Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our Crazy Colorado Trip, Part 2

Once we got our tires replaced and had a little fun at the Cadillac Ranch, we headed off into the great blue yonder yet again. The first several hours were sort of boring because, well, it looked like this…

…for hours.

We played games, we switched off kids, we listened to Car Talk and Lake Woebegone podcasts. We are really klassy travelers.

Finally we started to see this out the window…

I must have taken 600 photos of this! We went a different way this time, going up into Albuquerque and then north to Durango. We saw a storm come through, it was just truly amazing.

When we left Tx, this was the temp.

When we were just barely north of Albuquerque, this was the temp.

It was glorious!

However, now that we were inching up on two full days of travel we were all getting a wee bit tired of being in the car. One can only listen to so much Lake Woebegone before even Garrison Keillor's voice becomes grating.

We were close to our next spot. It was a little known state park in Northern New Mexico I’d found online. WE were on track to pull in and get set up before dark and then have some dinner and enjoy the beautiful view the park promised in the photos online.

We found the park. We pull in and Dan comments on the fact that the bikes that were on a rack attached to our bumper seemed to be listing. We’d just gone over a gravel road that was not exactly smooth and they’d bounced around quite a bit. So before we go find the park host to get checked in and find our spots we check it out.


Turns out, the weld that Dave’s friend did to attach the bike rack held very nicely. The bumper however, did not. The bumper was peeling off the camper! Sheesh! What next?

Dave, Dan and Gunnar got out the straps and strapped down the bumper so it would not come off the camper (See? Klassy!) and we took the bikes off and stuck them in the back of Dan’s truck. (Noticing a theme here? If we’d not been traveling up there with Dan and Ruth, we’d probably still be stuck in New Mexico!).

Once we got the bumper situation temporarily fixed we went in search of the park host. The Park Host was nowhere to be found. We did find out, however that this was not the section of the park we were after. Not to big of a deal though, we were in the right State Park, right?


We drove all over that stupid state park, washboard dirt roads and all with our bumper attached by straps. We drove to the marina, over the dam (That was scary!) back to the highway, around the lake, back over some dirt roads, through a creek. Yeah, in the dark, towing campers, we forded a creek! It was getting darker and darker and we were getting nowhere fast. We got out of the cars several times and conferred. Dan and Ruth had a GPS and at one point in our search for the park, the GPS had us in the lake! It was at this point we knew we were in trouble.

No one was going to say it, but we really needed a plan B. We drove around some more, coming up on a dark and scary looking, very narrow bridge. No…wait…it’s not a bridge. It’s the DAM! We drove around for three hours on back roads, dirt roads, over creeks, around a lake and ended up right back where we were!!!! I’m sure it has an official name, but we’ve taken to calling it The Damn Dam. It seemed fitting.

My Sister in Law, Ruth, who was about as sick of the car as I was, suggest we go back to an RV park we’d seen on one of the many roads we’d been on that night. We all heartily agreed.

We made our way to the RV Park, plugged in, fed the kids and then went to bed. What a day! We were in the car for 16 hours!!! We started the day in Amarillo at a tire shop and ended it driving aimlessly around a lake for 3 hours. Oh, My Heavens! What’s next???

On a happy note, all was not lost. We woke up to an amazing view we’d not been able to see in the dark the night before. We had a leisurely breakfast in the cool New Mexico morning overlooking an amazing view.

This was what we drove into. A dumpy little RV Park...

I had woken up early and stepped out of the camper just in time to see the canyon wall across the river lit up by the sun. It was the most brilliant orange I’d ever seen. It was such a nice treat to wake up to see a little bit of God’s majesty in a yucky ol’ RV park. It was a little gift we’d not expected.

Tomorrow, we’d head to our destination in Colorado, with (Please God!) no more catastrophes!

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