We arrived here Friday after another pretty drive, this time crossing two mountain passes over 10,000 ft along Hwy 17 between Antonito, CO and Chama, NM. I’ve driven the car more than we’ve towed it since we got into Colorado in July, with the high elevations and steep, twisty mountain roads.
During our first winter on the road in 2008/2009, we spent several months in Mew Mexico state parks because of the reasonable rates and pretty scenery, but we stayed in the southern part of the state and didn’t make it north of Albuquerque. We’ve been looking forward to spending time in northern New Mexico, but we stayed in Colorado longer than planned because we liked it so much. Now we have only 10 days before we have to be in Albuquerque for a couple appointments on the 29th before the Balloon Fiesta on the 1st of October.
We stopped here at Heron Lake State Park since our friend and fellow Lazy Daze owner, Andy Baird, just arrived on Thursday after getting his rig fixed in Alamosa, CO following a lightning strike last month. It is an interesting story, which he has detailed on his website if anyone is curious about what can happen to an RV when lightning hits it. He was actually pretty fortunate.
He is carrying a cracked solar panel in his car that he offered to Jim. It is still functioning at 80-90% capacity, and he was told it would probably continue to work. So now Jim is trying to figure out a way to mount it and get someone else to connect it to our other two panels at a later date. Seems like anytime Jim gets around Andy we end up doing some kind of upgrade.
Andy’s back up camera was fried so he just put in a new one, which Jim was looking at with the possibility of getting the same one and installing it on our rig. We do fine with two people and radios when backing up, but if something happens to one of us it will be a real trick to get backed into a site without being able to see behind you. That’s the one thing we wish the previous owners had done.
Last evening we drove around Heron Lake and hiked down to the Chama River. This is a beautiful park, and much bigger than many of the other NM state parks. There are at least 7 or 8 campgrounds but the ones right on the lake don’t have hookups, so we are in the woods with electricity, which we’ve used to run the AC during the day and the heat at night. What a nice luxury for $14 a night, or $4 if you buy a New Mexico State Parks annual pass. Compared to all the other states we’ve traveled in, New Mexico is definitely a bargain.