Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Albuquerque and Antonito

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged so this will be rather long.  I had very little internet access in Antonito (you had to go to the game room at the campground).  There was also no TV and no cell service.  It was nice and quiet!

Before I was in Antonito, CO I was in Albuquerque, NM.  While there, I visited Petroglyph National Monument and Tent Rocks National Monument (official name – Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument).  Petroglyph National monument is very close to Albuquerque.  They claim there are more than 300 Petroglyphs.

petroglyphTent Rocks National Monument was a bit of a surprise.  The tents themselves were interesting (see tent rocks national monument for info on what these rocks are), but there was also a mini-slot canyon that I really enjoyed. 


tent rocks 1

The “slot canyons” were really just a trail between the tent rocks and the mountains.  There were a few and you had to scramble over a few rocks.  When I saw this one, I wasn’t sure I would fit.

tent rocks 2 slot

That little slot just to the left of the center is one of the “slot canyons” and the one that I wasn’t sure that I would fit.


tent rocks slot

This is a closer view and I did fit, but when I turned while wearing my daypack it was a tight fit!  At the end of the trail there were several tent rocks that almost looked like an Indian village.  Some of these are just a few feet, while others are up to 90 feet.  Those pictured below were huge.

tent rocks 4

After Albuquerque I went to Antonito, CO.  This was a shock to my system.  It’s been rather warm everywhere I have been and for the first time since I started full-timing, I had to wear long pants!  Most mornings it was about 45 degrees!  It would warm up to the upper 70’s.  I stayed at the Ponderosa RV Park, which was right on the Conejos River.   In the picture below, you can just make out my blue and white RV to the right of the white pickup truck.  Fishing is a big thing around this campground. (Don’t forget you can click on the picture to enlarge it).campgruond

This is where I had several modifications made to my RV.  Mike and Lisa Sylvester (The RV Guy) installed 2 solar panels, a surge protector and better gauges for the various tanks and batteries.  I was also given some education on maintaining my RV. 

After the work on my RV was done, I rode a train, went to a lake and went to the beach (well it felt like that!).   I took the Cumbres & Toltec train.  This is a old-fashioned steam operated train.  They warned us that we would get soot on us and we did. 

train 1

train 2

I think they said that they were blowing out the boiler when the steam came out the side like in the above picture.  Not only was it interesting just because it was a steam train, but the scenery was great.

I also drove up to Platoro Lake. and did a bit of hiking.  It was a 25 mile rough dirt road to the lake, but just the drive up was worth it.  platoro drive

The next day, I went to Great Sand Dunes National Park.  At first it seemed like a huge beach.  But walking on the dunes is extremely difficult.   After making a few mistakes of trying to climb up the steep part, I decided that I wasn’t going to go all the way up and just walked along some of the ridges of the dunes, easier but still difficult.

dunes 1

dunes 2 dunes 3  

In the middle picture, you can see get an idea of the size of the dunes there are some people in the middle of the picture. – at the bottom of the dunes and climbing up.  

I arrived in Colorado Springs yesterday, but I’ll blog about this trip later!

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