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Wagonmaster's wife driving a 43 ft RV on the train
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$2800 - 2 BR - 1150sf - 429 Euclid - Oak - Onsite Pkg Soon

Door To Enclosed/Secured Porch

Enter secured 2 BR Apt from porch Stairs go to landing

Landing to top floor

Kitchen 8 x 13

Kitchen 8 x 13

Enter 18 x 27 Dining/Living Room From Stair
Years ago a tenant made an area the size of the bright part of the carpet in the photo into a great fenced play area for their child to explore

Bath 11 x 9.5

3 x 3 Shower at Left

Tub Not Used - Save Water

Bedroom 1 - 11 x 18

BR 1 Closet 6.5 x 6.5

Bedroom 1 - 11 x 18 - 3 Windows

Bedroom 2 - 10 x 14 - 1 Large Window

Bedroom 2 Closet 4 x 6

Bedroom 2 - With Rug

Kathleen and Paul are owners and live on site. So you'll get quick response to your needs and access to your washer/dryer in the basement.

Your apartment is only 100 feet from Grand Avenue and only 100 more to beautiful Lake Merritt where the winter birds are arriving. And runners abound.

Your Saturday Farmer's Market is closeby under/around I-580. Trader Joe's is just a few more feet. Whole Foods Market is walkable from your apartment. Sprouts Farmers Market is on Broadway and Safeway is closeby on Grand Ave.

Then there's the classic Grand Lake Theater. You'll find many good restaurants on Grand and Lakeshore. Walking Grand Ave and Lakeshore at night always reminds me of the Left Bank of Paris.

This area truly is a gem and Kathleen and I are glad and happy to live here. You will be too.

2/25/04 - La Junta to Creel, Mexico

Today I am happy and proud to hand over the editorship to our friend, Sharon Wallace. Sharon and Bill are the other couple who are driving a Lazy Daze! On the train they are on the flat car right behind us.

Sharon Wallace & Bill Wethington – Full time RV-ers, originally from Athens, Ohio. Been traveling full time - just now finishing up our 3rd year. We took early retirement to enjoy life, thinking we’d be on the farm forever. But travel lust took over & we decided to take a year to see the USA. Well, needless to say, that wasn’t long enough – and we’re thinking that we could travel forever & still not see it all. Looks like we’re confirmed gypsies.

Tuesday – Feb 24 – The Evening Meal

Howdy All! I’m Sharon Wallace. My husband Bill Wethington & I are #19 in this great Caravan Tour. I am the “guest contributor for the day, so here goes…..

Around 4:30 Larry came over the CB telling anyone who wanted to that they would be leaving around 5pm for Rosie’s the restaurant in La Junta.

I got my winter coat out of a storage compartment, pulled it on over a wool turtleneck sweater; Bill had on a winter jacket over a sweater – and off we went walking to town. To Rosie’s we go….

The back room was reserved for our group & all was ready. We each got a drink before the meal. Bill & I both had margaritas as did most other at our table. However, Paul ordered a bottle of margarita & so a big pitcher arrived soon.

This is Mardi Gras – not wanting to let it slide unnoticed, Bill & I had bought a bag of beads for this day. Turns out Larry & Diane did too, so we were all adorned with all 3 colors – gold, green & purple – for our own Mardi Gras celebration. We even had enough beads for the proprietors and all the restaurant workers.

Bill & I both had ordered the Mexican platter, as did some others at our table. Some ordered the beef, others the fish. Ours was quite good & I heard no complaints from the others. Desert was Tres Leche cake (I think) & I think that because we were recently introduced to the “3 milk cake” by our niece Tammie in Austin.

The dinner was a great success & I thought we would then walk back to the train….

Oh No! The fun was just beginning. One of those multi-faceted globes came on – lighting up the room like a ballroom dance floor – reminded me of the old Hotel Berry & my high school prom days.

What a variety of music that was played – everything from jitterbugging to Chattanooga ChooChoo, to the Twist, the Hokey Pokey, the Chicken Strut, & the Texas 2-step to the Macarena & everything in between.

What a group of dancers we have on this trip! I saw Connie Sykes really getting down there under the Limbo stick; Norma does a pretty mean jitterbug, well, actually, Norma did every kind of dance, and did it well. Paul Smith was another frequent dancer – heck, most of the group was up at some time or another. Seems we are a bunch of dancing fools!

The restaurant owners joined in for many of the dances along with their very young and very shy (perhaps 2 or 3 yr old) granddaughter.

We all started the walk back to the train yard around 7:30pm – none of us believing that it was still so early. And I think all of us adding this memory to our “Caravan in Mexico” memory bank as a real winner.

I did forget to mention that early in the evening, Connie Sykes, who has been wearing the dreaded “RV Motor home” pendant on a string around her neck for almost a week noticed that Bill Wethington (there are 4 Bill’s in our group) wasn’t wearing his name tag. Looks like Bill will be wearing that pendant for awhile.

By 8pm we were all back at home in our own rigs – on flatbed RR cars on a siding, and a train on the next track – maybe 6 feet away – goes roaring past. Wonder what the night will bring?

Wednesday, February 25

The night went well – only 3 trains during the night – if there were others I slept through them.

Train activity for our group began at 6am. It is only 24 degrees & we have some ice on our windows behind the blinds.

Our "scheduled" departure time is 7:30, but we must keep in mind we are on "Mexico time". Looks promising though, the 3rd tier of rigs are being moved out. They are moved to a different siding, then tier Number 2. This does not happen in "minutes" – more like things happen & then a long wait. Finally our tier is moved out & we are now one long train. At 7:30 our wagon master has a radio check – we are all present & accounted for. At 7:40 he comes on again with the announcement that there will be a delay – maybe 15 minutes. Bill has already talked with the RR men & they say 8:30.

Two reasons for the delay – they are moving a lot of empty flat beds to the track we just vacated for the next tour group and also a train will be coming through & needs the track.

At 8:30 we depart La Junta – heading for Creel – a journey of 67 miles – but we will be going through very high elevations.

Just as an aside, the engine of our train has 3,000 HP motors with 600V generators. They have a 2,250 gallon fuel capacity. The engines drive air pumps for the brakes. Also, if we see gray puffs at the wheels, that is sand for extra traction – both up and down hill.

For the 1st many miles we go through farmland – grain fields, apple orchards, and rolling fields with lots of cattle.

Always on the lookout for wildlife, I see meadowlarks, a coyote, lots of ravens, both black & turkey vultures and along the streams I see great blue herons, & various species of ducks.

We cross the Continental Divide at 11:45am and are at 8,121’. We travel through San Juanito – at 8,000’ it is said to be the coldest city in Mexico.

The landscape changed drastically when we got into the higher altitudes – now there are pine forests, more snow & we move through passes either natural or man-made. – through the mountains.

We pass through tunnel #3 (our 1st tunnel). Bill is standing outside the rig on the flat bed. Makes me think of traveling with my son Danny, and how he’d scare me to death with his adventuresome spirit. Oh well, Bill was still there when we emerged from the darkness through the tunnel – safe and sound.

Not too further down was tunnel #4. We are heading into Creel. We see more burros, donkeys, pigs & chickens – more “open range”. The farmhouses are often what we would call shacks. We are definitely in a 3rd World Country.

At 1:30 we arrive in Creel. Our tour was supposed to start at 1:30 & we are already late. The Wagon Master calls the tour guide & all is well – they are waiting. We all take about 15 minutes to get ready & off we go on a bus tour for the day’s events.

The bus takes us through town to the Tarahumara Indian cave dwellings. These Indian people settled here thousands of years ago from Asia and the majority live in cave, along the river banks, and in small cabins. We visited several Tarahumara sites – even into a cave where the family (including chickens & other animals) live. We were taken to a 350 yr old Catholic Church, still in use. At every place the woman & children sold baskets, woven goods, beaded jewelry, carved items, handmade dolls & other items.

Many of our group bought items as souvenirs or as gifts.

We were also treated to the “Valley of the Mushrooms”. Not mushrooms at all, but rather rock formations formed from the soft volcanic material & volcanic ash & weathering. Some of these rock formations have taken the shape of animals over the years – we saw Elephant rock & turtle rock, and if you have a good imagination you could see any number of critters.

Back into town by 4pm. – dropped off at a gift shop where the Catholic Mission sells items crafted by the Tarahumara Indians.

Bill & I decide to walk back to our rig and take the main street of Creel. We looked in the windows and stopped at a couple of Abarrotes (grocery stores) to buy some tortillas, bottled water & pastries for breakfast.

My friend Joanie would have to forego her daily muffin here – but I bet she’d like the conchas – a shell shaped sweet roll.

Tonight we will go to the Sierra Bonita hotel for dinner. Maybe Bill can find someone who’s not wearing their name tag and get rid of that RV that’s hanging around his neck.

Here's a shot of our rigs parked just a few feet from the main drag in Creel (which is parallel to the train tracks)

PS> by Paul Smith

I watched the little fellow below quite a bit as the children played tag near the large rock pictured above. The children were chasing him and he ran so fast with such a sunny face and big smiles. But I could not get a shot of him since they ran so fast. They eventually "tagged" him - but for some reason it turned into a beating. He cried a bit and then sat on the ground as you see him below. The interpreter talked with him and one of the boys who hit him, but nothing was found out as to what was going on (as the other children continued to play tag...)

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Paul & Kathleen Smith | 173 Rainbow Dr #7329 | Livingston, TX 77399-1073 | (510) 386-8973