Gypsy Journey travel blog

Our departure in my custom designed shirt by high school friend

National Route 66 Museum in Elk City

Christ’s Cross in Groom, Texas

Cadillac Ranch

Hiking the Santa Fe Trail

New Mexico State Capitol building

The ebike!

Loretta Chapel miracle staircase

Dinner with cousins David and Rita

Great Sand Dunes National Monument

I had been off the road for two months and the itch was growing. I could tell Gypsy was feeling neglected and Presley looked bored. Time to go. But where?

You see, I’m a planner. I plan every move and every trip we had taken thus far since retirement, I planned down to the minute. I had the route, lodging, sites to see, etc. planned out before we ever left for the trip. I decided it was time to make myself uncomfortable. Hop in Gypsy and have no plans...only a direction and mission (cooler weather). Did I mention this would be out of my comfort zone?

So, I at least started preparing Gypsy. New Pioneer radio, new outside speakers, generator oil changed, brake fluid flush, oil/filter, the works. Prepped, cleaned and ready to go.

We headed out towards Santa Fe in the direction of Colorado. Stopped in Elk City and visited the national Route 66 Museum. Surprisingly good! Then, at a rest stop to prepare some lunch, we stopped in Groom, Texas at Christ’s Cross. Wow. What an inspirational monument. It was phenomenal. While at Christ’s Cross, I searched and found a free place to stay in a city park in Borger, Texas (30 minutes north of Amarillo) with water and electricity. Be still my heart, my luck can’t be THIS good!

Well, with the good comes so not so good. During the night, I found a water leak in the pipe under the main faucet. No water. First night. Since the “plan” was to stay in Gypsy, water would be a must. After many calls the next morning, I found an RV repair place willing to take a look at Gypsy...30 miles south of Amarillo. Geesh!

Thus, we spent the first full day hanging out at an RV service center. Jealous, I know. While loading the dogs into Gypsy to take off after the repair, I noticed the electric step was no longer working. It appears the controller is located under the sink and got wet with the leak. At this point, the RV repair shop was ready to see me and the pups leave, so I purchased a portable step that would allow the dogs to get in Gypsy and we took off. Since it was so late in the day, we only had time to stop at Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo. Cool site, but it was HOT so we didn’t tally long. A night in the RV park next to Cadillac Ranch, and we finally got out of the Amarillo area two days after arriving! Oh well, no plans, right??

We arrived in Santa Fe and found only one RV Park recommended by my RV apps. Upon arrival, discovered they were full, but they agreed to let us park on their patio since Gypsy was so small. Water and electric, but $48 a night was quite steep for a patio. However, I met lots of folks as they all cruised through the patio and wanted to visit about Gypsy. Gotta love her!

We eventually made our way into the historic part of Santa Fe and decided to splurge for a hotel room so we could walk to all the key sites. After walking 9 miles the first day around the Plaza, Capitol building and the Railyard, it became obvious that Ossy was exhausted and hurting. He could hardly move the next day. So, I let the pups rest in Gypsy and rented an ebike for myself. What an awesome experience!!!! I loved it.

For my workout, I put the ebike in low gear and peddled with a little assistance, but as I went further and further out of the plaza area, I cranked up the battery level until I was moving at a brisk 20 mph across town. I cruised through Canyon Road (with all the art showings), the Railyard where I had to stop at REI, the Plaza, Santa Fe River park, and several bike trails. It was so very cool. Me thinks me must have!!!

Later that evening, I met my cousin David and his wife, Rita for dinner at Tomasita’s Mexican restaurant. It was a great evening catching up with them. Santa Fe was a really cool town. There is so much more to it than the Plaza, even though the Plaza alone is worth a visit. And oh yeah, my electric step starting working again after the controller dried out. WHEW!

From Santa Fe, I was determined to head north to Colorado and visit the Great Sand Dunes National Monument. When I was leaving Utah last year and my roomie Kim had joined me, we had planned to drive back through this area and visit the sand dunes, but snow deterred us from visiting.

After securing a place to stay for the night at the Alamosa KOA, we headed to the Sand Dunes. It truly amazes me to all the sudden come upon huge sand dunes in the middle of mountainous areas. It is the same with the White Sands in New Mexico and the Coral Sands in Utah. It literally takes your breath away. These were no different.

We had just hit the dunes when I looked up and saw lightening to the north of us. I was determined to experience the dunes, so we kept going. It was nice and cool and Ossy was moving pretty well. We had probably been out on the dunes about 45 minutes when the rain pellets hit. And I mean stung! They felt like sharp little pellets hitting us and the wind had picked up tremendously. It was quite challenging getting back to Gypsy. By the time we did, the rain had stopped but we were covered in sand. I was able to use the outside shower hose to get a great deal of the sand off me and some of the dogs, but I’m still finding sand throughout Gypsy.

On the way back to the KOA, we hit hail. Ok, I’m not gonna lie. I started crying and praying that the hail would not damage Gypsy. She is my baby, after all! There was absolutely no place to cover Gypsy. Thankfully (yes, prayers work), Gypsy survived with little to no visible damage.

After the Great Sand Dunes, we headed west towards Durango. We spent about an hour walking the downtown historic district, but it was so hot outside, it was too much for the pups. When, I took them back to Gypsy, I could not get the air conditioning to work with the generator on, so leaving them was not an option. I started researching a place to stay the night and determined Durango in July was a popular place. I could not find anything near the town. As much as I wanted to explore more of the town, the only option was to drive about 30 miles outside of Durango. I literally stumbled upon this ranch (Echo Basin) that has transformed into an RV Park. What a hidden gem! The dogs were in doggy heaven with all the land to run and play. And, it was only 10 miles from...wait for it...a national park!!! No, I couldn’t have planned it better. Mesa Verde National Park.

I’ll leave it there for now (but in case you are wondering, we did visit the National Park today!) as we have 10 more days of surprises (for you and me) before heading back toward Oklahoma.

Nope, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, but even with all the mishaps we have encountered, I wouldn’t change a thing. Lovin’ every minute of it....

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