They say "That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger."
Okay. I'm a much stronger driver now.
GPS maps on the IPhone look so innocuous. Flat, logical routes to follow. Neither are true in Tombstone, AZ.
We turn off the main highway on to a "street" that is maybe 200 feet long before it turns sharply to the left and then immediately down a very steep, very narrow, very washed out sort-of-asphalt trail (road would be a huge exaggeration). The GPS cheerfully says to turn right at the bottom where clearly there is no road or trail or goat path, just some old abandoned cars. We are now at the bottom of a deep bowl maybe 50 yards wide with the only exit a slightly smoother, but twice as steep, driveway that comes out behind an old building.
Choices? Not really. Bill is a rock, doesn't hesitate to say "You can do it." So up we go. We make it with no problem, there's room at the top to pull all the way out and stop at the highway. I don't stop to cry with relief.....
We can't reach Donnie for real directions so we give the GPS another try.
Nope. Another narrow road leading to a sharp left turn at the bottom of a hill and then back up to a ball park on a dirt road. GPS says turn down the dirt road. Jodee says no.
I have no qualms about driving the rig on a dirt road. We will do so a lot when boondocking. But I'm not trusting the GPS another foot at this point.
Bill now reaches Donnie who says "None of those roads go through although all the GPS systems think they do, we'll come get you." I like this option.
Now some things one needn't share on a blog, but it really did help lift the "slight tension" I had built up over the last 20 minutes......Bill rode the rest of the way on the potty. You know, sometimes you just can't wait.
So up and down hills and around corners....it just made me laugh knowing he was back there :-) I'm a bad person. He still loves me.
Donnie and Anna have a lovely home with a nice, level parking pad out front. The angle is a little challenging but at this point backing the rig up to that pad was nothing! Bill got everything set up and we spent the evening with our wonderful friends, getting caught up over basketball and yummy steaks.
|Another sweet mooch-dock spot|
Saturday morning was a brisk 50 degrees and we took advantage of the big shower and lots of hot water before breakfast. Packed up, pulled out, hooked up, said our good-byes, and were on the road before 8:30.
It was highways and Interstate the whole way so even if the wind found us we expected an uneventful travel day to Las Cruces. Almost.
I've seen lots of check lists that RVers use for pulling out, setting up, at each stop. I have not seen "check rubber seal around windshield" on any of them. Fortunately when ours came loose it was the section right in front of the right rearview mirror, and the only place either of us could have seen it while driving down the road.
Pulled off at the rest stop and made our first roadside repair. We check it often and it is holding fine. Will put it on the list for the dealership next week.
|We need the fancy "matching" duct tape|
My only priority for a stop in Las Cruces was green chili. I remembered that Hans and Lisa had stayed at a little park in town that they liked so I had reservations at Sunny Acres for one night. It did not disappoint. Very clean, big sites, nice trees, sweet dog run.
|Lots of stories for Tessa to read|
The park host's recommendation for green chili around the corner at the High Desert Brewhouse was spot-on as well. While we weren't impressed with our beer choices, the green chili stew and nachos were delicious. Definitely a local hangout where everyone knows each other, slightly beat-up tables and chairs, and a dog-friendly patio - it was perfect.
|High Desert Brewhouse, Las Cruces, NM|
Sunday we were due at the family reunion location in the mountains of Ruidoso. In the morning I checked three different maps for the final route to the small guest ranch, and none of them recognized the address, or the road. Even the website map was confusing. Oh boy.
We can be taught. Found a spot to park the rig just past downtown and unhooked the Jeep. Bill spoke nicely to the GPS and when we couldn't reach the ranch by phone we gave it a shot. We found it! And were so glad we unhooked the Jeep before trying it with the rig and towing.
The ranch owner was here when we arrived at noon, didn't know anything about our bringing a rig, the one hookup spot is occupied by their maintenance guy, maybe we could just park it "over there".
Okay. Our family of almost 40 are the only ones here, we also have a cabin, we'll put the rig where it fits, and all will be fine.
Back to town for groceries and a few other things - oh, and the rig.
Bill leads with the Jeep and we take our time, and both sides of the road, to get back up the tiny mountain roads to the ranch.
Now we can relax and enjoy family for four days before taking on the road again. Life is good.