Denver to South Carolina to Tucson

After leaving Nebraska we headed to Denver to get set up so that Loretta and I could fly to South Carolina, for my youngest brothers wedding. Who knew that even that would be an adventure! 

We initially planned on staying near Wheatridge at an rv park, however due to the recent flooding in that area, we did not. Tried to make reservations and the campground said they would try to accommodate us and needed to juggle somethings around first and would call us back. I had to call again a day later. They answered the phone, but the person taking reservations was on the phone. Did I want to hold? No Just call me back. No call back! I tried calling again and got an answering machine that told me it was full. Tried again the next day, no answer at all? Do not know what happened. Maybe I will try to call and find out. It was a blessing though! we made reservations at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, Co.

CCSP was a wonderful spot to stay for awhile (actually 10 days). Beautiful large park nestled in an urban area. Great pull through sites and lot’s to do, including a shooting range! Our stay was going to be shorter because we were flying to SC for a wedding. Motorhome and Brody stayed put, being watched and cared for by Ron and Loretta.

When I say Brody was cared for by Ron and Loretta, I really mean cared for! Brody got sick the day we left and had to be taken to the vet! He had started to vomit and have diarrhea. As a result he became dehydrated. All his blood work showed everything was all right and a culture showed some gastro bacteria, he was put on antibiotic and other medicine for the vomiting and given a under the skin fluid injection. He was also put on a bland diet. The care came in by Ron and specifically Loretta S. She checked on him and feed him every 2 hours! as well as taking him for walks as he soon began to feel better. I think he knew that he had a great care giver and responded to that as well as the meds. Thank you so much Ron and Loretta for taking extra special care of our Brody! That care made the wedding enjoyable without having to worry about Brody and thanks for all the emails and texts with the updates!

Now to the South Carolina adventure! We arrived at the Denver airport a couple of hours before departure, as we always do. Said our goodbyes to Ron and Loretta and headed to the gate, as we had our boarding passes. We stopped short of the security are to get our id’s out. Now is when the adventure really began! I had mine in my wallet. Loretta had hers in a plastic poch attached to a lanyard, except she did not have it around her neck. She looked and looked in all her carry on bags and could not find it! We finally decided that we would try her Costco American express card as it had her photo on it. She took it to the security desk and told them she had misplaced her photo but she did have her photo on the AMX card. They called over a supervisor and she okayed using that id! Great! Well almost!

Loretta was lead over to another area, after our bags were scanned and told that she would have to go through a complete search, including a full body search! They were very nice and proceeded with searching her bags, taking everything out, swabbing and putting the swabs into a machine to read them. All was okay on that issue! However she told me I had not taken out the liquids from my bag! I said I have no liquids! After searching the bag she came up with a gelpack freezer bag! It was confiscated! She did tell us that if it had been frozen it would have been okay. (That did not make any sense to me!) Next came Loretta’s full body pat down. Let’s just say it was very complete! Yea she passed and we were sent on our way! No other problems and we finally arrived in SC!

The wedding was held at Table Rock State Park. What a beautiful day! The park is very pretty and is nestled in the mountains. Brian and Tina are a beautiful couple. Did I mention this is my youngest brother? He is 16 years younger than me!  Tina has two children Mac and David, one in high school and one in college. Brian will make a good father and husband. 

We are very proud of him and wish them both happiness! 

Our flight home was very uneventful as we had called Loretta Sand asked here to go to the motor home and get the Id bag and send overnight it to us. Loretta did not find it in the motor home! She found it in the back seat of their car. So she Fedex it to us and we arrived back to a healthier dog and good friends!

As the weather was going to be windy, we decided to extend our stay in CCSP for another day or two before we headed out toward Tucson.

Our next stop was Lamar, Colorado. We decided to take 2 lane roads, instead of the Interstate. Our original stop after Lamar was to be Santa Rosa, Nm. However the park we choose did not sound to promising nor was the weather, so we changed our route to head to Clovis, NM. We stayed at Travelers Rest. because of the balloon festival in Albuquerque, they only had 2 sites left that were long enough for us… right up front by the road! So road noise all night long and trains as well. This park is off our list!

Next stop Ruidoso Downs, Nm. Just outside Ruidoso. We stayed at Circle B RV park. Nice folks (Rip Van Winkle) run the place and it was not crowded. Our goal here was to visit Smokey Bear in Capitan, NM and Lincoln, NM to learn more about the Lincoln County wars. since we got in early, we headed to town to find the Cornerstone Bakery and Cafe, recommended to us by Ron and Rhonda Tobin. Glad we went as the food was terrific and the bakery items we brought home for breakfast the next day were yummy as well.

Smokey the Bear, Smokey the Bear, prowlin and a growlin, sniffing the air…. how many of you remember that song? Yes many of us grew up along with Smokey. why in my Ranger days I even donned the Smokey outfit for the school kids. Capitan, NM was where Smokey was found. 


One spring day in 1950 in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico, an operator in one of the fire towers to the north of the Capitans spotted smoke and called the location into the nearest ranger station. The first crew discovered a major fire being swept along the ground between the trees, driven by a strong wind. Word spread rapidly and more crews reported to help. Forest Rangers, army soldiers, Native American crews, men from the New Mexico State Game Department, and civilian volunteers worked together to gain control of the raging fire. As soon as they contained the fire to one spot, the wind would push it across the lines. During one of the lulls in firefighting, a report of a lonely bear cub who had been seen wandering near the fireline was reported. The men left him alone because they thought the mother bear might come for him.

About 30 firefighters, mainly soldiers but also a Capitan High School student, Several soldiers were caught directly in the path of the fire storm, barely escaping by laying face down on a rockslide for over an hour until the fire had burned past them. In spite of the experience, the firefighters were safe except for a few scorches and some burned holes in their clothes. 

Nearby, the little cub had been caught in the path of the same fire and had not fared as well. He had taken refuge in a tree that was now completely charred. His climb had saved his life but left him badly burned on the paws and hind legs. The soldiers removed the little bear cub from the burned tree, but they did not know what to do with him. A rancher, who had been helping the firefighters, agreed to take the cub home. A New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Ranger heard about the cub when he returned to the fire camp and drove to the rancher’s home to get the bear. The cub needed veterinary aid and was flown in a small plane to Santa Fe where the burns were treated and bandaged.

The news about the little bear spread swiftly throughout New Mexico. Soon the United Press and Associated Press picked up the story and broadcast it nationwide. Many people wrote or called to inquire about the little bear’s progress. The State Game Warden wrote an official letter to the Chief of the Forest Service, presenting the cub to the agency with the understanding that the small bear would be dedicated to a publicity program of fire prevention and conservation. The go-ahead was given to send the bear to Washington, DC, where he found a home at the National Zoo, becoming the living symbol of Smokey Bear.

Smokey lived to be 26 years old and when he died his remains were taken to Capitan,Nm and buried in what is now the Smokey  Bear Historical Park.

After visiting Smokey and after eating lunch in the Smokey the Bear restaurant, we headed to Lincoln, NM.

Most of the town is a State Memorial. Lincoln is a town made famous by one of the most violent periods in New Mexico history. Today’s visitors can see the Old Lincoln County Courthouse with museum exhibits that recount the details of the Lincoln County War and the historic use of the “House” as store, residence, Masonic Lodge, courthouse, and jail. Walk in the footsteps of Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and other famous and infamous characters of the Wild West. Trace the events of 1878 through the Courthouse and the Tunstall Store, with their preserved 19th-century atmosphere. If you have seen the movie “Chisum, or Young Guns” they were based on the Lincoln county wars

The next to last leg of our trip was to Deming, NM. By now we were getting road weary and eager to get to Tucson, to settle in for a while.

Our travels this year took us to Illinois via the Natchez Trace, to the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, to the Badlands of South Dakota and the Nebraska plains. 6,738 miles! We enjoyed every bit of it (except the radiator issues) We enjoyed  traveling with Ron and Loretta and especially thank them from the bottom of our hearts for taking care of Brody! 

We are now settled in at Rincon West in site 903, so if you are in Tucson or nearby, drop in for a visit! We would love to see you!

Happy Trails!

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