camping spots heading north, breakdown,
and seeing the house

Didn’t like working my way up through central NM much. Luckily rt1 parallels I-25 so I didn’t have to do the interstate. Turned off rt1 onto FR 225 into the San Mateo Mountains for a couple days. Six slow miles of washboard to a decent camping spot if one likes open areas. This time of year it was too hot and too windy to roll out the awning. One day we went for a walk down in a wash.

Then I moved on to a night at Valley of Fires. I had heard good things about it and had been driving for 100 miles so was ready to stop for the day. Really don’t like these asphalt miles. I know, I know, I actually paid for a camping spot ($12) in warm weather. Hopefully it won’t happen again until November. The gods made sure I didn’t overly enjoy it. Took a site down a cul-de-sac so I could let M/O out. There was no one around anyway, the RVs were all at the electric sites. There was only a mile of trails but they have an informative nature walk, paved for wheelchairs, that’s definitely worth checking out. The host gave me a suggestion for free BLM camping with access to a lot of trails, not all that far away. I’ll definitely check that out if I come back through this way since I won’t be staying here again. Made a note about the BLM spot in my road notebook so I won’t forget. Sure do find keeping that notebook helpful.

Headed north out of Carrizo on rt54 and turned west on FR 161 into another section of the Cibolo national forest, just before Gallinas. Found a nice spot to camp about 7 miles up off a spur road and spent a few days there.

One day when we went for a walk, Onyx got spooked. We were walking along this cow path and came up on some cows. One was lying down near the path and when we got close, she stood up. Meadow and I just kept on walking but Onyx turned around and hightailed it back the way we came. It has happened before and Onyx was always back at camp by the time Meadow and I looped around and got back there. This time he wasn’t in camp. After an hour he still was not back so Meadow and I started out on the path again. I called his name from time to time and he came out of the brush with his tail up in the air about 10 minutes up the trail. We all turned back to camp. He’s high maintenance.

The day we headed out from a spot a bit farther north was the pits. I made a stop in Las Vegas for supplies and some quick web access. Then I planned to head into a section of the Santa Fe Mountains south of Bernal for a couple days. That didn’t pan out so I headed over to Rowe and down rt34 looking for a camping spot. That also did not pan out. Then I tried up rt63 north of Pecos. Yep you guessed it—ditto. So I continued on to Santa Fe. They were just getting over a power outage and the traffic lights were still down. It took SO long to get through the intersections on St. Francis Drive. I could not understand why there were no enterprising individuals with coolers at each intersection, walking up and down between the lanes selling beer.
The highlight of the day was stopping at REI and finally getting a decent pair of hiking boots—my first (of many) pair of Keen’s. My friend, Janet from Salt Lake, had first told me about this brand. THANKS JANET. What a stellar shoe.
Heading out of Santa Fe on rt84, I noticed I was getting awful gas mileage. As I turned onto rt115 towards Canjilon for a few days camping in the Carson national forest, the Jeep bogged but kept going. A couple miles up the road it died. I pulled over and looked under the hood because that’s the thing to do. Didn’t have a clue on what to look for. Looking underneath the Cherokee, I didn’t see anything leaking. I went to start it up, it started, looked under the hood and didn’t notice anything. Looked underneath—guano! Gas was pouring out of a line. No cell coverage so no calling my roadside assistant plan. A number of people stopped to ask if I needed help. Yes, I needed a winning lottery number. I asked if there was a backyard mechanic close by. The gods felt they had messed with me enough for the day and provided one. Brian got me back on the road and only charged me $40. He said that the fix would probably hold but I should have a garage check it out. I thought it might not be smart to continue up rt115 and go off onto dirt roads so I continued onto Chama. I stayed on Siscily’s property until it was time to move over to Pat and Mary Ann’s. What a day—on the road from 8:30 to 7:30. Might as well get into RVing.

The next day I made an appointment to have the gas line looked at and stopped over at Mary Ann and Pat’s place. I had met Mary Ann a couple years ago at Siscily’s but didn’t know Pat who I then met along with their dogs, Tera and Tico, and their cat, Griago. What a place they have! 17 acres, a stellar view and handy access to mountains. A place like this would bring an end to my lifestyle. Sure am going to enjoy spending a month watching the place for them. Pat took me mountain biking one day to show me numerous places to ride, run, and hike while I’m here. I almost feel like the desert in a cloudburst. I can die the day they get back and life will have been good.

While staying at Siscily’s, I biked on some of the dirt roads Pat had pointed out. One day I was going along on a double track and 2 elk ran across in front of me, not all that close but—BIG animals. I had a flash of that song, ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’.

June Night Sky—Checkout this site for info on the space station and space shuttle.

My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions
but in the fewness of my wants.
J. Botherton

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’


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