Tag Archives: boon docking

Crisscrossing New Mexico

9/24/14 – 9/28/14

Back into Taos, we tried re-charging the A/C. It did’t do the trick, so we had someone look at it, who spent quite a few hours on it and traced it back to the relay under the dash. The part we needed had to be ordered by a Volkswagon dealer and had to come from Dallas, Texas. It  had to be paid for in person, before anyone would order it. We had to go to Albuerque or Santa Fe. No brainer. We headed to Santa Fe.

Not a bad town to wait for a part. We enjoyed the plaza and native artists selling their wares. We bought a few gifts, did some sightseeing, and delighted in some New Mexico fall colors.




When the part arrived, we picked it up, quickly installed it, and ta-da…had cold air blasting into the cab.

To try out our refreshing luxury, we moseyed over to  Bandelier National Park. Mostly we needed a place to camp for the night, and the park was handy.




A peaceful setting to enjoy the evening and early morning.


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Some interesting campers were also visiting. In fact a lot of these Western Bluebirds were camping along side of us.




This Northern Flicker and White-breasted Nuthatch didn’t mind sharing a site.


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Pretty sure this was a Merlin watching over the entire loop.


We moved on after these visitors left and lots of the two legged type moved in. (It was a weekend.)




Found this place a little quieter and more to our liking up a forest service road. Room for Pia to run and play, and plenty of New Mexico sunshine for the solar panel.


Some of these Bluebirds thought so too, as they followed us to our new camping spot.


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We drove by and visited Valles Caldera National  Preserve.





It was a beautiful valley, but there was no place to spend the night. We inched our way around the Jemez mountains.




A quiet walk  in the Santa Fe National Forest.




Nature’s sculpture…




And yet another lovely peaceful camping spot, thanks to the forest service folks for maintaining their roads.

The countryside changes abruptly.




Emerging out of the forest and into Jemez Pueblo.


It was about here when our air conditioner quit working again…


Respite Along The Rio Grande



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Somewhere between Farmington and Taos on a quite warm day, our air conditioner quit working…

We rolled down the windows, endured the warm breeze, quit talking to each other, due to the loud road noise, and became a bit crabby.  By the time we pulled into Taos, it was rush hour,  cars were sitting still in every lane and the lights were all red and lasted forever.  It was Friday, and also unseasonably hot for Taos.

Instead of a gentle stroll along the plaza as planned, we really just wanted to find a place to stop and camp, so we left town shortly after arriving, heading up the mountain to cooler pastures, on which the map showed numerous campgrounds. It didn’t take us long to learn that the forest service had closed all those campgrounds for the season, just two days ago.

We kept driving until it got very dark, when around a corner we went, and met in the middle of a very dark two lane country road, two very big and very all BLACK cows just standing right smack in the middle of that dark road. It was a very very near miss, which could have resulted in a very bad disaster for both us and the cows.

But calamity was averted, thanks to the fact that the road had no one coming in the other direction.  Whew, it really was time to stop. So in the very next, very little, very dark town of Angel Fire…we found of all things a Visitor Center. Well, we certainly were visitors, and we needed some centering. We did what any logical wandering nomad would do, and found a far little corner, hunkered down in the parking lot, and turned in for the night.

All was well the next morning, never a soul did we see before departing to journey further along the very scenic drive in the Carson National Forest. It was foggy. Really foggy. So foggy, we didn’t see the very scenic drive until around noon.

The sun did finally come out, and the sun did shine. It was warm again. But happily, we found ourselves parked along the mighty Rio Grande River, high above the Rio Grande Gorge. I wanted to hike to the bottom. Glad we took the easy trail. It was pretty rugged, I could only imagine what the challenging and difficult trails were like. But it was a lovely hike down and awesome to be on the Rio Grande River.

While lingering at the water’s edge, Fred and I both at the same time spotted a huge mountain sheep across the river high up on the cliff. Then we spotted another and another. There were seven altogether, and we watched them for a long while, while enjoying the rolling river and expansive views. As we started back up the ascent, the sheep started their own descent. It was  amazing to watch them sure-footedly going down the rocky cliff and gravely trail. We humans were so carefully picking our boulders, and placing our feet, while they were almost as graceful as ballerinas on tiptoes.

We stopped near the top for water and power bars, and watched them again for another hour or so.

Of course I took lots of photos and got some really great shots. But somewhere along the way, I either lost the memory card, or accidentally deleted it, because it is now nowhere to be found.

After our exciting day with the sheep, we lucked out and found a wonderful campground in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. This one was operated by the BLM who managed to keep it open.




Peace at last.




And a comfy, quiet evening under huge cloud filled skies. And no it didn’t rain. Yet.


Fred Puts on Shorts!

Since I’m becoming quite behind in this blogging thing, I’m now adding  accurate travel dates to the posts, as the posting dates seem to run about a week behind. Since I am doing this sort of as a reference, it seems like the weather should at least be when it really happened, instead of like the snow falling in the middle of June or something, when it actually fell in May…

May 12, 2014

We left Lee’s Ferry campground taking a scenic route into Utah through Jacobs Lake. We again decide to forgo the Grand Canyon, since the road to the North Rim (where we are now) doesn’t open for another three days, and we are anxious to get into Utah.

At the junction of our turnoff, we see this cute laundry, and needing to do some, stop in for a quick wash and dry, before heading out.


Marble Canyon Laundromat
Marble Canyon Laundromat


And this was next door!


Marble Canyon Showers
Marble Canyon Showers


It can’t get any better than being able to take showers, while the clothes are washing. Little did we know that 95% of the washing machines didn’t work, and 98% of the dryers were inoperable. And that the washers were sort of antiques and took forever…and the dryers took even more forever…

But oh well, while there we met two lovely ladies who were about to embark upon a six day river rafting trip down the Colorado. These ladies had been friends for over 30 years, have lived in different states for over 20 years, and decided to venture out together for this once in a lifetime trip together. They were awesome!!

We shared stories, histories, and soon photos and videos of our grandchildren. I can’t remember the names, but I’m sure they had a fantastic trip down the river, and have many many memories to share and take back to their families.


Leaving the Vermillion cliffs
Leaving the Vermillion cliffs


Hours later…we continue winding away from the Vermillion Cliffs, and head up to higher elevations. Much higher!


Fred Finally Dons Shorts
Fred Finally Dons Shorts


Those of you who know Fred, know he’s not much of a shorts kind of guy. In fact our kids have probably never seen this picture of their dad. So it’s pretty ironic, he decides to finally put on shorts…and we come across this. More snow.  (O.k., he did just wash his two pair of jeans – which maybe explains it.)


Pia Enjoying the Snow
Pia Enjoying the Snow


Pia, on the other hand, rather enjoyed the snow.

We made it to Jacob Lake, at almost 8,000 feet, just as it was about dark, and the one and only campground wasn’t open yet. It obviously opens the same day as the Rim Road to the Grand Canyon. Anyway, we found a nice forest road that wasn’t too muddy, spotted a wide area, and pulled over, popped the top and yay…turned on the heater!!!

You see, our Eurovan has a propane heater with a built in thermostat, which we’ve enjoyed quite liberally with all this cold weather.