Saturday, December 28, 2013

Skiing at DMR

Friday, December 27, 2013

Today, I was a little slow to get going, for some reason I didn't sleep well last night. We decided to go skiing, but opted to go for the half-day, which starts at 12:30. We headed out the door about 11:30. Tony put the fixin's for a roast on to cook in the crock pot.

We drove to Durango Mountain Resort, (about 18 miles north of us,) got our lift tickets, and headed up the 6-pack lift. We had a great day skiing, and really enjoyed having most of the areas we wanted to ski, all to ourselves! The "backside" is mostly blues and blacks, so they are less crowded... and today there were very few people on them. We enjoyed skiing down Legends, Sally's Run, and Vincents, as well as Mercy, Salvation, The Bank, and Demon. According to the Ski Tracker app, we skied more than 8 miles today, with a Max speed of 31mph. 

Something else that helped our skiing was the fact that we went skiing over Thanksgiving, (without the trailer, so that's why no blog entries). Muscle memory does help!

Trail Map for DMR

Tony in the chair ahead of me.

Me in the chairlift.

What a view of the mountains!

When we came home, we could smell the roast cooking, from outside the coach! Opening the door, it smelled even more wonderful! We put the ski stuff away, and enjoyed a great meal. After dinner we relaxed and surfed and took it easy. I was having a little bit of a headache, so I headed off to bed early.

Tony and the kitties joined me later. What a fun, exhausting day!

Slow Day

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Today, we took it easy, since we had such a busy day yesterday. We decided to take care of some chores around the trailer, i.e., dumping tanks and such. Tony took one of the propane tanks to be refilled, and also looked into the clogging fuel issue. With further investigation, the clogging sound was in the fuel filter housing, not the filter or the pump. He went to the NAPA store and bought another "backup" filter. They recommended a couple of additives to help break up the contaminants, and hopefully that would clear the fuel line. He added it and ran the pump to fill the truck's tank, and he said it sounded better and filled faster, so maybe that has got it. We'll have to use some fuel so we can try it again, later.

Tony also went to WalMart and picked up a few things. While he was gone, I worked on the blog and printed out some coupons we might use later.

When Tony got home, we fixed dinner and then watched a movie, "Steve Jobs", based on the man who cofounded Apple Computer. It was quite interesting. Ashton Cusher does a good job portraying him.

Sorry this is uneventful, some days are like that!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas from Wolf Creek!

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Mammoth's Christmas Wreath!

Merry Christmas from the Mammoth! (see the tree in lights?)

Today, we woke up and got ready to head to Wolf Creek Ski Resort for the day. It's about a 2 hour drive down CO 160, through Bayfield and Pagosa Springs, then up Wolf Creek Pass to the resort. Roads are completely clear, so it was an easy drive.

We passed Chimney Rock National Monument on the way. Too bad it's closed during the winter. (Sorry the pic isn't better, the sun was in the way!)

We arrived at Wolf Creek, and were surprised how few cars were there. GREAT! we thought!

Sure enough, I guess because it was Christmas Day, not many folks hit the slopes. We had a great time with sunny skies, short lift lines, great snow, and good ski-legs! Using our ski-tracks app, we skied 8.7 miles, with a max speed of 27.8 MPH.

Welcome to Wolf Creek!

Base area

View during lunch at the Raven's Nest Catina.

Panorama from the top of Treasure Lift, 11,904 ft

Having a Merry Christmas!

About 2:45, we started back to Durango. We saw a few deer or Elk along the way.

Small, but they are there!

These seemed bigger, maybe elk?

We got home, and kitties were glad to see us. We unloaded our gear, and Tony made Mexican cheese dip with hot sausage for dinner. It was great! Followed a little later with Pecan pie.

We called our families and wished them all a Merry Christmas, and headed to bed early as we were pretty tired.

So tired, that I somehow managed to trap Tango in the bathroom. He must have slipped in while I was getting ready for bed. It wasn't until a little later when Mambo would NOT STOP scratching at the bathroom door, and a white paw appeared from under it, that I realized what had happened! Luckily, only the last 1/5 of the toilet paper roll was harmed in the incident.

Ahhhh, it's Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Today, we awoke after our first night in Durango. We slept relatively well, I guess we were all pretty tired. The furnace ran off and on, the tank/pipe heaters did their thing, and we stayed warm and snuggly, especially with the two extra in-bed heaters (aka Mambo and Tango). I believe the lows are going to be in the teens while we are here. Very do-able for us and the way we've outfitted the Mammoth.

With the sun brightly shining, the frost on the windows didn't hang around for long. We also had a self-appointed window washer, Tango discovered he could lick the condensation off the inside of the windows!

We enjoyed a leisurely morning, and I put up the Christmas tree. We are really enjoying our fireplace we installed this summer! It's just right for taking the chill off, are keeps the living area temperatures more consistent in between the furnace running. The "stockings" were hung along the top edge for the pic only... they are held by magnets...we moved them to the side trim of the fireplace, so they were not in danger of getting too hot.  ;)

Stockings hung by the fireplace with care

We decided to head into Durango for some lunch at DSP Pizza, downtown. We headed down Main, and luckily found an angled parking spot just off a side-street where we could fit the truck. All of the parking meters were covered and marked "Free for the Holidays" so we did not have to pay. We walked down a block to the pizza joint, and had A SLICE of pizza. Wow, what control, right? NO, their one slice is made from a 26" pizza! The slice is as long as my forearm! I also got a Zuberfizz Orange Cream Soda to drink, made by Durango Soda Company.

After lunch, we walked around and shopped downtown and enjoyed the Christmas atmosphere. Really, you say? Enjoyed shopping on Christmas Eve? Well, believe it or not, it wasn't crowded. People were friendly. merchants were engaging. Christmas spirit was in the air, and not the craziness of big-city commercialism. Many places began to close early, as well, so they could be home with loved-ones. So about 4:30, we headed back to Mammoth, with one quick stop at the grocery store across the road from our park. 

Here are a few pics:

The Strater Hotel, built in 1887

Mammoth in her site at Westerly RV Park

A great view of their sign out our window!

At the grocery store, we had a unique experience. Five gentlemen in cowboy attire came in, with fiddles and guitars, and serenaded the store with a western themed Christmas carol. They were the Bar D Wrangers, from the Bar D Chuckwagon Supper Show, here in Durango. The Chuckwagon is closed for the season, but the Wrangers do some off-site performances during the holiday. We really enjoyed their caroling!

We went home and had dinner, and then decided to head back to town to go to the 7pm Christmas Eve Service at First United Methodist Church of Durango. We have been here before for Christmas Eve services, or maybe just service. I can't remember. We arrived about 6:45, and there was a line to get in! They anticipated a large crowd, and had many extra chairs lining the Sanctuary and additional seats in the isles. We sat in the overflow seats, as there were quite a few folks there already.

The service was very nice, it was a traditional (Methodist) format. However, they utilized multimedia during the service, and it felt very modern and uplifiting, even though the music and hymns were traditional. The sermon was very good as well, reminding us that Christmas was the beginning, not the end! We should not pack it away because it's "done", but to remember to keep the Christmas spirit always. I really enjoyed the message and the pastor.

After service, we came back home and enjoyed all the postings on facebook of friends and families getting together for the holiday. We also noticed that SOMEONE had been naughty while we were away, and one of the stockings from the fireplace ended up in the kitties' water dish! I can't imagine how that happened! Well, there may be coal in someone's stocking tomorrow. ;)

We decided we'll head to Wolf Creek ski resort tomorrow, (about a 2 hour drive east of us,) so we hit the hay fairly early. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Durango Bound

Monday, December 23, 2013

Today, we got up and took our showers at the park facilities, then quickly got packed up and headed out.

Our site

Eileen at Campers World RV Park, Clovis, NM

We headed along Hwy 84 until it crossed I-40 at Santa Rosa. We then continued on our "normal route" to Durango. We choose to take 285 to Santa Fe, then join 25 as it heads back to Albuquerque. We then turn off at 550 at Bernalillo, and thus avoid Albuquerque traffic altogether. It's really only about 10 minutes longer, but it's so much easier driving.

Route from Clovis, NM to Durango, CO

We stopped for lunch outside of Santa Fe, and ran our fuel pump to transfer fuel. It was still going slow, but managed to fill. Back on the road, we made good time, and enjoyed the scenery through New Mexico. So amazing, I wish we had time to stop and explore.

Volcanic features covered with snow along 550.

More volcanic feature along 550.

I can see snow covered mountains!

Red cliffs of Durango

We arrived at the Westerly RV Park outside of Durango near Trimble Hot Springs, about 5PM. The park host was gracious and helpful. Unfortunately, the pull through they wanted to put us in was a difficult one to get into due to our length and its location, so we opted for a back-in site, instead. The park host helped guide Tony in, and he had no problems. Because it was getting dark very soon, he let us get our water and set up before settling the bill.

Tony worked on getting the fresh tank filled, and the coach de-winterized (flushing the RV anti-freeze from the pipes), while I set up inside. After we were set up, Tony discovered that the driver's side window on the truck would not go up! The button would not work, and it appeared to be loose or broken. With a flashlight and a small screwdriver, he was able to get the window up again. YAY! It appears that the plastic button broke within the module. Hopefully we can replace the button itself, not the whole electric window/seat control module.

Once we solved that drama, we went in and had dinner and collapsed for the evening. Kitties enjoyed the small Vornado tabletop heater in the bedroom, warming the turned down sheets.

Yay! We are happy to be back visiting in Durango, for Christmas. Last year we were here, but I go sick and we could not enjoy it. We are looking forward to a good time.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

It's Christmas time, in the Mammoth

Sunday, December 22, 2013

We brought Mammoth home last weekend, in anticipation of our trip to Durango, Colorado for some skiing.

We had a number of small projects to do, including: replacing a broken closet catch, replacing the grab handle padding with rescue tape, replacing batteries in the keyless entry keypad, replacing the step carpets, and installing a new motion sensing porch light. We got them all done during the weekend, and I worked to get things loaded for our trip during the week.

We also completed a larger project since our last trip, dual sliding doors in the basement, so we'll have easy, quick access to the water pump, bypass valves, water lines and the AC/DC converter.

New doors closed

New door open 

We had out-of-town family visiting Friday and Saturday, but we managed to get Mammoth ready. The only problem was the weather was not. The panhandle of Texas was having snow and freezing precipitation, so we decided to take a different route.

Normally, we'd head to Amarillo, but instead, we took I-20 east and then angled NE up 84 to Clovis, NM. We pulled out about 9:15, and had no issues getting through the DFW metroplex.

We stopped for a rest stop about 45 miles past Weatherford. While there, an SUV pulling a long travel trailer parked in front of us. It was a Coachman, and a bunkhouse model. I saw the family exit and return, and then they took off again. Not long down the road, we saw this same SUV and trailer, flipped on the side if the road!

It looked like the SUV was Ok, so hopefully no one was injured.

The rest of the trip was fairly easy. We got to Campers World RV Park about 6pm, got checked in and set up. We decided not to use our water system, so we could stay winterized as we traveled the rest of the way to Durango.

The kitties did well traveling, the only fussed about an hour at the beginning of the trip, then settled in and slept most of the way.

One thing that we'll have to address, we noted that while filling the fuel tank via the external tank, it seemed to take longer than usual. After some research, we think our tank's fuel filter is getting clogged. Luckily, we picked up an extra before the trip.

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