01 March 2018

February Adventuring!

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Long overdue post!  With the advent of a new year, it was finally time to do some traveling!  I spent a couple of weeks in January visiting my sister in Arizona and getting some difficult dental work done with my old dentist from Flagstaff whom I trust.  While in Arizona,  we did some bird spotting at Watson Lake, a beautiful spot in the Granite Dells of Prescott.  The red rocks are stunning against the blue water!  


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After two weeks of beautiful weather in Camp Verde, I headed home, trying to avoid the snow.  At the Arizona/New Mexico border, I caught the tail end of the storm that had moved through the day before.  Headed east on I-40, I didn't have any difficulties, but those headed west had a difficult drive with multiple accidents.  The snow on the red rocks sure was pretty at the Arizona Painted Cliffs Rest area!  After an overnight stay in Santa Fe, I drove the rest of the way home on dry roads!  

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My good friends, Bill and Sheryl, recently acquired a pop-top tent for their pickup truck, so we decided to take a trip together to get to know our respective rigs and enjoy some time together.  We headed south at the beginning of February, hoping to leave cold temperatures behind. Our first overnight stop was LaJunta, Colorado.  We arrived on a lovely afternoon, with only a light sweater needed.  

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Once our spot for the night was acquired, we headed to Bent’s Old Fort National Historical Site.  I had been there about 20 years ago with my kids, and it was fun to see how much more restoration they had done.  As a major stop on the Santa Fe Trail, it was a trading post rather than a military fort.  Lots of storerooms for goods to be bought and sold.  The textures of the fort fascinate me, the adobe walls, windows of mica and wavy glass, weathered old wood, the viga roof over a passageway.  

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After a nice Mexican meal, we headed back to camp and settled in for the night.  It began to get chilly once the sun went down.  Once I remembered that I had to turn on the propane at the tank, the RV was nice and warm.  That was a good thing as a cold front moved in during the night and we woke to 18 degree F temperatures, freezing fog and snow!  Brrr!  It wasn’t much fun to pack up in that cold!  

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Due to the snow, the road we wanted to take was closed, so we detoured through the Commanche National Grasslands and headed for Trinidad, Colorado and Raton Pass.  Just as the road began to climb the pass, we finally left the dense cold fog behind and had beautiful blue skies and much warmer temperatures!  

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Our next stop was Capulin Volcano National Monument.  Once again, I had been there, but my friends had not.  My last trip was on a cold foggy day, so I didn’t do much exploring and the vistas were minimal.  The road winds up the side of the volcano and offers views out across the high desert plain.  At the top we parked and set off to explore.  I walked partway around the rim of the volcano.  It’s a fairly steep path, in places so I didn’t go far as it’s pretty hard on my hip.  But it was lovely to be able to see the Sangre de Christo mountains 30+ miles to the west, and to look out across the cinder cones strewn plain to the south and east.  To the north, we could see the fog bank that we started the day off in.  

From Capulin Volcano, we headed first east and then south along the eastern border of New Mexico.  Our goal was a state park where we hoped to spend the night.  We arrived just around dusk and discovered that there were no bathrooms available, and since my RV is still winterized as I will need to leave it parked before it warms up in a month or so, we needed available bathrooms!  We headed into the town of Logan to an RV park and set up after dark and had a chilly night in Logan.  Where was this warmer weather that we were expecting as we headed south?  

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The next morning, we headed to Roswell New Mexico.  Finally, it was getting warmer!  We got our spot at the RV park and then went to visit the International UFO Museum.  Hmm… Did something happen?  Probably, but what it really was, who knows.  We left feeling pretty skeptical about it, but it was an interesting afternoon.  Sheryl and I walked around the downtown area, hoping to visit an antique store and a quilt shop, but it turns out that everything in downtown Roswell is closed on Monday!  Oh well, saved us some money!  

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The only really interesting thing we saw in Roswell was this cowboy riding the city streets!

Had a much warmer night!  Headed south once again, this time with Carlsbad, New Mexico as our goal. We stayed at White City, just outside Carlsbad Caverns National Park.  The only thing the RV park had going for it was that it was close to Carlsbad.  It was expensive, and we were literally parked in a gravel parking lot off the side of the road with a fairly primitive bathroom down and around a hill for $40 a night.  So of course, we spent TWO nights there!  LOL!  The weather continued warmer, which was lovely.  

To be continued!  
p.s. internet coverage has been spotty, so will update further parts of my February adventure as I can!  

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