Monday, April 25, 2011

On the road to, and in Albuquerque

We left at 7:15 am from Holbrook, AZ heading for Albuq, NM,  hoping to beat the worst of the winds and weather.  Just to give you the lowdown to those who have not done a RV trip before, it really takes a while to get ready to go:  briefly, the moho needs to be prepped (all gear stowed, all cupboards secured with plates and glasses protected, pots cushioned so that they don't rattle and make us crazy(ier), everything removed from countertops, tables, sink areas, shower stall, etc.   Then the slides have to be brought in but checked so no obstacle is in the way first (we have learned this the hard way!), the water, sewer, power and cable (if available---many places there is no TV hookup) needs to be emptied, cleaned and stowed, the maps, RV park catalogues, guides, phones and gps needs to be set upfront for the co-pilot (that's me!) and waters, etc. provided for the drive.  Also, beforehand, gps coordinates, road conditions, weather conditions and pee spot information needs to be retrieved and ready.

This is to say nothing of the jacks, tow car prep and maneuvering out of the parking spot, plus doing a final check and confirming all lights are in working order.  (You would laugh at us on this point, since Jeff flashes the lights and we do various impersonations of  Lucy, Desi, Jackie Gleason, etc as we signal to the other that all is in working order).

All that to say a 7:15 start out of the park is very early!  Anyway, we had a lovely first 100 miles or so, having  a banana and hardboiled egg en route to tide us over to our prepared lunch about 11.  The winds were picking up and we just made a quick stop for gas and Casey to do his thing, then for the final leg into Albuq. --really beautiful along the way with the painted hills, mesas and stormy sky above.  We again had the trucks going bananas fast but felt good getting into our RV Park by 1:30 or so.  Even so, we were drained. 

The RV wind experience is hard to's a bit like your first time on a bike without training wheels and your wheels are constantly being pulled by unforeseen forces in random directions.  En route we saw signs that read "Zero visibility possible due to dust storms...don't stop in traffic lanes" and "wind gusts may blow RV's over"...just kidding on the last one, but it sure seemed possible!

After we settled in at the Albuq RV park, the gusts continued in the 50-60 mph neighborhood and really shook the parked, jacks down moho.  In talking to others here, it has been horrific for everyone going east or west.  Some have been in this RV park as long as 2 weeks waiting for better weather to travel on to their destination.  Tomorrow we are staying put due to 30-40 mph sustained winds and gusts to 65 mph...not great traveling conditions but we'll do some sightseeing.  

Today we went hiking in the Petroglyph park--really interesting and very different from the big island (HI) petroglyphs.  These images (20,000+ in all) speak to the natives and travelers through the Rio Grande valley long ago.  The images of birds, snakes, people and weather are intriguing.  Unfortunately, Casey stepped on an ant hill when we were nearly at the end and a nice person gave us neosporin for his foot but he couldn't put weight on it so we took turns carrying him out for part of the return.  He's fine now!  We also took a walk around Old Town--really nice and not touristy like Santa Fe's old downtown.  Super nice people!

We took the kayaks and bikes off the car for today and tomorrow (and got  the car washed, too--what a dusty mess!).  Jeff has determined that the steering is too (squishy is my word) "loose-it floats"--which makes it even more difficult to control on ruts, bumps and most importantly of late, in the wind!  So, he's investigated and determined a couple things to add to the suspension to stop the sway.  He's smartly gone online to ask other RVer's their opinion of these additions, and Camping World is right down the road from us here, so we can order it, set up an appointment and then have it installed at the next Camping World.  Yeah!!!  We'll both feel much more comfortable we're predicting.

Note:  the last post was out of sequence (it was a draft I had put in a different file and then we added pictures to it, so it inadvertently got published...sorry to get it out of place!)
So, hope you all had a great Easter and we're being careful!  Thanks for all your great emails! 

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