Living in the Little Red Trailer

On the Road Again – April 2021

Colin and I are on the road again. We had a heckuva time outrunning the cold weather. Snow in Denver and freezing every night the week leading up to departure, we left in a tiny window of bright weather, snow before and after. Right up until the morning we left, we didn’t know if we’d be heading west to Utah or south to New Mexico. “Heads Carolina tails California…” Assuming greater chance of warmth, we went south. Colin has a way of finding the most incredible campsites. The first night we went to Kiowa National Grasslands in New Mexico, a tiny pocket of five free campsites far off the beaten path. It was full, but on the way in we had passed a little spot just outside the area, a giant swath of green with a view of the low mountains. No fires allowed. That was OK, we had prepped pasta salad and coleslaw, and could make hot tea on the camp stove.

Get warm and stay warm: Katie in two coats under graupel-filled clouds in Kiowa National Grasslands

We didn’t leave until early afternoon. The spot was so nice, and we were enjoying finally being away from people (trip motto: “Let’s get the hell outa Dodge”) and back into nature again. We fixed and improved a few things – it’s not a trip if you don’t pull out the toolbox – and just lavished in the details of being in our camper once again. We took a dusk hike and vowed to get out of breath every day for the next three weeks. Progress so far: one in a row.

A tribute to Bob Wills in Roy, NM: “Dance like you feel, and I’ll match the music to your dancing.”
We arrived at the old town square in Las Vegas, NM to find it filled with thick electric cables, orange cones, and security staff in green vests and headbands with googly-topped antennae. They were filming scenes for an upcoming movie, “Roswell.” Why didn’t they just go a few miles down the road and film in… Roswell?

We continued south, just going a few hours today and once again up to a spot of Colin‘s findings in the Cibola National Forest near Corona and Galinas. We arrived around 6pm, found the perfect spot, and took a little walk with Katie. Bear scat. Must be careful to put away everything, even the rinse water which we collect under the sink.

Would it freeze tonight? No, not this far south. We filled the water tanks and relished and having some hot water to wash the dishes. A clear blue sky and a fire for a hotdog and a sweet potato, followed by s’mores. My gosh was it beautiful. And getting colder… huh… Before the evening was out it was already below freezing, frost on every surface, and we were scratching our heads worrying about the water tanks.

First campfire hotdog since fall 2020: priceless.

Reception: 5 bars. Texted friends. Received the advice to add vodka to the water. Bummer, we only have red wine and mulling spices. We ended up tucking our Solo stove, which we cap with a close-fitting metal garbage can lid, near to the part of the trailer with the most vulnerable pipes while we prepped for bed, so it would warm the trailer as it cooled off. Work the micro climate and hope for the best. By the next morning it was 43° when we were up. Warm and sunny and the pipes were just fine. Grape Nuts and sliced strawberries for breakfast, dump the ash in a bag to take and trash, pit toilet (may blessings rain down upon the National Park system’s utility unit) by the group campsite, and on the road again.

A 5-second “exposure” on the iPhone 12 looped onto my dad’s lightweight tripod from 1970 captures the moment like none of our efforts before.

6 comments on “On the Road Again – April 2021

  1. Super cool, Jennifer and Colin! Nicely written and really amazing photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Julie! Thought about a technology break while we were on the road… hah! That lasted a day. Feels good to be writing and posting freestyle for the love of sharing. That, and some of these experiences and places are just too cool not to capture in words!

      Like

  2. It looks like your in for a great adventure! Enjoy and safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Patrice! Do I remember that NM is one of your long-distance stompin’ grounds too? This state is an unrealized treasure. If so, must swap stories. This state is an unrealized treasure.

      Like

  3. Rosann McCullough

    Awesone photos! It looks like you two are having a wonderful time. Keep on truckin’.
    Rosann

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rosann! Our season’s warmup practice of marshmallows over a beach campfire with you at Cherry Creek set us up in fine and ready truckin’ style!

      Like

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