Friday, May 3, 2013


It's Friday and I'm back at Camping World--today to get the RV washed and waxed, they said it will take a good part of the day.  But, we've collected a lot of road bugs and grime, and we want to do all we can to protect the exterior finish--love it when folks ask us if it's brand new!  So, I'll catch up a little on the last few days here in Albuquerque, or ABQ to those in the know.  By the way, in case you didn't notice, I just put up an additional page with some pictures of the interior of the carhouse for anyone who may be interested--you can access it by clicking on Our View, next to the About Us button at the top of the home page.

When last I posted, we were leaving Camping World after the water pump repair, heading to the RV park next door.  Well, it was  fascinating place!  The famed Route 66, now the I-40 corridor, used to pass right  by here, and this RV park has been there over the years, using all sorts of gimmicks and promos to attract customers, including outlandish colors, gigantic teepees on the roof, etc.  Now they have made the building that houses the office, store, laundry and game room into something of a retro museum, with lots of stuff from the 40's and 50's, when folks could get their kicks on Route 66.  They even have a section set up with vintage trailers from the 50's, decorated in period, that they rent out sort of like a motel.  We were talking to the person at the registration desk who told us that these are really popular with European tourists, particular from France and Germany.  Apparently German TV recently did a piece on Route 66 and included this RV park.  She said they get many Europeans who apparently  make a whole "retro pilgrimage" across the US, staying in retro motels and renting retro vehicles.  Who knew???

Anyway, after we checked in, hooked up and had supper, I wanted to ride the bike, so I just tooled around the RV park and the surrounding area for a while--mostly gravel roads.  No probe, right?  Wrong, but didn't find out 'til later.  Came back, got a few shots of the sunset, along with Peter Cottontail, who watched me seemingly unconcerned as I walked by very close, to the place where I took the sunset photos.

Tuesday we went down to Old Town, a quaint little area filled with lots of shops and restaurants, and a lovely little park area.  We visited a church that has been serving the community since the 1700's.  We went to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History then just strolled around the area.  We tried to go ride the Sandia Peak Tramway, which is purported to be a spectacular ride up to the top of a mountain with fabulous views.  As we got up to the place to pay, though, learned that it's closed on Tuesdays for maintenance until the evening.  Since Trisha had an early flight out the next morning, we just came back to the RV park and will do that when she gets back.

Wednesday morning was up and at 'em very early--Trisha's flight was at 6:30 AM, so we wanted to make sure we got there in plenty of time.  Not a lot of traffic on the roads at 5:00AM so no problem.  She's now in Sarasota, for the 27th iteration of the annual Beach Girls getaway.  This event started when all our kids were little, and got started as a way for all the moms to have some girl time at the beach--all the dads kept the kids while the moms descended on the home of the college roommate of one of the neighborhood moms in Sarasota.  Now, even though all the kids are grown and there's the grandkid generation coming on, the Beach Girls have continued the tradition.  There's apparently a restaurant there where they like to go to watch the sunset--the tradition is that whoever guesses closest to the actual moment the sun sets over the water gets a free bottle of wine.

Anyway, after Trisha got off, I decided to take advantage of some of Albuquerque's many bike trails for a ride.  This is an incredibly bike friendly city--the manager of a bike store told me it's been rated as the 3d most bike friendly city in the US.  They have miles and miles of paved and marked paths, totally separated from autos, and even in the roads where cars to go, most have bike lanes.  There's one--Paseo del Bosque, the path of the forest, that runs some 18 miles along the Rio Grande.  There are some true trail riding trails right by the bank of the river, and then the river trail, which runs along the river, but is mostly along the levee where they have diverted some of the river's water to irrigation and industry serving canals.  The path is shared by cyclists, runners, walkers, horseback riders--as you approach road underpasses there are signs "Bikers, stop your bikes for horses in the underpass-ask rider how to proceed."  Guess there's a real chance that streaking bicycles in the enclosed space of the underpass could scare the hell out of horses and cause them to take off.  Anyway, I decided to do a bit of this trail, so drove the RV to the RioGrande Nature Center, parked, lathered up with sunscreen, filled the water carrier backpack, packed some fruit and nuts for lunch, put on my shiny red and black helmet--had looked for an all red one for Santa, but the only red they had was in this Go Dawgs look!--locked up the RV, took my bike off the rack and when I set it down on the ground I saw I had two flat tires!!  Bummer!  But hey, this is the No Hurries No Worries tour, right, so I just loaded it back up and found a  bike shop.  When I rolled it into the store and told the manager I couldn't figure out how they got flat, since I had ridden a day or so earlier with no indication of a problem, and he said: "Welcome to New Mexico, and of the goat heads!"  He took me over to the service area where they had a little jar of their goat head collection--those pulled from bike tires.  I had never seen these before, but they look sort of like a sandspur, but one side is flat, and the other side has this sharp spike that sticks straight up.  As he said, you can never really see them but they are evidently everywhere around these parts.  So, they installed what he called "Slimers,"  puncture resistant tubes that are filled with some green slimy looking liquid sealant, that apparently will seal the puncture when you hit a goat head.  Knew ABQ had a lot to offer, but this was not what I had in mind!

So, I was bound and determined to ride some of the trail, so went to the northern end of the trail and rode for an hour or so.  It's so nice to be able to ride on such a nice path with no worries about cars.  Saw one guy on a skateboard with a pole pushing himself along--had never seen that before--but he was really flying!  Great ride!  Found a Costco to stock up on some goodies, and got back to the campground as the temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up.  At one point it was blowing so hard and rocking the RV so much I pulled in the slide out.  Thought I might have to leave it in overnight, but eventually it calmed down enough for me to put it back out.  Got quite cold overnight--had to get up and start the heater, and it was still cold yesterday when I got up.  But it was a beautiful sunshiny day and it was warming up to a very pleasant temp.

Decided to do as much of the River Trail as I could, so drove to the southern end of the trail--couldn't park right where it started, but anyway had a wonderful ride--30 miles in all.  For the first part of the ride I was on dirt paths right along the bank of the Rio Grande, but after a while it got a little closed in with overgrown trees and bushes, and several times I had to get off to lift the bike over downed trees and stuff, so I shifted up to the paved path.  That was so cool, to just pedal continuously, never having to stop for cross streets or traffic.  The path is laned and marked out just like a regular roadway, with no passing zones and places to pass and everything, just great!  I rode for 15 miles, covering part of the northern end of the trail that I had ridden the day before, then stopped for lunch at this park area before doing the return trip.  Passed the ABQ BioPark and Zoo, the Aquarium, the Hispanic Culture Center, some ranches, farms and had a great time.  Near the BioPark there's this lovely fishing pond, another pond with tons of Canada geese, and some folks racing radio controlled sailboats.  Looked like some folks had just come for lunch hour, to fish, run, walk, just hang out and enjoy the sunshine.  Anyway, may try to do some more of the trail system, or go back here for some more before Trisha gets back Tuesday night.  May also try to find some hikes to do.  Want to wait 'til she gets back before going to see all the places I know she'll want to see or do.

So, just catching up on some emails and stuff as I wait for them to get the RV in squeaky clean shape!  So here are some pics:

Cute little bunny who didn't move as I got quite close to him--at the RV park Monday evening.

Sunset at Enchanted Trails RV Park

San Felipe de Neri church, in Old Town

 Beautiful wooden door to confessional.
 Ornate angels on either side of Mary.

 Mother Mary
Lovely little park in the center of Old Town
 Some of the sculpture garden outside the entrance to the Museum of Art and History
 Some of the displays in the museum; many have a religious theme

Colorful tile mosaic on a wall as you enter part of Old Town
 Love these colors!
 Oh show me a home, where the buffalo roam . . . some bison grazing on our way to the Sandia Peak Tramway

Some retro appliances on display in the RV park laundry room.
 These retro trailers are cool to look at, though I'm not sure I would want to stay very long in them! Apparently, though, lots of folks do.

Llama at a ranch along the bike trail by the Rio Grande
 Looking across the Rio Grande as I started my 30 mile bike ride.
 Looking up the river--you can see how the trail gets pretty close.
Lovely fishing pond by the BioPark

 Canada geese at the BioPark, shot from the bike path

 Some horseback riders, entering the multi-use trail, as I was stopping for lunch.
 No, this is not a highway, but rather the River Trail bike path!  Irrigation canal to the right, and the river is just a little farther to the right.


  1. I really enjoy visiting those old churches. Very nice pictures.

  2. Jack thanks for the update and super pictures. I love my 25-30 plus mile bike rides on the trails in the Orlando area. I ride daily.........

    Be sure to clean the inside of the carhouse before the wife you are on top of that!

    Be Safe!!

  3. Jack, I just caught up on your wonderful blog! I love it. When you were in the Texas Hill Country I thought of my friends from Katy, TX, who are RVers and they love to camp there and also spend a month down in the "valley" every Winter watching and photographing birds. Ironically, they are now in Georgia being hosts at Brasstown Bald for the Summer! Last year they were camp hosts at Fort Yargo near Winder I think. I just read an e-book called "For 91 Days in Idaho" that is full of a blog of fun adventures in Idaho, so if you're coming this way you may want to check it out. It was free a few days ago from Pixel of Ink, but may not be now. I hope you and Trisha will be able to come visit us on your trip. We would love to see you and I think you could get away with parking a night or two on our street. That way you could take a break from the RV and spend the night in our house. Now that I have your blog bookmarked, I'll be checking it every day. Genie

  4. I was in ABQ about 6 weeks ago for just about 40 minutes picking up some Navy troops there to support the Marines - a stopover on our way to San Diego NAS, and it was 50 degrees and the wind was blowing what seemed like 40-50 mph. Sandstorms. The leader of the group said he had only seen such bad weather in Iraq. You have been much more fortunate.

    I was glad to get back on the airplane, and could not fathom why any one would live in that area.
    B Curtis