2009 Jemez/Valles Caldera Rally A Great Success

The Jemez Canyon/Valles Caldera Rally, held June 25th to 28th, 2009, was a great success. We had a total of 32 members and 16 Airstreams. The Rally was hosted by the Gaithers and the Stallings, of the New Mexico Unit. Other NM Unit members attending were Lemoyne Blackshear (who was joined by a charming guest), Ted and Georgia Pearson, Rod and Lisa Sly, Bob and Cathi Gregg-Aguilar, Britt and Cinda Quisenberry-Banks, Jack and Joanne Palmer, Sandylee and Maryjane Pasquale, Steve and Roberta Shaw, Art and Lyla Jentzen, and Marshall and Flour de Mayo Hall. From our co-sponsors, the Four corners unit, we had Ray and Rose Mazza, Harry and Ruth Vollmer, and Eric, Renee, and 9-month old Arthur Olson. I think its fair to say that Arthur stole the show at every event he attended.

The Paliza Group Campground was fabulous and perfect for an Airstream rally.  We filled almost every campsite in the campground with aur large group, but everyone wound up in a cozy spot. For some, this was a first opportunity to learn about dry-camping.  Our hosts brought along 36 gallons of spare jug-water in case anyone ran out, but only 12 gallons wee used and that was due to a leaking fresh water tank in one of the trailers.

As advertised, the highlight of the trip was our private tour of the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Although the roads were pretty rocky, we all survived and felt privileged to have such intimate access to this new national treasure.

Happy hour, each afternoon, provided the usual opportunity for everyone to exchange news of their day, and make plans for the next. The array of appetizers each night was mind boggling. We were always well fed for the next days adventures. Tom and Barbara provided nearly 20 lbs  of delicious brisket, and Bruce supplied an equal amount of aspen smoked pork roast for our main course on Friday. On Saturday, we all had fun sharing each other’s creations at a soup pot-luck.

The Pasquale’s and Pearson’s photos are posted below. Here’s a link (click it) to Joanne Palmer’s photos – watch the slide show!

Marijane Pasquale at Valles Caldera Staging Area
Marijane Pasquale at Valles Caldera staging area

Eric, Renee and Authhur Olson
Arthur, Renee and Eric Olson (4CU)

Steve and Roberta Shaw
Steve and Roberta Shaw

Staging for the tour.
Tour Group at Staging Area

Valles Caldera Ranch HQ
Valles Ranch HQ

After the fog lifts
Valles Grande – about 1/8 of the whole caldera!

Valles Grande
Valles Grande

Those are elk, not pine cones!
Those are elk, not pine cones!

Caution, elk crossing!
Caution1 Elk Crossing!

Valles Caldera ranch hand
Valles Ranch Hand & Friend

History Grove - Virgin Ponderosa 250 - 300 years old
“History Grove” – 250 to 300 year old Ponderosa Pines.

Exploring an ancient lake bed in Valles Caldera
Tour group examining fossil lake bed with opal deposits

Arthur Ollson and the Gregg-Aguilera’s
The Gregg-Aguilerra’s with Arthur Olson

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Hosts Tom Stallings and Bruce Gaither @ Paliza Group Shelter

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Paliza Group Campground

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Paliza Group Campground

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Paliza Group Campground

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Paliza Group Campground

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Paliza Group Campground

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Paliza Group Campground

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Paliza Group Campground

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Paliza Group Campground

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Paliza Group Campground

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Paliza Group Campground

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Tom Stallings, Lemoyne Blackshear, Barbara Stallings

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Rally Hosts Tom & Barbara Stallings

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