Friday, September 21, 2012

Colorado-New Mexico

We visited with Suzanne, Chris, Izzy and Oliver from Sept 2nd through the 9th.
Both Izzy and Oliver play soccer. We had a chance to attend each of their games. Carol and Suzanne had lots of time together going to lunch, shopping and just enjoying each others company.

On the 10th, we headed south to Buena Vista then on to Salida.

In Salida we stayed at a free BLM camping area just east of town. It's right on the Arkansas River. Not much rafting this time of the year, but other times we've been here the river gets quite busy.

On Thursday the 13th, we went to church in Salida, dumped the  tanks and topped off with water at the town Visitor Center then had lunch at the Fritz restaurant Suzanne has recommended.  The lunch was excellent.

We have some interesting neighbors. Six kids; four guys, two young women, ranging in age from about 20 to 25. They are a six person crew working for the Conservation Corps.

Conservation Corps

They work nine days on and five off mostly doing trail maintenance, picking up trash, and repairing this and that depending on individual skills. Right now they are on their five day off time. They get paid a small sum but not nearly enough to live in a motel or eat at restaurants during their off time. While they are working, they live in their own tents so while off, they just bring their camping stuff with them and look for free places to camp. Earlier today, they all took baths in the very cold river.  I've spoken to all of them and they are having the most wonderful adventure.  No pieced tongues, pants falling off, obscene saying on T-shirts,  broken beer bottles, jam boxes on max. volume; just six really nice kids. How refreshing.

On Sunday the 16th, John and Linda joined us. On Monday, we all had lunch at Amicas Pizza and beer joint; a place recommended by Jim and Gayle. An excellent recommendation.

On Monday we all headed south on Hwy 285 towards New Mexico. We spend the night at the Rio Grande State Wildlife Area just east of Monte Vista. We had the place all to ourselves that night.

On Tuesday we continued south to the COE Riana campground on the Abiquiu Reservoir. Around lunch time we were in the very small town of Tierra Amarilla. John asked a deputy about a place for lunch and he directed us to the Margarita Cafe next to the Mustang gas station. The lunch was very good.

Thursday: Jerry, Andrea and  Ken  pulled in. Jerry installed the fans in the refrigerator "chimney" on our camper. The goal is to increase air circulation and lower the ref. temp.

Friday: This morning some went kayaking and some went swimming.

This afternoon we got a nice surprise. Two friends from Florida pulled in. Mike and Elizabeth Coachmen.  They are touring the area after visiting friends in ABQ.

Right now there are six Lazy Dazes here. That calls for a party. Tonight at 5.

The plan is to stay here until Tuesday morning then meet up at the Elks Lodge in Santa Fe then drift south staying at casinos until the Balloon Fiesta.