No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Clovis, New Mexico

December 28, 2019

Dakota, Sloane and Ruger 

Clovis, New Mexico

From Colorado Springs, Kathy drove to Clovis, New Mexico to visit and assist our friend Dakota. Once upon a time, Dakota had been Kathy’s mentee as part of Monroe County’s Take Stock In Children program and she has since that time become a defacto family member and good friend. She recently relocated to Clovis, New Mexico where her husband, Andy was stationed at Cannon Air Force Base. They also celebrated the birth of the first child about seven months ago, just before having to move to New Mexico.


With Andy going on his first deployment since the arrival of the baby, Dakota was pretty much on her own with a full-time job and a baby, so Kathy decided to head out and spend a few weeks assisting with the baby. At least that was the story she tells, I believe she just wanted to spend time with an adorable baby.


Sloane certainly fits that bill, at eight months old, she is as cute as can be and Kathy really had an amazing time in Clovis hanging out with Sloane and their golden retriever, Ruger, and she got to spend a lot of quality time with Dakota as well. They would facetime live video with me at least once a day, so I did not feel left out. As much as I missed having Kathy here during the run-up to the holidays, I am really glad that she was there. I think she really did help out.

Clovis is an interesting little town on the eastern border of New Mexico and Texas. Begun in 1909 as a railroad town, a stop on the westward expansion of the US. It is still a fairly small town, mostly agricultural and of course home to a large Air Force base that helps drive the population. 

The town has an interesting link to early rock and roll history as famous early stars such as Buddy Holly, Buddy Knox, Roy Orbison and other early rock and roll greats recorded some of their hits at the Norman Petty Studios located downtown. The recording studio has been turned into a museum, the Norman & Vi Petty Rock & Roll Museum. It features memorabilia from those early days of rock music and a glimpse into what the recording studio was like as much of the original equipment is present.

Kathy had the opportunity to explore Clovis while she was there as well, visiting the small, somewhat sad Clovis Zoo. The Hillcrest Park Zoo which has been open since 1930, and unfortunately not updated too much since, is run by the city of Clovis. The zoo is small, but still ranks as the second largest zoological park in the state of New Mexico.

The zoo houses a tiger, a couple of giraffes, wolves, zebras, a variety of raptors and a bunch of ducks and peacocks that call the park home. It is somewhat surprising that such a small community would have a zoo at all, but it certainly doesn’t measure up to many zoos that Kathy has visited.

Kathy spent a total of close to three weeks in Clovis and was sad to leave, but she wanted to get back to Key West in time for Christmas and she had a four day drive across the country to get back.  I know she would have liked to stay in Clovis longer and I suspect that perhaps there is a return trip in the near future. 


Thursday, December 27, 2018


December 26, 2018


Chris and Kari


For the past three weeks or so, while I have been enjoying the holiday season here in Key West, Kathy has been hanging around out west, enjoying a totally different, but equally satisfying Christmas season starting in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Taking advantage of our new home in Colorado, Kathy flew there to check out the house, visit some family and pick up the car that we had stored there as our flowered car here in Key West in nearing the end of its days.


Kathy loves spending time in Colorado and our house makes it easy for her to spend time there where she can enjoy hiking in the beautiful Garden of the Gods, which is literally just down the street from our house. Trailheads leading into the Garden of the Gods start just behind our house and the stable where visitors can rent horses to go horseback riding is just around the corner from our house, meaning that every day horseback riders pass back and forth with regularity in front of the house.


It is pretty cool to have such an amazing and beautiful national treasure just outside your front door and Kathy happily takes advantage of it. It also means that the natural world that calls the park home often spills out into our neighborhood meaning there are frequent sightings of mule deer, black bears, opossums, raccoons, skunks and even the occasional bobcat or cougar. It is not the best place to have outdoor pets as they tend to disappear. 


Kathy was in town in time to enjoy the third annual Manitou Springs Christmas Parade. If there is one thing Kathy loves it is a Christmas parade, in fact I know how disappointed she was to miss the Key West Christmas parade. Manitou Springs is the small mountain town located about a mile from our home there, at the foot of Pike’s Peak.

The town goes all out in decorating for the holiday and is a picturesque and quaint little town that looks like something from a holiday postcard. Manitou, is a Native American word meaning great spirit, which describes this beautiful mountain community. Eight naturally carbonated mineral spring fountains, located throughout the historic town, run free for all who wish to enjoy their healing benefits. The Ute, Cheyenne and other Native Americans considered this area sacred for its healing springs and clean mountain air.




The parade was a great example of small town community spirit and featured all manner of civic groups, church groups, schools and a wide variety of businesses all participated and a large crowd showed up to watch the fun. Unlike Key West, the weather is a lot chillier in Colorado and it is some hearty souls who lined the streets watching the winter parade in the chilling temperatures.



Kathy’s brother Chris and his wife Kari call Manitou home and Kathy always enjoys spending quality time with them while visiting Colorado and this trip was no exception. She managed to join them for dinner a few times including taking in the holiday festivities at the Broadmoor Resort, the fanciest resort in town which has been entertaining guests since 1918 and remains on the must see list for anyone in the Colorado Springs area. 




Kathy had a great time in Colorado, but it was not the main reason for her trip to the West, she soon was on the road on her way to Clovis, New Mexico where our friend and her former mentee in the Take Stock In Children program here in Key West now lives with her husband Andy and baby Sloane.