Durango

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We stayed at the Westerly RV park located outside of Durango, Colorado in between mountains.  Across the street was a hot springs spa called the Trimble.  It’s Colorado’s only geothermal waters, day spa and is open all year.   George and I watched some women in the RV  park walking around in robes and flip flops. We thought what the heck?!  We discovered they were going to the hot springs which was a 30 second walk across the street. So we put on our suits and jackets and flip flaps and moseyed  on over.  Cook, our RV host gave us  a half off coupon to the spa and for the two of us it was $18.00. They had a hot springs pool and also the biggest heated outdoor pool around.  The hot springs pool was divided into two parts. One end was 103 degrees and the other end was 107 degrees.  We sat in the 103 degree  side first, then made our way to the hotter side, it was so  breathtaking looking up at the mountain and blue sky sitting in this pool, wow! It was November and here we were outside in our bathing suits relaxing in the hot springs. Talk about  the life of Riley. Continue reading Durango

Wild Horses of Bluewater

A  little over a hundred miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico is a state park called Bluewater. It is a very well maintained  park with new buildings springing up. It is open all year round with hook-ups for electricity at some sites  as well as primitive sites for those with tents. There are water faucets throughout the park; there are no water hook-ups at individual sites. But the water does run all year, according to Darrin, an employee at the park. There is also a dump station. We payed $4.00 per night with the annual pass which we had purchased earlier in our travels.

George, my husband, had told me he read about wild horses roaming the area. We decided to walk down the boat ramp to get to the lake.  A  shimmering, glassy  lake appeared. The lake lies in a valley.  Across the lake is the town of Bluewater Acres.  We could see horses at the waters edge grazing and drinking water below the village. But not until the next day, did we see wild horses on our side of the lake.

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Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa is a small town in New Mexico which has a state park called Santa Rosa Lake State Park.  The park has a dam and the lake is beautiful but hard to get down to the shoreline.  It is located seven miles outside of Santa Rosa on a winding SH 91. We decided to buy a annual pass for $240.00  which is good for all the state parks in New Mexico. We only had to pay $4.00 per night here. It normally would have been $14.00 per night without the pass. The best part is the park is open all year and you can stay up to 14 days and then you need to leave the park for 6 days before returning.

We are planning on returning for the winter season. The annual average snow fall for this area is 6 to 8 inches. And the average temperature  high/low is 55/34.  The park offers 25 electric sites, rest rooms and a dump station. Some of the electric sites also have water. This is all located in the Rocky Point Camping area and this area also has a nice playground.

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The Falls

The the Grand Canyon of the east is located in Letchworth  State Park in Western New York. I wanted to begin by telling how we found this amazing place. We were at a farm stand at the intersection of highways 39, 20 and 5 in rural New York. There were two local people picking up produce, their names were Linda and Jason. Linda told me the family who owns the farm stand has been doing this for years. They  have a metal bank and you leave the money in the bank. Linda also gave me some farm fresh eggs  she had picked up down the road, out of the kindness of her heart! Jason and I struck up a conversation. I told him we were living in our RV now. He said we were only a few miles away from Letchworth state park. The “Grand Canyon of the East”.

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Whale watching in Bar Harbor, Maine

First day of Fall, we went whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor it was the most fantastic thing I have ever gotten to do! It was a beautiful sunny day, blue skies with a few white clouds. We were so lucky to see, and the list is long; fin whales, harbor seals, gray seals, atlantic white sided dolphins, a blue shark, a mola mola, and a puffin. The trip began by taking the “free Acadia shuttle” which stopped at our campground, Hadley Point Campground, in Bar Harbor, and shuttled us to the Village Green in downtown Bar Harbor. We then walked about 4 blocks past all these cute shops, to the “Bar Harbor Whale Watching  Co.”  It was just the beginning of a unforgettable day, the first sighting was 45 minutes off the coast, of a fin whale.

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A visit to Sharon Springs

On our trip through the Catskills our destination was the town of Sharon Springs. It is where the “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” live and own a shop called Beekman 1802. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell are the Fabulous Beekman Boys from the reality show of the same name and winners of the Amazing Race. Watching on TV and YouTube they are very welcoming people and call everyone who meets them or watches them, their neighbor. So I felt like it would be great to go visit them in Sharon Springs at their store. George and I went to Beekman 1802 and I walked in to be welcomed by Under, Brent and Josh’s dog, so cute. I started to tell the young woman who greeted me, Jessica, about how much I enjoyed the tv show and I suddenly see Brent Ridge walking over to me with a warm smile on his face. Of course, I had to hug him and he hugged me right back, he spent time talking to us.

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Bought an RV

I can tell you that looking for an RV is a pain in the ass. The problem is that they are spread all over the country and you could spend a small fortune looking at each potential candidate. There are lots of things that come in to play, and people don’t always represent what they have accurately, sometimes, they don’t even know what they have.

Well, after lots of searching, we found an RV in Iowa. It is a 2002 Newmar Dutchstar 3852. It has a 350HP Cummins with a 6 speed Allison transmission, air brakes, jake brake, good tires, and two slide outs, or as Terri calls them, “bump outs”. It met my needs in that it is made by Newmar, which is what we wanted, is a diesel pusher, has air brakes, a jake brake and is fairly low mileage, about 85K.

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Looking for an RV…

We started by determining what type of RV we wanted. There are quite a few options but for full time RV life there are only two that we felt fit us. The first option, is the fifth wheel type trailer that connects to a fifth wheel hitch in the bed of pickup. The second, is the basic motorhome.

In both cases, it is best to have a vehicle that has a diesel engine. The diesels have the torque to pull heavy loads in mountainous areas and generally last longer than gasoline powered engines. The prices are significantly higher for diesel engines, but I think in the long run, they are worth the difference.

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Jumping Off….

Terri, Gizzy and I are getting ready to make the leap from bricks and sticks apartment living, to nomadic life on the road in an RV. It is a little stressful trying to get everything organized and ready to go. It’s incredible how much stuff we have acquired in our 8 years here. You would think that living in an apartment would keep some of that to a minimum, but it seems we’ve managed to keep tons of stuff we shouldn’t have.

Well, that will definitely be less of an issue going forward since we simply won’t have the room in an RV to store everything we can in our apartment. All I can say at this point, is thank goodness we aren’t living in a house, I’m pretty sure it would be worse yet.

We’ll keep you posted on our travel plans and what we end up with for an RV, etc. Later.

Chronicling Full Time RV Life