Thursday, September 3, 2015

Something new and a little out of character..

When we pulled into Alpen Rose, our campground in Durango, CO, we had quite a surprise.  The procedure here is you are met by campground hosts, and they direct you to your site, a nice touch.  Well, Brian came up to our window and said, "I see you're here to be in storage for 5 weeks."  SAY WHAT!!  No, no, I said we are definitely not here for storage and we made this reservation back in January, there must be some mistake.  After a bit of panic and a meeting in the office, we are now on what we consider the best site in the campground, that part was dumb luck, site H.  We calmed down and got set up and noticed a vintage Foretravel parked next to us with no one around.  We set up our chairs and tables, and as we were relaxing outside a vehicle came in and the driver yelled, "Hello neighbor!"  Now usually, non outgoing us, would not appreciate that as much as many other folks, but before we knew it, Kent came around the motorhome and sat down on our picnic table and proceeded to visit with us, then his wife, Peggy came over to say hi, and we were introduced to their very nice and pretty dog, Trip, a huge Anatolian Shepard mix.  They visited for awhile, and then we decided to add some bourbon to our visit, and then that morphed into us joining them after we ate dinner for a continuing visit around their fire pit along with a bunch of other people.  Now those of you that know us realize this is not our typical modus operandi.  But tell you what, it should be, cause we had a terrific time!!

We were also very impressed with his portable propane fire pit.  And that prompted a discussion on where he got it, how much was it, etc?  He got it at Lowes, and the nearest Lowes is in Farmington, NM, about 50 miles away, so we decided to see if they had one and go get it if they did, yeah, we liked it a lot.
The fire pit in question
So off we went the next day, a beautiful ride and a success on the fire pit, had a good lunch, and then decided it was only another 40 miles or so to go see Shiprock up close.  I had seen it hundreds of times from the air and a long time ago on one of our other trips we had seen it from afar, and also from Mesa Verde, but never up close.

This one of the "dikes", a wall-like sheet of minette
that radiate from the core, a lava formation that formed in a
crack in the rock that has now eroded away
It was a perfect day and very interesting.  We noticed all around Shiprock on the Navajo reservation little stands or backs of cars selling "Kneel Down Bread".  Now we had never heard of it so we stopped and bought one from a nice lady.  It is basically a Navajo tamale made with corn, lard, water, and salt, and then baked in the ground near a fire, in the coals, or I guess in an oven.
Kneel down bread
It is called kneel down bread as you have to kneel down to pull it out of the fire or ground.  Well, we have to report it wasn't bad, a bit bland, needed a bit more salt, but it was interesting.

We got back with our new fire pit and I'm going to do some fiddling around to see if I can feed it off our main 40 gallon propane tank on the motorhome instead of from a bottle.

We have been aware of James Ranch a few miles north of us for some time, but for whatever reason had never stopped in.  So yesterday we did, had a delicious lunch, grass fed beef burgers, cooked rare with caramelized onions, homemade cheese, and a garlic aioli.  Man, were they good!  We bought some fresh eggs and enjoyed their beautiful surroundings.
Our delicious burger!

Our view as we ate lunch

Looking back up the hill
So we are settling in and anticipating the arrival of Karen, Jo, and Bunny for a week in Karen's motorhome.  I think the new fire pit will get some good use.

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