Day 4
Sunday, May 20
            Santa Fe            

What this is, folks, is an evolving trip. We started with a set plan, but we are not exactly clinging to it. There is no Santa Fe today. We had planned to leave Gallup around 8 AM, be in Santa Fe by noon, and spend the afternoon shopping and gallery-hopping. The first thing that happened to change our plan today was the mess with the propane, that delayed us. Next, when Jeannine went out to the basement storage compartment where we keep our dogshow equipment she found out that the sodden bedroom carpet has been draining into the storage compartment, so all our dogshow stuff was wet and needed to be taken out and dried. An irritating hour was spent on another abortive attempt to connect to the ISP and upload web pages/download mail. Then, Jeannine found out that the manager of the KOA had a wet/dry vac he would loan us; so we spent an hour or two removing the plastic from the carpet in the back bedroom and sucking up as much of the water as would suck. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I finally figured out how to make the laptop wait for me to dial the number manually so I could use my phone card; then step in and talk to the other modem after I get it a scream. Downloaded 300 emails and uploaded 2 days worth of web pages and pictures. Back to the mohome to find Jeannine taking a well-served snooze after her labors with the carpet and the storage compartment. Almost ready to leave, except by now we had to drive the mohome back to the dog yard at the rear of the KOA to let the dogs potty again...and then Jeannine had to check out the excellent gift shop attached to the office. With all that, we left the KOA around 1 PM, not 8 AM. Talking over our choices, Jeannine said she would rather shop for Indian jewelry than "do" Santa Fe, while I was not exactly delighted by the idea of maneuvering the motorhome in crowded Santa Fe shopping streets. So, we decided to spend time at Indian stores rather than hustle off to Santa Fe.

Gallup is of course noted for its Indian stuff, and its funky old downtown along what used to be Route 66 Funky stores in Gallup had lots of seedy trading stores that looked enticing, bargainwise. So we spent a little extra time in Gallup shopping.. and Jeannine did indeed get an excellent buy on a gorgeous bracelet and pendant.

Gallup has some very charming public areas... Charming park in Gallup this is a little park, right across the street from the shops. There was also a very distinctive fountain, but I got no pictures of it.

Northern New Mexico really is the "Land of Enchantment." Red mesas east of Gallup Like Montana, this is an area I would like to come back to and spend more time in. The red rock mesas rising over grasslands studded with junipers have a magical aura. I had previously only seen the southern end of the state... Las Cruces, Deming, and points eastward. That is real "blasted heath" country, seemingly inhabited mainly by gigantic black beetles that swarm all over the sidewalks when the streetlights come on at night. This northern area though is beautiful and I could easily imagine myself living happily in any of the cities we drove through. Santa Fe is a city of outstanding beauty. Overlooking Santa Fe in its valley Its setting at the foot of an impressive hunk of mountains is stunning, and its famous "Santa Fe style" houses are distinctive and fit in to the setting so beautifully. I really would like a day or two to explore its neighborhoods, in a small and maneuverable vehicle. Sky over Santa Fe at 6:30 PM

Here are a few shots of the beautiful Northern New Mexico countryside... and don't miss me with the furbeasts!! Red mesas More red mesas

Chris and the Furbeasts

More red mesas

Jeannine: Today was Libby's birthday! She turned five years old...the furkids celebrated with hot dogs all round.

Chris back again. I have to tell you about one wonder that really makes motorhome travelling with canines a treat... many of the KOAs have fenced dog yards!! This one just south of Santa Fe does, and the furbeasts had a wonderful time chasing and playing and running like mad to get the kinks of crate-travel out of their bones. Other times when travelling with the dogs and staying in motels I have vainly wished for such an amenity.

Tomorrow is a major ground-covering day... we're going to have to get out of here early and make very few stops, so it will probably be a boring day in the travelogue. But, wait and see! There may be another disaster to entertain you!
Tune in again tomorrow at this time! Oooh that dates me... I bet many of you reading this web page have never heard those words before.

Next morning.. I didn't finish the Sunday page before they locked up the modem connection... oh for a modem that works with a cell phone!... so that gives me a chance to add another chapter to RV'ing 101. Today's lesson: Turning off the propane while travelling may be very safe, but it also keeps your refrigerator from running all day. If you then neglect to switch it to A/C power in the evening, your refrigerator is not running for a day and a night. This leaves everything in the fridge lukewarm and everything in the freezer partially defrosted. Do not walk past your refrigerator idly wondering what the red E on the digital display is all about; it means your refrigerator is not running.


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