This morning is beautiful, with sunlight through clouds, and I can’t capture the feeling in a picture.
There is a large covey of quail outside my door, running around as if they are on wheels, the rays of sunlight seem magical outside my dining room window, and last night was a big thunder and lightning storm with the first rain since leaving Taos. I got up in the dark after midnight, the night sky lit by lightning, to make sure all the car windows were closed, to stow my chair and footrest under the rig, and fold up my little side table to put it inside. Cheyenne hates thunderstorms, even more than she hates rough wind and fireworks or gunfire, so she was nervous. I’ve always loved the sound of rain pounding on the roof, especially a metal roof, so I stayed awake for a couple of hours to finish my Henning Mankell Wallander mystery. I’m so glad I brought several of these books and a couple videos of the stories, they seem to suit this traveling life perfectly. And it’s so nice to read them in bed.
I’ve been camped for the last five days next to two other Lazy Dazes. One of them belongs to my neighbors from the Balloon Fiesta, Marian and Jerry from South Carolina. The other couple`is from Maryland, Sharon and Bill. We’ve had potluck dinners together, and we three women even went to a local hot springs spa for a wonderful soak next to the Rio Grande River (which is very chica here now). Elephant Butte Lake State Campground is the largest and maybe nicest in the state, but we are at the very edge overlooking the lake, and it seems quite private here.
It’s been a good week, and so pleasant to be with compatible people! But today I will leave to head south again. I feel sure I will run into these friends again.
And just before leaving, I met a new friend Jer Thornton, with his dog, Baby Girl, and his scooter with sidecar (for the dog).
Saturday after I left Cochiti Lake was a nightmare day, so when I could stop at a truck stop with an abandoned RV park in the back, it was especially welcome and pleasant.
In my nice campground that morning, I noticed that my front driver’s side tire on the motor home was low. I drove the car to the nearby Indian gas station, only to learn that they don’t have an air compressor! The closest one is 15 miles toward the interstate highway! I was lucky to find an very kind old retired POW Vet Indian in a pickup truck who said he had a cigarette-lighter-operated compressor that might put air into the tire so I could get out of there. Not too surprisingly he had never used it before, so didn’t know how it worked! Somehow we did get a bit of air into the tire, then I emptied and cleaned my holding tanks and filled the water tank with good drinking water and hit the road, forfeiting my next night’s camping for which I had already paid.
I stopped again and got the tires properly pressured, then drove south through Albuquerque. My goal was a rural BLM free camping area, listed in the Ultimate Campground guide written by a camper I had met. But the open camping turned out to be on a tiny road for four-wheel-drives out in the desert, which was very rough, deep in sand and with virtually no place to turn around and go back! Nobody at all was out there. I admit that I was scared wondering how I could ever get back to civilization, but I finally did it. I found a wide spot and turned tight, without stopping or slowing down. Good thing I had a lifetime of experience driving in soft snow. I thought that if I stopped and got stuck, they might someday find my skeleton out there. My poor car was an inch deep in sandy dust, none of my ten tires were even black any more. I admit that although I was worried out in the desert, once i finally got headed out of there, I had to laugh out loud at my own stupidity and determination.
I hear that every RVer has some sort of adventure tale like this, but it’s the first time I actually felt anxious. And it was my own fault, because there were signs in advance this was a bad idea and I ignored them. Live and Learn! Now I’ll be much more cautious.