Saturday, July 29, 2006

Too cool

Liam seems to have a theme going at the moment.
He was sticking his head into the bath to get the front of his hair wet so he could spike it "Jimmy Newton" style Jimmy Neutron is the cartoon character. Still he a Madeline had a bath together which he's been refusing for a while and she thought it was a laugh.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Water Boy

Today when we were at Target I got Liam a diver who came with fish seaweeds and a shark.

As soon as we got home he ran a bathtub full of water, dressed the diver in flippers and mask and they all got into the water. I'm now hearing "I'm going to eat you" and other shark type sounds coming from the baathroom.

Our House

This is the inside of the house. Playroom, Lounge, dinning area and Kitchen. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I've got rhtyhm

Last night after we did somethings round Santa Fe we went to the Santa Fe Brewing company for burgers. They had a live band who started playing while we were eating. Liam was fascinated. He started out waving his arms around then shook his head (reminded me of Ray Columbus in the She's a mod video), he was totally engrossed in the music and having trouble with how it made him want to move. His attention was totally focussed on the band and the music. After the first song, and he realised we were looking at him he started eating as well, I thought it might have the oposite effect but he ate all his dinner while engrossed in the band. According to Liama they were too good! High praise, maybe we should have more dinner bands.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Aproaching the edge

It's a while ago now but the bread did turn out tasty. It wasn't really a picnic, we ate the bread on our lap as we drove 80 m/h along the I-40 West from Albequerque to Flagstaff AZ, a new state so we photographed the border sign - happened to be some nice rocks there to but a bit hot for much time out of the air con.

We managed to get away from Santa Fe before 3pm so most of the driving was in day light, but most of it was also on the straightness that is the I-40
Liam was distracted by the creatures we saw road side. They went on for several miles so it was a great distaction. Once we left Flagstaff it was beginning to get dark so we could only faintly make out the canyon landscape around us in the final leg to Desert View Campground. When we arrived the welcoming party was out and two children excitedly exited the car to see their grandparents. Liam had been keeping himself awake but he wasn't going to sleep anytime soon. Still several walks later and a cup of tea we had our camp set up an all got to sleep.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's a giant!

We are getting ready to go away tomorrow. Liam and I made bread to have to tea tomorrow night. Referred to as a "Jamie Bread" many of you will have consumed some. It has, in this case, prosciutto, egg, basil, sundried tomatoes, brie, blue, sharp, feta and parmesan cheese. Posted by Picasa

An unseasonal day

This is the outside of our house. It's a pretty typical central Santa Fe house, you can't see the bits of wood that stick out across the front 'cause they're behind the tree - but we do have them. We also have a porch swing but its on the back porch, it's very pleasant in the late afternoon and evening. It was hailing this day as we arrived back from our drive to Taos. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

O'keefe country

 Posted by Picasa

Scenic Steam

Having seen many stationery steam trains it had been promised to Liam that we would ride on one. Friday night we packed up again, after what seemed like no time at all in Santa Fe, and headed back to the northern part of New Mexico. After Espaniola we took a different route than previous trip and headed past Ghost Ranch through some fantasticly sculptural landscape. The colours in the rock are hard to describe. I think they range was possibly greater with the rain wetting the rock in places. We camped at Heron lake which was giving a good demonstration of how severe the drought had been here. The water level must have been 10 -12 metres below normal. There's a marina and boat ramps which all looked very strange. The ramps go off a cliff to nowhere and you look down a long way onto the floating marina pontoons. The lake must be very deep as there are still some large boats there. I imagine the fishing might be easier - less places to hide /try with less water.
Still while we were there the rain decided to fall so we set up camp in the rain, one of my least favourite ways to set up a tent. It rained almost all night, enough for the water to run down the road, the ground was very soft and as we left the next morning our car was sliding with so much mud on the tyres.
The train station was in Chama and the train we were catching the Cumbres and Toltec scenic railroad which runs from Chama to Antonito in Colorado. It's a narrow gauge railroad and the remains of a much larger system dating from mining, farming and forestry activites in the area.
The train left in the rain but the weather cleared as we chugged along. Richard and Liam spent lots of time outside on the open carriage. I wasn't so keen to take Madeline out there so we enjoyed the view from the carriage windows. The motion soon had Madeline asleep. The advantage of all the rain we've had is that there are alot of wildflowers in bloom , they have lovely names like Indian paint brush and fairy trumpet . The train winds up through rocky country to Osier for a lunch stop. We had a look around the engine here to while the engineers oiled bits and refilled water and things. After lunch you either return to Chama or head on to Antonito, we did the later a longer trip but very worthwhile. There were two tunnels in this section and some amasing rock formations. the track winds down off the mesa again one corner is named whiplash curve because of the corners. The trip takes about six hours with a bus ride back to Chama. The road follows the rail track for alot of the way so you see where you've been. What takes 5 hours by train takes 1 by bus. We had dinner in a cafe called cookin' books the food was excellent as was their selection of books, they had so many I wanted to read I couldn't choose. We'd decided we'd drive back to Santa Fe that evening it was only a couple of hours and then we'd have sunday at home.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

As we were leaving Denver the sky was looking grey and we were watching lightning in the sky but it cleared as we drove into the hills, we took the 285 out of Denver and turned off at Grant onto the Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic by-way, our map showed some campsites here. We camped at Burning Bear campsite, and though several other cars came by they didn't stay so it was us and the squirrels and bugs, worst bugs we've had anywhere!

Richard and the kids made dinner and I set up the tent.

Richard Liam and Madeline climbed up the rocks behind the tent in the morning after we had our first rainy night in the tent, held up OK and since it was fine again by morning the tent was dry again to pack up.

You can't see it very well but there is a little creature in the photo with the car (our car incase there was any doubt). The other two photos are just scenic views from the camp site.

In the morning we continued on to Georgetown, an old silver mining and train town, which is very pretty especially with all the flowers and flags out for Independance day. Our trip was developing a mining theme so we comtinued on to Leadville, home of the National mining hall of fame and museum, naturally there was a train as well. We visited the museum and matchless mine which is associated with it. Interesting but kind of kitchy too. The dioramas gave Liam a good understanding of mining thou. Madeline wasn't very keen on the walk through mining types. It was raining again as we headed out south and east we passed through Beuna Vista and over cottonwood pass(12126ft) on the main divide to Taylor park resovior and the Taylor creek. We'd planned on stopping at one of the many campsites along the river but we'd forgotten to get cash and campsite envelopes don't take plastic. So we drove on down to Gunnison, got cash and dinner and headed to another campsite on the lake nearby. The lake is another dammed canyon and along the side in places are some dramatic pinnacle formations, the digital camera battery had runout by now so you'll have to wait till the film is developed for those pictures.
Campsites are commonly a pull in area a table and some grass area with a metal fireplace/BBQ, so you can park you're RV and put out an awning over the table and have a fire. The ground isn't always that flat but we've done OK so far. Interestingly you can have a campfire here which is the first place we've found,everywhere else is too worried about fire risk. I this case we had views of the pinncales and lake from the tent door. After breakfast and pack up in the morning we drove further up the side road we'd taken to the camp and went for a walk. The weather had improved when we crossed to the west of the divide but there has been enough rain for a lovely display of wildflowers. We didn't walk too anywhere but after about an hour we turned back, just after we started to hear thunder so it seemed like a wise choice. Along the way we had some great views of the pinnacle formations and the creek we were walking up appeared to be occupied by some industrious beavers. We also found a tree which chriped and on further investigation housed some woodpeaker, there were about five very round holes up the trunk, and as we stood we saw a baby peak out, mum was getting agitated by our tanding round though so we walked on.

Lunch was just over before the rain started. Richards current complaint is sweet bread, most of the white bread tastes sweet, I think it's lack of salt in the dough but it's not that good for ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches.

It was a long but very scenic drive from here back to Santa Fe, we followed the Rio Grande river alot of the way it we hit the plains and some very straight roads. Got back to town in time to visit friends still at the Marriot and watch the fireworks which were put on at the high school. There was a dramatic lightning show at the same time west of the fireworks which was one of the best we've seen. We were looking onto the side of the front so the lightning was in much the same place all the time.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Water world

For the fourth of july weekend we joined a collegue of Richard's and went to Denver.
We left home on friday night after work collected takeaway at Las Vegas and found a camp at Sugarite State Park before dark. Sugarite Canyon is a beautiful with cliffs along the top edge there has been extensive coal mining in the area in the past. The top end, almost on the Colorado boarder has been damed to form a lake (Lake Maloya) We camped at soda pocket campground about half way up the canyon. The drought here combined with the thunderstorms and dry ligtning strikes has ment that the campground closed on the 3rd of July, this is happening alot around the state they are most concerned about people getting trapped by fires rather than creating them. Still it provoded us a a conveniant stop and we saw deer, hummingbirds and butterflies.

Since we had a destination in mind we headed straight up the I-25, we stopped for supplies at Pueblo and had a look at Trinidad and Colorado Springs, in fact we joined hundreds of other people at Garden of the gods park. I think it was just as well we weren't trying to walk any of the trails as it was bedlam. Much like Bandelier was on Memorial day. But the rock is incredible, so the slow traffic wasn't really a problem.
We had thought of camping near Denver but weren't really surprised to discover the campgrounds full when we arrived. We decided to stay in a hotel in Winchester the Marriot Springfield suites, very similar to the Residence Inn we were so familiar with. We did some shopping had dinner across the road at an Italian resturant, it was really nice though the area seemed very new and there were no houses near by. We were headed to a water park in Denver It was much bigger than the one in Amarillo, lots of rivers which you ride rafts on and a couple of wave pools, some big sides and a nice area for the under 48"ers with several small slides and water fountains and things. We had a great day there, Liam liked the Lost river of the Pharaohs best. Madeline enjoyed the river rides as well thou she wasn't so keen on going backwards, but neither was I!

We left the park about 4ish and headed into the hills.

Rid'im cowboy

Some time ago now it feels like we spent a saturday in Santa Fe, we went to the market and did things round here. That evening we went to the Rodeo. It was fun, Rodeo queens and princesses, who need to be able to ride AND be pretty. Cowboys in big hats and chaps. We were sitting near one end of the ground so could see the animals and cowboys all getting ready. There's more to rodeo than I realised, bucking horses, riding bulls, ropeing calves alone or in a pair, barrel racing for the girls and mutton busting for the kids 4 -6ish (try riding a sheep!)

Liam has cotton candy - after a transation problem -they don't know what candyfloss is here.