Today we finally found the time to start planning our return trip from Denver. It is kind of funny since we have not yet arrived in the Denver area and will not yet for a few days. However, if we don’t start now, we may not have many options regarding where we can stay. The “snowbirds” are just starting their annual migration to the southwest and as they do, many travel in their RVs, competing for places to camp.
Plus, we are running up against the annual Albuquerque Balloon Festival, which starts next week. Thousands of people flock to New Mexico to attend and the result impacts places where we RVers can stay. While we would love to take it in to view each morning’s mass ascension, it just is not in the cards this time. We will be stopping and spending a few days in the Albuquerque area but we will be doing so the week after the festival.
This trip to Denver and then back to the west coast was always going to be a rushed affair since we only had about 5 weeks to make the trip. We have to be in Southern California by the first week of November for a number of appointments we have.
After researching our potential route, noting the time restrictions we have, we have plotted our course to San Juan Capistrano, California. We have opted not to cross the Rockies which would be the most direct route to follow. It is getting too late in the year and with the recent heavy snows that the Rockies have just experienced, we could be risking a snowfall event. Since we do not have snow chains, the thought of being stranded in the Rockies, covered with snow, until the roads are safe for travel just is not pleasant. I have been through that a few times and it is not fun!
Also, we are anxious to return to the Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, New Mexico to better explore that area and see our new friend, Martin, who is the park ranger there.
By following the southern route, we should be able to avoid the risk of snowfall and, at the same time, explore some of the areas we blew by on our trip up to Denver. These especially include Albuquerque, and the Kartchner Caverns west of Tucson. Also, by returning to the Pancho Villa State Park, we should be able to drive our little Fiat to the Mexican border and walk into that country. The village there is Puerto Palomas. Martin, strongly recommended a wonderful little restaurant there which he swears offers the most remarkable Mexican food and also has a large store that specializes in Mexican crafts.
Here Is Our Planned Route. The Distance Is 1530 Miles.
Besides planning our route to the west coast, it was also a work day. Mary Margaret out the vacuum cleaner out and vacuumed each room and cleaned the kitchen including the stove. She rolled up her sleeves and also did laundry.
Today was what we call a “catch as catch can” day. These means that Mary Margaret gets a day off from cooking and we can dive into the left overs that we have in the frig for our dinner. After our meal, we went outside to start our campfire and enjoy the evening. Before we could, we were hailed by our neighbors and invited to join them with their campfire already blazing away. I had met Dale yesterday evening but now we both were introduced to his wife, Judy, and her two brothers, Richard and Dave. It was great to get to know them while enjoying their roaring fire. Another great evening!