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Lake Cowichan view from our dock.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Well yesterday turned out to be a longer day. Ray and I left Aztec shortly after 9:30 and began our drive on Highway 550 to Albuquerque. Surprisingly we climbed another 2000 feet to 7450 feet elevation at the highest and the first 2 hours stayed at around 7000 feet. Only the last hour of the drive do you start to descend down to 5700 feet. The first couple of hours is pretty much like travelling through "badlands". Not very interesting. The last hour as we started to descend is spectacular with the fall colours, hills of red and white rock and the green of the pine trees. I can see why the balloon tours are so popular here.

We'd planned to stay overnight at the Star Ana Casino which is 15 minutes away from the Ford Dealer so we were only a short distance away for our 8 am appointment today. Unfortunately they no longer allow overnight camping so on to Plan B. After having a quick bite of lunch and a walk for Freya (unfortunately there was tons of goathead and I had to go out and help Freya and Ray as they had it stuck everywhere!) ... we went directly to the Ford Dealer and dropped off the car, signed all of the paperwork and will wait to hear from them tomorrow as to what the problem is (and how much it is going to cost.). The Ford Dealer had a deal with Enterprise car rental a mile down the road so we went there and rented a car for 2 days so we can explore the area.

My new wheels.
2017 Dodge Journey
Next we needed a place to stay and I'd already earmarked a place that takes Passport America, The Enchanted Trails RV Park and Trading Post, right off I-40. A little noisy but for $20/night for 50 amp when the temps reached 86 F yesterday ... I'm all in. We need to be plugged in as we need to leave Freya at home while we explore the city. This park is very eclectic with several vintage trailers you can rent out to stay in. Route 66 plays a big part of their display. They have a great dog walking area behind the park but Freya needed to wear her boots due to the goathead. Her first few steps were funny but she soon was comfortable running around without getting stickers in her paws.

1950 Hudson Commodore towing a 1954 Vakashunette
1959 Spartan
1963 Winnebago with a Hudson as a tow vehicle.

Where the R-Pod idea came from???
Tuesday was shopping day for Costco and Walmart as "Mother Hubbard's cupboard" was bare. Ray and I decided to stop at a Brew Pub, called the Blue Grasshopper. We shared a wood fired margarita pizza and had a glass of beer. Yummm. The call came from Ford shortly after lunch regarding the car. Yes the steering pump was shot and it was going to cost! They won't be able to get it fixed as they have to order the pump in until late Thursday. Fortunately I was able to book 2 more days at the campsite at 20% off. They are extremely accommodating here.

Wednesday we were out the door by 9 am on our way to the Petroglyph National Monument. The park volunteer at the Visitor's Centre noticed Ray's camera and suggested we take a less popular trail as it's better for pictures. The trail was 1 1/2 miles long (we only went two-thirds of it) but flat and sandy so easy to walk in the Piedras Marcadas Canyon. The glyphs were all on lava rock. It did not take us very long to complete.

One of the most publicized glyphs.

Some of the glyphs were made after the Spanish came to America as this depicts a horse and rider.

This roadrunner was hopping along following us.

Once back at the car we decided to go to "Old Town" Albuquerque and scare up some authentic Mexican Food. We ate at the Hacienda del Rio Restaurant and Cantina. A margarita was definitely in order after all that walking. Our meals were excellent and we ate so much that we had to walk around the plaza and a few of the stores just to wear off our food. There are lovely shops and hidden plaza's everywhere. They also had lovely jewelry but we just window shopped.

The Plaza

San Felipe de Neri Church

They have these dried chili's hanging everywhere in Old Town
It certainly was a busy day for Ray so he spent the rest of the day reclined. I sat outside with Freya and enjoyed the breeze. (We tried to see as much as we could before moving on Friday)

Thursday, our last day here hopefully, Ray and I decided to check out the Rio Grande Nature Centre in hopes of getting close to the Rio Grande River for some pictures. Ray has always wanted to see this river as it stars in a lot of westerns and country songs. The Visitor Centre at the nature centre was quite interesting as it had room with glass viewing windows  facing into a large pond with lots of ducks and turtles. There was even a couple of ladies painting.

Red Eared Slider Turtle

Trail to the River
After walking the short trail to the river we were unable to get a good picture of it due to the heavy foliage. We decided to drive to Tingley Park and try again. Ray and I drove by lots of ponds that people were fishing at, but no river! Finally at the end of the road there appeared to be a path down to the river so we slogged through. Yes ... there it is. I found it to be very muddy and very narrow, not what I expected.

As both places only took about an hour we decided to go back to the Petroglyph National Monument to take the most popular trail to see a few more glyphs. I was glad the park volunteer sent us to the other trail the day before as it was an easier walk and hundreds more glyphs to see. At the Bocco Negra Canyon Ray only walked up one-third the way up the hill as it was too steep to carry on.

After all that walking, we wanted to try out a Diner's Drive-in's and Dives location called Nexus I'd read up on.  Bonus, it's a Brew Pub!  We sampled four of their beer and every one is great, as was the food.   Ray ordered an appy of Catfish Nuggets for $8 and got a bowl of three fillets cut up and breaded in cornmeal.... yumm!

Back at home we waited for the call on the car. Ray took the rental back and they drove him to the Ford Dealer. He was back home by 5:30, so another long day. Tomorrow we leave and get back to the things we had planned.

Although we had not expected to see Albuquerque this trip we enjoyed it. We found the people  here to be extremely friendly and considerate from the Ford service people, rental care people, RV Park resort people and everyone else we came in contact with. We would definitely come back again.


  1. Very cool National Monument! I had to smile when I saw your Halloween flag, pretty soon it will be time to break out the Christmas flag!

  2. Looks like a very interesting area. Every time I see petroglyphs I think that this is how ancient people blogged about their day. LOL!

  3. Robert & Kari Dufur31 October 2016 at 15:03

    Greetings from Santa Fe! We have enjoyed 2 weeks here after a week in Angel Fire. Glad to hear you made it there before us, so we know a bit more about ABQ & the area. Sorry to hear about your vehicle. Our refrig died so have an appt. at Camping World on the 3rd, while there. Fingers crossed they have the right replacement & can get completed in a day. Wishing you a nice trip for the rest of your journey.