away from our camp to complete this task.  09031919022You see those little bear cub tracks were in the mud about 60 yards upstream from our camp.

      Remember the campfire pot jack I bought from Blacksmith Curtis Green?

Check outhis Facebook page:

Made in Chama, Not China


Now was a chance to try it out.  My tripod that normally hangs my grill wouldn’t work with the raised rock fire ring in this camp.

     It worked really well to wire my grill to the stand, so let’s get started!0904191303~2

     The breast and the thigh/drumstick were rubbed with a rub Brenda had whipped up.  Here it is, Fiesta brand chicken seasoning, thyme, rosemary, fresh ground pepper, onion powder, and mixed in olive oil.0904191320~3.jpg

     I’m not going to be able to say much about how this smelled while it was cooking, but I’ll show you the pictures.

    We grilled the drumsticks completely and put the breasts in foil with butter and seasoning to let them finish.  0904191346a~2Throw on some broccoli to grill and we were set.

     Yes, Thanksgiving came early.  So, the only thing left for us to do was give thanks and eat.

Get Out, Be Safe and

Go Adventure.

Our Time at Cochiti Lake

    For the past week we have stayed at an Army Corps of Engineers Campground called Cochiti Recreational Area. We use the Army Corps of Engineers web page, and they have a CD, that contains all the campsites they operate as a resource for places to stay. Almost without exception these campgrounds are well-maintained, clean, and with the National Forest Service access pass they are half price. That means we spent the last seven days staying somewhere that had beautiful views, hot showers, and a staff that was more than courteous for $6 a night, or $42 a week. Now I ask you where can you live for $42 a week, that includes water (hot water) I might add? My old mortgage of $1200/mo. equals a weekly rate of $279/week just for the shelter, all the utilities were extra!

Originally, we had thought we would stay, oh I don’t know, three maybe four days. But we, kept extending our stay night by night. The campsite was just that that good! Did I mention the views?

Let’s talk about being self-contained so that you can boondock, and the benefits that brings you. The camping loop we were in had 15 campsites, and for the 7 days we were there we only had about three neighbors that were spread out across those 15 sites. However, the other loops where there were electric hookups and water were a different story. Those loops they were packed in and nearly every site taken so the neighbors were right in each other’s elbows. Being self-contained and able to truly “boondock” allowed us some space and privacy.

This area is rich with history and it takes only a few minutes to reach many historic places. Historic Route 66 is only minutes away from this camp. If the city lights still attract you then Albuquerque is less than an hour away. This is truly a great place to stay and see all the surrounding New Mexico sights. Did I mention Tent Rock, it’s on the way into this campground?

There’s an observation post at the top of one of the hills overlooking the lake providing a wonderful view. You can drive up to the walkway or, if your adventurous there’s a trail that leads up from the other side. Riding the bike down from there on the roadway is an exciting ride.

This has been a quick post just let everyone know where we’ve been the last week. We will be posting more from this beautiful location. We’re visiting with some friends so our time on line is going to be limited for the next few days. Until then…

Get out,

Be safe,

Go adventure.

Flowers: Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina


Howdy, friends!

In my recent post about the Chihuly at Biltmore Exhibit, I mentioned that I would be creating separate blog posts about the flowers in the surrounding gardens and arboretum, as well as the inside of the mansion. As I pare down to favorites, I find that the flower post alone will be a two part series. I may very well create destination flower posts from the hundreds of flower pictures I have taken as we travel along. I’m just such a fan of the flowers!

This famous century old home is nestled amongst acres of exquisitely manicured grounds, designed by landscape architect extraordinaire Frederick Law Olmstead. It is a flower lover’s Garden of Eden. There are more than 250 varieties of roses alone! Strolling through these gardens is a feast for the eyes and for the senses.

We happened along on our self guided tour on the leading edge of a downpour and didn’t get a chance to see everything. I will not complain a bit, though, not one bit. Flowers, hearts-in-nature, butterflies, bugs…if you follow our travels, you know that I love them all. Here’s a bouquet of flowers from the Gardens at Biltmore Estate. I will toss you another one soonly. Enjoy! ♥️



Maggie’s Rug Bus

Howdy, friends!

During our travels in the northeastern part of the country this summer, we had the chance to spend a nice, leisurely chunk of quality time with our friends Maggie and John, and John’s nephew Jim, at their sprawling farm in Accident, Maryland.

We gathered and dried herbs, shared tasty homemade meals, had morning coffee together every morning, and really enjoyed sharing our creative projects and ideas.

We parked directly in front of Maggie’s rug bus, and were so inspired that we had to hear the story of how it came about from Maggie herself.

Scroll down to read the story, in Maggie’s own words, and check out the link to our video on YouTube of the inside of the bus.

Maggie’s Rug Bus

So here’s the story of how I got my loom. About 40 years ago I had a good friend Diane. We were both creative and we inspired each other. I had always wanted a loom. I bought one once but I don’t think I had all the pieces and it just sat in a pile waiting for me to figure it out. Then one day we were at an estate auction. There, sitting outside of the old farmhouse was a beautiful old Union floor loom. I made up my mind I was going to bid on it. Once the bidding started I realized that only one person was bidding against me! I looked through the crowd and realized that the other person was my old friend Diane, who I had not seen in at least 10 years. I stopped bidding and she got the loom! Afterwards we got together and we were so excited to see each other and got caught up on old news. Fast forward about another 10 years, I saw Diane at a store and she told me she had been trying to get in touch with me because she wanted me to have the loom. She said since I didn’t bid against her that day at the auction, it was my turn to have it!

I was so excited and picked it up that very day. I have been using it to make rag rugs ever since and think of my friend Diane every time I make a rug! I really enjoy making rag rugs because it uses no electricity and I get to upcycle old clothes that people don’t want anymore. The combinations of colors and textures that can be made into a rug are always exciting!

My loom is about 50 inches square and about 40 in inches tall. It takes up a lot of space, and adding to it all the clothes and all the strips of fabric, I had really taken over the living room.

I told my husband that I wanted to move my rug making operation into a shed of my own! We had been discussing building a shed when he came home one day and said he had the perfect solution! He had bought me a school bus! (He is a school bus driver!) He took out most of the seats and moved my loom in! At one auction we bought several bins to keep my materials in, at another, we bought a beautiful cutting table. A rocking chair came from another auction!

With so many windows, I have beautiful light, and the 2 top hatches open for ventilation! Little by little we have transformed my rug bus into a comfortable, creative and productive work area!

Maggie’s coat of many colors.

Because the bus is mobile, I had plans of driving around to art festivals to display and sell my rugs, but I actually get all the sales that I need with people stopping by the bus to purchase them. I still can drive it to different areas of our farm if I need a change of scenery!

I love making rugs but don’t ever want it to become a chore, so I keep my production at a level I enjoy but that still keeps me in business!

Here’s a link to the video we made during a tour of The Rug Bus. Maggie’s Rug Bus

Thank you to Maggie, John, and Jim for one of our favorite visits this past summer!

Chihuly Exhibit at the Biltmore Estate

Dan capped off our East Coast summer tour with a surprise visit to Biltmore Home and Gardens in Asheville, North Carolina. As a student of architecture, it has been on my bucket list for decades. We spent a few blissful hours wandering, in complete awe, along the fringe of a growing thunderstorm. We toured the sprawling home and a few of the gardens, and of course, the exquisite arboretum. We made it back to the van only partially soggy as the downpour descended upon our little rolling home. The flowers and the home will each have their own post. They both truly, truly deserve their place in the sun. Enjoy this little stroll through the Dale Chihuly exhibit that was in place on the day of our visit. ❤ “Glass is the most magical of materials. It transmits light in a special way.” ~Dale Chihuly

Wouldn’t you agree?




Our Van Kitchen!

Howdy, y’all! I bought an upgraded phone that has much more storage and plenty of room to sprawl out and do what I like to do best. I gathered up some pictures of kitchen life in our van over the past three years to share with you. I’m working through the WordPress mobile app again, so I will fling out these photos and see where they land. I love our little kitchen! Blessings~Brenda