Well it’s finally time to leave. We have been in Red River, New Mexico since November 1, and the ski season ended on Sunday. It has been a fun time! I taught a lot of kids from Texas and Oklahoma how to ski (or ski better!) and Shelly sold a ton of ski tickets and rental packages!
To say we’re excited would be an understatement. The weather agreed today as it rained for a while even while it was snowing at the top where I was teaching ski lessons.
Our tentative plans are to be in Asheville, NC April 11, stopping at as many vineyards between here and there as possible. I actually have a music gig in Muskogee, OK next week! From Asheville we will spend a weekend at McKinney Lake Allatoona State Park ( probably 4/13-4/15?) and visit, then to Valdosta to see the boys. They were here over Christmas. (BTW – if you are interested in meeting up in Atlanta or anywhere else let us know!)
From there we are entertaining two options (so far). One is to rebuild a 57 ft Hatteras motor yacht and spend next winter in the Bahamas. To be able to do that we might need some ‘charters’ to help us finance the trip. Anyone interested in joining us at a very affordable rate? 😉
Another option is to camp north through the middle Atlantic seaboard up to Maine for the summer, then across the northern United States and explore Wyoming and Idaho for ski resorts similar to where we spent the last four months.
Whatever. We are just ready to be moving again! We have greatly enjoyed this winter. Fortunately for us it was very mild with a 50 year record for low snowfall. Since the ski resort brings in a snowmaking crew from New Zealand, we had plenty of snow on which to ski and play. Red River is a very beautiful area and small enough to feel at home.
Directly across the street from the RV park where we stayed is the only cemetery in town. The cemetery has been here since the founding and is unique in all the places we visited. This was our favorite place for walking Goose every day and we got to know it well. We have seen all kinds of wildlife tracks in the snow including mountain lions, mule deer, turkeys, coyotes, and much more. This we will miss.
If you ever come to Red River in a RV you have to stay with Tim and Liz is in their RV park. These guys have been awesome to spend the winter with and we will miss them as well.
But now it is time to remove the mud hut and get on down the road!
After spending 1 1/2 months in South Fork, Colorado so we could explore the southern Colorado area (see the video here – it was awesome!), we pulled out Oct 15th, 2017 headed for Red River NM – the long way around through 4 states!
Be sure and watch the video for images of the trip at the end of the post.
From South Fork, the only way west is SW over Wolf Creek Pass and down through Pagossa Springs and on to Durango. From Durango, the road we chose heads SW toward the Grand Canyon but passes through some amazing rugged, remote, scenic parts of the West that we frankly were not expecting!
We stopped overnight in Cortez, and were up and out early the next day heading for Lake Powell. I took Shelly there in our old Scout II in 1982 when we just started living together so we were excited about coming back.
We stopped in Bluff Utah for the night and ended up staying three days. Bluff was used as a base camp for exploring and almost getting into BIG trouble. (See the video!) All is well, with important lessons learned and extreme adventures. The town itself has some amazing history.
We could have spent weeks here seeing Canyon of the Gods, Monument Valley, Hovenweep, and much more but it was time to head to Lake Powell, the Colorado River and Page, Arizona.
The same wind you will see blowing the words from our video on Horseshoe Bend blew 45 – 60 MPH that night at our camp on the beach. With the sand blowing in curtains sideways we were very happy not to worry about an anchor that night!
On to Lee’s Ferry – another awesome part of our history is found at Lonely Dell founded by Mormons in 1880’s to get people across the Colorado River and its canyons from Utah into Arizona. When the ferry sank or was otherwise not operating, it added over 500 miles to go around! Another worthwhile story about it here.
Then we drove to Flagstaff for the night. We wanted to visit Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments but it just didn’t work out. Another time for sure.
Back on an interstate (I40) (for the first time in 3 months!) in Flagstaff and a short day on nice fast, smooth highway to a very remote RV park outside Petrified Forest National Monument so we could spend the rest of the day exploring. See the video for more! (This place blew my mind!)
On to Albuquerque to see our friend Steve, do some maintenance on the RV, and work the Sandia Mountain Ski Patrol ski swap. It was fun – and we found some great buys on winter ski clothes as well!
It was very exciting to head north to Santa Fe, then stop at a winery (Black Mesa Winery) where we had stayed in the summer for a nice tasting and bottle for dinner!
Up through Taos and the 45 minutes up through the mountains to our winter quarters for skiing! Red River, NM is a very small (pop 500) ski resort in northen New Mexico and we are very happy to be here.
With the river literally out the door and the ski slope easily seen from the same place, we feel blessed as usual. Our RV park hosts are Tim and Liz and we could not have found better people to spend the winter.
It is 11 degrees outside this morning and they are making snow like crazy for the opening in four days. Let’s go skiing!
Google Maps is really good at providing visuals of your travels.
This is the last day of our workamper experience in South Fork, Colorado. The rv is ready to go in the morning, and although we are only planning a two hour trip to a national park in Durango, Colorado for tomorrow, it is sort of a big deal.
We haven’t been anywhere except one trip last week with the rig since we arrived in late August, so we are very excited to be on the road again.
The stay here has been fun allinall. South Fork at 8300 feet is beautiful. We have taken advantage (as we planned) to travel around southern Colorado and visit places like Ouray, Silverton, Aspen, Gunnison, Lake City, Creede and much more. We have hiked lots of trails, and around lakes at 11,000 feet. We visited hot springs, and cold water and snow covered mountains in September.
We made a difference at a new rv park doing hard physical labor with a chain saw, weed eater, and a machete I thought I would never see again after the horse farm as well as met some amazing people.
The instant gratifIcation of seeing the changes, and the stamina and physical changes from the labor and running every morning with Goose is worth much more than the minimum wage received. (And it wont hurt when I start skiing!)
Now we turn our truck and home westward for two weeks towards the Grand Canyon, the Navaho and Ute nations and all the wonders they hold. We intend to wander until a ski swap the lat weekend in October in Albuquerque, then make our way up to Red River, New Mexico to get ready for winter and skiing.
After all, that was why we came out here in the first place.
What is kinda funny is that we are already thinking about next year (although it is way too early) as opportunities are presenting themselves in places like Alaska, Minnesota, Idaho, and even Florida.
We have enjoyed an amazing summer to fall change, seen the awesome colors of the aspen and cottonwood trees, watch the Rio Grande River rise and fall and flow, and already had a good snowstorm where we had to shovel three inches of snow off the roof.
And icing on the cake we get to watch as hollywood and the nfl implode proving that karma is a bitch.
We just hope that some of the blessings we receive are visible in the video!
We escaped Albuquerque Friday afternoon about 2pm and headed north pulling 16,500 pounds of home behind us.
Later that evening, after a nice hike around Ojo Caliente hot springs, we came to a very interesting observation.
There was nowhere else we would rather be at that moment.
That led to a conversation about how many times since we have had the RV were we where we wanted to be with no thought or wish to be somewhere else?
The answer was about 95% of the time.
This was a beautiful thing to ponder and only possible as the tension and stress of the city of Albuquerque faded away. Physically feeling the difference allowed us to truly appreciate it a lot!
People in that town are used to having their cars stolen while they are in the store, at home, or anywhere else. I walked into a hardware store in a nice part of town to get a key for the truck made.
There I met an off duty cop who was also having a key for his new Ford F350 truck made. He parked in front of the store (two spaces away from the door!), walked in to have the key made, walked out to check the key and someone had forced in his door lock and tried to steal the truck! The only reason they could not was because he had a boot on the steering wheel! Dang!
Only in Albuquerque does a cop put a boot on his steering wheel to run into the hardware store!
Then there is the normal traffic, along with the noise and light pollution. YUK. Since we were there just to get some warranty work done on the RV, and the people at the RV place were just jerks for the most part acting like they could care less if we were there just made it all that much worse.
I wonder how many people can say that 95% of the time they are exactly where they want to be – and there is nowhere else they would rather be? I think that is a very cool thing to be able to say and Shelly and I thank God every day for this blessing!
So now we are in an RV park in South Fork Co. We are going to work here 4 days on and 3 off and get ready for winter back in Red River NM. We can feel productive, make some new friends, and explore southern Colorado while leaving our home here. It is just too heavy for the shorter trips we want to take to explore this area.
Here is where we have been in the last few weeks. As soon as I have collected and edited videos and pictures from the three devices we use – I’ll create a visual post!
Going down to 43 tonight with a high of 74 tomorrow. Perfect!