Sunday, October 26, 2014

Habitat For Humanity, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Volunteering for the 1st time...

I've been wanting to gravitate into a part time effort for Disaster Relief, for some time.  However, all groups want you to have prior "build" experience. 

Habitat For Humanity needs folks to help build within their local affiliates around the country and a part of that is open for those traveling in RV's.  I signed up and had a great time, exercising my mind, body and my spirit actually got a free 'boost'.

Here are some photos.
Day 1 for me, I saw the outer walls had been framed, installed, braced and partially sheathed.   This work had been done in the prior 2 weeks before I arrived.
These 2 shots were taken at lunch time, day 1.
Day 3, all the outer walls were nailed properly and many other smaller details done so the structure could accept the Trusses(roof timbers).  All of them were installed in 1 day by the volunteer crew, with superior direction from the On Site Supervisor 'Pete' (dang good at what he does!!) and his assistant Dyana ( also Amazing!!!)
Gorgeous views here in Las Cruces, N.M.  the mountains are absolutely beautiful!
Once the Trusses were raised and secured, the framing of the Interior Walls began with help from Local Volunteers such as this college student in black, Pete the Supervisor in white and others in the background, often RV group that works at these projects around the country.
Details checked, then walls went up.

 And after 10 days with this crew and local volunteers, prospective families, here we see the results.  The house now has windows, doors, roofing shingles mostly installed and the property next door? well we began on that too!

Great bunch of folks and a wonderful experience.
I was extremely impressed with the 'quality' on every detail..  Not a mansion but a Quality Home.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cap Rock Canyon, Panhandle of Texas

Moving west towards Albuquerque for this years Balloon Fiesta, I took time to enjoy a few more park campgrounds of  Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.  I swung north into Oklahoma and enjoyed a few days south of the town of Sulphur, to view a display of dug out canoes, brought to the Chickasaw Reservation Cultural Center for display, from the University of Gainsville, in Florida.

Caprock Canyon State Park, was the next stop, kind of S.E. from Sulphur but in the Panhandle of Texas.  It was a nice ride going there through open areas of farming, ranching and just open spaces.  The canyon is between small quaint, well preserved towns of Quitaque, Tx. (pronounced Kitty-Quay) and Turkey, Texas, on decent roads.

It's an interesting area for hiking within a preserve for the Texas herd of buffalo.  Many other animals and birds are easy to find.  My dog Pete got a real boost every day viewing the prairie dogs but thankfully did not see the coyotes that often came into our campground..   This photo is blown up from one taken at dusk, of a quickly moving coyote, so it's not great.  However, one large one came through my site, while I was relaxing in a chair enjoying the last light of the day.. He passed within 20 feet, until he noticed me sitting there and then he bolted into the bushes again.
Rock formations were typical of canyons out here but I found beautiful.  Shifting light of the day from sunrise to sunset always presented something to enjoy.
 Driving into Quitiquay for lunch one day, I stopped to take a couple of photos of quality local art and humor.  

One of the locals, Bob Wills, made it big time as a musician and his tour bus is still displayed in town.

The bus itself, a "Flexible" was slowly degrading, but here's a picture of one I found by accident, a few days later in an RV Museum.

This bright and shiny Flexible, was restored and used in the movie "RV" with Robin Williams.  Some contrast, but a movie company does have the bucks for such a restoration.

The town is well preserved and definitely showed pride.  The early architecture had detail in it's brickwork and the art, humor and preservation was shown on every street.  This town cares and shows respect for it's heritage.