Headed south

Happy Halloween from northern New Mexico! 🙂

Well, we had grand plans of staying on our property through the winter in northern New Mexico.  We even went so far as to have a back hoe come in and build an RV pad.  But plans change and we decided to head to Arizona for the winter.

RV pad going in!
RV pad going in!

Why, may you ask?  To start off, we are still in the month of October and we have already had snow and freezing temps.  While our RV is well insulated it isn’t designed for that kind of weather and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.  We came to the conclusion that we had better be safe than sorry.

Snow at the RV park on October 20, 2015!!
Snow at the RV park on October 20, 2015!!

We have decided to head down to the LTVA area in Quartzsite and will stay there until it thaws out again out our place and possibly explore some other areas as well.  Next year once the cabin is done and we have a wood stove then we can stay through the winter if we want.  But, the really fortunate part of being a full time RVer is that we can go where the weather is mild and not worry about things like frozen water lines.

Chama, NM on October 22, 2015.  Gonna be a hard winter!
Chama, NM on October 22, 2015. Gonna be a hard winter!

The weather people are predicting a really hard winter here this year and frankly we are just not equipped to deal with it.  So we are erring on the side of caution and keeping ourselves safe. 🙂  We will really miss our property and our little community we have met here but there is always next year!

RV pad on property looking west
RV pad on property looking west

So our next post will come to you from the warmth of Arizona!  We will enjoy warm days and cool nights and hopefully meet up with a bunch of other full time RVer’s and have a great winter.  All in all a smart decision.  Until next year, New Mexico!  We will miss these glorious sunsets at our place but I’m sure we will see many more that are just as wonderful in Arizona!

Riding into the sunset only to return next spring!
Riding into the sunset only to return next spring!

The Texas State Fair!!

Way back in December of 2014 in South Carolina, we were discussing bucket list items with our friends Doug & Denise (who are in the process of going full time RV).  One of the items that was brought up was the Texas State Fair.  Mark had never been and had always wanted to go.  So we all agreed one day we would go together.  Little did we know it would happen this year!

A lot has happened in a short amount of time – Mark’s workers comp case got settled, our friends sold their house in South Carolina, bought their Avion and Denise took a new teaching job in Texas, just an hour and a half from Dallas!  So in June of 2015 we all agreed to meet up in October for the last weekend of the fair.

What we didn’t know at the time is that our truck tranny would go out and we would also buy property in New Mexico!  That made us do some serious thinking of our trip to Texas.  We decided almost at the last minute to leave our RV in New Mexico and to just rent a cabin in Texas.  And yes, we decided to truck camp on the way there and back! 🙂

Our friends had decided to do that and be at the RV park we were supposed to be at.  We were able to call back and get the cabin right next door.  We had a wonderful three nights in a cute little cabin overlooking a little fishing pond as well as a fabulous day trip into Dallas to the fair.

And OMG!  What a fried food fiesta!!  It was an amazing day.  We walked over 8 miles that day as well!  We got to check out the Cotton Bowl, ride the Tram over the fair and eat and drink to our hearts content!

Us with Denise & Doug and of course, BIG TEX!
Us with Denise & Doug and of course, BIG TEX!

One of our favorite things was all the food!  We started off with Corny Dogs from Fletchers and just moved on from there.  The boys got the biggest sausages ever and of course I had to try the Smoky Bacon Margarita.  It was THE BOMB!

Of course, the best thing about the whole trip was seeing our friends.  We had not seen them since we left South Carolina in June.  We are already making plans for them to come visit us in New Mexico this spring. That trip should be epic!  And while this trip was fast (only 5 days total with driving time) it was so good to see them and experience the fair with them!  If you ever get the chance to go to this fair you should – it is a must see!

Here are some more images from the Texas State Fair!  Enjoy!

Catching up

It’s been a crazy 6 weeks!  We left Mammoth Lakes, CA and headed to Albuquerque, NM.  The intention was to catch up with some errands, do some shopping, meet up with Mark’s friend and then hit the Balloon Fiesta.

That’s when it all went south.

On our drive into Albuquerque, the transmission on the truck went out.  As we were towing the trailer up some steep grades into the city.

Fortunately we were able to limp our way into town and get set up in an RV park before the truck gave up the ghost. We were just thankful we didn’t get stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

City of Albuquerque
City of Albuquerque

We started to notice the tranny was shifting really hard going up the last few grades.  With Mark being a mechanic I could tell by the “oh shit” look on his face that it wasn’t good.

Now granted, the truck has 97,000 miles on it. The people who owned it before us also towed a travel trailer.  So it’s not really surprising the tranny decided to put up a protest.  I mean, it’s worked pretty hard all its life!

Fortunately we were able to find a fantastic tranny shop in ABQ. If you are ever there and are in need of even a tranny service, Mikes Transmission is the place to go. The owner (Mike) is a good and HONEST mechanic. He is busy tho. It took 3 days before we could drop off the truck and then it was another 5 days before we got the truck back. Granted, that was over the weekend and he to order the transmission. So really it wasn’t too long.  But being without our truck wasn’t fun.

Mike of Mike's Transmission
Mike of Mike’s Transmission

We ended up going with a new tranny (not rebuilt) with a 3 year/100,000 mile warranty through GM. Considering we hope to have this truck for at least that long we figured it was the way to go.

So where are we now? Weren’t we supposed to be in ABQ for the Balloon Fiesta?  Where are all the balloon pics?  Well that WAS the plan. But we decided we needed a break from ABQ. The RV park we stayed at really sucked. It was right on the freeway and it was loud and noisy.  And with my anxiety issues I was just DONE with city life.  So we headed up to Chama, NM for a week or so. Talk about peace and quiet!

The Chama River, Chama, NM
The Chama River, Chama, NM

Our plans were to go back to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta but then something happened in Chama.  We fell in love!!  With the town, with the scenery and with the people.  We just felt at home!  So, we looked around for a piece of land to call our own and within 5 days we were property owners!  We bought 5.5 acres with a little (unfinished) cabin.  With all that going on we never did make it back to ABQ but the good thing is the Balloon Fiesta will be there next year.

Here is a preview of our little tiny cabin and land:

Little cabin in New Mexico
Little cabin in New Mexico
Our 5.5 acres of rolling hills
Our 5.5 acres of rolling hills
Cheers!! This is our glorious view!
Cheers!! This is our glorious view!

So what’s the plan, you may ask?  Well, we’ve got a lot on our plate as you can imagine.  Our goal is to eventually off grid homestead this little piece of dirt.  Before winter sets in (it snows here!!) we’ve got to get the RV pad done on the property.  We’ve been delayed because of weather and our trip to Texas for the State Fair (post on that soon!) but we are hoping to have it finished in the next couple of weeks.  We are currently staying in town at the only RV Park that stays open through the winter.  I hope we haven’t bitten off more than we can chew by staying around.  It’s already snowed here (today, in fact) and it’s only October 21!  Thankfully it didn’t stay around long.

So does that mean we are finished being full time RVer’s?  Nope, not at all!  It just means we have a game plan for our future!  We will be taking trips over the winter while we are working on the cabin and land (hopefully, if we don’t get snowed in here!!) and we have plans to visit Mark’s family in southern California for Thanksgiving.  But for now it’s time to work on projects, get some work done on my businesses and just be homebodies!  🙂

We hope you will stick with us and follow our adventures!