Once upon a time, there was a cavern… (Mary Hopkin)

Off we go to the 4.6 mile system of caverns formed from the erosion of large limestone deposits over millions of years, Meramec Caverns in the Ozarks.

Stalactites

IMG_7133 (1)and stalagmites

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meet and join to form pillars.

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Here is another union formed 49 years ago lol

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Isn’t it spectacular when you add a bit of colour??


This onyx mountain is a one of a kind formation, only 33 million years old…

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Mother nature’s wine cellar… Can you see the grapes and the wine table with glasses on top?

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We come to a 78-million-year-old “theater,” which features a “stage curtain” 70 feet high.

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The big light show and music finale of God Bless America projected on this stone drapery is quite dramatic, even for Canadians as it is sang by Canadian superstar Céline Dion…

We will never be spelunkers, but we certainly would enjoy exploring other caves.

We drive back to our campsite by taking route 66.

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What better way to end this adventure…

And, to our delight, Norm’s creation in the slow cooker smells wonderful!

Working at the car wash blues (Jim Croce)

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After paying for a car wash, Roger is told the car wash is closed…will open some time today but that his receipt is good for 15 days ha! Not great for travellers!Well, luckily, it did open today 🙂

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Squeaky clean 🙂

New Mexico is a very colourful state. There are apparently 10 different colours of licence plates available…

Then, there is this box on the corner of a street.IMG_7259 (1).jpg

At  first, it appears to be a garbage pale, then possibly a mailbox but in the end, it is just a colourful box lol

Our last night in Ruidoso is quite cool, -7 C. No wonder they close this hilly part of the campsite for the winter. Still no snow however and great scenic area to try to get our 10 000 steps in.

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But at the end of the day, whether you are home or travelling, laundry has to be done. Of course, after reading this sign in the laundry room, you do not mind so much…

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Love letters in the sand (Pat Boone)

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Visited the largest gypsum dunefield in the world today. It covers an amazing 275 square miles.

Driving towards the Tularosa basin in southern New Mexico from Ruidoso, we can see the dunes from miles away. Not surprising since the astronauts can see these pure white dunes from space…

Rain and snow bring the gypsum from the mountains to the basin. Wind and water brake down the crystals to form the sand. To survive, plants like the Yucca and the Sumac adapt.

 

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So do the animals, becoming lighter to hide and keep cooler.

You think you have snow??

Well they do plow the sand lol

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Children enjoy sliding down the dunes.

Families make good use of the picnic tables. IMG_7295 (1)

All in all, visiting White Sands Monument is an exciting and unique experience.

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But then, so is spotting a bird running across the road on our way back.

Norm says : What else can it be but a roadrunner? lol And so it was 😊

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Obviously, we did not take this picture…

but we did this one 🙂

What grows on this tree?

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Read on…

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Hey, Mr Spaceman (The Byrds)

Déjà vu…
-the barren landscape of northern Texas

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-the oils rigs dotting the countryside

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-our efficient pilot and co-pilot (notice the co-pilot is a bit more focused lol)

Does anyone like to play Find the differences?? Look back at the blog Gotta travel on… and find what Norm was doing on the almost exact picture lol

And then, we arrive in New Mexico.

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Welcome to Roswell! You cannot go through Roswell without stopping at the UFO MUSEUM.

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Lots to read and lots to take in. Of course if you are familiar with the July 1947 flying saucer crash near Roswell and the four little “alien” crew,

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it just confirms everything… if you are a believer.

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We’re not sure why the aliens would pick Roswell to visit… but it wasn’t for the scenery.

Onward ho to Ruidoso. So much more scenic…

When we get to our campsite, we learn of the Christmas Jubilee. So off Yolande and I go to this shopping extravaganza. What beautiful artwork and craftmanship. However, we did remember that we were flying home…

What a great family event. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about??

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American Pie (Don McLean)

‘Long, long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile’

Don McLean by singing ‘the day that he died’ in the song American Pie most certainly referred to the tragic death of Buddy Holly.

The Buddy Holly Centre in Lubbock was all we expected.

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Although Roger and I have visited the Centre before, there is always something missed. Norm and Yolande were moved by the story of Buddy Holly’s short lived career… Entering high school, Buddy already mastered the guitar, the banjo and the mandolin. He toured the U.S.A, England and Australia in 18 months and had many songs in the charts, including a # 1 song, That’ll be the day that I die…

Then, one plane crash and ‘the music died’. We cannot help to wonder what his career would have become had he lived passed the age of 22…

The Centre also features an art gallery with traveling exhibitions. The Celebracion exhibition is comprised of mostly creations of mixed media. Can you believe the flowers are made of vinyl records?

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Lunch at the Triple J Chophouse & Brew was terrific. Norm and Roger had a beer from the in house brewery, the Raider Red.

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Guess what desert we brought home lol Of course, praline bread pudding 😊

The restaurant’s walls were covered with memorabilia…and very funny signs lol

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After reading this one,

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Yolande and I came up with this one…

                          Wanted : Good Man

           Must be able to cook,  fix anything,

                      and give foot massages.

 Cannot be a snorer, a smoker or a hunter

      Must have classic car and motorcycle.

          Please send picture of motorcycle 🙂

 

After lunch, we visited The American Windmill Museum which incorporates the world’s largest windmill collection,

IMG_7211 (1)IMG_7215 (1)one of the largest grinding mill stones collection, a 3,000 foot mainline track of miniature trains

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We saw why it is internationally acclaimed.

There is another main attraction in Lubbock, but we did not have to visit as we already were seeing the little creatures appear everywhere… Can you see and tell what they are? Hint : they are found in the Canadian prairies as well and resemble our ground hogs, although they are much smaller…

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Yes, there is a Prairie Dog Town in Lubbock 🙂

Gotta Travel On…to Lubbock TX, home of Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly sang Gotta Travel On as the opening song on his final tour in January and February 1959.

He was 22 years old.               untitled

_________________________________________________________________________________________ After some delay on our travels yesterday, we stop in Sherman,TX to experience a rare (and sleepless) Wal Mart overnight stay. Will be even rarer lol

We did avoid driving in a severe thunderstorm… As you see, a frightened Yolande immediately crawls under the table…(She is actually getting the napkins stored in a cupboard lol)

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From Sherman, you can drive on Hwy 82 all the way to Lubbock, avoiding Dallas’ traffic. You can’t miss a turn though… Luckily, pilot and co-pilot are doing a good job:)

The road is actually better than our Hwy 17, although a bit boring as far as landscape.  Unbelievably, the speed limit is 75 mph. (125 km per hour)

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Looking forward to visiting the Buddy Holly Centre tomorrow.

Get ready guys. You won at Sequence last night but not tonight!!

If it is any consolation for some of you, it is 0 degrees when we land in Lubbock…

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Thanks for all the comments. Truly motivating.

Natalie asked the difference between stalactites and stalagmites. (Cavern blog). Both are formed of calcium salts deposited by slowly dripping water ( .0012 inches to .12 inches per year). The stalactites are formed on the ceiling of the cave whereas the stalagmites rise from the floor.

Lucy, thank you for enlightening me. You are right : Wikipedia says that the Mississippi River is 2, 320 mi in length, Experiencemississippiriver.com says 2,340, and google says 2, 348. The truth is, I have none of those choices on the blog 😊

 

 

Rollin down the highway…(BTO)

Sorry to leave this quiet campsite…IMG_7178 (1)

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Well, except for the Asian lady bugs that kind of invaded the place, and attacked us when we were reading in bed lol

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Yes, we thought they were just our friendly lady bugs, but these bite…

Today we travelled through Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. In northern Texas we passed Malta, Detroit, Reno. In the town of Paris, we looked for Les Champs Élysées but they were nowhere to be found ha!

Wherever we stop, we have difficulty conversing with locals, as their southern accent is so pronounced…but then, they cannot always understand us… Who has the accent??

We passed the Mississippi river a few times. Sure is a big one!

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But how long?   Which is the correct answer?    2 550 miles, 3 348 miles or 1998 miles?

Take a guess before you google it 🙂

Walking in Memphis (Marc Cohn)

Can anything top a visit to Graceland? Maybe not, but a tour of Memphis sure matches it!!!!

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Norm and  Yolande could have rented one of these scooters…

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But they chose to walk Beale St. to be able to take in all the musical history and famous establishments:)

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Wow! Be it a “best burger ever” at Hard Rock Café,

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a 3 hour musical bus tour or… Yolande playing the base at Sun Studios, it all made for an adventurous VERY fun day.

If Yolande signs a contract, you might never see her in Val Caron again…

Back at the motorhome, it’s to bed early; Roger says 6 a.m. wake up call tomorrow 🙂