Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 was a new day and we were determined to make the most of the short time we had left on our journey to Farmington, NM. We are big fans of Gone with the Wynns bloggers. One of their videos tells about Taos, NM and Rio Grande del Norte National Monument Park. Taking the scenic route through the Cimmaron Canyon we arrived in Questa, NM and with a little help from the ladies at the visitor center we found Rio Grande del Norte. There are several campgrounds to choose from but our 37 ft long rig made our choice limited. We settled in at Big Arsenic campground. Our site was feet away from the rim of the river. We could see a glimpse of the river but the roar of water was soothing. The site was sloping and tight, so we couldn't get as level as we should have to extend our slides. These sites are dry docking only with primitive restrooms so we made sure we had plenty of water and food. We discovered the water heater wasn't working so Mike began troubleshooting the issue. Behind our site was a trail down to the Rio Grande river. Lyra, our cat, and I explored part of the trail but I knew she couldn't do the difficult hike. I returned to camp and dropped off the cat and picked up a better hiker, my husband. The steep switchback trail wound down for just over a mile to a fresh water spring that poured into the river. The pristine surroundings of Ponderosa pines and basalt rocks set against the high cliff banks are what makes nature so exquisite. With sun setting, our time at the river was short, however, we did find the tranquility we were looking for. At 7,500 ft above sea level, the trek back up the trail was brutal but so worth it. When we arrived back at camp, Mike grilled some halibut and Brussels sprouts on the campfire. Then perfect end to an amazing day. Regrettably, we had to leave Sunday morning. Trying to squeeze more out of our trip, we wanted to jump into one of the nearby hot springs. With the coordinates logged into our GPS we ended up in a tight spot. Again, we had to unhook the jeep and with the incredible skill of Mike's driving we were able to turn the 37 ft. rig around on a narrow dirt road with water on both sides. The hot springs will have to wait until another day. We entered the Carson National Forest at Eagle Nest, NM. On the winding mountain road, we climbed to over 10,000 ft above sea level. The snow covered ground was speckled with green pines and leafless white birch trees. It was hard to believe we were in New Mexico. Even though this trip had a rocky start, we managed to make it one of the most memorable experiences yet. In the late afternoon, we pulled into Lee Acres RV park which was quite a let down after all the wonderful places we have seen but the choices in Farmington, NM are limited. The water heater is still not working, but I am sure we will figure it out. We always do. It's not always easy but we chose this lifestyle to be together and experience America.
Mike & Kat
Kat left teaching after 18 years to travel throughout the USA with her husband, Mike, who is an engineer for a Power generation company.