Tripping Again III

(Photos wouldn’t load due to very very slow internet at the campground tonight. I’ll add them in later when I get better internet service.)

We spent the night at Lavaland RV Park in Grants, New Mexico.  The place is ancient, and looks like little more than a dump, but for $19 (discounted to $17 because I looked like a senior) we got a full hook up mostly level site that was long enough that we didn’t have to unhook the trailer. Not bad, and just as much noise from the highway as we would have gotten at the KOA for $39. That thing-a-majig that beeped me awake yesterday morning went off again today. I HOPE I have the alarm turned off permanently now.

We got on the road around 9:00 a.m., and missed the last place for breakfast before Albuquerque because we didn’t know it was the last place. We decided to stop at the 66 West Casino on the west side of ABQ around 11:00.  We signed up for a players card, and they gave us $5.00 each to play on the slots, $10 each in free fuel, and a lunch buffet for $5.00.

Not a bad deal. Except that somewhere along the line I left my two month old $1003.52 partial plate wrapped in a napkin on the table and walked away. I could just kick myself! I called around dinner time from Tucumcari when I realized I didn’t have it, but they did not have it. Thank goodness I still have the old one–it is broken but I can still use it until I can get another one made in Georgia.

In Tucumcari, we stopped at the Flying J to fuel up, and Fabgrandpa wanted to weight the rig. He still says I have about 5,000 pounds of fabric in the trailer, but seriously? I don’t. I think it’s only about 4,500 pounds. So, I have to go inside to pay for the weighing, while he drove around to the scales. Once you get over to the scales, there are supposed to be lights, like when  you to a carwash, to let you know when to pull onto the scales, and when to stop.

FabGrandpa picked up the telephone receiver at the entrance to the scales, and it made the phone ring at the counter. The cashier picked it up and asked him what company he was with. He replied “I have an RV.” She didn’t tell him the lights weren’t working, and didn’t say anything about waiting until she told him to move forward. He hung up and pulled forward. She turned around to her co-worker and said “What a rude man” in a loud voice, while I was standing there. I told her “That’s my husband you’re talking about. He doesn’t HAVE a company, he is in an RV.”

She didn’t even apologize, she just said again, “Well, he was rude.” I said, “No, he wasn’t rude. You didn’t tell him what to do.” She never got what I was saying. I had to go out there and tell him to do it again, and I called him on his phone while he was on the phone with the cashier, as I was standing right there, asking HER what HE was supposed to do, and told him what to do and when to pull forward because she was too dumb to tell HIM on the phone there. Finally got weighed, but sheesh! I remember last time we took this trip I was fed up with Flying J then.

So, I had an RV Minute ready, and a couple of photos too, that were supposed to go in this post, but the internet here at the campground is very slow. I’ll come back when I get better internet and add them. Dang it.

We are spending the night at Mountain Rd RV Park in Tucumcari. Nice long level sites, nice looking area, less than 1/4 miles from Flying J. Price was $28.30. They offer discounts for Good Sam and AARP, but we aren’t members of either one. Still, a better price than KOA.

Tripping Again II

Getting ready to leave the KOA in Flagstaff this morning

We woke up in Flagstaff when one of Fabgrandpa’s many weather devices started beeping at 4:00 a.m. It apparently didn’t get packed away before we pulled out yesterday morning, and fell off the shelf during travel.  It has an alarm clock on it that somehow set itself to go off at Oh. Dear. God. thirty. After scrambling around looking for it to turn off the annoying beep beep beep beeeeeeeep, we decided to just get up.

We had a cup of coffee and read emails and facebook stuff, then went out to breakfast at Miz Zips, our favorite breakfast place on Route 66 in Flagstaff. That didn’t take long, and we went straight back to the KOA to hook up the truck and get on our way.

We didn’t get very far down the road, just to Holbrook, Arizona before our first stop of the day. The Painted Desert Indian Center there had some of the most gorgeous Native American crafts. I told Fabgrandpa before we left yesterday that I wanted to buy a piece of pottery for our new house. You know, the one we don’t have yet.

When we lived in the house that we sold in 2000, we collected pottery. As a matter of fact, we collected pottery individually before we met. So, just the fact that we both collected pottery was one of the things that brought us together. When we sold the house and all of our stuff, we sold most of the pottery. But we still have about six of the best pieces in the RV, but there is no place to display it.

We looked at some at Jacob Lake, and then again at Cameron Trading Post but nothing just jumped out at me. Then today, there it was! This one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever owned! I love kokopeli, too.

Me and my new pottery piece. I love this!

Kokopeli is a fertility god, and seducer of women. But he also plays the flute and brings joy to the home. I know this pottery piece will certainly bring me joy!

Here are some more pictures from Painted Desert Indian Center:

Outside is fun stuff! T-Rex eating his friend outside a Tipi



I was lusting over this bracelet--$1300!


A burden basket--leave your burdens at the door, take them with you when you go

This Storyteller Doll, about 2 feet high, was sooo impressive. It had two faces, Grandma on one side, and Grandpa on the other side, and dozens of babies on each side. Storytellers are basically a figure of a storyteller, usually a man or a woman and its mouth is always open. It is surrounded by figures of children and other things, who represent those who are listening to the storyteller. This one was made by Caroline Santos and was priced at $7,000! wow!

This kachina, or storyteller, has two sides. Grandpa on this side...

and Grandma on this side. Click on the pic to enlarge to see the dozens of babies on each one!

I loved this Navajo Nativity set too.

Last but not least, here is Fabgrandpa’s new ring–as my friend Geogypsy said, ” It’s an Effie” Silver and coral with a serpent motif.

A new ring for my best guy!

If you are ever in the area of Holbrook, Arizona on I-40, you need to stop in there and look around. I bet you won’t be able to leave empty  handed either. And if you go in there, tell Lita and Freddie, the owners, I said hello!

We got on our way again and got to our destination, Lavaland RV Park in Grants, New Mexico, about 3:30 p.m. Here is today’s RV Minute, a look at the diverse landscape along I-40 between Gallup and Grants, New Mexico. (OH< and don’t forget to turn the sound down a bit because this is loud)

USA RV Park in Gallup, New Mexico

The driveway to USA RV Park in Gallup, New Mexico

Just to show you that I am not whining and complaining all the time, I have to tell you about USA RV Park iin Gallup, New Mexico. We stayed there the next night after the nightmare that was Santa Rosa, and I have to tell you, it is one of the best RV parks we have stayed in in the more than 11 years of living full time in an RV. We noticed when we entered the park that it was lovely, clean, well kept. The driveway was attractive and made the whole place appealing as soon as you enter the property.

The office and store were immaculate!

When we walked inside the office/store, we were greeted by the people behind the counter. The owner registered us, and gave us a discount for Fabgrandpa being a veteran. That was another first, because in all the years we have RV’ed, not one park has given us a discount for military service! After we paid, and were shown where our site was on the map, the owner handed us his business card with his home phone number on it. He told us if we had any problems during the night to call him personally. We both felt that was his way of telling us that we wouldn’t have any problems, and we didn’t. Everything worked like it was supposed to, all night.

review of usa rv park gallup new mexico
Our site was flat and level

The whole park was clean and looked so nice. It was hard to believe the price was only $31 and change after the veteran’s discount was applied. The roads were paved, and sites were graveled, so even though the wind was still blowing, there was no dust, and that made it very nice for us.  The site was long enough for our truck and trailer without unhooking.  We were very very satisfied with our stay at USA RV Park. I didn’t personally visit their bathrooms, but FabGrandpa did, and he said they were sparkling clean.

review of usa rv park gallup new mexico
Parked by the propane tanks

The next morning before we left, we had to fill up with propane.  The service was quick, and even at the price of $3.25 per gallon made filling up a pleasure. I would say if you are on your way along I-40 in Gallup, and need an RV site for the night, USA RV Park is your place.

A Little Bit Of New Mexico For You

While our stay in Santa Rosa was the pits, New Mexico is rather pretty to look at, with some interesting terrain and landscape.  Between Santa Rosa and Gallup, we passed through Albuquerque and Lavaland. Albuquerque is a fairly large city with lots of traffic. You have to drive over a large mountain to get there. This combination of traffic and mountain is always scary to me, so I try to distract myself by playing Angry Birds on my Droid. I did manage to get some nice photos though. Enjoy, and know that I sacrificed my nerves to get them:

a truck hauling a wind turbine blade

This is one of those windmill blades on a truck going up the mountain.

sandia mountains albuquerque

Going up the mountain to Albuquerque

new mexico sandia mountains

and up some more!

Almost through Albuquerque


Albuquerque's spaghetti junction

Between Albuquerque and Gallup, we went through Lavaland, New Mexico.  Yes, that is the name of the town. Lavaland.  Here is a one minute video of Lavaland, with REO Speedwagon in the background:

Santa Rosa RV Park In Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Santa Rosa RV Park

The only good thing about Santa Rosa was the sunrise.

We stayed at the Santa Rosa RV Park in Santa Rosa, New Mexico on Sunday night.  Let’s just say we are marking this one off our list of places to stay on I-40 in New Mexico. The site was level, but it was dirt–no gravel or pavement at all. With the wind that was blowing, it was dusty and miserable while getting the trailer set up. It didn’t help that the electricity connection was on the wrong end of the site, so even with our surge protector box added in our cord still wouldn’t reach. We finally pulled the trailer in backwards and took the electrical cord under the trailer to reach.

After we got all set up and went inside, the breaker in the connector box outside kept popping. Even with the water heater and the refrigerator on gas, and everything else electric turned off, the breaker still popped when we tried to run the A/C, which was needed because it was hot there. FabGrandpa called the office and asked them to send someone down to change out the breaker, and were told they would do “in the morning”. Ok then, we were leaving in the morning.

This place was not worth the $31 we paid to stay there. I kept thinking that the girl who checked us in told me “The water and electric sites don’t have cable TV.”   and then thinking to myself “she should have said the water and electric sites don’t have electricity.” I think I can tolerate things that don’t work a whole lot better if the attitude of the people running the place is one of trying to make their customers happy. They didn’t and to me, that is a major FAIL!


Going To Alabama IV

We started out the day climbing up those Sandia Mountians at Albuquerque. After less than half an hour, we were on flat land again. And it stayed flat most of the day.

Evidently, New Mexico does not have any laws against having billboards on the side of the highway. There seemed to be groves of them:

Billboards in New Mexico

We saw several wind farms off in the distance. This modern windmill is in Tucumcari, New Mexico:

A modern windmill in Tucumcari

After we filled up the truck at Flying J in Tucumcari, FabGrandpa decided to drive over the scales. Ooops, maybe I DO have a tad too much fabric after all. Hmmm, I’ll toss groceries first if push comes to shove. We’re still under, but can’t buy anything else!

Weighing in at Flying J

So, we officially left New Mexico and crossed over into Texas. New Mexico is one of the only states I have been in that has a sign telling you you are leaving:

Leaving New Mexico

It’s a good thing they told us, because west Texas was more of the same flat landscape, for miles and miles.Here is your RV minute for today, showing just how flat and lonely it is out here. This is I-40, going east, west of Amarillo, Texas:

There were more wind farms closer to Amarillo. I especially like this photo of an old fashioned windmill with the wind farm in the background:

old and new

We made it through Amarillo before the five o’clock rush, which is great!


Because a few miles outside of town, we heard a POP! The rear driver’s side tire on the trailer blew out! We had to stop on the side of I-40 and change the tire! It was pretty scary out there with all those trucks whizzing by! This was the same tire that blew out the first time we were going to Arizona in April of 2008 (well, not the same tire, but in the same position on the trailer) Wonder what is up with that?


We made into Shamrock, Texas to the West 40 RV park just at sunset:

Sunset in Shamrock, Texas

I made us a “Road Trip Seafood Platter” for dinner: Tuna salad with avocado, smoked oysters, pear salad, and crackers. I had Glutino gluten free, he had Ritz. Yummy!

yummy "seafood" platter.