Tag Archives: camping

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.

Living in a really small space

The ultimate fuel-efficient traveling home.

Would you think it possible to live in a space as small as this?

This week I met someone who is not only living but having a great time doing it. Below is a video where he explained the features and reasoning  of the engineering he put into this wonderful ride. The Prius is an interesting vehicle in it’s own rights.  Follow this link to go to the Toyota site.

This is a very clean installation on the drivers side that gives Brent accurate monitoring of what’s going on with his house battery.

But the ideas and engineering that Brent has put in is pretty sharp.  Like the house battery installed behind this panel that also holds a voltage display, 12 volt power outlet and USB charging port.  He runs an inverter and charger off of the vehicle’s main battery which the Prius is monitors and starts the engine to recharge automatically.  In fact he can set the thermostat in the Prius to start and maintain the temperature where he is sleeping.

What a great idea, a table with no legs! And at not even 2″ thick it slides into a very small storage space.

Brent’s engineering background was evident in excellent utilization of nearly every inch of space.  He designed this table to use the door’s tension to hold it in place against the little white wedge block.  AND,  it works on either side of the car.  He explained this is something that anybody can design for their vehicle using cardboard templates to trace the shape of the door and the fender well.

Another really neat feature was his water supply. How about built-in under the storage compartment he designed behind the passenger front seat.
Another really neat feature was his water supply. How about built-in under the storage compartment he designed behind the passenger front seat.

His use of space was not only designed in square inches, he considered cubic inches.  Here’s an example, under his bed is a well laid out storage area divided into compartments and beneath that is his water storage.  So his design has used every cubic inch behind the front passenger seat to the fullest.  Very impressive!

I had a great time interviewing Brent and learning how to make a very small space work as an efficient roving home.  Below is a link to the video posted on YouTube where he goes into detail all of the features.

Until next…

Get out, Be safe and Go adventure.


Get Out, Be Safe, Go Adventure

Yes I know that’s what comes at the end.  But this weekend made me realize perhaps that’s where I should start this time.

“Get Out”

Anybody recognize this "jumpin' off" point?
Anybody recognize this “jumpin’ off” point?

If you guessed the permit station for the Red River Gorge you’re right.  When given the chance to go somewhere for the weekend this is a good place to “Get Out”.  Stop here buy your permit for 1-day or 3-day use (only a few bucks) the funds go to help with the continuing care and development of the Gorge.  Yes, there is a fee.  Because this beautiful forest has more than 40,000 visitors a year walking through it’s beauty.  With that much traffic we have to be good stewards of what’s been created for our pleasure.

Help protect by doing the right things.
Help protect by doing the right things.

Because we are such a mobile people moving freely from one place to another we can bring about change very quickly with little or no effort.  The ecosystems around the world have reached a state of balance through time.  As visitors to these we can inadvertently upset that balance and lead to the setback or even destruction of a system.  Whether it’s forest, desert, seashores, or swamps, nature has balanced and nurtured those things within.  We must maintain a watch over what we bring when we visit.  Some forest areas right now have lost millions of ash trees to an invasive insect, the Emerald Ash Borer.  The beetle larvae can reside in the firewood brought from another location.  Another example is the “white nose syndrome” that is killing bats in some of the caves around the country.  The impact of this invasive is as much as a 80% reduction of bats in some areas.  That’s why there are “shoe wash stations” at most all of the public caves now.  Just like the “brush station” above, the simple act of removing invasive species from our shoes helps to protect the forest.  So, learn what you can do to protect the area you “GetOut” into and yourself.


This sign if for real, 1-3 people a year die from falls in this area.
This sign if for real, 1-3 people a year die from falls in this area.
A somber reminder placed by his loved ones.
A somber reminder placed by his loved ones.

This is one of several world-class rock climbing locations.  Because there are many verticals and even negative angle cliffs to enjoy.  However, not paying attention or acting irresponsibly can lead to one becoming a statistic of the Gorge.  There are 1-3 people a year that die from falls in the Gorge.   Stay on the main trails, explore camping areas off trail carefully, don’t get drunk in the Gorge, get high on the beauty not drugs, and if you get up in the night don’t wander without a good light.

Yep, Yogi lives here!
Yep, Yogi lives here!

While falls are by far the large cause of fatalities, encounters with wild life can lead to problems.   Stings and bites are the highest number of injuries from encounters with the wildlife.  But let’s face it,  even though an allergic reaction to a sting or bite can be fatal, nothing grabs the news more than a good old-fashion bear.  While these guys can be interesting to see and watch just remember you’re standing in “their yard”.  Here’s an account of one such encounter…   Victim describes bear attack; Red River Gorge is closed

Facebook account with pictures of this encounter.

Picture from Facebook account of bear encounter. https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/34096_1321910488940_4456079_n.jpg?oh=2361e3f25de59acbbebe068a8099f017&oe=564F8492
Picture from Facebook account of bear encounter.   (Jeanne Filler Scott)

“Go Adventure”

Having educated ourselves on how to protect ourselves and nature let’s “Go Adventure”….

But that will be the next post.  😉

I didn’t want to set the wrong tone for the story of our trip to Gray’s Arch.  AND, I’ve got to get a few things together to continue work on the “Vome” in the morning.  If you haven’t been following the build out of the new “Vehicle hOME” then click on the drill down arrow in the menu bar at the top.

So for now, yes you guessed it…

“Get Out, Be Safe, Go Adventure”

A Weekend At Tumbling Creek

In a post earlier I showed the way into Tumbling Creek, I hope you enjoyed the ride. Now that we’re here I’ll catch you up on a peaceful damp weekend. Dyck had a nice camp setup to survive the storms that came through this area almost every day.

Gee Cuz, shur is a swankie place ya got here.
Gee Cuz, shur is a swankie place ya got here.

We had just the three of us here, JR, Cuz Dyck, and myself with Julie on her way on Sunday.
Oh and of course the girls Lacy and Layla.


JR (Jimmy Ridley) and I took a couple mile long hikes with these two in between the watering sessions.  Which by the way the rain falling on the roof of the van was a wonderful symphony at night.  A welcome sound when we turned in…

The new vome beginning to feel like home.
The new vome beginning to feel like home.

Sunday morning Master Chef Ridley prepared some hashbrowns, cheesy eggs, and bacon for breakfast.

Master Chef Ridley working the magic
Master Chef Ridley working the magic

Assisted by none other than Sous Chef Dyck Tracey.

Sous Chef Tracey
Sous Chef Tracey

A great weekend in the forest, and very relaxing.  More relaxing for some of us than others…

Layla decided it was a good place for a nap.
Layla decided it was a good place for a nap.
Sorry I disturbed you Layla
Sorry I disturbed you Layla

Gee your highness I didn’t mean to wake you.

It’s a shame but I’ll have to end this relaxing time tomorrow by having to pull out.

So, once again..

Get out, Be safe, Go adventure.

Get away trip to the Gorge

Ok so I couldn’t stay on the Bourbon trail with another trail calling.  Besides, Layla wanted to camp out.

Layla leading the way...
Layla leading the way…

We started hiking in search of a place to stay the night and camp when we came upon a very unusual camp…

Tentsile in the trees, a newer way to camp.
Tentsile in the trees, a newer way to camp.

I’ve seen pictures of these but never one “in the wild”.   I can see some real advantages to this, the greatest being not having to find level ground.  It has a “hatch” in the center for access.

Out the hatch!
Out the hatch!

I apologize for the quality of the video, it was shot with a Nikon CoolPix because I was not carrying any actual video gear.  But I couldn’t pass the opportunity to share this with everyone.

Talking with them about this unique form of shelter was great, but we had to find a place of our own.  It was only a short distance around the trail that I discovered why they choose that spot.

When solo hiking it’s best to not take unnecessary chances, regardless of what you may see on the TV reality shows.  Which those shows are not reality but entertainment.  So, we passed the tentstile camp and continued to where this trail ran out for us.  I didn’t want to take a chance of a tumble down the cliff trying to traverse this edge.

Layla says it's the end of this trail
Layla says it’s the end of this trail

So we backtracked a bit and found a place to stay for the night.  Put up the hammock, laid down the ground cloth, and strung up the tarp for cover.

Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home

It was cozy and warm and a perfect way to rest from a great day on the trail.

Layla living the good life.
Layla living the good life.

So we crashed for the night.  Yes, Layla does sleep with me in the hammock.  She leads such a hard life.


Well maybe next time we’ll be back on the Bourbon Trail, if we don’t get distracted.    😉


Get out, Be safe, and go adventure.

See ya soon


A trek in the desert with friends

This is the day we get to go see Indian petroglyphs and grinding holes thanks to my friend Charlene.


Charlene knew the location of this rock house, the petroglyphs, and the grinding holes we would be seeing. She majored in archaeology and was a lot of fun to go exploring with. She lead this expedition crew into the desert.DSCN2745DSCN2732 DSCN2733

Layla led the way into this cave that was quite possibly a shelter for some family.

After a short climb to a place above the shelter…


DSCN2736We were rewarded with a collection of grinding holes where the Indians would grind their seeds and grains.

DSCN2737Using a round stone in these holes they would break and grind the seeds and grains to make a flour or meal that could then be cooked.   We continued on to a place where messages were left.  Can you understand their meanings?DSCN2755 DSCN2754Here’s a link to a little more information on petroglyphs.  Wkikpedia

Charlene described how the appearance of this section of the desert has changed over a very short time. When the water rushes through the wash it removes soil from the area and deposits the debris it brings from the path it followed.  So the desert landscape is consantly being changed year to year.

Time for a little break before we head back.

DSCN2739I hope you enjoyed our trek.   And once again

Get out, Be safe, Go adventure