We are now on the road out of Farmington, NM. Rough road. We are headed toward the North Rim of the Grand Canyon - we think. We stopped at Denny’s this morning to get breakfast, and when we got through, our back tire was flat. Luckily we were only two miles from Discount Tire because when Lyndyl put the spare on, it was nearly flat, too. Discount Tire replaced our tire for $37.00. Yay!
We left Dolores, Colorado yesterday morning and drove to the Bisti Badlands. The drive there was so cool. Jutting out of the ground were random rock formations. I need to post some of the pictures. Crazy, amazing. I am looking at one now. All around Shiprock, NM and Farmington, NM are such amazing rock formations. Then we spent the night at the Bisti Badlands. Oh my goodness! So cool! I am so glad we did this, but it was a lot of walking. We met Phil Rolnicki in the parking lot of Bisti, and he walked with us and pointed out landmarks so that we could get where we needed to be. If it were not for him, I don’t know that we would have ever found the rock formations. He walked with us about a mile and a half before he turned around. I am so glad he was our guide. Other than Phil, we only saw five other people. This place is massive. The temperature was in the 70’s or low 80’s yesterday, so it was good, but if it was a hot day, this would be difficult.
THE THINGS WE NEED AND DON’T NEED: When we started out, we thought we would need our fire pit and wood. We love to cook outside, and we love to sit by a fire, but we found that there is a burn ban nearly everywhere, and the wind gets up so fast and blows so hard. We don't want to take a chance on anything catching fire. So right now we have a dog cage filled with firewood (I know!) and covered with a tarp (to keep the wood that we don’t burn dry), and a fire pit in the back of our truck. We have used this fire pit only a couple of times. We have used instead, our two burner propane cooker. We also thought that we would need lots of propane. We have three 20 pound bottles for our camper and one 20 pound bottle for the cooker, but we also have a 100 pound bottle in the back of the truck - just in case. That’s the way we roll. - Can I stop and mention here that we just crossed over into Arizona, and the roads are so much better! - Back to propane. It goes a lot further than we thought. We have only filled up one bottle since we left Brownwood. We also bought a new trailer brake control. Coming out of the mountains at Cloudcroft was hard on our braking system. Now we know to shift into low gear, and the new braking system for the trailer is awesome. Lyndyl has said several times since he installed it that it was a good investment.
BATH TIME: I have had several people ask me about taking a bath. When I was at home, I would use all of the hot water - forty gallons in my bathtub. I love to take a bath - not shower. That is the way I get warm. So when we started doing this RV thing, I didn’t know how this would work. We have 40 gallons of water, and that is all, and only 6 gallons of hot water at a time, so I put one inch of hot water in the small bathtub, and I get in. Then I adjust the shower to wet my hair, and I turn off the water while I wash my hair and my body, then I turn on the shower and rinse off. If it is cold, I have the small heater in the bathroom with me, but that was when we had electricity. I know that for many of you, this is too much information, but this is part of RV life. My husband does not bend well, so he can’t get in the tub. He showers. But the shower is SMALL, so when he turns around, the curtain goes to the outside of the tub. The first time he showered, we had water flowing into the bedroom. I need to interject here that I have been to Africa where women carry jugs of water on their head for miles. That is all the water they get. As I am downsizing, I think of other people and other places. We are spoiled rotten.
OH THE PLACES WE GO:
DURANGO-SILVERTON TRAIN: We took the train to Cascade Falls. That is a 5 hour round trip. There is also a train that goes all the way into Silverton - nine hours. The weather was iffy, so we chose the shorter of the two. The first half of the trip was through the town area, then we stopped halfway to pick up some more people. I don’t know what the name of that stop was, but if we were to do this ride again, we would get on there. From that point on, it was spectacular! We rode the open train. I think we saw more than the people in the closed cars. What we did not see going, we saw coming. The train ride cost us $187.
RICO: We rode our motorcycle to Rico one afternoon . Such a pretty ride. This is an old town. There are plenty of places to boondock along the Dolores River. It is gorgeous. I wanted to stay.
BOGGY DRAW; We went back to Boggy Draw to bike. This time we rode the Maverick Trail. We both liked this so much!!! It was shorter, but harder than the 199 trail. We both had to stop at the top of each incline. We had to push our bike in some places. We are so out of shape. We would both do that ride again!
BISTI BADLANDS: One of the places I wanted to go from the beginning was the Bisti Badlands. I saw pictures on Pinterest. It did not disappoint. One of the concerns we had about going was getting lost. Nothing is marked. But we met Phil in the parking lot, and he came with us to point out landmarks. He said that if we always follow the washout draw (where the bushes grow), it would take us back to the entrance. He also pointed out a plant on the horizon over the entrance. You can see that for miles, so between the washout and the plant, we always had our bearings. Then he pointed out two black buttes over to the right. The twin black buttes are the beginning of where all of the really cool rock formations start. We had to walk a long way before we came to these buttes. But to tell you the truth, anywhere you look, it is breathtaking. Like walking on the moon. Take water. Good walking shoes. A hat. Don’t go in the heat of the day.
OH THE PEOPLE WE SEE:
LINDA JAMES: When we were pulling into the Indian museum at Dolores, a lady started running to get out of our way. Of course that was a conversation starter. This lady was 78 years old, and she was a hoot. She was from Montana, and when her husband died when she was in her 60s, she decided to take off. She said that all of her husbands died of self-defense. She has an RV and has been on the road ever since. She loves Dolores, and she keeps going back there. She loves to hike. She talked about Ice Lake on Silverton Hiking Trail. She said that the hike is tough, gaining lots of elevation, but she said around every bend is another water fall or lake or view. She said it is breathtaking. I want to go!!!! When we looked this hiking trail up, we found that it was closed. In March there was a fire. Someday, LORD willing, I will hike that trail. After all, if a 78 year old woman can do it, so can I.
PEOPLE WE KNOW FROM BROWNWOOD, TEXAS. Ya’ll, there is the neatest couple who live in Brownwood but who have 35 acres in Dolores, Colorado near Boggy Draw. When she saw my post about bicycling in Boggy Draw, she messaged me. They were in Dolores. Oh my goodness, and they invited us over to eat. I wish I had taken more pictures. We drove up to their place, and there was a log cabin in the middle of a meadow. Ute Mountain was their view from their front porch. This man built this whole house with his two hands. It is not quite finished. He only gets to work on it when he comes to Colorado, but! Gorgeous! I took some pictures, but later found out that these two are kind of private people. All of my pictures had them in it, so the only pictures we have of their place, I took when we were leaving. It was the outside with lights on. I wish I had a picture of the place from the road. Paradise! And the meal was awesome.
PHIL AND BERNADINE ROLNICKI: We met Phil and Bernadine in the parking lot of Bisti Badlands. They were camping. When I asked if they knew the area, Phil said that they had been there five days. They meant to stay only two, but loved the place. They are originally from Chicago, but lived in Michigan for several years. While they were in Michigan, they had a 40 foot boat that they played in the great lakes. Sometime in there they exchanged their boat for an R-Pod RV, and they moved to Santa Fe. They go when they want to go. I am so glad we met them. This stop would not have been near as pleasant if we had not.
LYNDYL MET A GUY in the Bisti parking lot. He was sitting in a half tent in a chair. In front of him was a BMW. That’s what my husband thought. It was not. It was a Russian Ural. The guy went on to tell us the history of the German/Russian motorcycles. Then he and Lyndyl went around the pickup to throw away trash. This man then told my husband his story. This man worked in electronics. It was his business, and it was pretty big. All of his parts were made in China, so he just moved to China. This made things easier, but it was a hard place to have a business, but the man said he had several contacts in China that made it easier. While in China, he met his wife. She was a doctor. In China, mandatory retirement for a female is 50 years old unless she is a professional, then it is 55. There were only government run hospitals, but when she retired at 55, there were private practices. She worked three more years, then the man (I wish I knew his name.) got a Naval contract with his electronics. To get the contract, he had to move back to the states, so they moved. While Lyndyl was talking to this man, he asked him about my friend Tia Moen. For all of my theatre friends, Tia worked for Azle school district until last year when she took a theatre job in China. She posts on Facebook, and I am intrigued with the pictures she posts. But in all of her pictures, I see no people. I am like, “Where are the people?” Well, this man said, “I know what it is. In China, for a governor to advance in the government, he has to show progress. So this man said that there are many ghost towns. Building after building, luxurious - with no one living in them.” Is that so? I don’t know, but that is what the man said. I am sad that I didn’t get to hear his story. I would have known his name and age. Man. It is so cool to hear all the stories. Another life lived.
THE PRICE OF IT ALL:
RV Campground $288.26
This is a lot of money for us. We eat out a lot, and we are doing things that we want to do, things that in the past, we said no to. I want to give a clear witness to how much this life actually costs.