Day 13 – Page AZ to Azetc NM
Worst driving day in a very long time. Just when we were so excited to leave AZ for the it-can’t-possibly-get-worse highways of NM, we crossed the state line and It. Got. Worse!
Every single person running for any state office should have to drive on the worst 100-mile stretch of highways in their state. It should be a fuckin’ requirement for their candidacy. They need to see what it’s like to be on these awful roads, with minimal-if-any signal, and with no ability to do anything other than hang on for dear life.
With one rare exception so far, I (L) hate being escorted to our site. Since I usually drive the afternoon shift, it’s always me to has to follow them like I’m a dum-dum who can’t count to 34 and find my numbered space. This lady took the cake. The “office” where E checked us in was the living room of her home. Not only did she feel the need to escort us; she was walking. We also have a hand-written receipt that is printed like a check. I guess that makes it easier to remember how to fill it out. Except for the decent wifi, I’d think we were stuck in 1984. (That quip would be funnier if anyone within 200 miles of here ever read it.)
We ran a Halloween-related errand and found some guilty pleasure food for E, Long John Silvers.
Day 14 – Azetc to Chama NM
This was a pretty little drive…and the roads were much better, too. Chama is a wide spot in the road with one taco joint and a bunch of “lodges”.
Like us, everyone is here for the train. Except for people at this campground. They are here to be here. I can’t fathom why. There is a little river that is nice. The campground is labeled a resort, but has no pool or hot tub. There are restrooms, laundry, a small dog run, and two horseshoe pits. It’s well kept and the spaces are level and large enough, but nothing about this place is a resort.
We did get “escorted” to our site by a guy who had us drive through another site. That’s both annoying and breaks common campground etiquette, but no one was within 3 of that spot, so no biggie. Something that did piss me off though was check in: the guy said he had a cancellation for a riverfront spot and that since it was our first choice, he could move us to it. I told him we never pick riverfront spots because they are never pull throughs. He kinda insisted; I’m sure this was an “upgrade” and would have cost more. I declined again and explained that we’d not even be here to enjoy the river because we’d be on the train all of the next day. He then said, “well, you can go wherever you want,” as if I thought this was a church lock in. Dear Idiot who is missing the whole point, why would we pay for a premium site we didn’t request if we aren’t even going to be here to enjoy it? It’s a nice little place, but I strongly suspect they want to retire and are getting ready to sell.
They also either don’t have rules about dogs or don’t enforce them. Four Yappy Little Shits all day every day was annoying AF and we were hardly there.
We settled in, did some laundry, grabbed some tacos, and enjoyed a little walk around the property. It really is a cute little campground once you get down by the river and away from the YLSs.
Day 15 – Cumbres-Toltec west
A few years ago, when we were headed to my company’s Corporate Vacation in northern New Mexico, we did a weekend detour through southern Colorado. In Antonito, CO, we hit a weed store, of course, and rode the eastern half of the Cumbres-Toltec narrow-guage rail road. That 37+ miles weaves back and forth over the CO/NM line like a dozen times. We even booked the 21+ VIP car where we had our own docent/server/bartender. It was lovely. (That experience was when our blog was dormant; if I can find our pics, I’ll add a post and link it here.)
Since we were passing near Chama, New Mexico, we decided to split the drive to Santa Fe over a couple of days and ride the western half. Our ride today was just as perfect as it was a few years ago. But this time, we got to enjoy Fall all the way up to 10,015′ or 10,022′ (no one is sure) and back!