5/10/21 OUR RV ADVENTURES
From the beginning of our RV adventures, I had visions of pulling up beside a river and camping, hiking, biking, etc. like we did last August when we went to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. But how does that happen? Is it feasible? Possible? Where? Lots of questions. So while we were at the KOA Campground, Dave mentioned this place at the bottom of the hill outside of Alamogordo. It is amazing. We love it. We boondocked (stayed on public land without water or electricity for free) from May 7-9. We found out that this land is not BLM (Bureau of Land Management), but DOD (Department of Defense). I don’t know how legal we are to be here. Oops. But, apparently we can stay on any public land (BLM) anywhere in the United States for free. Boondocking is an option if we can figure out how to make it work.
NEW MEXICO STATE PARKS: We rode our motorcycle up to Oliver Lee Memorial State Park which is a mile east of where we are staying. This park is amazing. It only has electricity and water, no sewer hookups, but the landscape is amazing and the RV spots are private, far apart with spectacular views of the valley and mountains. To stay in a state park in New Mexico costs $10 per night with no electricity and water, $14 per night with water and electricity, and $18 per night with full hookups. The problem is that a lot of the state parks and national parks are already full. You have to call way in advance to get a spot. We are kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kind of people, but it looks like we are going to have to plan a little to make this thing work.
TEXAS STATE PARKS: While I am talking about state parks, I want to let you know what happened in Texas. When I posted the cost of staying the night at Brownwood State Park, Robin Horton told me, “Go now and get a yearly pass,” so I did. I think it was $70 for a yearly pass and $25 for a secondary pass. I got both, but I think I should have only gotten one. Lyndyl’s pass would have been good for both of us. When I did that, they reimbursed $32 for the two day stay. SWEET!
NATIONAL PARKS: We also went to White Sands National Park. AMAZING! And we got an AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL pass. Any family can purchase an annual pass for $80 per year and it will get the entire family into any National Park. For us, because we are over 62, we got a lifetime pass for $80. SWEET! Without the America the Beautiful pass, the White Sands adventure would have cost $20 for our motorcycle. Tonight we are going back to see the sunset!
BOONDOCKERSWELCOME.COM: We joined this group for $50 per year. I think the way this works is that if you have a piece of property that could accommodate RVs, you offer your property, and other people offer their property. It doesn’t cost anything unless you use electricity. Then it is a $10 donation.
BLACK WATER: OK. I know that I talk a lot about poop (black water) when I blog about RV life, but ya’ll, this is for real. We thought that our gray water valve was the one that was not closing, so my husband replaced that, but the black water valve was also stuck. CRAP! So while we stayed at the KOA and had plenty of water to wash everything out, my husband and Dave tackled the problem. They fixed it, but come to find out, our water sensors were not accurate either. It showed that our black water was always full, so we dumped. But we are never suppose to dump until the black water is at least 3/4 full. If we dump before it is full, the stuff won't flow out. Well! According to Dave we were creating the mountain of doom. A pile that grows higher and higher and gets harder and harder. And to top all of that off, I was conserving water, after all we only have 40 gallons. This is a place I can cut back on using our limited supplies. Oops! Now I know better. I will use lots of water rom now on. We think we have this fixed now, and my husband bought some sort of gadget to stick down the toilet with the water hose attached. They cleaned everything out. By the way, my husband anticipated having to work on black water, so he put a SEPARATE hose in the back of our truck for that. Now we are not going to dump so often. I will let you know how that works.
BOONDOCKING: We boondocked a mile down the hill from Oliver Lee State Park. This is about 10 miles out of Alamogordo off of Hwy 54. We loved it. Not many people were there the first night, but Saturday night, more and more cars came. These cars came and stayed the night and left. On Friday it was 95 degrees with the wind blowing. We were comfortable, and by the time morning came, we were cold. We also figured out the lighting situation. I told you that we had to run the generator twice a day to recharge the battery. We stopped turning on the lights where there are 5-7 on a circuit and started just turning on one when we needed it. While we were at Alamogordo, we only charged the battery once. I have to tell you that to have all lights off at night with just the candle burning is glorious. The stars! The lights! While we were there Friday and Saturday at dusk, we saw something in the sky. It was a string of lights in a row, evenly spaced, that looked like stars. They moved through the sky in a straight line and disappear. As one disappeared, another entered this space. We could see five or six at a time, and this lasted for about 20 minutes each night, and then they were gone. Satellites? I don’t know, but it is worth noting.
My heart is torn. Since leaving Alamogordo, we have seen several places that we would have loved to stay and explore. The Box out of Socorro, NM is one. The alpaca farm is another. Then we passed the valley of fire, but couldn't stop because we have to be someplace at a certain time. We don’t want to make reservations, but we are afraid not to.
OH THE PLACES WE GO!!!
WHITE SANDS NATIONAL PARK. Wow! Wow! Wow! There are not enough exclamation points. White Sands National Park at sunset took my breath away.
CLOUDCROFT, NM. We rode Hwy 130 from Mayhill to Cloudcroft. Glorious! There was an RV place right out of Mayhill on 130 that we would have probably stayed at if we had known, but if feels like our footsteps are ordered by God. We are listening to people and going where they say go. It is fun! We also loved Dave’s Cafe. We ate there twice. I would eat there again.
HIGH COUNTRY ALPACA RANCH, Techado - Fence Lake, NM: We searched Harvest Host and Boondockers Welcome to find a place to stay while on our way to Dolores, Colorado. This alpaca ranch came up. I am glad it did. We met John and his delightful place. If we did not already have reservations, we would have stayed longer. John just lost his wife of 40 years in March and I wanted to wrap my heart around him to keep him safe and comfort him.
OH THE PEOPLE WE SEE!
DAVE AND MARY are the two that we hung around the most. Dave helped Lyndyl with the black water problem, and he had very helpful hints about RV living. He has been living in his motorhome for 20 years. He has stayed at the KOA for the 7 years. He knows a lot. He also took us to Cloudcroft and showed us around. Mary is Dave’s friend. She is 74 years old, and she is fixing up a 5X10 cargo trailer into a camper. She was also boondocking at the same place we were. Dave drove his motorhome out there, too, so that he could help Mary fix her camper up. We ate supper with them and took them both up to White Sands to see the sunset again last night. Neither one of them were as impressed as I was.
BRITA pulled her van into the space across the street from us at the KOA. She is 79 years old. She is a retired systems analysis person. She retired at 75. Wow. She lives on a lake somewhere in the Fort Worth area, and she has been a lot of places. She loves to travel, and most of the time, she travels by herself. She has been to over 300? Countries. That seems like a lot, but that is what I think she said. She was coming back from California where she went to see her daughter and her family. She had a bed in the back of the van. She opened the doors to let the breeze in, and she talked of putting screens over the doors for when the mosquitos come. Seventy-nine years old. Wow.
SAM AND MORGAN. Now this couple was fascinating. It was their age. Nearly everyone we meet is our age or older, but I met Sam on his birthday. He turned 35 on May 6th. Morgan is 34. Sam was an aeronautical civil engineer. I think Morgan remodeled houses? But she subs it all out. (I think this is right. Lyndyl was the one talking to her.). Anyway, they got tired of the rat race. They quit their job, sold their house, bought a pickup and a camper. They said they had a trip planned to go to Europe that got canceled twice. When they got the refund, they bought the camper. They said that all they want to do is see beautiful things and enjoy each other. Oh my goodness! They are the ones who insisted that we see White Sands at sunset. They have been living in their RV for seven months. They said it is averaging them $800 per month to stay in places, but this includes water and electricity. They said that if they every need to go back, they will, but for now - no. They are from Georgia, but they have a Florida address. They said that there are only three states that allow you to be a resident without living there. Florida and Texas are two of them. They get their mail sent to Florida and then forwarded to wherever they happen to be. They can also get a drivers license from Florida which is pretty important.
PAT SARGENT. Pat Sargent was a lady in one of the stores I went into at Cloudcroft. She is 74. Divorced 30 years ago and raised four children by herself. She travels a lot, but she has lived in Cloudcroft for the last eight years. Now her heart is turning back to the Houston area so that she can be around family. LORD, guide her footsteps. Go before her and prepare the way. Be her rearguard. I am asking this in Jesus’ name.
PETER. While we ate at Dave’s Cafe the second time, I noticed a young man limping with a cane. He had two children and a dog (who peed on the post right beside us). He came past several times and ended up sitting down on a bench right across the fence from us. I asked him about what happened to his leg. He said that seven months ago a large glass table fell on his leg below the knee. He has no feeling from the knee down, but the nerve damage is so bad that he is in pain all the time. He said the pain medicine they gave him doesn’t work, so he doesn't take it. He talked about having them cut his leg off to relieve the pain, but the doctors said that he may still have fantom pain for the rest of his life. My heart went out to him. When he got up to leave, I asked him, “Do you know Jesus?” It took him by surprise. He said, “Yes. I pray.” I don’t know if he knew what I was talking about, but I asked him if I could pray for him. He said, “Yes.” I called down heaven over that man. Grace and mercy. Light and truth. Unfailing love. Healing - as his soul prospers, may he prosper and be in health. I don’t know if he was able to receive or not. Later, when I was reading the Bible, the LORD said that if I ask anything according to His will, He will give it to me. I thought of Peter. I prayed for Peter according to God’s will. Then it occurred to me that if two agree as touching anything it will be given to them from heaven. If Peter’s heart agreed with mine, God will move heaven and earth for that man. He will be healed in more ways than he could ever imagine. If his heart did not agree with mine, he will go home unchanged, and he will have a vague memory of a crazy lady who stopped him on the streets to pray for him. LORD, rend the heavens over this man. Send Your Spirit. Draw him to You. Let his heart open wide to receive Your goodness. Let righteousness and salvations come with power. Let mercy and grace lead the way. Heal him. I am asking this in the mighty name of Jesus. AMEN
JOHN FIFIELD: John is 72 years old. He was a musician most of his life, playing in bands. He also taught school sometime in there. But 15 years ago, at 58 years old, he and his wife Carolyn bought that piece of property out in the middle of nowhere in NM. He had always wanted to farm. He raises alpacas and Great Pyrenees, and he has a little store there on his property. Since his wife died, it is just him running the place. His heart is broken. He loved her so much. LORD, God of comfort, come with power. Heal his heart. Bring him joy and peace. In Jesus' name. AMEN
WITNESS HIM NOW
I want to record what I see God doing. I want to be a faithful witness to His glory. But what I am seeing happen right now is inside of me. Even though my heart’s desire is to share the goodness and grace of God, the LORD is telling me, “I didn’t send you to save anyone. I sent you to love them.” He is teaching me to listen to people and to love them right where they are. To value. To honor. To encourage. To love whoever He sends. We don’t choose. He does. This week we loved on Dave and Mary and John. It was glorious.
MOMENTS THAT TOOK MY BREATH AWAY!
White Sands at sunset.
The heart of a loving husband who is grieving over his wife