Summer 2018 Big Trip travel blog

Great time at Terracotta Wine Bistro in Santa Fe NM

For once, the day's travel goes almost exactly as planned. We leave Fairplay just before 10 driving separately and it's a good thing we did. The RV could have probably hauled the truck for about 80% of the first hour out of the mountains, but that other 20%, I don't think so. The engine was straining even without the tow.

After traversing the last big hill, we pull over in a little town called La Jara and I hook up the truck. It was like the perfect spot because the next 2.5 hours were about as flat and straight a drive as you can imagine. We grab a late lunch at a restaurant with a huge dirt parking lot and then press on towards Santa Fe.

We stop in Espanola to gas up the RV and I ask the attendant if it's a steep climb to Santa Fe and he says "Oh yeah" so we disconnect the truck there and drive separately. I had done a pretty poor job of getting aligned with the gas pump; I may have had to disconnect the truck anyway just to get out of the gas station.

The last hour of the drive was steep but not nearly as severe as earlier in the day. The RV park is very nice. Good sized, level spaces. This was the park we wanted to stay at last September but it was full and we ended up at a real dump instead.

We hook up, take a break and then drive into Santa Fe to get dinner at our favorite restaurant - Terra Cotta Wine Bistro. It's Friday night and the city is packed with tourists. Finally park at an underground garage a few blocks away. Get to the restaurant and they tell they're full. We tell them we know the head chef and they somehow find us a table on the patio. Meal is once again fantastic - we love this place.

Only hiccup of the day comes at the end. When we get back to the parking garage, around 9:15, almost every vehicle is trying to exit and they have one booth open to pay. Must be over 50 cars fighting to get in line. Takes over 25 minutes to get out. And it's a constant battle to keep cars from cutting in line. All this to pay 5 bucks.

We finally escape (I was starting to wonder if we would all die from carbon monoxide poisoning down there) and get back to the RV in time for a nightcap.

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