Other than to get to Box Elder, South Dakota and get our Domicile set up, (more on that in our next blog post) we have no plan. The virus has really changed everything about how we go about travelling. We thought we would be in Alaska at this time. We are concerned about being around too many people and worry that we might inadvertently spread the virus to others.
As we headed out of Alpine, our hosts Betsy and Jeff, recommended we avoid a C-19 hotspot in Gallop, New Mexico and head to Santa Fe (our first stop) via Route 60 past the Very Large Array (VLA) to Socorro then up I-25 to Santa Fe.
Very Large Array? I had heard of it. As it turns out it’s an astronomical radio observatory. The are twenty seven very large radio antennas arranged in the shape of a Y.
The VLA is a component of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. They boast that the VLA is “the most powerful, flexible and widely-used radio telescope in the world”. It was very impressive!
We stopped at a rest area next to the array and had a picnic lunch. I wondered as I ate my sandwich if somehow Shiny might be giving a slight boost to the VLA’s reception capabilities. Ok, probably not.
We made it to Santa Fe, did our laundry, stocked up on groceries, replenished art supplies, and oh yes a Trader Joe’s run. Susie was reluctant to go to any of the art galleries because of the virus and that was hard for her. We learned of some nearby petroglyths that we somehow overlooked last November the first time we visited Santa Fe. Going there, cheered Susie up considerably! (Phew!)
The La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs (pronounced sienna-GEE-ya) means small swamp in Spanish. I usually rest in the shade while Susie painstakingly takes pictures of the petroglyphs in preparation for her painting of them. She is obsessed to say the least.
We left Santa Fe, NM and entered Colorado. We knew we were in Colorado as we wound our way down 5 curvy, mountainous miles through the Monarch Pass. My nephew AJ McKenzie, his fiancee Chelsea Hoitt, and Chelsea’s brother Theo were gracious enough to let us park on their beautiful piece of heaven near Gunnison in a small town called Sargents.
AJ and Chelsea have a cute house with a lot of character perched on the side of a very steep hill and their 40 acre property abuts a National Forest. AJ told us that the house used to be a marijuana grow house. That’s interesting!
While in Sargents we took a ride out to Needle Creek Reservoir. It was beautiful, remote and a great location to camp in the future.
From Sargents we headed to Delta, Co. to see more (you guessed it) petroglyphs. It was hot as anything and there was no wind. You could see for miles and miles. The evening light on the far hills changed every minute to reveal a palette of metallic hues. We hiked on a very hot day to get to Eagle Rock Shelter. After a two mile drive on a rough road and a one mile rugged hike we arrived at the Shelter only to find people there in flip flops who had parked an an adjacent parking. Oh well! It was a great way to spend the day and check out new territory.
Next stop was Steamboat Springs at the invitation of our friends, Donn and Judie whom we met last year at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. They were staying in a field at a friends Ranch. It was great fun to catch up and to meet new friends, Kathy and Terry. We were once again amazed by the generous hospitality of people during these times. We had a blast at the Steamboat Springs Farmers Market which was probably one of the best farmers markets we have ever been too. Plus, they had it all set up for social distancing. We left with smoked salmon, local beef, halibut, dilly beans, bread, cheese and herbal lotion. What a haul!
The picture below of Donn and the ladies speaks for itself. 🙂
We had one more stop before we made it to Box Elder. Wheatland, Wyoming was just about the halfway mark from Streamboat Springs. The town has a park with RV sites. You get electricity, can stay for 3 days and the cost is free. Can’t beat that! They do have a donations box which we made use of. We were impressed by the quality of this mid-western town park which had long trails for walking, biking, pushing strollers, a big swimming pool, a skateboard park, and many volley ball courts and horse shoe pits. It was a real community center.
All the time that we are one the road, we manage to stay in touch with family and friends and this is really important to us. Our daughter, Brooke keeps us very well supplied with pictures of our grandson. What a joy!
Connor is moving to South Carolina, with his parents of course. And just like that, Shiny is feeling the pull to go east this fall.