2015 Travels travel blog

Carpe Diem at Bar S RV Park

US 84 north of Abiquiu

I 25 between Santa Fe and Albuquerque

I 40 west of Albuquerque

Carpes at Grants (NM) Wal*Mart

El Malpais Lava Field from Sandstone Bluffs

Bob at Sandstone Bluffs

Cholla Cactus bearing fruit

Sandstone formation in El Malpais Nat'l Monument

Another Sandstone formation in El Malpais Nat'l Monument

La Ventana Natural Arch

Bob "shooting" La Ventana
Shooting into sun requires some tricky handiwork

Tue, 15 Sep: Happy Birthday Shel...

Another road day, the first in four days. We're being pretty lazy these past few weeks with time to kill before a "hard date" we've been just taking things pretty easy.

We'd originally planned to drive from Lake Abiquiu to Santa Ana Pueblo yesterday, a distance of 90-some miles. With hot weather forecast for the area we elected to stay one more day with electricity (and air conditioning) so today's run was from Lake Abiquiu to Grants, twice the distance. Bob put on his "big boy" pants and away we went.

We left Lake Abiquiu a few minutes after nine and retraced our route to New Mexico 96, US 84, NM 599 Santa Fe Bypass, to Interstate 25 just south of Santa Fe. We stopped at San Felipe Pueblo Casino truck stop where we topped up our diesel tank at "only" $2.089/gallon cash price. This was our first fill since Cheyenne Wyoming—we really love our large fuel tank that allows us to bypass high-fuel-tax-states.

From San Felipe Pueblo Sandi took the helm and continued south thru Albuquerque to I 40 westbound. A few rain squalls later we arrived at Grants and pulled into the Wal*Mart parking lot a quarter past one. Bob got the OK from Wal*Mart for us to spend the nite, Sandi got the coach levelled, and then lunch at a nearby Taco Bell. Today's run was 191 miles with an overall fuel economy of 7¾ mpg.

Returning to the coach we headed into the store and caught up on our victualing. It had been longer than a week since we'd last shopped and our perishables were pretty low. For dinner we tried a highly rated local eatery, La Ventana. A steak house, they also offer Mexican specialties and we tried those, especially with their highly touted Green Chili Sauce. Yum, yum with leftovers to boot.

Wed, 16 Sep: A very, very short day's drive...

We had a very restful nite at the Grants (NM) Wal*Mart. The store closed at midnite and the temperature dropped to the fifties. The combination of cool and quiet made for a very restful sleep.

We awoke just B4 eight and enjoyed a very leisurely breakfast. We had mail shipped to the Grant's Post Office and our tracking indicated that it had arrived. So, while Sandi tackled the breakfast dishes Bob took the car and picked up the mail. We then got things ready for the road and went thru our pre-departure check list.

At a quarter past ten Sandi pulled the coach out of the Wal*Mart parking lot while Bob went ahead with the car. Back on I 40 west for all of two exits to our destination for a few days, the Bar S RV park where we'll be rendezvousing with the Anasazi FMCA chapter's "Roving Rally". We'll be with this group for the next ten days as we visit four different locations in New Mexico. Today's drive was all of seven miles.

We went out again for lunch, this time to the WOW Diner located adjacent to the Petro Truck Stop at the same exit. It was highly rated on the internet so we thought we'd give it a try. It looks much like a typical "Jersey" diner from the outside but inside it is 100% authentic New Mexico. The staff was mostly local Indian with some Mexican. Very friendly and helpful. Lunch was excellent, we ordered and enjoyed more Green Chili Sauce on our grinds.

We'll be visiting and sightseeing with the Anasazi folks so stay tuned as we update this, and the three subsequent posts.

Fri, 18 Sep: Busy couple of days.

Late Wednesday afternoon the bulk of the coaches arrived following their journeys from the Phoenix area. We had an extended Happy Hour and got to meet and greet our traveling companions for the next ten days. They seem like a typical group of RVers—friendly and outgoing. We'll get along just fine...

Yesterday (Thursday) morning we awoke to loud mechanical noises coming from our heat pump/air conditioning unit which is located in a compartment beneath our bed. We finally turned it off and used the gas furnace to ward off the morning chill. Once awake we turned it back on and went outside where the noise was much louder and sounded very expen$ive.

Following many phone calls to Winnebago, Coleman, and others we finally decided that we need it looked at and made an appointment with 3Ts Service for early October. The only place in Albuquerque that could/would tackle it was the Winnebago Dealer and they couldn't take us till mid October. At least we know and trust 3Ts.

By the time we got all that resolved the group had already left for the day's activities, a visit to El Morro National Monument. We're not that much into petroglyphs and such so we decided to stay home rather than try to catch up. Instead of sightseeing we did laundry! We may not be smarter, but we sure are cleaner.

Last evening's happy hour was the full McCoy as everyone was there. Dinner consisted of a Subway sandwich they had bought for us to eat at El Morro. Nice folks to think of us.

This morning breakfast was provided by the caravan hosts and was held in the RV park's clubhouse/office. The fare was excellent and the company exceptional. Since today is a "free day", we took off on our own to the El Malpais National Monument. El Malpais is a very interesting place and we spent our time seeking and enjoying the geological wonders. There are sandstone bluffs with lava fields and granite upliftings.

We took many pix of the park's many wonders including the La Ventana Natural Arch. The light was 100% wrong for best pix, but we did the best we could and the results are more than acceptable.

Following a fast food lunch in Grants we returned to the RV park via US 66 (the "Mother Road"). It was a pleasant drive along a mostly commercial strip. When we opened up the coach it was pretty stuffy despite us leaving some windows "cracked" and the ceiling fans running. On a whim (she does that a lot!) Sandi turned on the AC and it started just fine with no noises. It seems to be cooling just fine—for now. That'll bear some further watching and testing.

This evening is a no-host dinner at a highly-regarded local Mexican Restaurant. They claim that the red chili sauce is too hot to eat. Sandi takes that as a challenge...

Tomorrow we'll head east some thirty miles to the second destination on this "Roving Rally"—Sky City.

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