Welcome to our Adventure...

We packed up the kids, dog and the trailer and headed out for adventure, learning and helping others. During our adventure we will try to update this site as often as possible to keep everyone interested involved in our travels and to keep a journal for ourselves. The plan is to be working, schooling, helping and sharing on the road for a year.
Please feel free to post comments and questions! Thanks for following!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Carlsbad Caverns

We did not realize that New Mexico was in Mountain time and not Central so our internal clocks were still set an hour earlier than local time. This being the case I was up by 6:30AM for coffee and Bible study. We knew we were going to visit the Caverns today and that they stop allowing people in using the "Natural Entrance" at 2PM so we decided we would do family church this morning vs. going to a church. We each spent time reading out loud the scriptures relating to Jesus' resurrection and how that event a couple of thousand years ago changes our lives yet today. We covered some somewhat tough writings by Paul about how if this one event had not really occurred then we were really just living, and even worse spreading, a lie. He knew, and we know, that this event was real because God through it provides us His spirit as a helper and that proof and the relationship we have directly with God gives us the hope and comfort of living in His plan. All the kids seemed to get the message and we discussed how we could live this in a real way today. The kids had good answers about encouraging one another, not fighting, helping other people we meet today, etc.
Stacey made pancakes with raspberries on top and bacon on the side. It was good and even with a somewhat leisurely morning we were on the road by 10:30AM. It was about half an hour drive to the caverns. When we arrived, there was a medium-sized crowd and we had to wait a bit to get our tickets. Once again the National Park pass that Eric and Harald got us saved us from any admission price!
After a brief set of rules from a Ranger we headed into the "Natural Entrance". This is a steep trail into the caverns that is how people have been entering the cave since it was discovered. The trail was pretty neat and reminded all of the kids of a waiting line for a ride at an amusement park. It was paved with handrails all the way in - over a mile in total.

Some times of the year people can come at sunrise or sunset to watch the flight
of the bats that make their home in the cave, but they are migratory and we just
missed getting to see them. A ranger said they are at the cave from around
May through October.
 The size of the cave is massive and I felt the most impressive part of the visit. We saw some great formations on the way down and then reached the area where the elevators arrive for those that cannot take the Natural Entrance. Here we started the mile loop of "The Big Room" which was really impressive. The trail around the room is about a mile and takes about an hour to tour. There were some great columns, stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, curtains (also known as bacon) and some pools. They lit the cavern really well and hid the wiring to where you could rarely see a light directly or a cable but could always see the trail well enough to feel safe and not worried about tripping.
Whales Mouth Formation

Lion's Tail 
One formation from the Hall of Giants

Once around the Big Room loop we hit the restrooms they had built in at the bottom of the cave and decided we would take the elevators back up. I really wanted to get some extra exercise but knew it would be too much for the little boys to make the trek back up the steep trail so we decided to stick together. As we were just about to enter the elevator for the trip up the lights all went out! Luckily, there were emergency lights that ran on battery power but we had to wait a good 5 minutes for the power to be restored to be able to get in the elevator for the trip up. We could only imagine being out in the cave itself with no real lights! We also felt very fortunate not to have been halfway up the 750 foot elevator ride when the power went out!

When we got to the top it was strange seeing the bright sunlight again. We piled in the Yukon and decided we would hit a hike on the way out. Unfortunately, one of the kids said their legs and feet hurt so much they could not make it on another hike so we decided to take a 10 mile backroad driving loop that turned out to be really neat. We saw a lot of desert landscape and canyons. We were hoping to see some snakes, spiders or scorpions from the safety of the car but did not see any.
Wicked looking thorns
Love these blooms. A variety of yucca, I think, but different from ours at home.
Rattlesnake Canyon
Gorgeous wildflowers
I actually talked them into getting out of the car for this pic.
We looked carefully for snakes first.
We got back to the trailer to a happy dog. Stacey made a nice dinner of ham, mashed potatoes, green beans and crescent rolls. I actually snuck in a nap. We tried to do more planning on where to visit the next month or so and in doing so figured out the wireless and Verizon coverage here is really bad. Looks like Verizon must partner through someone else here as their data is really slow and unreliable. We talked to the office about checking out early so I could be able to work better but the counter person was not able to give us much information so we will check in the morning on it. I might be spending my day at McDonalds!
We are finishing the day with the kids watching a free DVD rental from the RV park we are at and Stacey and I catching up on Blogging. Kinda nice having a little down time!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

On the road again...

Today we got up and ate a good breakfast and prepared to pull out of Yogi's place. We had a six to seven hour drive ahead of us to make it to our new RV Park in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

We stopped for gas in the little town of Ozona, TX and the gas station was right on a corner. Across the street from there was a nice little deserted playground with a parking area big enough for us to pull up and park so that became our lunch break spot. I made up some sandwiches while everyone stretched their legs. Bri went back into the convenience store at the gas station and filled up one of our bottles with crushed ice. It was so nice to have cold drinks with lunch! We haven't been able to keep our pitchers cold since there hasn't been room in the fridge. After about our first 6 weeks on the road, we broke a bracket in the fridge which held the bottom shelf in the door which was the only place to fit our pitchers vertically. Anyways, when we have the choice between lukewarm or cold drinks on a hot day, we'll take cold every time! After lunch, we went back into the convenience store to each choose a little something sweet for dessert and road trip fuel. ;o)

Then, back on the road for another 3-4 hours. We saw MANY oil derricks, lots of cacti and some cool land formations. Here are some of the sights we saw...

Ha ha ha ha. Don't know what this blimp was advertising, but the kids got
a big kick out of watching it circle.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Enchanted Rock

We cruised through the morning school and work! We caught up our chores that we were behind on. Brock took a few hours off and we headed to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. This is a big hill made of solid pink granite that people can climb all over.

We drove the half hour to get there and then we were in a big line of cars to even get into the park. There was an entrance fee to pay and then we found a parking place and set off to "climb" the rocks.

Wildlife - no snakes thankfully, just this cool lizard

Climbing the rocks was our boys' dream activity. They loved it!

On the way back to the trailer, we took a tiny detour through Luckenbach, Texas. There is a tiny post office there and a dance hall. Looked like some food, beer, and definitely a stage for live music. There were quite a few bikes parked there and lots of people milling around. We just drove through and saw it and I didn't even take a single picture, but it was cool to see that piece of history anyway.

We finished the day with more jumping and Yogi Bear even joined the kids on the big yellow pillow!