What are we doing in southern New Mexico?
The plan was to go to Camping World in Albuquerque to pick up the propane heater and have it installed. That didn’t happen. Why? I can sum it up in one word . . .
Well, let me use more than one word. As you may remember, I called Camping World a week ago last Monday. I talked with Parts & Service. The guy said they didn’t have a Wave 3 heater in stock. So I said, “Go ahead and order me one then.” And he said, “Okay. It’ll take about seven to ten days for it to get here. I’ll call you when it comes in.” So I said, “Great. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll call you in a week anyway. I might be hard to get a hold of.”
You know where this is going, right?
I let a week go by and I call on Tuesday. No part was ordered. “Would you like us to order you one now?” “No, no, thank you.” I’m really annoyed, but I get over it. Wednesday I ponder what to do next. I decide to leave Santa Rosa, forget about the heater and Camping World for a while, and drive to southern New Mexico.
Before we hit the road this morning, the crew and I have to take our walk. It’s daybreak and no one is stirring, so we walk down the road away from the campground.
We go off the road to hike a bit. In the midst of the driest, scruffiest, prickliest, brushiest, rockiest, ugliest stretch of ground, we discover a green plant with delicate, pink-purple flowers. It looks like someone went to the garden center, bought some petunias (that’s what they look like!) and planted them in this desolate, dirty spot.
I enjoy a good breakfast, fill the fresh water tank, and say goodbye to Peggy.
By the time we’re on Interstate 40 heading west, it’s ten o’clock. Bridget and Spike fall asleep on the bench seat. I don’t let the PTV go any faster than 60 mph, even though the speed limit is 75 mph. Someone pulling a travel trailer passes us going about 75 mph. The trailer is fish-tailing! It’s not a little trailer and it’s whipping from side to side, left tires to the center line, then right tires to the right line, back and forth. Oh, he must be accelerating to try to overcome the fish-tailing.
No, the maniac is going 75 mph like nothing is the matter!
We reach Albuquerque and go through some more tense moments, changing lanes like we’re in a sports car. We don’t want to be funnelled off into the city. We catch Interstate 25 and make the long haul south. Bridget and Spike sleep for about 190 miles. We stop at a rest area so they can get their break and a drink, get back on the highway, and they ride quietly all the way to Elephant Butte! Good job, guys!
I back into a perfectly level site.
I love it when I don’t have to level! Don, the camp host, comes by to record my campsite number and to see if I need anything. He can’t help but notice that the crew is anxious to check out this new environment, so he moves on.
Gusty, cool breezes make our walk pleasant, especially after a hot drive. We spot some quail darting between the bushes, their topknots held erect. The campground is on a bluff above the lake. The mountains beyond the lake shape the horizon. I can see it’s raining several miles away. On our way back to the Casita, I notice the view of the lake and mountains is blurred from the dusty wind.
Once inside, I feed the crew and take a shower. We climb into bed . . . me to write and the crew to sleep. Tomorrow I’ll unhitch the PTV and look for a place where we can go swimming!