Within the hour come our Montana friends, Jamie, Janet, Suzanne and Molly McGehee (plus Maggie the black Lab) and their stunning vintage Silver Streak followed shortly by Jill Flikkema and her vintage camper.
A view of part of our compound.
Lots of picking and grinning happened day and night. The Buckley family band entertained us as they practiced for the band competition. Dave shared his new tunes including the "Pie Song". We needed more pie so I cooked a cherry pie in my little Bambi oven. It turned out great!
Lon Mitchell (Master Barbecue Chef) cooked up cheesy grits with spicy sausage for Sunday brunch. Then after a bit more festival, folks started leaving. By Monday morning, we were almost alone in the campground. We spent Monday night in a Buffalo RV park so we could do laundry and use their full hookups and showers. We did have a nice visit with our AZ friends Fran and Bob Denoncourt. They were in Buffalo for Longmire Days as fans of that TV series. The author is from Buffalo and the city celebrates with a huge gathering almost overwhelming the small downtown. Bob reported standing in line for three hours to get celebrity autographs.
Back on the road south and east at Orin Junction, we headed to Nebraska and the campground at Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford NE. We met sister Sandy who camped with us for a couple of nights.
Fort Robinson has a long history as a cavalry base and canine training station plus being a POW camp in WWII. It was decommissioned and became a Nebraska state meat research station and finally a state park. Many fine buildings remain and others were rebuilt to augment the historical experience of visitors.
The Fort employs farriers to keep the horses used for trail rides shod. Mules are used to pull the stagecoach.
After a lovely few days visiting, we told Sandy goodbye, hoping she can visit us this winter in Surprise.
Continuing south and east, our destination was Colby KS. The wheat harvest was in full swing and we meet several combine crews headed north as we drive south through wheat country in Nebraska and Kansas.
The Colby County fairgrounds was our location for the weekend. It is the venue for Picking on the Plains, a bluegrass festival that this year features Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Monroe Tradition and Rhonda Vincent and the Rage bands. A great lineup. We camped with banjo and mandolin player, Mike Metzger, an old friend from the band Turtle Creek.
Dave and Mike played some tunes in front of his Scamp trailer. We were thankful for 30amp electrical service so the AC would work during these hot dusty days in Kansas.
We had front row seats inside the barn on a rainy Friday evening.
Monroe Crossing band commented that "someone turned on the big fans." It sure was windy on Saturday and again Sunday.
Rhonda brought her big bus and her great band. She sang all her great songs, performing Saturday night and Sunday.
Underway and again headed south and west into Colorado. Near LaJunta we detoured to see Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site. It is a meticulously restored reproduction of the trading fort established by the Bent brothers who traded with the Native Americans for buffalo, beaver, coyote, mink hides. They also replenished wagon trains in the old west before the great western migration really began.
The interior of Bent's Old Fort. A docent in period dress gave a guided tour showing us trade goods, living and dining quarters of the inhabitants, blacksmith and woodworking shops, kitchen, storehouses, water well, and other areas. The structure in the middle of the photo is a buffalo hide press. The hides were compressed and bundled for easier transport by wagon to a port on the Missouri River and then to Europe or the east coast. We were glad we stopped!
Back on the road and finally the Interstate at Trinidad. Over the Raton Pass and west at Cimarron toward our camp for the next three nights at Cimarron State Park.
The view from our front porch. Mostly RV's here with closely spaced sites and some noisy generators. There was trout fishing in the rapidly running creek nearby. Our neighboring camper had been here fishing for two weeks. He had been coming to this campground for 30 years having camped here as a child with his grandfather. It was an odd state park stretched out along the creek in three camping loops. Our loop was all paved, no grass except along the perimeter. I did see a western tanager and lots of hummingbirds; broad-tailed, rufous and Anna's.
The last leg of our five week trip started with a stay in a very nice KOA camp in Bernalillo NM. We enjoyed the clean showers and went out to eat at our favorite restaurant, the Range Cafe, which features New Mexican cuisine in a quirky atmosphere.
Toy ranges on display. There are other Range Cafe locations in Albuquerque but this is the original.
High temperatures make the A/C a blessing. Rested and refreshed we are once again on the road to our final festival, a bluegrass gospel Campout southwest of Winslow AZ above the Mogollon Rim, in the cool pines.
Our camping neighbors are Rick and Leslie Rhodes in their newly restored 80's trailer. They brought their small dogs, Banjo and Mandolin along. Note the doggy corral complete with puppy playpen.
We met many folks new to us and enjoyed some good gospel groups.
There was good jamming, a big campfire and a tasty potluck Saturday evening. A rain squall cooled us off, settled the dust, and enhanced the piney woods smell. Good sleeping weather.
Sunday morning we broke camp. Here we are helping Rick stuff the canopy fabric back into its package. It took all three of us.
Nehemiah band played for a church service in a small church just down the road. The friendly congregation treated us to a potluck dinner on the grounds after the service.
Over the Rim and into the low country. Tall pines gave way to shorter piñon pines, then desert scrub, aloes, cactus and finally saguaro. We got onto I-15 then west to the 303 loop north of Phoenix and finally Bell Road and Sun Village. Luci was parked in front of our house and as quickly as possible we pulled everything out that needed to come out. We dealt with the rest in the morning when it was cooler. The thermometer says 106. Welcome home!