City of Rocks: Part II

Saturday afternoon is when things warmed back up. Brian had told me about a little town north of Silver City that had a great restaurant bar. He'd said that it was in an old adobe building that's stood since the mid 1800's. Being into the old west and a foodie I was dying to see the place. If you ever go remember that the place is easy to miss the way the streets and signs are laid out, and to make a right turn when you see the adobe wall.. The first place we went into was the museum/gift shop. I was amazed that the building has managed to stay up all this time from what I saw outside. When you walked inside the first thing I saw was an old iron stove that was keeping the place nice and toasty. The place was packed with books, blankets, rugs, baskets, and other assorted Indian trinkets. 

Somehow I don't think it's up to code


Some things never change
We did the tourist thing and I got a real indian made blanket for only $20. The tag even said "Made in India"!  Robi purchased a pair of decorative Indian wall rugs, and Susan a tiny bag. Their stuff was only Indian'ish because the tags said "Made in Pakistan". We stashed our uber ethnic quarry in the truck and went straight over to the Buckhorn to celebrate.

The Buckhorn Saloon
We only had a few drinks at the bar and some appetizers, but they were all great. Even though we didn't stay for dinner I can tell you that what they were preparing for that night smelled incredible. Especially the BBQ they were carrying in from outside. I wish I could show you what the place looked like inside, but the pics I took didn't come out. I blame all it on the booze. 

Robi & Susan

I'm not all there, see?
Ok so I only had two beers. I have no real excuse other than I was on vacation. I was having fun is what counts! The girls met and talked to the proprietor/head chef of the place and he had told us to check out the Opera house next door when we had a chance. There was even a connecting passage between them, but I still went in through the front doors.

Pinos Altos Opera House
The stage where I recreated the ending scene
from Gunga Din to honor the local tribes.
I really wished we had stayed that night because they do dinner shows there every Saturday. I really would've loved to try out their BBQ. No worries since that's all the more reason to go back. The street is short so there was only two more buildings to see. One was a corner store that was closed and the other a cabin that may have been lived in by Judge Roy Bean according to the plaque outside. The sun was starting to set so we headed back to camp for some bean soup, wine, convo, while huddled around the fire pit. That next day Susan departed for her next destination. We exchanged hugs and said our goodbyes. 

View of the road from the visitors center
The park was quiet and peaceful again now that a lot of the weekend campers left. I took advantage by exploring parts of the park I hadn't yet seen and checked out the visitors center one last time. That night I had a nice dinner and convo by campfire with Robi and the dogs. We decided to leave a night early and spend the night at an RV park in Deming. The park lacks a dumping station and Robi needed to get her rig looked at. The bonus for me was in getting a chance to check out the Low-Hi RV Ranch. I'd first read about it in a blog, and then suggested the place to Robi as a pit stop before City of Rocks. She stayed there the week prior and confirmed that the people and place were both great. If you've never heard of them before you should check them out as they have chapters all over the US. Since we arrived on a Monday dinner was provided by the park patrons being that it was pot luck night. I got the chance to meet with a lot of great people who were full of great information about this lifestyle. 

What really did it for me was the stories many of them had to tell about their lives. My stay there was too short and it really pained me to have to leave without a chance of getting to know everyone better before I had to leave. A lot of the old timers repeatedly asked me if I would be joining them in the future and how they needed new blood in the club. This brings me to what I hinted at in part I.

The beagle had a hard time deciding where to pee

When I arrived at the park 5 days prior. I was simply excited to be out on the road and in the great outdoors again. It was during my first day there that I was struck with a pang of doubt about full timing. Is this really what I want?  Can I really make this work? Do you really want to give up your old life? These were the kinds of thoughts that plagued me that first day. It's funny how I can get so caught up in all the preparation and then still manage to feel this way when I'm about to live in my rig for 6 days. Then I realized I'd become comfortable in the 9-5 job/apt lifestyle again. This was all about comfort zones, and I wasn't in mine any longer. This is a new life I'm learning to live and it's going to be uncomfortable at first. This vacation was also about working the kinks out and learning new ways of doing things. These epiphanies got me back on track and cleared away any doubts I had. They never returned and I feel much more confidant about it all. 

My truck and rig at Low-Hi RV Ranch


City of Rocks: Part I

This was a great trip where so many things were learned and experienced in too short a time for me. The best part were the epiphanies which helped me to see my way clear again, but I'll get to that later in Part II.

The drive out was long and uneventful, but it was great just being out on the road again. I arrived close to 9pm and was greeted by Robin (http://tumbleweedsandlemonade.blogspot.com/), Susan (http://minnieminerva.blogspot.com/), and Brian (http://manywheelsbrian.blogspot.com/). It was the absolute best to finally get to meet them all in person. I really enjoyed their company on this trip and look forward to doing anything with them again. First I gave them a quick tour of my rig, and then we went over to Susan's where she had made us all a tasty dinner of Au Jus. Thank you again Susan! After dinner we a had fun getting to know each other type convo until everyone dropped out to crash for the night.

The next day started out sunny and warm but got cold, gusty, and rainy by lunchtime. We did manage to get a nice hike in and met and mingled with some of the neighbors before the weather turned. We wound up back at Susan's for some more good convo before everyone retreated to their rigs for the night. The temps unexpectedly dropped to the low 30°'s. Even though I was sharing the bunk with the beagle and had extra blankets, it wasn't anywhere near warm enough and I had to use the furnace before we froze. Luckily this wound up being the worst thing that happened on the trip.

I slept in this morning and sadly learned that I missed Brian's early departure. He was having some battery issues and didn't want to risk it getting worse. I really meant to hang out with and get to know him better, but it didn't work out this trip. I really hope to sit down and swap stories with him on our next encounter.

And now for a few pictures ...

My site number and name.
All the sites are named after constellations.

Fourteenth thing I saw that morning

Bridgette geared up for a hike and yells
"Let's Goooooooooo!!!!!"

A dirt road

There were more RV people than tent campers

On our walk, Bridgette and I invented
a game called "Find Moammar Gadhafi".
She didn't find him behind the big rock :-(

A very quick tour of the inside of my rig. 

The multi-purpose room.
As you can see it took us no time to settled in.

The kitchen, bar, and tea station.

The bedroom & adjoining bathroom


just can't wait to ...

I'm sitting at my desk sipping some earl grey creme tea listening to Willie Nelson's "On the road again" while going over my trip checklist. In about hour or less I'll be making my way across Texas to New Mexico for a long overdue vacation. I'm very excited because I'm going to meet up with several full timers and spend a little time with them on my trip. Two days earlier I was in overdrive and stressing because I was trying to get a few work projects done before I left. Yesterday was the same and I was planning on leaving after work to maximize my vacation time. I even started packing like a madman when I got home and realized that I should be taking some advice I'd given a friend. Rather than continue packing at my breakneck pace, then drive as far as I could before stopping someplace random to crash for the night, I slowed down and slept at home instead. The revelation hit me that if I'm really to make my future full timing life work, the first thing I have to do is to end a few bad habits from my current life. Sometimes we get so caught up in our day to day lives in this rat race that we forget the simplest of things.

I don't have to live this way!



She hates going to the vet!
Earlier this week, the beagle and I were horsing around as we always do. Things got too rough, she yelped loudly, and this ended playtime for us. Over the next few days there was more yelping, but only when she moved in a way she didn't know that would hurt. She was normal otherwise, but I did give her a thorough body check. Nothing was broken anywhere and it wasn't a back issue. She didn't cry out in pain as I poked and prodded her. I figured it was a pulled or strained muscle and that she would self regulate her motion until she was 100% again. I had given her some k9 aspirin which helped. It wasn't until this afternoon when she came to lay down beside me on the couch and let out a really loud one that I took her to the vet. $55 later we were sent home with a weeks worth of Rimadyl and asked to return in two weeks. The vet performed pretty much the same exam and came to the same conclusion I did. She suffered some tissue damage, but the main difference is that he's licensed to prescribe the good stuff. My little girl is feeling much better and recreating a beagle version of the peyote scene from Young Guns on my couch for me.