Petroglyph Natl. Monument Alb. NM

Wednesday morning (after making Paul’s blood donation!) we visited Petroglyph National Monument, viewing several petroglyphs! Amazing to look at this and know there are several thousand petroglyphs on this mountain of rocks!

It is believed the West Mesa was formed about 150,00 years ago from six lava flows from fissures in the earth. Two flows created the lava covering the plateau of West Mesa. As the amount of lava decreased, later eruptions created the volcanic cones. On the other side of the park are the “Three Sisters”, classic and well-preserved examples of fissure eruption. The boulders created by erosion at the edge of the first flows, were used by American Indians and settlers of Spanish, Mexican and Indian backgrounds to create more than 20,000 petroglyphs.

Knowing they have survived over hundreds of years makes their existence amazing! It is believed that the majority were carved from 1300 to the late 1680s, but a small percentage predate the Puebloan time period, perhaps reaching back as far as BC 2000! Here are only a few of the 40+ pictures we took!

We thought these may be modern, since there appeared some defacing, but the ranger said crosses were from the Spanish settlers. He also told us there was very little graffiti.

Other images, such as the sheep are also believe to have been carved by early Spanish settlers.

And then there is the carvings that are only 91 years old!! Several years ago the names were traced, and one of them was still living. He told of being 19-years old, working for the railroad and had the day off. They went hiking and added their name and date, a “modern day” petroglyph!

For dinner, we went to La Hacienda restaurant in Old Town, enjoying a Mexican dinner, (me with a tostada, Paul with combination, chili relleno, taco, and enchilada) and it was even warm enough we were able to eat out on the patio with a view of the town square!

We left the warm weather behind us, and today, as we passed the Continental Divide in western New Mexico, where the elevation of the nearest town was 7200 feet, we hit a snow blizzard, complete with gusty winds and snow!! It was a real challenge to Paul’s driving ability, but he did great…. I would have panicked and just stopped!!

But soon after getting into Arizona, the snow was gone, but it was still windy and cold. We stopped before lunch at a campground located just about an hour or two from the camp, taking the afternoon to relax. We plan to get there sometime tomorrow morning!

Acoma Sky City and El Malpais, West of Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tuesday, we took a journey ourselves into the past and visited Acoma Pueblo or Sky City, about an hour southwest of Albuquerque. (Check out two great websites by clicking on each of the names of the town) On the way, we were impressed with the Enchanted Mesa, which raises about 400 feet above the desert floor.

The tour of Sky City was an amazing tour!! The city itself sits on a mesa, 360 feet above the desert floor, and has been carbon dated to 1150 AD, and there have been habited since.

The tour starts at the visitor center/museum at the base.

A van takes visitors up to the top for the tour of the pueblo.
The oldest continually inhabited community in North America, it is a National Trust Historic Site.
There is no running water, no electricity up on the mesa, and they prefer to keep it that way.
There are several cisterns in the community, where they get their water from,
The homes on the other side of the cistern are on the cliff and are three stories- there are two levels below the level seen!
The traditional Kiva (meeting house, with the ladder facing north, and the arrows pointing east and west.

This is the oldest “street”, with homes built over 100 years ago, with a dry cistern in front.

Although a few live there all of the time, most have other homes, and visit, especially during celebrations. The homes are passed down to the youngest daughter of the family.

Views were AWESOME!! To the North (note one of the cisterns, the outhouses, and the wood)

To the West, noting the oven!

East, another oven, cornfield in the background, on the desert floor

and South, where the San Esteban del Rey Mission and cemetery is.

The Mission took about 40 years to build, back in the 1600’s. Notice the tall base of the cemetery (bottom left of picture) in front of the church. It has five layers (last layer) of burials in it, with all of the sand for the layers between hauled up by the women in pots from the desert floor. Along the edge of the wall surrounding the cemetery are heads looking in, complete with eyes, to watch over the dead. There is a memorial cross for all of those buried in the bottom four layers. No pictures were allowed inside the mission or the cemetery.
Residents of the city make pottery, and there were vendors who set up the pottery and jewelry they made. We bought some homemade bread (which was baked in an oven like the ovens pictured) and small bowls from each of the two pictured.

I found more interesting doors, including the “mother-in-law door”!

Along with my doors, I could not pass up taking a close up picture of this window! Two-inch thick “Icing Glass” is set into the two-foot thick wall!

After the tour ends, the option to walk down is given….. a few of us decided to go that way instead of riding the van back. Lots of narrow rock steps, but well worth the walk for the close up views of more of the scenery

We made it down safe and sound!

Adjoining the Acoma land is El Malpais National Monument. More incredible views from on top of the sandstone!

Paul in one of the dry cisterns that resembled a bathtub!


along with the lava

La Ventana Arch is the largest accessible arch in New Mexico, with a thickness of 25 feet, 125 feet high and 165 feet across at the base.

Yes, that is patches of snow on the right of the arch in the lower picture 🙂
We were disappointed not to be able to go along the Chain of Craters Backcountry Byway, a dirt (jeepin) road that was closed due to snow and wet mud rendering it impassable. In addition to being a good 4-wheelin road, it led to Big Tubes area, an area that had some lava caves. So, another year, another stop!
In looking back at the pictures, none of them do justice for the beauty and the feel of this incredible place!

Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico

Over the years, Albuquerque has been a nice looking town we have passed through on I-40.
This year we decided to take a couple of days to stop and “see the sites” on our trip through. Not nearly enough time!! We could spend a lot more time here and in the surrounding areas! There is so much to see!!
Since we arrived close to noon on Monday, we spent the afternoon exploring Old Town, visiting San Felipe de Neri Church,

Old Town plaza,
With replica of cannons that were buried by the Confederate soldiers during the “war of northern aggression”, so the Union soldiers could not find and use them. Some years later, the Confederate officer returned and showed the local residents where thy were buried.

and the sculpture garden, with the Bear, Clouds and Airplanes

and the depiction of people in everyday life,

And this depiction of the journey in 1598 of over 600 immigrants.

The impression we have gotten has been good…. from the painted overpasses and rock pictures along the interstate, to the history and surrounding views, we know why Albuquerque, and New Mexico, is truly enchanting!


Everytime we travel on I-40, we stop to admire the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere which is located in Groom, Texas, just east of Amarillo. The first time we stopped to see it, the 190 foot high cross was the only display on the property. (To comprehend the size of the cross, can you find our RV at bottom left?) Each time we have stopped, more life-sized sculptures, cast in bronze, were added. Now, there are a total of 14 stations, traveling with Jesus to his crucifixion and resurrection, concluding with the empty tomb. In a separate building is a full scale replica of the Shroud of Turin. There is also a pro-life memorial to the unborn aborted babies that is very moving.

Let the pictures and the website speak for themselves. Remember, these are life-sized and cast in bronze!
What a special way to spend Palm Sunday afternoon!

He is Risen…….. He is Risen, Indeed…….AMEN!!

Westward Bound, Anadarko

Our last day at LUC, the ladies were responsible for lunch, and there was 150 lbs of potatoes that needed to be peeled, parboiled and put in plastic bags to freeze! So, we kept busy! Paul finished up the electrical work, tracing wiring, hung another light, and sealed the grout on the tile.
We all finished at 2:30, had our final meeting, picture taking and prayer circle.

We had all been invited by Ken, the director, to meet with him after dinner, and he answered a lot of questions we all had about the ranch. It was a very informative, interesting meeting, and we could tell he had a real heart for the Lord and for the work he began 27 years ago. He was asked by one of the boys during a consequence time, if anyone had called him merciful. He said no, and the boy told him no one would ever call him that! Another boy, during a consequence time, threatened him with a two by four. He continued to approach, and as they got face to face, the boy dropped the board and after a couple of hours of tears and brokenness, accepted the Lord as his Saviour. The rewards are great.
We accomplished a lot that we could actually see! The Trading Post that helps fund the ministry (a thrift store, where donations received are sold) was doubling in size, and two connecting breezeways (hallways) were built to attach a new metal building approximately 40×80 feet. Within this building, a small office was built in one corner to use for the auto sales. Apparently the state requires sale of autos and boats be kept separate from the thrift store sales. Paul was able to run electrical and phone wires, add the rubber flooring, and do the tile floor. I was able to clean at the Trading Post, paint the signs, and help in the kitchen.
We left at 9:30 AM on Friday morning, in the fog, not knowing exactly how long we were going to drive, what route to take, or where we were going to stop. Paul started driving, I got out the maps and started planning!
Our first stop on our way west is Anadarko, OK, a few miles southwest of Oklahoma City. Our campsite is in the city park, right beside a river, with this the view from our table!!

The heavy winds kept us awake, and we found out it usually is windy here… Just looking at the trees, they are twisted, broken, yet strong looking!

We put in just over 8 hours traveling, including stops. Anadarko is known as the “Indian capitol”! We were hoping to tour Indian City, but it was closed.
Several buildings in town have murals. This one was the most impressive to me… It took three pictures to get the whole mural in.

The Post Office also had several murals done by Stephen Mopope, one of the “Kiowa Five”.

We also visited the Southern Plains Indian Museum, with exhibits of several tribes, and the National Hall of Fame for Famous American Indians, which was a collection of 42 busts of famous American Indians, beginning with Hiawatha. I recognized some names, such as Geronimo, Pocahontas, Sacajawea, and Will Rogers, who I did not know was Indian!

One I did not recognize, but we all should, since he gave his life for our country, was Cpl. Mitchell Red Cloud Jr.

A fitting reminder, that no matter what nationality, we should all be known as American!

MMAP Week 3

It is hard to believe we are beginning our third and final week here at the LUC Boys Ranch. There is so much more to be done.
However, last week there was a group of farmers from all over here volunteering, this week there is a group of Jr. high and high school students from Illinois that come annually in March, as well as a semi-retired plumber and his wife, who come on a frequent, regular basis. (You can imagine, there would always be plumbing issues in a place like this!!)
We have had variety not only in our work, but also in our weather and in our worship on Sunday mornings.
We woke up on Sunday morning to snow barely covering the ground.

Along the road side, we passed trees frozen, just encased in ice; very beautiful, but no picture!
In spite of this, we headed out in the Jeep to worship at the Cowboy Church again. Not many at church, but definitely worth the effort. Among the songs were He Dipped His Pen in my Heart, (one I have always liked!), When He was on the Cross I was on His Mind This one was new to me, one I had never heard, but I loved the words to it.. It made me feel so special that He would have died, just for me! Then, Sweet By and By, Peace in the Valley, and ending with Swing Lo, Sweet Chariot!!

This week, Paul finished up the electrical at the vehicle sales office and then was assigned, with help from another MMAPPer, to add rubber covering to the steps.

He was also asked to tile below the stairs, which he did ALL BY HIMSELF! Monday morning I spent trying to find matching tile, and did not come up with enough of any one color, so one of the staff members came up with more that were similar enough with color tones, and the same size, to use together. I did not realize how many shapes, sizes, colors, finishes and heights tile could come in. The amount of donated tile is amazing; however, frustrating when trying to match them to get enough for a room. But the collage of different tiles looks very good!! The entry hall came out looking wonderful!!

There was no light fixture, just a hanging lightbulb, so Paul rummaged through some stuff and found a light fixture that just gave it the finishing touch!!

He also added trim to and hung a whiteboard for one of the staffers.

And this is the same building my sign was for!!

Yesterday was ladies day out, and today I needed to get a prescription and some supplies for Paul, so was away from the ranch for the better part of the day again. Tomorrow, our last day working here, we ladies will be on lunch prep.
More random pictures of the ranch: Buffalo formerly owned by Dolly Parton for her Dixie Stampede show….sent to the ranch, but was too mean, so he ended up on the wall!!

Every time we entered, these signs greeted us along the road:

(Must have been hung a while ago, cause the ruts need fixin again!)

Hats: You are What You Wear

It is a cold, rainy day here today, and Paul is doing some plumbing work on the toilet, cleaning out the tank, doing some general maintenance. My chance to get on the computer and play! Since we are not sightseeing, I decided to show what sights the camp staff has been seeing!
Paul’s hats have come to describe Paul, and have become legend here:
There are the basic, knit winter hats for the cold weather (you know the kind I mean!),
Phone Company hat, for who he was,

The old man hat for who he is,

The traveling ones that describe where he has been, and what he does,

And then there is the casual dress hat, his favorite, most comfortable one,

The “jeepin” hat as we call it, that has been renamed “funky”, “unusual”, “has character”,”needs to be shot”, “world traveled” hat
(that in a nutshell!) really describes him best :)!

And now he has his new “Classy” Hat!!
It took two weeks to decide to bargain for the hat at the Trading Post…. after everyone convinced him it was truly him!! But he is not replacing the jeepin hat, as they thought he might! It just became his new special occasion, formal hat. Watch out Nate and Chris, it may be at your wedding!!
All these, for a man who does not like to wear hats?!

MMAP End of the Week 2

As we look back, and with only a week left at this job, (it is hard to believe we left home three weeks ago!!) we are pleased to see there has been progress and accomplishment. At the Trading Post, the guys have done more than what was expected, and that is a good feeling. With the breezeways finished,

they have moved on and are working on a porch over the receiving door,

and the office room, including getting electrical up and running

A couple of the ladies continued to organize and label all of the cans that were donated without labels.

And I continued to clean at the Trading Post after lunch duties were done.

Friday, we picked up some electrical supplies for Paul to finish getting electricity into the new office. Our outing was going to include a show, Tribute to Red Skelton, but when we got there, we found out it was cancelled until September, due to the actor’s health. So we decided to go on up to Springfield again so Paul could see the Grizzly store,

and he got himself a palm nailer and a drill both powered by air.
And I met Tubby from BC, Canada!

On the way there, we stopped at the hospital for Paul to “give blood”, then stopped in a small town, Ozark to check out an antique store advertised along the highway, and of course we could not pass the Russell Stover candy shop without getting some samples!! Later, we checked out Missouri Conservation Park and took a walk on one of the trails, enjoying the beautiful day!! I noticed Springfield seems to have a lot of parks!
We had not had lunch, so decided to stop at Lamberts Cafe, where they “throwed rolls”. Now, that was a highlight, and a true dining experience. First, at 3:00 in the afternoon, on a week day, there was an hour and 15 minute wait!

While we waited, we visited the little strip mall behind it, and just had to take a picture of these raccoons!! Too bad we didn’t think of stuffing the ones we kept chasing out of our yard in Julian… they were over $300 a piece!

Any way, back to Lambert’s! Great music, lots of stuff on the walls, balloons, very festive atmosphere, fantastic food!

The food…. it was almost like a buffet served to you! First they came by with a big pot of fried okra, placing it on your napkin (paper towel). Your dinner included your meat (lots of it), and two sides.
On top of that, servers walked around with fried potatoes, macaroni and tomatoes (interesting, eh? Very good in fact!) and black eyed peas. Another server threw the best rolls!! He had good aim and I even caught both of the rolls he threw to me! (One was for Paul…really!). Facts from Lambert’s: In one year, they serve 13,107 gallons of slaw, 40,800 lbs of white beans, 110,619 lbs of beef, 150,000 of chicken legs and breasts, 61,650 lbs of chicken livers, 1,972,800 little butter patties, and 2,246,400 “throwed” rolls! A fun place to visit and eat!!
There are a lot of thrift stores an antique stores in this area, so on the way back, we checked out another large antique store, and then stopped along the way to take pictures of some of the fingers along Table Rock Lake.

LUC Boys Ranch, Week 2

At 7:30 each workday morning, we have devotions, lead by one of the men each morning. Paul wasn’t too keen on doing this, but was convinced he could do it. A fellow mapper asked if he wanted to use a video he highly recommended to all of us to watch. Paul did an excellent job of introducing the session with the song, Precious Jesus, and the story behind it. I am so proud of him.

The video we watched (2 sessions since it was an hour long) was entitled “The Heart of Texas”, a very moving true story of Christ providing forgiveness.
The guys continue to finish the enclosure and walling off an office in part of the building. In order to sell the vehicles and boats, the sales must be completely separate, with a separate office space for processing and monitoring sales. With the cook gone, I have been helping out in the kitchen preparing lunch, and cleaning at the Trading Post, an never-ending job!
Random shots around the ranch:
Welding shop,

One of the barns,

And one of the original buildings,

We were told a story about an itinerant preacher who came through early in the ministry and had a young man with him. He asked if he could leave him there and he would pick him up on the way back through. Ken agreed, letting him stay in this log cabin with another worker. The other worker complained about the man being crazy and was a little afraid of him, so he moved to another building. The young man stayed longer than what was expected, and Ken realized there was a real problem, and he needed to do something with him. He asked a group from church to pray with him over this man. They did so, and they all felt a demon spirit leave him. The man changed, and only after that did the preacher return for him. The young man is now a pianist at a church.
God is still in the business of changing lives and doing miracles.

Springfield, MO

On Sunday afternoon, after the Gospel music, we had lunch with the other two MMAP couples that also attended, then we went our separate ways.
We headed for Springfield, with my long list of things to see. It was raining and some of the sites were outside and did not really seem appealing in such weather. On our way up we stopped at an antique store to check out the merchandise. One thing I am noticing in this area, there are a LOT of thrift and antique stores! Our first scheduled stop was going to be Grizzly Tools Of course, I had not checked, and they were closed on Sunday. But, we checked out the Disabled Veterans Thrift store (I know, I am NOT a shopper!!) across the road, since it had just opened the day before.
The Historic District sounded interesting, so we drove down historic Walnut Street. There were several really neat old homes along the street.

The largest, “granddaddy” Bass Pro Shop is in Springfield, so when we saw the green roof, we knew we had to stop! The place was huge! As you come in, a fireplace greets you. I could have sat there the rest of the day!

Among the great finds in the gun section was an 1886 Winchester Rifle for sale for $42,000! It did include the original case!
And a Starbucks!!