Terry to do update later tonight.... And
as promised, here I am to update the blog. We left Cottonwood
this morning and headed East on hwys 64, 285 and 68. Our start was
not the best, I had the alarm set for 6:45, and when the alarm went
off, turned it off, turned over and turned off for another couple of hours.
Luckily I had most of the packing done last night and after a quick breakfast
and a sad farewell from our neighbors we were able to start our drive at
From the maps the drive looks
like it might be rather tough, but the route follows the draws nd rivers
in the area. Up through the Carson Natl. forest then through the
Jicarrilla Indian Reservation, then down thorough Chama to Espanola and
finally to Orilla Verde. Along the way we crossed the Continual
Divide, a non descript mesa top with a equally non descriptor sign
to tell us of the crossing.
We will be staying here for
a couple of days, we hope. Ron has a mail drop coming to the
Taos Post office, and we hope it is there tomorrow when we go into town,
If not our visit will be extended for a day or so.
Our neighbors at the cottonwood
campground, Bob and Sandy had a campfire last night and invited us over.
Bob and Sandy are visible
in the picture, with Ron hiding behind the pole.
Sandy had to recalibrate
the fire, the log just wouldn't burn until we adjusted the fire.
We are able to get into our
new campground about 3:30 and after a quick set up we were set for a couple
of days. I took a quick hike across the road and up the road cut
for a picture of our new camp site. Electric and water and $15.00
per night, and its right on the Rio Grande River.
After setting up we took
a short drive up the Canyon, the river looks to be a little off color
and possibly a bit high. Will have to get a fishing report tomorrow
when we go into Taos. Want to explore the Town tomorrow, but
Ron views it as a tourist trap, and I will be lucky to be able to hit the
fly shop for a fishing report. Then again If I hit him at a moment
of weakness we will do more exploring.
Tuesday April 24
by your roving reporter
Woke in the middle of the
night to the sound of a gentle rain falling on the roof of the trailer.
From what I could tell form those times I was awake we had intermittent
showers all night, which have carried over to the day light hours.
We have not seen very much sunlight today and it it looks to be a cold
and nasty day. When you go out into it though it is not so bad,
temp in the low 40's, just high enough to use the heat pump.
Pity for the poor geranium though, its been locked in the basement all
As bad as we think the weather,
the locals seem to be taking it in stride, We have a group of rafters
camped in the group site next to us and they seem to be having a great
time. It made for interesting people watching this morning.
While we were getting breakfast a couple of trucks and trailers pull up
to the pavilion and unload a large pile of camping equipment. Shortly
there after a white bus goes upstream followed by another truck and trailer
loaded with rafts. Then things are quiet for a while, the truck
finish unloading and leave, the two people guarding the mound of
camping stuff set up a kitchen and their tents, seeming to be in no hurry.
Then about ten the rafters come storming up from the river, must
be about twenty in the group, looks like a school group of some kind.
Along with the rafters came the wind gusting up the canyon. It was
fun watching them set up tents in the wind. then watching the tents
blow away in the wind before they could stake them down.
We could have watched longer
but had to go into Taos to the post office. On the way in we
noticed the hills to the East of Taos had a whitish cast to them.
Ron called the photo above a crappy picture, but it's a crappy day weather
wise and it captures the essenceof the day. We also learned the high
country around Taos is under a winter storm advisory till 8:00 tonight,
5 inches of snow forecast and high and gusting winds. We had planned
on moving to the Eagles Nest tomorrow, but will have to reevaluate
the plan in the morning. If we stay here another day will have to
do laundry, an excuse to go back into taos on my own to explore the
shops and Museums that Ron so hates.
In Taos we stopped at the
post office and Ron's package was there, one less thing to worry
about. After that we stopped at the Smith's Grocery store, then on
to Taco Bell for a quick lunch then back to our home. Tomorrow you
will either get a brief essay on Taos and the joys of laundry, or a fishing
report form Eagles Nest.
Wednesday April 25
by your roving reporter
What a difference a day makes!
Yesterday was a dark and rainy day. This morning the sun came out,
it warmed up and was a glorious day. As usual we were slow to arise
this morning, but when I did get out of bed I was surprised to find the
outside temp was 55 deg and the inside temp 57 deg. Turned
the heat pump on full blast real fast.
The main excitement for the
day consisted of doing laundry-- a trip to Taos on my own and an opportunity
to explore the town. Found a Laundromat just to the south of the
Smiths' grocery store, and got the three loads of laundry going.
They were big loads in the nice front loading machines. After starting
the washers I walked down the street to one of the local fly shops, hoping
to learn more about the Rio Grande and Cimmaron Rivers, and did not get
much in the way of information. Listened to a conversation between
the clerk and another customer whining about conditions on both streams,
and after browsing a bit went back to throw the laundry into the dryers.
With the clothes washed dried
and folded I set off to the Taos Plaza to walk about and poke through the
various shops. After a while all of the little touristy shops seemed
to run together, each had an assortment of clothes of some sort or
other, a bit of jewelry, and a few other craft items, some might
also feature culinary items, other empathize leather goods, native american
goods in one, CD's in another, but they all ran together after a
while as a generic taos tourist shop. A simulated adobe building
with distressed wood floors painted in desert pastels.
I had wanted to get lunch
at one of the local restaurants and have authentic New Mexican cuisine,
but that proved to be allusive, You could get lots of deli sandwiches,
and the ever present cappuccino stands, but nothing that spoke of Taos.
Ended up in McD's for lunch out of frustration with all the rest, the number
one comb meal is always a safe bet. It may not be haught cuisine,
but its always the same no matter where you get it.
On the way out of Taos I
was able to check out a couple of stores carrying artist supplies and lapidary
items but found nothing that I really needed. I did however stop
and get Ron a USA Today newspaper.
Back home I was able to suprise
Ron with additional reading in the form of the paper, and renewed our camping
permit for one more night. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able
to head over to Cimarron Canyon State park..
Ron Here with a mini post...
In the past we have been
big on staying off the grid (all winter ing Quartzsite in the BLM) now
latley we have been staying NM State parks and if at only $14 a day you
may think what gives. We think $14 is a good deal. We spent almost 4 weeks
in Cottomwood campground at Navajo Dam State Park. It was slow in
the spring so they let us stay beyond the new 21 day limit. Now we plan
to stay at Cimarron Canyon state park. NM has a year campground pass
for (out of state people) $225 plus extra for above the basic campsite.
So we would have to pay $4 for the site after the $225 fee. If this is
a trend for us we'll look into the yearly fee. NM parks are friendly, unlike
other state park systems. Thanks NM. We do like this... Land of
Kind of funny they have to
put on their lic plates.... New MexicoUSA.On
the state web site one of the most asked question is if you need a passport
to visit NM. How dumb is America.
The price of diesel in Taos,NM
is about $3.23 How bad is that? We just go with the flow amymore
and try to save on other costs as much as we can. We do fail when
we go to a super food store as we can never get out without a big cart
of stuff and a big debit card bill. Never go in hungry...
Staying for several days
at a time in one spot, and not on the road is a great way to not give our
money to BIG OIL.
We also for now spend a
few months in Iowa at Terry's sisters place in the summer. He does some
work for them, and other contractors.
I turn 60 this summer and
have a pension with health coverage. We many need to do this till I can
get to 62 and get SS. Every three years the company I retiered from and
the union have to come to terms on what I get for Health Ins. Need to hold
out till we have a change in goverment and a new way to deal with the health
I do some lawn care work,
(bounce around the yard on the riding mower with a my FM headset
covering up the noise. I get to see my doctor a couple of times during
this time so he will renew my drugs while on the road the rest of the year.
Terry built a nice pad with electric, water, & septic. so it is sort
of a landing spot for us to regourp. We stay less and less each year
there. It was an early fall last year and didn't get to places we would
of liked to visit out west, so we plan to leave in Aug. so we can travel
more before it gets cold in Wyoming and Idaho. Then off to NV and AZ for
the winter again.
We wonder how our good friends
Sandy and Bob are doing as they now to are leaving Navajo Dam heading to
Moab, UT to the Big Mesa BLM free
campground. We know they will love the great site and the views.
See their blog Colored
Outside the Lines
Thursday April 26
left Orilla Verde Rec area south of Taos this AM and pulled into Cimarron
Canyon State Park a couple of hours later. We found we were the ONLY
people going to camp here. Not just in this park but in any of the three
campgrounds here. The restrooms are locked and the water has not been turned
on yet. We got a fantastic campsite right on the river next to the
ponds. The temps should be about 70 - 75 by the weekend. WOW
park rangers were doing show and tell for school kids in the park so they
had brought a trailer with a tank of freash water. So we were able to get
our fill of water to last our stay. There is also a spring water
from a pipe just down the road.
even did get a little fishing time in.. Think he did catch one.
to more about this great state park. With many pictures.
visit the web site for the city of Eagle
Nest the gateway to the area.
Eagle Nest has not been
run over with trophy homes yet. They are 10 miles down the road at Angle
Fire ski area.
And the views are great
from all locations.
Friday April 27
are just taking it easy today after driving around the area yesterday.
This afternoon we had a thounderstorm roll over amd it is still overcast
is out fishing and I'm listing to a Prairie Home Companion with Garrison
day in northern New Mexico and still in Cimarron State park. We went
for a drive to Cimarrom, NM 13 miles east of where we are camped and then
drove south 4 miles to the Boy Scouts Of America's big Philmont Ranch.This
is a BIG deal in the Boy Scout world. I was a boy scout and it was fun
camping and learning many things growing up. I was the only one to
get a fire started on a winter outing and able to cook a meal by being
able to strat a fire with only two matches. How dumb was that, but at the
time since I did it, great!
were a good organization but somehow lost their way when they started to
exclude youth participation because of so called moral values. The Boy
Scouts have now lost funding from many United Way funding groups because
they have sided with the right wing, and refuse to include diversity in
was at one time a group of good people, scout masters who care, and lots
of boys who got to learn many great things about how to be a good adult.
a segment of wrong minded people are bent on shaping these kids in a way
that is not what scouting should be about in our opinion. You of course
are free to differ. That's the good part.
Bill Maher is starting on HBO so time to upload and stop this rant....
Saturday April 28
are just taking it easy today after driving around the area yesterday.
A thunderstorm moved in this afternoon and it is still overcast. Terry
is off fishing and I'm listening to Pairie Home Companion with Gerrison
Keillor streaming over the net as I surf and update the blog. Just a take
it as it comes kind of day.
got a nice email from David who had lived in this area for several years
and gave us many ideas of things to and places to visit. Thanks.
game warden came through and looked like they arrested a kid with a
bow and arrow. Must not be the right season for that.
is just a picture perfect campground at an altitude of 7518 ft. Big stands
of pine which give off that soft whistle rushing sound when a breeze blows
through them. So relaxing. A huge difference compared to the Arizona
deserts of this past winter. Soon we will have to dig out the weather radio
and prepare for the uncertain weather as we head north through Colorado
and Nebraska and on into Iowa. I do not handle sever weather warnings well.
This year we are heading up the front range instead of across the more
open plains of Kansas. We love Kansas and the many towns that provide free
camping, just not at this time of year. If you have the pleasure of going
through Kansas do visit this site Kansas
RV and Camping Directory. You don't have to remember the link now,
as it is listed in our main HitchItch.com site resources section.
They list local, city, county, etc. many free, not just big fancy RV parks.
Sunday April 29
had to add some of the fishing spots Terry found within walking distance
of the campground.
Monday April 30
left Cimarron State park about 9 am and had a big day. Didn't plan on it
being that way but when I'm driving I just keep going and going. Went west
over to Raton and up I-25 to Trinidad and then up US 350 to Rocky Ford
where we found a Loaf and Jug gas station with diesel at $3.09 and
free dump station with 8 gal purchase. Didn't take us lone
to figure that was a good deal. Next headed north on AZ 71 to Limon
and right inside town was a Propane dealer and we got 7.9 gal for under
$14 including tax. We tried the CO state park north of Burlington but it
was so poor we pulled out and headed up to US 36 to east. And CO
wanted $23 to camp $18 for the site and $5 for entrance fees. NO WAY. (Corrected
from $8 to$5 entrance fee)
now we are in a city park in St. Francis for FREE on nice level sites with
water and restrooms. No electric. BUT did I say FREE.
they have a dump station!
say thanks we are going to get a big pizza from the Dairy King just up
the road. There is a reason they offer these free city rv spots.
people will stop and spend money. I took the time to add this site
to the www.freecampgrounds.com listings.
are up on a little hill and have a clear view of the western sky. This
time of year, need to keep abreast of the weather. I did a Weather
Channel check and it looks great for here and southern Nebraska for the
next couple of days. Knock on wood...