I am headed homeward but not for another couple of weeks. Am stalling as long as possible hoping that a blizzard at home delays my arrival. This trip I did not take my little trailer - mainly for that reason. The thought of arriving just after a blizzard, with the trailer, turned me off. I had visions of trying to get the trailer parked in a snowdrift and setting up the trailer on floor jacks and leveling in the freezing cold. Brrrrrrrr.
Am having a hard time sitting down long enough to write. Gee, maybe if I would go outside. . . . . (snore, snore, snore. . . . )
I left on Wed, Nov 3rd heading westward. I stopped in Oakley to see Mary at the RV Park where I worked this summer. She was sick and didn't want to give me what she had. I picked up a few things I had left and then headed south on US-83 to US-40 west. I had lunch at Sharon Springs KS. I was hoping to see some piles of milo (a grain sorghum used in livestock feed) before they were covered up as they are so pretty with the swirls from the different colors of milo. I was successful.
South on US-385 where at Sheridan Lake, on US-385, I explored some old buildings there, turned west on CO-96 towards Eads, south on US-287 to US-50/400 thru Las Animas; then US-350 to Trinidad, where I spent the night in my first motel in years. When one has stayed in state and federal campgrounds or even RV parks, paying over $60-70/nite is a bit of a shock. I had a very delicious dinner at Tequila's Mexican Restaurant. Nice atmosphere too.
On the way in Colorado, near Chivington, I passed the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. I would like to return to this Site to learn the history. This is where Chief Black Kettle died.
Since I had only budgeted $225 for lodging on my way out, I emailed my son in Socorro if I could bunk out on his couch for one night to help save $$$'s. After leaving Trinidad, I headed south on I-25 towards Santa Fe. Because I still have my "traveling with trailer" mentality, I decided to change course at NM-3, just 10-15 miles west of Las Vegas (Exit 323 or 325) and headed south towards I-40. It was the most beautiful drive as the aspen, cottonwood and poplar trees had turned into brillant yellows & oranges. The road from the north is very windy and narrow in some spots, going through some villages that time has missed. I'd take my trailer down that road, but not if I had a 5th wheel or bigger.
At the little town of Spanish village of Villanueya, I encountered the Villaneuya State Park and decided to have my lunch there alongside the Pecos River. This is a state park I am going to take my little trailer to in late October sometime. It was so peaceful except for the sounds of nature.
I stayed longer than I had planned, but that's okay when you are traveling at a leisurely pace, taking 4 days to get to California.
I continued traveling south on NM-3, which ended up being a straighter and a bit wider road once you got up on the mesa. At I-40, I drove west to Clines Corners, south on on US-285 to US-60 west. I love the little town of Mountainair and wished I had time to stop and explore, but since I had spent so much time at Villanueya, I needed to keep moving.
I approached I-25 and the Rio Grande River. I had never seen the changing trees along the Rio Grande at this time of year before. Oh my gosh, when i came over this mound and there were all those beautiful trees below me, I almost stopped dead in the middle of the highway (I could have as there wasn't anyone behind me). My jaw just dropped. Too the north is was an array of yellows and oranges and some greens; is was the same to the south. What a glorious sight Mother Nature had created. My picture taking ability would not have done justice to what I was seeing and feeling. I called my son to let him know I was within 20 miles but it might take me 45 minutes to drive there because of the color. It almost did!
I was really disappointed to see the increase of settlements along the last 10 or so miles of US-60. It was so trashy and junkie. A real bad eyesore.
Son and I went to one of my favorte eating spots in town, Socorro Springs Restaurant and Brewery (see my list of favs to the right), where I had my favorite pizza Elfego - a pepperoni pizza topped with Hatch chile, chased down with Pumpkin Patch Ale. That was a good night.