Hello my dear,
So, in Buffalo many things happened… First my parents went home on Sunday, we met for breakfast and the 4 days in which they were here went by in a flash. Sad to see them go, I am so relaxed and still so happy to be here in this town. My plan on Sunday morning was to go in a hike in the Big Horn National Forest and then maybe head over to Ten Steep (tiny town) for lunch. It is a scenic byway which many recommended so I wanted to see for myself.
The trail head was kinda tough to find, I found plenty of boon dockers though. It looks like fun and not much different then having a camp site. Will see if I try it, I mean free is so much better then 48 bucks a day as it really adds up. While looking for the trail head, I found all this amazing new aspen tree growth, just beautiful. Then I turned a corner and found all the wild flowers. With the flowers in the foreground and the snow capped mountains in the back, I barely was able to remember to breathe I was taking photos and taking it in so much. We finally found one trail to go on, it was good, the elevation is higher and it seems that Sofie prefers it this way as she was finally in front of me, though on the way back there were a couple times she just slouched behind me. 🙂
The views were unlike many I have seen, maybe it was the clean air, the readiness to see other beauty as the first half of my trip was mainly red rocks and coral sands then green prairie lands with rolling hills and now being in the pine trees, I feel refreshed and ready to see this beautiful land called Big Horn National Forest, hopefully I will see a big horn sheep.
After a fun filled day of hiking and driving through such amazing landscape, I could only take some pictures as they do not do it justice and I have to work on my words, as I can’t find the right ones to describe the way it made me feel. Just content, happy, relaxed, those are just some of the simple feelings.
Sofie of course had fun on the running creek where we stayed (Buffalo KOA), she loved it. This place was so clean and the shower house was so new and nice, it was like taking a shower back home, I will miss this place though I will not miss the cost.
On Monday, I signed up to tour a local wool mill (Mountain Meadow Wool). Another hidden gem, they are a family owned and operated mill, they get the sheep wool from local farmers and it was so cool to see how it was made. They even had buffalo wool, which they sheered themselves in only like 50 seconds per buffalo so they get about 50-60 lbs of buffalo wool. Of course, I had to buy some of that as well as some local wool to make a couple things for me and one baby blanket for Jill and Matthew. I just loved this store and shop, I would highly recommend buying from there as they ship anywhere.
After the tour, we went on another “urban” heritage park hike, this town once was a main train station and so the tour was showing where everything once was and how it changed over the years. While touring, there was a homestead house replica as this part of the country was all homestead land, it was really interesting to see how simply one can live, it really changes the way you view some things. While talking to my sister, she laughed and said that if I didn’t buy a home in Washington to fast and if I came out to Wyoming, she would have thought I would have bought something out here. I can see it, the vastness of land, the amazing landscape, the cowboys :)… AND this is where they filmed parts of Longmire. I drove by the office – very cool.
Maybe one day, maybe not, all I know I am really loving it up here and I have another month to enjoy it. Why do you ask??? LOL – I saw in the tourism magazines the Cody, WY rodeo is set for June 30 – July 4… This rodeo looks so cool, on Friday the 30th they will have Xtreme Bull riding. How can I not stay. I checked the tickets and they are about 20 bucks, the RV park is a little costly as I want to stay close to town, but I think it’ll be a once in a life time for me. 🙂 So yeah, I will be in the north of Big Horn NF for a week, then head to Wind River Reservation for about a week (4 days-ish) then to Great Teton for 4-5 days… I figured I can see Yellowstone while in Cody…
So now that my plans are sort of set, am trying to think about what is after Cody, and I get to enjoy Wyoming a bit longer.
It has been a good couple days…
Custer, South Dakota
Finally made it after that really long hour drive… 🙂 The drive up here through the Black Hills was… (this is where I need to look for more adjectives) beautiful and peaceful and just – sigh.
When I arrived at Echo Valley Campground and RV Park, I wasn’t too sure… Then the host Gary came up and greeted me, told me to walk through this road where there are 4 ponds and pastures, that I can run Sofie and not worry about a thing as it is all his land. He was gifted it from an old man who had no family so Gary’s family became the old mans. This area was an original homestead handed down and gifted through this old man’s family. Unfortunately, he had no kids or real family to gift it to so Gary and his family was his new family. Here are just a couple pictures of this place, the cabins and archery is there to use, there have been wedding and family reunions and everything else here and when I look at this area, I can see why. I would definitely have a wedding here, it’s amazing (not that I plan on getting married, or even have someone to marry)… Just saying. Maybe we will just stick to family reunion. 🙂
The next day my parents came to visit and vacation with me, we had so much fun. Arriving at dinner time, they picked me up and we went to the next town over to Hill City and ate at this really hometown good place. Thinking we needed menu’s and the one on the table was the drink menu the waitress asked what we wanted, she said – we only have two things – bacon wrapped filet or pasta primavera… Bacon wrapped filet it was and they were really tasty. The dessert menu was quite extensive, all homemade and about 34 options… Mom had the tiramisu and I had huckleberry ice cream.
The next morning we finally decided on going to Badlands National park, which was good cause I saw some pictures in a magazine and thought – holy crap, I gotta go there. With Sofie and I in the back of my truck we headed out. Something must have been in the air cause when we got there, I put the strap in my wrist and started taking pictures with my camera, holding onto Sofie and taking pictures is always an effort and requires flexibility. I went to grab her leash and looked at my wrist to make sure my camera was strapped, let go and watched in slooooooow motion my camera (my new camera with my new long lens) drop to the ground… Yep – I said it – the ground… It snapped the lens off the camera and bam – there went taking pictures with my awesome camera for the day. Thankfully it only cracked the lens connectors and not the camera or the whole lens so I think I might be able to order that… But sheesh, my iphone took all the pictures.
While we were there, we saw sheep – which Sofie barked at… and the beauty of what made Badlands Badlands.. It was weird – cause driving up all you saw were rolling hills of farms and prairie land, then you turn right on the exit, about 2 miles and BAM – the badlands…. Sorry – that was more funny in my head than on this paper.. One of these times, I will video record these…
The mounds or hills or whatever you call them (will look this one up) were so delicate looking, and the formations with the colors, we were there in the middle of the day so the sun was high and not forgiving. I can imagine what it looks like at dusk when the shades start showing the different colors…
After that, we drove home through Rapid City, ate an early dinner or very late lunch and headed back. With a swing by to see Mount Rushmore. Again, holy cow – when I think I am amazed and in awe, I find more of it and so humbled by these monuments. Because of them, I am able to have my first world problems. I mean really, when Jefferson was writing the declaration, I knew he thought, in years beyond my life there will be a gentle soul searching for something greater than herself, wanting to make a mark in the world and therefore I must write this declaration carefully so that she might live the life she intends, and her name shall be Haydee… Clearly – all of them though living at different times thought of me and knew I would come and visit them one day. Right? I knew it and so do you – deep down, cause we all feel the need for purpose and making your mark – big or small.
The second day, we wanted to drive through Custer State Park and I with a not so heavy heart had Sofie stay in her crate in the camper with the fan on and windows open. Knowing we would encounter buffalo, I did not want her to feel so anxious again. So while she was hanging out sleeping…
We had a great time driving the windy roads, going through small tunnels, being completely surrounded by 2 different herds of buffalo, seeing Mount Rushmore from so many different views, I’ll let the pictures make the impression.
And now the last day is here and I am so happy and thankful that my parents shared their vacation with me and allowed me to spend Fathers Day with my Papa.. Tomorrow we will go through Deadwood, SD (where Wild Bill was killed).. This cute little town was comprised of saloons and casinos – totally cute and lots of history. Also, we saw Devil’s Tower and stay in Buffalo where they will head south to fly home and I will stay there a couple days. 🙂 or week… Want to check out Big Horn National Forest now….
On the way from Devils Tower, Papa was great to let Mom drive with me to Buffalo. It was so fun to talk to Mom while I drove. We were almost there and mom was just commenting how we were able to avoid every rain storm, and BAM, gust of wind, monsoon rain came down, I slowed to about 43 mph with the window wipers on high and still it was hard to see. She asked, are you in the middle of the road, I just commented, I am trying to stay on the road and in my lane hopefully. While all of that was going on, Papa was driving behind us and took this (I assumed he was being responsible while taking this)… Amazing picture though – so I am not complaining.
Love you and hope you enjoy,
Hot Springs, South Dakota
It’s hard to believe this little place exists. With such a small population and with tourism as their main source of income, I see this place as a little gem which most would just drive through and not stop. It would be a true miss in discovering the beauty of the Black Hills National Forest. Known for it’s hot springs, the town has a walk along the creek/ spring where the water is warm and clear. The town is small with a lot of charm, between the wonderful people at Big Time Pizza letting me sneak in Sofie on the patio so I could eat, the speakeasy where the place was chill and fun to the pet store lady who has aussies herself, the people in the town are just as helpful and nice as the KOA management team who helped me find Big Pizza, helped with getting me into the RV site and most importantly kept checking to make sure I was good.
When deciding to stay in Hot Springs for a couple days, I went to their visitor website to see what they had going on. As a treat to myself, I signed up for a photo tour with wild mustangs. A rare opportunity to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals.
So during the day, Sofie and I drove partially through Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park. This is where I think to myself and say, I should have known better as Sofie is protective especially when in comes to – ummm – buffalo. So of course, I am in Custer State Park and we come across some beautiful buffalo in the distance, no problem, Sofie is fine… Then we drive a bit more and the buffalo are closer, I of course am excited to get some pictures, Sofie – not so much. I pretty much gave her a heart attack a couple times. When I saw a pretty big herd and realized I couldn’t really turn around and Sofie was just barking like crazy, I did what any normal person would do, turn around in the middle of the road with about 50-80 buffalo around us watching us. The buffalo were beautiful though, many new babies to see and protectant mothers, all slightly spoiled by the protection of Sofie. She was either trying to protect me or herd them, I wasn’t sure I just know the windows were up and I hoped the buffalo didn’t hear how loud she was, I of course had ringing in my ears for a while. Knowing this was probably causing anxiety for both of us, I went back to camp to relax before my photo tour.
As I was there, two new RV campers came. Two couples and a guy, the guy looked younger and of course pretty good looking. He came to meet Sofie right away, and they played for a bit, of course I was the one just saying, her name and how old she is and what breed she was, the typical stuff, trying to not look at him too closely as he had beautiful blue eyes and a German accent.
Experiencing this rare opportunity to see wild horses, mustangs some of them, rescued horses and new foals in one place, was breathtaking. Hopefully the pictures say enough. If you wish to donate, as they survive by donations, the site is – wildmustangs.com
When I arrived back, I let Sofie out and the cute German came by to pet her and asked if he can give her some bones he saved for her. Seriously, blue eyes, just the right height, cute, and saves treats for my dog. I think Sofie would have gone home with him if I let her. We ended up talking for a while and listened to his story. It was a really nice evening sharing stories of Bielefeld, Germany, working, wine, a camp fire and a kiss at the end of the night.
Of course when I got into my camper, I totally did the happy dance and almost screamed in joy as that was the first kiss in… well… a long time, crazy long time… Like – its shameful to admit… So I won’t to protect you all.
The next morning, we said goodbye to the German squad and I started to figure out how to back up – uphill on gravel perfectly to connect my camper within a centimeter of the hitch ball. I was dreading that since I unhitched and was fully prepared to go to the KOA team and ask for help… I wanted to try first, and I did with only about 4 corrections, I was dead on… I am getting good at this. 🙂
Off to Custer (40ish mile drive) and meeting my parents.
Love you always,
Hello my dear,
Best day in a while!!! First, no mosquitoes… Second, the RV Park (Cheyenne KOA) is one of the cleanest RV Parks I have been to on this trip. It has been such a pleasure coming here and seeing how clean and new everything is. I plan on staying at another KOA in Hot Springs, if that one is as clean, I will probably look to only staying at KOA’s unless I am camping.
Well what can I say, today was magical!!! Being my relax and adventure day, we drove to Prairie Butte Grasslands near Grover, CO, I have been looking forward to seeing this for the longest time. Since I changed my trip and wasn’t able to go to the Tennessee long grass national forest, I wasn’t completely bummed as I knew I would see these. The drive was just beautiful, the long grass was flowing in the wind, the horses were just playing… It’s exactly how I dreamt the mid-west and these grasslands would be like.
The hike today was an easy 4.75 miles, full of wild flowers, clear blue sky, slight breeze, beautiful long grass swaying back and forth, buttes and just sigh – wonder. Gladly, not getting the job was the last thing on my mind. I was just so grateful to be at peace with this wonderful world and be in the moment and feel just content with my life, it was great. Helped me to realize things are going to be fine as long as I believe they will. My dear friend told me, just think of what you want to do or what you want your life to be like and send it to the universe everyday and it will happen. I have heard that many times before and I always thought – wow it would be great if I knew what I wanted my life to be like. And then I look out to these fields and sigh, I wanted to be right here for years and look where I was, I was right here feeling happy.
After the hike, we drove through Cheyenne downtown, it was small and pretty deserted. There was a festival to celebrate Hispanics in Cheyenne and that is where I found most people. We didn’t go, I decided I should probably head back to our camper, take a nap and redo my resume… My nap was awesome!
Tomorrow we leave to Hot Springs, South Dakota, a 4hr drive.
North Platte, Nebraska
Well tonight was interesting… I left Wichita today after a wonderful visit with my college mate from Pepperdine, after seven (7) long grueling hours, I made it here. Sofie was a champ, seriously – it is like she knows driving days…
We arrived to this lovely RV Park right off the I-80. It is surprisingly quiet right off the lake. Since it took me a while to get here I was not paying too much attention to what was around me – like the bugs feasting on me until I smacked one and saw that there were 3 others on my legs – HOLY CRAP – this will not be as fun. After almost tripping while setting up, I knew I needed a break, so I looked at my email and read from the interview hiring manager that they are passing on me and wished me luck on my career endeavors… As much as that really sucked to read, there were many emotions that I was going through, I just had to keep setting up camp!
As the bugs were still attacking me, I built a fire and looked at the trees, knowing that just that beautiful gesture of the leaves moving and the sun setting sparkling, I know it will be ok.
The next day I had hoped to fish and relax at the RV Park, however the mosquitoes had another plan for me. It didn’t matter that I was putting on three different kinds of spray, they just kept coming. Even Sofie was annoyed with them.
So in the morning we decided to check out what North Platte had to offer. It was actually kinda cool, we went to Buffalo Bill Cody’s Historic State Park and took a walk through the grounds, saw the stables where carriages are now stored.
It was great to see the tall grass moving in the wind so peaceful and calming it was to see.
I have this weird fascination with buffalo and there were two on the grounds, one was just eating away minding his own business and I was trying to get a close up of him, he was beautiful, about huge tall and really heavy and brown (I know, amazing description) – he was awesome. After checking on Sofie she was just minding her own business not caring, eating grass.. So I inched a little closer to the fence and a little closer to where I was about 10 ft from the buffalo. He was watching me the whole time, knowing I was protected by a fence I thought I was good…
Until I looked down at part of the fence and it looked like it was “repaired”… At that point, the buffalo started walking towards me, slowly still eating the grass… That is when Sofie decided to look up and see that this huge buffalo was walking towards us. I am of course, still trying to get a good photo when Sofie hunches down and starts barking, and barking… I am walking away at this point pulling Sofie as the buffalo looked annoyed… after finally getting about 50 feet from him, Sofie stops barking and sits and licks my legs like she was saying: “I showed him… he can’t mess with me”… LOL
As she was a bit pumped up, I decided to head out. Then while driving, I saw these beautiful horses just playing and rolling on their backs and living life. I wanted a picture however couldn’t get Sofie to be quiet. The good thing about that barking as that the horses stood completely still and looking at me. 🙂
After the joys of listening to Sofie bark, we went to the Union Pacific Bailey Yard, the largest railroad classification yard in the WORLD!!! It was really impressive looking, they let me bring Sofie up the elevator into the look out, the elevator ride was funny to watch Sofie not know what was going on then she didn’t to get back in when it was time to go down. Pulling her in, she was able to face her fears she never knew she had :)…
I love the industrial parts to trains and was able to hopefully get some good ones as I would like to add it as a collection to my hallway photos.
Since that was about all you can do in North Platte, we headed back to the RV Park where we had the AC on and took naps.
Onto Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I know it has been way too long and I have no real excuse… I am here now and though I will be writing in the past of how great Oklahoma City was, I am so glad I visited. When I left Dallas with a heavy heart for leaving Shannon and Robert, I was ready to continue on this journey. I used to think that it was a journey to see who I am, now I think back and I know who I am, that isn’t a huge mystery… I have been alive long enough that if I don’t know by now, I’d be in trouble. So after realizing this isn’t a self discovery trip, I am trying tonight to figure out what is it I am trying to find… I’ll get back to that another day…
So, Oklahoma City… Wow, hot and humid… that was my first impression, then I met the owner of the place the next morning… He and his friend had quite a sense of humor – dry and sarcastic. Those who know me, I am pretty slow… Well, really slow… Every blue moon, I actually get the jokes, most of the time it just goes over my head. This morning was the blue moon morning. When I told them I admired their buffalo head in the office area they asked if I need to go to the rest room… Of course, I said no and they said – no really – you need to go… I found the other (back half) of the poor buffalo….
After chatting a while, they mentioned a couple places I would be able to bring Sofie with and I was off…
After finding this really cool walking path park for Sofie and meeting some great co-walkers, I made myself back to camp to make breakfast. It was about 11 and it was already pushing 90 with 50% humidity. I was determined to see this art festival they raved about on-line – Sofie was so hot, she pretty much went from tented area to tented area.. I tried to get her to drink water, she is way too spoiled cause unless it was bottled and from my hand, she wouldn’t drink it… Therefore, she went thirsty… Kidding, she eventually started drinking from the provided water bowls provided by the vendors. She was loved and in case you didn’t know, she is beautiful… One vendor actually thanked me cause until Sofie was there, no one was checking out their art… LOL
After that, I dragged Sofie to a couple more places, and she obliged as long as she was in the shade and people were adoring her… Dramatic – I have no idea where she gets that from.
The next day, I set off to another dog park which had access to a lake for the dogs… She loved it, she was soaking wet and happy.
After we went to the 45th Infantry Museum to see the planes and tanks, I loved it.
After, we went to the mural to commemorate the Longest Run. She loved it, the statues were 6ft tall and a horse was “fallen” she started barking at it… LOL
After that, we spent an hour in Bass Pro Shop to cool off, where I bought some tank tops as I was getting a serious farmer tan… Then we went to see the memorial from the bombing in Oklahoma City, that was very somber – you could feel the weight of what happened and how that area will never be the same. Sofie was calm, not getting on the grass and just sat there when I said a prayer, like she knew.
Finally we headed back to the RV Park where they raised buffalo. We had been visiting them every morning, Sofie not caring and I am completely in awe of them. I loved looking at them as they watched me, noticing something different, I noticed two new buffalo calfs… WOW – they were just hours old. How amazing the creation of life. I tried explaining this to Sofie, she looked at me and just started eating the grass… That is when I realized, I seriously need someone else to talk to… As our walk finished like every night I am in final awe of Oklahoma City as they provided me with fire fly entertainment every night. Man, seeing them at Shannon’s was amazing and now seeing them here every night as I walk this puppy… I smile and thank God and feel blessed that I can see such easy thing like fire flies and be grateful to be here.
Tomorrow I visit Michael, friend from Pepperdine years, in Wichita, KS for a couple days.
Love you and am grateful I am still on this adventure, whatever this adventure is supposed to do.
Taos, New Mexico
Note to self: when you are looking for a place to stay, read all the mumbo-jumbo the website says, then only believe about 1/2 of it. Also, when a place says “rustic gem” – move on!
This RV park is nice, just not exactly what is really advertised. This is what I have learned: when they say: free WIFI = (then mean) WIFI only works in the front of the office, no service (WIFI or cell service) anywhere else; lake on premises = tiny pond; showers, restrooms and laundry = closed for the season; abundance of shade and trees = only on 7 of 41 sites (not my site); nature trail for many different hikes = one path behind peoples camping sites to the edge of the property and a big hill (maybe total of 150m); fire-pits on sites = one fire-pit for all to use on site 34 (I am at 35), helpful park host = old guy, in a chair scratching his belly through a dirty white shirt with maybe 3 teeth total in his mouth, telling me to look at the map where your site is and drive to it. etc etc… So when I say “this RV park is nice” = (I mean) there is no way am I staying here two nights. Even though I normally just go hiking around to see what beauty is around me, I just am not feeling this one.
Maybe I have stayed at so many nice ones that the less than par ones are not good enough, the funny part is, the nicer ones cost just as much as these not so nice ones… I think that is what irritates me, they can charge the same amount, list the amenities however the difference between them are like night and day.
After I parked, we drove into Taos, it’s definitely an art scene kind of place. If you love art and like going into galleries, this is a great place for you. Not so much for me or Sofie, then I thought, maybe I can get some good Mexican food here, most places don’t accept dogs in their patio and the ones that do are closed.
All in all, I am just not giving enough justice to this place, so I am just going to pass through…
At first, when I was writing this, I thought this is my official first bad day on this trip. I mean just trying to sit here: I stubbed my toe; hit Sofie’s water bowl and dropped it all over the floor; the sun is beaming so hot that I put the AC on; noticed that part of the seat frame is coming off and have to figure out how to screw it back in (will do that at Shannon’s). Now a couple hours later, I sit and watch Sofie laying on my bed looking so comfortable, I think this was just a day to stop and reflect. I am can read my book that I keep getting interrupted with or maybe take a nap with Sofie.
I usually don’t try so hard to have everything go right, and yesterday was my panic day with the whole toilet debacle, so today just has to be a – just breathe and let the world be. I don’t like wishing days away, I mean the drive up here was incredible, I can see why people love driving through Carson National Forest, it was just beautiful. The farms and rolling hills – amazing. So no, today isn’t my official bad day, I now think there are no bad days… What is bad, really? Bad is so subjective (and really every adjective I can think of is subjective – pretty, beautiful, ugly, enormous, etc…), its classifying a whole day in a box when really there is no box just experiences and opportunities. Maybe those are just days where you have to recognize and say: “this is the kind of day to: let go, breathe and be thankful for what I have. I am blessed and not everyone has my gumption!”
I am so sad to leave Durango.
After driving that exhausting 45 minute drive from Mesa Verde, we arrived at Westerly RV Park and was greeted by Cook (yes, his name is Cook). Really nice, I set up and went to check in and talk to him, it was fun, learned so much about him and he gave me a couple hints about what to do, see, etc. This is really active, he was telling me about a backpacking trip he was planning on taking in a couple weeks, he is in a band or two that play a bunch of places and a bunch more stuff, he asked if I wanted to go to his favorite brewery as I mentioned I liked beer. I said sure, and we set Friday night, always depending on how tired I was though. By the end of the conversation we were talking about age and he said he just turned 70 a couple weeks ago. I knew he was older but I wouldn’t say that much older (and don’t worry, I wasn’t think of him romantically, just cause he was so active). He thought I was in my mid-30s, when I corrected him, he was surprised then within the conversation I told him my mom was 70… His look went from, hmm she is a little young, to wow I could be her father…
The next day, we went on Million Dollar Highway (Durango to Ouray through Silverton). Wow, that was an amazing drive. Cook said to do the drive rather than the train and Sofie loved it. There was still snow on the ground so she was loving jumping in and out of it, running and all. We went through some summit passes that were just breathtaking. Here are a couple pictures from it.
We didn’t really stop in Silverton, it was a bit early for lunch, it looked cute and just not too dog friendly.
By the time we arrived in Ouray, it was lunch time and we found this great little burger place where Sofie could sit out with me. The sun was shinning and it was just beautiful. I couldn’t have felt more content. After lunch, I thought of going on a couple hiking trails out here, so we went to Lower Crescent Falls and Baby Bath-bowls… I think Sofie found her spot with this altitude, she was in front of me the whole time, trying to hurry me up… I am panting of course cause we are at about 7600 elevation….
The next day, I decided to just hang around Durango and see what was here. Instead of paying 42 bucks for a sitter for Sofie, I brought her with me, called my sister to wish her a happy birthday, found a dog park where she can run in the Animas River and play with so many other dogs. After that, we went to another recommendation from Cook to a lunch place. Then headed to another hiking trail which was a little deceiving. It was Havalis Lake Trail, and the trail was going around a mountain next to the lake, we never saw the lake on this trail. No matter, Sofie was loving it, and we relaxed by the lake at the end of it.
So it was night before I was supposed to leave, I saw no sign of Cook so I figured, no going for a beer, which was fine cause I had already had one and was feeling it. The night was good, I had packed up most of my stuff to leave and was ready.
The next morning, I am packing up, dumping the ugly waters, messing with the water hose which every time I tell myself, I have to get a better solution for stowing this and then I drain my toilet to make sure no water in in the piping and notice, the flush was different. So I decided, its earlier than I planned to leave, let me fix this real quick. Well without getting into gross detail, I decided to stay another night as nothing was working… Had to call Roto-Rooter and luckily I fixed it before having to pay for a dispatch to do the same thing I did. I called the dealer where I bought my trailer and asked if they had encountered this problem before, they had and told me how to fix it, and now I own an auger and I can fix things… 🙂
Unfortunately though, it was 11 am and I was exhausted just by the stress of doing what I was doing, not having a toilet to use, so I was driving across the main highway to the grocery store every time I had to tinkle… After going to Office Depot to finish a print out, I walked into Wal-Mart and found an amazing aisle… Bronco crap – everywhere… I was in a happy place…
Finally getting back, I spoke with another neighbor and she recommended I go to the Hot Springs across the street. I wanted to go before, just didn’t; I wanted a massage but then told myself you are unemployed, you don’t need to spend the money!!! That all went out the door after the morning I had. Looking down, I needed a shower cause somehow I also had grease all over me, no idea how I did that, but it was there – on my legs, my calves; my forearm, even my forehead… Laughing a little cause apparently I looked exactly like that in Office Depot and Wal-Mart and no one looked or said anything weird to me… I locked Sofie up in the trailer, praying she didn’t destroy it, and walked over to shower and soak. While talking to the people, I noticed the hot stone massages were 50% off and another 10 bucks today only special… So I booked a 4:45 and went to shower and soak for 30 min. 🙂
That night, I thought back in the day, and as horribly wrong as the morning had been, it was on purpose, I wasn’t meant to leave on Saturday… If I had, I would have not have found my Broncos lap blanket I am snuggled in right now, I wouldn’t have sent my tax papers in or experienced the wonderful hot springs there which felt like it just rejuvenated me and that night, I slept like a baby.
Now I am ready to venture off to New Mexico.
Mesa Verde, Colorado
Hey my dear
I can’t believe it already has been two days since I left here. Mesa Verde was on purpose and slightly a mistake at the same time… The on purpose part was that Papa suggested I go and check it out as he knew I would like it (we went when we were younger). The mistake part was, when I was making the Durango RV Park reservations, I was driving and was staying in Natural Bridges – so the cell service was less then ok. So, when the lady asked which days I wanted to stay, I said the 25th not knowing which day that was, I reserved Wednesday – Saturday and not Sunday – Wednesday… Which meant, I was staying in Mesa Verde (36 miles from Durango) for three nights to make up the difference. A good mistake… 🙂 Guess I really should pay attention to the date and days…
I feel kinda bad, but not really. My drive from Natural Bridges was about 130 miles (2 hours) and then my drive from Mesa Verde to Durango (46 miles) was about an hour including getting gas… Oh well, I feel like I will have some days where I will have to make the long drives, so I can’t complain then, which I probably will anyway.
The Mesa Verde RV Park though, I can’t say enough about it, the site management were great, they guided me to my spot and helped me back up that 5 feet I needed to not hit a tree which apparently is a bad thing… He of course had to tell me to turn my wheels the other way… and then adjusted a couple times and then finally I was in my spot. 🙂 Since I had been traveling about a month and have no idea about how much propane I still had, he filled them up for me (2.5 gallons with both 5 gallon tanks) I guess I haven’t been using as much as I thought.
After a couple hours of me being there, I decided to do laundry, the bag was heavy so the site manager went and got his golf cart, drove my laundry to the building – so nice. I noticed the son (24 yrs old) was helping out, by 3 pm I could smell the beer (Coors) on him. While I was doing laundry I could hear him talking to his mom (site manager’s wife) and it was just funny… Oh to be 24… After a couple more hours, I could tell he kept drinking, he came over and was playing with Sofie. It was fun, talking to a young kid reminded me of talking to my nephews, refreshing. He apparently is a big deal out here in Durango, tours with a band as the singer and all. Looking him up in Facebook, he wasn’t making it up! It was great talking with him and he helped me with a couple things just cause he was just a sweetheart like my nephews! Missing my nephews!
Since I wasn’t able to bring Sofie on any Mesa Verde park trails, I left her in the crate and took an adventure tour, the way the Ranger described it, I thought I needed to be certified in rock climbing… This was kinda the jist of it (paraphrasing): “Ok, this is our adventure tour, in this tour you will be climbing a 32 foot ladder with no supports, (eyes get wide) then you will be in a place where the Pueblo tribe lived hundreds of years ago, sacred land. Then after about 30 min, you will have to go through two tiny tunnels about 2.5 feet wide and about 3 feet tall, so if you are claustrophobic, you will just have to breathe, and you are small enough – you should be fine getting through the tunnel – even if you have to contort yourself a little and shimmy through… (smile) Then after the tunnel, you will be cliff side about 600 feet high with no protection and you will have another ladder, climb some stone rock with toe and foot cutouts, then another ladder 2 feet wide to climb another 20 feet… Are you interested?” – LMAO UMMM Yeah – sign me up… climbing ladders with no protection… why not!!!
As Sofie was comfortable in her crate in Harry I did the hour drive to get to the site, a lot of switchbacks and insane climbing… Waiting for the tour to begin I met a couple couples, one of them the wife was deathly afraid of heights and the other wife was 72… The husbands were the ones that signed them up… Of course. They were so sweet, encouraging me on this trip I am taking, so while we were climbing up the ladders, the 72 year old was above me, taking her time, I was encouraging her while we were going up… It also gave me time to stop and look out, it was a good thing I wasn’t afraid, I told myself there was no need to be and I would be so happy that I did this… So I was pretty much hanging off this ladder looking out while I wait and the other wife was next to me almost freaking out, I was talking her through it, encouraging her as well, knowing she would be so proud of herself. Both of them did so great, the 72 year old said breathless – not bad for a woman my age 🙂 She was so proud. I loved it… Missed my mom as both of them reminded me of her.
Looking out – it was breath taking, the Ranger spoke of being of Indian decent and spoke to us about how they lived, said a thankful prayer while we were there to the spirits of the Pueblo tribes. Definitely a memorable experience.
The following day was more a rest day, WalMart run, Sofie was getting groomed (since she dove into a really stinky pond), Safeway to purchase Bronco paraphernalia, and organized my truck and Harry…
I had met one set of the neighbors there and that last night they invited me to have a drink with them. They were from northern Washington (living on an island). She was a facilities project manager also laid off, so she understood what I was going through, she is now retired and they mentioned that their son was an IT PM as well working for SAP and would send him my information to see if he knows someone that might be able to help. They also thought I was amazing and brave (of course) for doing this and invited me up to their island home when I get back for a visit… I tell you, the people I meet. I do need to check one thing though, they also offered me food from what they have and they said, that is what RV’ing is all about, meeting people and giving you a part of them. I have felt pretty bad so far, as all I have given away is some half bottles of wine and a book I finished reading cause she mentioned that she loved the author. LOL… I need to research and possibly up my game.
Now it is time to leave and the most I will miss about this RV Park is the amazing shower facilities they had… I mean, it was almost as good as my rain shower I have at home.
I really enjoyed my stay at Mesa Verde, so much to see and now it is time for Durango, CO for 3 days.
If not now? When? ~ Keep traveling and be brave!