The Organic Peddler, Del Norte, Colorado

Weeks of repairs, packing, repacking, driving, caregiving and settling in to a new routine will wear anyone down.. We decided it was time for a day trip. So we piggy-backed a little bit of fun onto a trip to pick up the central heating unit for the RV from the awesome repair lady, Debra at Holiday RV in South Fork, Colorado.

About 60 miles away from our current home base is the town of Del Norte, Colorado. It was early enough that we took the scenic route on the way, picking up State Highway 15 and winding through farms, ranches, homesteads, and the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, nestled at the base of the Sangre de Christo and San Juan Mountains. The road turned to dirt for a few miles, but we traversed it with ease, as the lack of recent snow and the abundance of sun had dried it out nicely. Around Monte Vista, we picked up Highway 160 and took that the rest of the way to Del Norte. We passed some huge cattle ranches and one charming group of horses, sharing their feeder with a very fat little burro.

We had several targets on our list. The first – a dairy farm where I hoped to get some raw milk, looked deserted, so we passed on. Our next stop made the whole trip worthwhile. Colorado, strangely, considering the amount of farms here, has a dearth of organic products in the grocery stores. Big cities like Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins have their Sprouts and Whole foods markets, but the nearest to us is 120 miles away in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In spring, there might be local produce stands, but until then? I’ve been soaking and scrubbing the produce in a vinegar solution and eating oatmeal.

So The Organic Peddler was a great find! I was delighted with the large selection of organic coffees, teas, spices and fresh produce. I was hoping for more bulk grains, as I have not had my fresh, homemade bread for awhile. I’ll call ahead, when I get ready to tackle baking in the RV or trailer oven, and make sure I can get enough flour for a couple months. The savory aromas wafting in from the attached cafe were so inviting that we had to go in and have a little lunch. Besides, it was a warm escape from the 20 degree temps outside. 

The Peace of Art Cafe, built with cordwood and recycled bottles, serves a tasty portobello burger, homemade shakes and custom burritos, all made with organic, local ingredients when possible. Entrees range from $5.95 to $11.95 and an Espresso Bar and Juice and Smoothie Bar are also on site. There is so much more to The Organic Peddler that I have to recommend their website. Dine outdoors in the summer, then take a liesurely stroll along the dog walk/sanctuary by a small creek. The Great Divide Bicycle Route also passes by here.

Last on our list, was to check out the honey farm. Haefeli’s Honey has a large store right downtown in Del Norte. Run by 5th generation beekeepers, I found their prices to be quite competitive, the availability of raw honey, a definite plus. Bee pollen, which I take regularly for its “bee” vitamins, is also available for a decent price. I found the price of their beeswax to be fair, as it is already cleaned (I currently clean my own). 

The result of our outing was a renewed sense of calm, a day of fun and found organic and raw honey resources. The change of scenery was pretty nice, too.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

First Stop – Ice Cubes

Our personal ice rink and ski trails

We finally made it to our first stop on the road. We have been celebrating the holidays with the grandparents in Colorado. There have been challenges with the RV plumbing and heating since the man of the place arrived here over 2 months ago. The plumbing is now repaired and hooked up to the water line and sewer dump. The central heat remains out of order. Not to fear, 2 small electric heaters are keeping us nice and toasty.

    

barn cat in training

 Now my trailer adventure begins. My propane heater is not working, so I intended to rely on electricity. However, with the RV already drawing quite a bit of electricity from the hookup, the addition of my plug blew the breaker. My trailer was frozen solid! As the man of the place worked to install a new breaker and an additional RV hookup, I was/am helping care for the grands, skiing and ice skating on the frozen river with Yak and organizing our stuff inside the trailer, as repairs took longer than expected and I didn’t have time to do it before we left. God has mercy, though. We were all warm and cozy in the grands guest room over Christmas and by New Year’s Eve, Yak and I were sleeping in the RV and coming in to help with the grands during the day. A small electric heater is keeping the trailer thawed and up to about 50 degrees – a bit too chilly for sleeping. 

Fortunately, the sun has warmed us up to the upper 30’s the last few days, which, unfortunately, melted the snow too much for skiing and the ice too much for skating. Therefore, I don’t have any cool skating or skiing pics to post right now.

The welcome mat’s out

 I am also looking forward to joining the local Catholic church choir, starting Sunday. Apparently, I will not be the only part-timer in the choir, so I will be in good company.

Ranch dog enjoying life on the road

Hope your holidays were wonderful. Our first ones in our new full-time RVing life sure were! 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Spooky Skate Park

 

So what about a break from all the sightseeing and touring? How about a place for the kids to blow off steam and work up a sweat? We’re here again, in the City of Williams, Arizona, enjoying an afternoon at the Recreation Center, which also has a separate Skate Park, designed by local youth. All activities are free, just sign a waiver, adult supervision is provided (although I tend to stay here and provide my own supervision for Yak). Unfortunately the swimming pool is not open during the winter. If you find yourself here during the summer, however, the cost is minimal, $4 adults, $2 children for the summer of 2013.

 

 

A play park is in the same complex, so there is a little bit of something for everybody. Yak and I enjoyed several games of ping-pong and a few rounds of pool in the rec center one day. For movie nights and other free and low cost family events put on by the City of Williams Parks and Recreation Department, visit the Williams Chamber of Commerce website and click on Events and Community Calendar. You can also find a list of parks at the City of Williams website.

 

 

One of the few things Yak and his friends like better than swimming is rollerblading. Since we live about 30 miles away from Williams, it gets inconvenient if we forget something we need there. Not to fear, “The Shed”, as the skate park is called, stocks free loaners of rollerblades, pads and helmets, as well as skateboards. The equipment is sprayed with disinfectant after each use, just like at roller and ice rinks. Still, we’re more comfortable with our own gear.

 

 

I hope you enjoy hearing about the offbeat things for kids and families to do on the road. As we prepare to hit the road full-time, I’ve begun to think about ways for my son to continue with his hobbies and interests, and these things will also help him to find new friends as we travel. If you would like to read more about our adventures in downsizing and preparing to homestead, homeschool and live simply while traveling slowly, head over to our sister blog Around the Homestead (by Mrs. D’s Homestead).

 

Meanwhile…

Happy Trails!

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

A Catholic Traveling

Oatman burro gets friendly outside of town

It occurs to me that I have not mentioned about our plans to get back on the road. When I first started the Catholic Traveller blog and website, the plan was to travel frequently and visit missions, shrines and other holy places, take lots of pictures and video, and share impressions, recommendations and interesting facts. Then my children became interested in horses and – nuff said. That batch of children is now grown and on their own. Now comes an opportunity to lighten up again and travel full time with my trailer for awhile. We will be traveling slow and enjoying the journey.

The new home: 1975 MeToo; bumper to bumper inspection before starting renovation

While the coming year is planned for the Western U.S., there will also be a few weeks in Wyoming, with a possible trip to New York and North Carolina, depending on finances and family situations. We are renovating a 28 foot RV and a 14 foot travel trailer – if you are interested in that process, you can follow it on Mrs. D’s Homestead, my other site, where we will also post more about full-time RV living, homeschooling on the road and minimalist, homestead-spirited living on the road.

Miner’s “cabins”, Calico Ghost Town, Yermo, CA

Catholic Traveller will continue to focus more on the places we visit and on our spiritual journey, as well as the challenges of finding Mass, confession and fellowship opportunities on the road.

Until next time, Happy Trails!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Wild Horses of Route 66

Route 66, or more appropriate for this blog post, Will Rogers Highway, passes through miles of open range, BLM land and private ranch land in Arizona. The longest existing stretch of Will Rogers Highway is between Ash Fork, Arizona and Kingman, Arizona. This is where you can see herds of wild horses grazing alongside range cattle. If you’re lucky, you might even see a fast freight train on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line, bringing goodies to Los Angeles from all points east, while you’re stopped to admire the horses.

Talk about a Sunday drive! I get to see this herd on my way back to Ash Fork from Seligman, after playing for Sunday Mass there at St. Francis Catholic Church. Sometimes I even see them from Interstate 40 on my way there from St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Ash Fork.


This curious little fellow spies me and wants to know what I’m up to. The others studiously ignore me. I don’t believe that this is a BLM herd, so my guess is that they are owned by whomever holds the grazing lease on this particular stretch of land. I have come to think of them as “my herd” and look for them whenever I come this way. There is a certain water hole near a blocked off bridge where my youngest son and I have spent many a Sunday hour watching the trains and the horses while picnicking on sandwiches and fruit. 


Every year it is exciting to see the new foals and watch them grow. This year, with all of our wonderful rain, the horses had plenty of water to frolic and cool off in. I tried hard to get some good shots of them playing in the water, but they came out too blurry or too late. I’ll sure miss these guys when we head out on the road full-time. One more item on the list of heartbreaking choices I’ve had to make. I look forward, however, to discovering new herds in new places and especially to having some new adventures to share with you as we travel the Western United States and wherever else God in His good humor decides to take us on our pilgrimage of life.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr