A Post from a Proud Owner : “Our fearless East coast trip in our 1983 Allegro RV.”

And I just thought our Tiffin Allegro was a little ancient! This is a great story and one that we can definitely relate to. I couldn’t agree more, and we have already passed up a couple of opportunities to upgrade to something a bit newer because we love ours so much because it is pretty much a perfect fit for us as part-time RV travelers. ūüôā

Tiffin Side Roads

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My name is Sabrina Pendergrast and I thought I might share with you a note about our ‚Äúbucket list‚ÄĚ trip of a lifetime that ended up including an impromptu roadside purchase of a 1983 Allegro. My Husband and I have two sons whom are both in college in Ohio, which is where we are from ¬†and where this journey began. After much talk about ‚Äúwe‚Äôre going to do this, want to see that, etc.‚ÄĚ as many people often do, We decided the timing was right for us to just do it already! We listed our home for sale, and in the same week, on a trip to the local Walmart, we came upon a big brown 1983 Allegro. $5000 or best offer the sign read. We pulled up and my husband,(much to my dismay) took a look inside and under the hood and proclaimed that ‚ÄúThis is it! Our new‚Ķ

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Valentine’s Day RV Weekend

Our little getaway to Caprock Canyons State Park

The weather has been truly outstanding¬†for the past couple of weeks, and we finally got out in the RV for Valentine’s Day weekend, after more than three months of missing our RV travels.¬† Even though Hubby is out of vacation days until early March, we still managed a quick trip out to¬†Caprock¬†Canyons State Park¬†for the weekend while the weather was pretty much perfect.

We hoped to once again see our bison pals, but they were likely down in the remote parts of the canyon where the temperatures are a bit higher than they are up on the rim where the RV campground is.  As the weather warms up, they will likely return to areas where visitors can see them once again.

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We looked and looked for the bison, but they were nowhere to be found on this trip.

 

 

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Our bison pals, including a cute baby, back in the early summer of 2015

 

I had one interesting live photographic subject during the trip, though, as a pretty roadrunner decided it was time to pose for a photo shoot in the nice morning light.¬† My only real challenge was to capture the roadrunner without a lot of bison droppings in the photo along with it.¬† While the bison couldn’t be found last weekend, their remnants were certainly still there!

These are my first decent photographs of a roadrunner, and I’m happy to share them today.¬† Note the difference in the feathers on the head in the two photographs.

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Beautiful roadrunner!
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Feathers on the head are up!

 

This¬†roadrunner didn’t seem to mind me gradually inching closer and closer for the shots, but when I was¬†finished taking photos, it immediately took off running at full speed, a¬†fun site to see.¬† Fortunately, I didn’t see a coyote in pursuit, even though we heard several of them in the early nighttime hours on Saturday night near our RV.¬† I love to hear coyotes howl.¬† It always gives me chills to hear them at night in the vast expanse of this lonely and beautiful land, and I can’t help but feel very fortunate to see and hear nature at its best at times like this.

I also captured a few photographs of the prairie dogs near our campsite, including the faithful “guard” to the RV campground entrance.¬† This one also greeted us repeatedly on our last trip¬†at the end of¬†October, and I was glad to see it still on point and¬†performing it’s¬†duties nicely.¬† These prairie dogs definitely saw their shadows on Ground Hog day a couple of weeks ago, but I’m not so sure that we are due six more weeks of winter.¬† The weather has truly been beautiful lately and looks to remain that way for the near future.

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Prairie dog at the entrance to the campground

 

I just adore the beautiful red canyons in this park, and the next photo is a slightly zoomed-in view from our campsite on this trip.  Not all of the RV sites afford this great sight, so we were once again fortunate to grab a site with a view.  Whether we have a canyon view or not, we always love to camp here, as the sites are spacious and well separated from next door neighbors.

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View from our campsite, slightly zoomed-in

 

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The panoramic view, looking northwest from near the campground

 

One of my favorite spots in any park we’ve ever visited is the amphitheater here in this park, which is just a nice walk down the road¬†from the campground.¬† The views are just breathtaking, and I always make at least one solo walk here on each trip for a little quiet time, usually in the morning when the light illuminates the canyon walls so nicely.

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Walkway to the amphitheater

 

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Mere photos don’t do justice to the grandeur of this¬†beautiful spot.
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One of the prettiest places to be in the morning!
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View looking west from the amphitheater

On Saturday afternoon, we rode the highway loop from Quitaque to Flomot to Monk’s Crossing and back to the park on the motorcycle, which is always an enjoyable ride in pretty weather.¬† Clarity Tunnel (aka The Bat Cave) is undergoing some work at this time, and the work is scheduled to continue through sometime in April.¬† We still want to ride the rail-to-trail route on our bicycles¬†to the cave sometime, but we definitely¬†need to do it in cool weather.¬† Friends have made this ride and loved it, and I’m ready to check it off my “bucket list,” hopefully sometime this year.¬† If not, we would also enjoy reserving a spot on the new shuttle bus in the park to ride to the cave one evening this summer, too.

Lake Theo in the park is still full, as the snows back in January no doubt helped to keep it that way.  We enjoyed a nice hike with the dogs to the lake and saw many people fishing and just enjoying their day out at the lake in the beautiful weather once again.  Here are some photos that I took of the lake a few months ago soon after the rains filled the lake.  It is a beautiful place, especially when things are green and the wildflowers have bloomed.

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Lake Theo after rains filled the lake, Spring 2015
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Day use area and swimming area at Lake Theo
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So great to see the lake up again, especially at the fishing pier.

 

I haven’t even shared any photos down in the canyon in this post but will do that another time.¬† The canyon area in this park is truly striking, and in some ways, we think it is prettier than it’s more popular big cousin, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which is about two hours to the northwest.¬† Both are beautiful places, to be sure, but we are especially fond of this gem of a park.

 

 

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Wordless Wednesday – Candle of Love

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Decorated Valentine’s Day Cookies

Ten dozen pretty decorated cookies for family and friends!

I’ve missed baking and decorating cookies.¬† During the Christmas holidays, when I normally take on this special project for friends and family gifts, my right hand was hurting too much to even consider decorating so many cookies at once.¬† So, for that reason, I took a pass on the project and hoped to take it on for Valentine’s Day.¬† Happily, my hand is quite a bit better now, and I was able to bake and decorate about ten dozen cookies over the past few days.

This is also the first time that I have¬†made cookies for Valentine’s Day gifts, and I must say that I like decorating them for this special holiday as much as I like decorating them for Christmas.¬† I opted to stick with heart shapes to help keep things a bit more simple.¬† After baking the first large batch and experimenting with different ways to decorate them, I quickly discovered that one particular cutout shape was by far my favorite.¬† So, for the final large batch, I only made cookies with that shape – a medium heart cutout with a pretty scalloped edge.

These are vanilla-almond sugar cookies and are so tasty, even without icing.  I also add a little almond flavoring to my royal icing before thinning it for piping and flooding the cookies.  The heart flowers are quite simple to do.  Just layer three dots of flood icing on top of each other, then drag a toothpick from top to bottom through the center of each one in one slightly curved motion.  I varied the heart flower designs on most of the cookies, just to see what each different combination would look like, and there are many combinations that I like in the bunch!

Here are the results of this year’s big cookie project!¬† I had so much fun that I’m thinking about doing Easter cookies this year, too, if I can find some cute cutouts soon.

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Four different heart cutouts (Wilton brand)
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The second large batch made 62 cookies.

 

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This is my favorite design for Valentine’s Day – a heart flower design with three-color flowers!
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My first attempt at “painted” roses.
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Sprinkle cookies are easy to make and are always a hit with kids.
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More flood icing designs
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Some of my favorites – each a bit different
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These were actually for a sweet little girl’s first birthday party and matched the party d√©cor so well.
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My first attempt at a jumbo double cookie was very cute, and next time, I will make it with the three-color heart flowers.
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Two-color heart flowers are cute, too.  The darkest color can be used for either the outer or inner color, resulting in a slightly different effect.
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More two-color heart flowers
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Two-color heart flowers
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Smaller two-color heart flowers
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The first round of gifts are packaged and ready to deliver and mail!
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Ghirardelli dark chocolate chip cookies were a special request by our daughter, and they are now winging their way to California!
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Wordless Wednesday – The Day The Music Died

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