As we drove away from the Grand Tetons, we were excited to be heading toward Colorado Springs. Until we weren’t. Weren’t heading toward Colorado Springs, that is. All roads in would have taken us through icy, snowy conditions (no thanks!) or over winding, steep roads–a little too much adventure for our tastes. So we drove south into Utah and were treated to some wonderful scenery along the way.
We camped in Devil’s Canyon near Monticello, UT and really enjoyed the quiet in this lovely little state campground.
“I am waiting for Vizzini!” – Inigo
After four months we could finally unload Vizzini and take him out for a ride!
Our stay here was short as Roger had to get to Albuquerque, NM for work and we had to find a place to stay near the ABQ airport. The Balloon Fiesta was going on and it seemed every place between ABQ and Santa Fe was packed! Being ever so flexible, we decided if we couldn’t beat ‘em we would join ‘em. I made a few calls to friends and with their help, we discovered the Escapees Boomers still had some spaces available. We ended up in a site just steps from the rig belonging to our dear friends, Mark and Judith.
“…I took them with me, in case we ever bumped into each other. I guess we just did.” – Fezzik
That week Roger worked while I played—I am so spoiled!
I met up with my friends on Rod Baca’s Farmers Insurance Balloon crew from last year and offered to crew for them again; but our schedules just didn’t mesh so I ended up volunteering for Michael Loy’s High Kitty.
After the Balloon Fiesta, Roger and I stayed near Albuquerque while Mark and Judith headed for the Phoenix area for doctor appointments. We went out to Tent Rocks and hiked through a slot canyon and out to the viewpoints, it was a great day!
The last thing Roger did before we left ABQ was install a new toilet. And not just any toilet, a C-Head composting toilet! And my brilliant Westley–I mean Roger–plumbed the urine collector into the black tank! I know, I am way too excited about this subject but dumping and rinsing the poo tank, worrying about what brand of TP will break down quickly enough, wasting perfectly good (and limited) drinking water by flushing it, the stinky “burping” of the standard RV toilet, the potential of a “poo pyramid” and toilet overflow are now all things of the past. OK, we still have to dump the black tank but #1) it’s all liquid so it’s easy-pee-sy (all puns intended) and #2) (sorry, all out of poo puns) we don’t have to dump nearly as often; a full black tank is never the reason we have to go find a dump station. I can tell that you are just fascinated by this topic so you can read more about our new throne (Prince Humperdinck) on the Dread Pirate Roberts’ Favorite Booty page.
The rest of the autumn was spent with Mark and Judith in Colorado and Utah. While Roger was away at work, the three of us did chores, visited parks and monuments and played Dominion. Lots of Dominion.
Seriously, a decadent amount of Dominion!
First stop: Mesa Verde National Park!
If you haven’t been to Mesa Verde to see the cliff dwellings of the ancestral Puebloans, put it on your list. It provided us several days of enthralling exploration.
We took a tour of one of the dwellings. We had to climb a 32 foot ladder on the side of the cliff to get to it. Um, what was I thinking? I’m a bit afraid of heights.
Once the panicky feeling was over and we were in the dwelling, it was incredible!!
Another day we hiked around Mesa Verde. This hike was supposed to be 4 miles and I think it turned out to be 6, but it felt like 60 miles and mostly uphill on the edge of the cliff! Yes, I bring some
wine whine on my hikes.
In addition to some great hiking, there were lots of ruins to explore.
Inside the Visitor Center are miniature dioramas with woven baskets so small they would fit on the end of your pinkie finger! The talent and creativity that went into making these miniatures is amazing. I loved these things!
Next stop: Moab, UT to see Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.
This was our second visit to the Willow Springs Rd area in Moab where we boondocked for a couple of weeks. Close to Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, tons of off-roading adventures, and easy driving distance to town. Perfect!
In November we said goodbye to Mark and Judith and stayed a few days in Southern California to spend Thanksgiving with my son, his girlfriend, and his boys.
Dinner was perfect and we had so much fun cooking together and visiting. Devon even joined us for a game of Dominion. Yes, we are sowing the seeds of addiction for the next generation!
I didn’t even have to do the dishes, what a treat that was!
On the I-10 freeway heading back to AZ, this happened! A couple of the sensor batteries had died on our TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and shame on us, we hadn’t yet replaced them. Fortunately, a kind man pulled up alongside us and let us know we had a problem. The explosive blowout meant we spent a very scary evening changing a trailer tire in the dark—unluckily it was on the driver’s side so poor Roger had to be brave while cars and semi trucks zoomed by on the freeway. Since selling everything and hitting the road there have only been two times that I cried and wondered what the hell we were doing living this way…this was one of them. But 7 brand new steel belted Goodyear G614’s, 12 new TPMS sensor batteries later and I am once again feeling happy and safe and loving life.