Day 4, Our journey through northern Arizona ends, we’re in New Mexico.
The diversity of this part of the country is simply amazing. We pass large quantities of ancient lava flow, mountains to the north that are very different from the mountains to the south. Awesome is the best I can come up with.
That is ok, as I said before, Rhonda found her moccasins at a tourist trap on our way from Homolivi. Seriously, we enjoyed a relaxed 100 +/- mile drive again today and did not leave the previous camp till mid day. This is quite a change at least for me. I always had the attitude that if we needed to get from point A to B we needed to find the straight line and get ‘er done. That was then and it served me well, in business. But now my business is LIFE and LIVING and there is little benefit in passing all this cool stuff along the way in order to get to the cool stuff at the destination, is there? Anyway we had a relaxed trip into Gallup and along the way talked about these changing preferences, but more on that in a minute.
The campground is a comfortable place for a stop over, good power and easy parking. I am just glad we did not get here when a rodeo was scheduled, we may have been passing Gallup. The park office is down the road and around the corner, there is a huge facility with bleachers and corals as well as a big museum and convention center. I bet when there is an event here this place is hopping. It would be neat to see a rodeo but not find your self in the middle of one as a surprise.
After we got set up (which is a fast process these days) we jumped back in the truck to see a historic place we read about on billboards for the past 70 miles or so, the El-Rancho Hotel/Motel home of the movie stars.
View album HERE then click any picture for slide show.
It is very worth the stop. The restaurant looks like it would be a great place to have a fantastic meal. Unfortunately we were not hungry while we were there. The path we are on is chock full of history, the rail beds that opened the old west, Route 66, Native American lands and heritage sites, etc. It would be hard to not have a great time here and take it slowly in order to not miss a bunch of stuff. Even at our more slow pace we are missing stuff. Good thing we plan to (slowly) bounce around these parts for a few years.
So after a full day of touristing along the way to Gallup and with the success of getting Rhonda shoed with a new pair of moccasins, it was time for bed. We headed back home and got a great nights sleep.
Day 5, looks like we are out of the range of tourist traps?
We rolled down I-25 to the Good Sam park in Bernardo, NM. The park had wide spaces and full hook ups, all easy pull through for any size rig. A great place for a one night or a longer stay to explore the area. If you are traveling with horses, no problem, they have a horse motel.
View album HERE then click any picture for slide show.
After setting up we headed back up I-25 to Belen, NM in search of dinner. We found it, Mexican restaurant, but it was not worth mentioning. Bummer it was.
So with no indication there was anything to grab us in or around Belen, we headed back to the house to call it a day.
Our changing preferences
I have alluded to our attitudes/preferences changing and evolving as we experience more of what this lifestyle and our country places in front of us.
Here is a brief recap which may be my first conscious attempt to pass on insight to others entering or considering this lifestyle. This is what works for us and not intended in any way to be a statement saying it is the only right way. Take from it and always try to stay flexible as things change and you need to be able roll with the changes.
When we left St. Louis last year thinking we would be boondocking a LOT. Many of the bloggers that I follow seem to have a great time with little difficulty in camping on BLM land etc. I could also and we planed to do just that. Batteries, a small inverter and prep for Solar Panels were all in the big picture plan. I loaded a 25 gal fresh water tank in the truck and made up the Honey Badger to macerate and pump waste into the blue boy. We dry camped some back in Kentucky early on. Everything worked and we did not miss a beat. Then came Amazon, we were in paradise for nearly three months. Great new friends and lots to see in the area on days off.
When we left Campbellsville, KY and headed south the excitement began to build again for the new stuff we would be seeing. Our arrival at Fort Pickens, outside of Pensacola, FL was the beginning of a new chapter and we had a great time. Two weeks later we headed to Ocala, NF and continued the fun.
Two week (14 day stays) continued through February and included a return to Fort Pickens and on to New Orleans. So we started with the first month being two camps two weeks each, three months in Campbellsville, then 7 or 8 different camps most were one nighters enroute to two week camps through Jan and Feb. We saw a lot of stuff in Jan and Feb but also passed on a great deal more because we were moving every two weeks. Granted we were moving a distance of greater than 100 miles each move. Then we were camp hosting (volunteer) for a month (March) at Lake Bruin in St. Joseph, LA. Lots of Civil War history to soak up, fun and interesting stuff. We could have spent another two months and still missed some of it. Soon after we were headed to MO and our commitment to be camp hosts from Apr to the end of July. We were not so sure about being in one place for so long, especially back in MO so close to where we started out and everything was already familiar and known (we thought). Meramec turned out to be a great experience and we loved it. The three months were over before we knew it and yes we did come across stuff in St. Louis that was new to us, when you live where you live you take it for granted.
So after a two week stay at Truman Lake near KC, we FINALLY headed west. That had been our original plan and it was then we really realized that we were fortunate to have started the journey pointed east and south east. We must do an east coast trip someday.
So Westward Ho away we go. There were bumps along the way for those two weeks but when we got things put back together we pulled into Palatki for a two and a half month commitment to be docents (tour guides and caretakers) at the cliff dwellings and pictographs. This was going to be a new experience, it was not a campground. We loved it, the gate closed at 3:00 and by 4:00 we were totally immersed in solitude in one of the most beautiful settings we could have hoped for. The ‘job’ of being a docent was great fun and an excellent experience. We loved that also, the guests were very appreciative and interested in the insight we were able to pass on to them. Here too the time at Palatki passed and before we knew it it was time to move on. We had seen a bunch of stuff in the area and while the 7 miles of rough road kept us from frequent trips off property, we did explore a bunch but still there was more we missed.
Now we are starting a four month gig at a privately owned facility, Riverbend Hot Springs, in Truth or Consequences, NM. On our trip to T or C, Rhonda said at one point that she was really looking forward to being in one spot for four months, (wow, I was thinking the same thing). When we talked about it and compared our thoughts it was not because we dread the moving, not at all, it was because we can, and being in one spot affords us the opportunity to really get to know the area we are in. We look forward to having winter pass and some great times here in T or C, there sure is a bunch of stuff to see. If you draw a circle around this place and explore you can see a lot of it in four months. We both know and agree that when it is time to move next, the excitement will build again and we will be looking forward to another chapter and new adventures down the road.
For now we have a bunch of stuff to see and do around T or C, NM, stay tuned and welcome along as the new adventures begin.
Next post is The trip to T or C, arrival at Riverbend Hot Springs
Check it out – www.riverbendhotsprings.com
Remember, Turn when the road does.