I have returned to New Mexico. My friend Kath, is hosting me for a four-day vacation-visit. I have been to NM a few times. It’s significant, since I really haven't traveled much, that I keep returning here. I totally love this landscape, the deep dark greens, the silver-green sage, all the ocher, black and crimson. It’s just so much beauty! Kath lives in the Four Corners area at the top of the state. My drive from the Albuquerque airport was so beautiful, I kept stopping and took 125 photos in three hours.
After a tour of her lovely home, and the best lunch ever, we spread out my maps, and discussed some possibilities for my general route. I will not make any kind of itinerary that will direct my days, rather, I'll be heading in a certain direction, and mostly let the road take me where it will.There are a couple of places where I will visit or connect with family and friends, and of course, those will have to be worked out to fit into folks work schedules and availabilities.
Kath is also saving and shopping for an RV. Actually, she is the one who found, and sent me the link on RVTrader website, for the Winnebago Aspect that I am buying. Kath shared the contents of her “RV Hope Chest” with me. She has a trunk that is filled with yard sale finds, gifts from family and friends, and some things she already owned, all collected in one place, ready to go, on the day that she drives home her Class B+ or small C class motorhome. I do have some things in boxes and shopping bags, but realize now, that I need to gather all my motorhome accoutrements into one location in my apartment. It will cut down on the chaos during this packing-and-moving-out period, as well as allowing me to see what I have, and what I will still need to get.
Perhaps I also better do some work on my Amazon wish list! I was just using it as a way to keep my thoughts organized around lighter weight, and unbreakable items to take with, as I set up house in the RV, but if people want to buy gifts for my retirement, I should give them the info for what I really do need.
After dinner, we drove over to visit the beautiful library where Kath works. I applied for a library card, and became a member. This will allow me to use their e-library to access and borrow titles on my kindle. What amazing generosity!
On Tuesday, we drove up to Durango, Colorado, to the hot springs. Oh man! I had just left mountains of dirty snow behind in Manhattan, so, to sit in an outdoor hot spring pool, while looking up at the snow capped mountains in February, well, it just blew my mind! This lovely day soaked all the winter knots of tension away, and combined with the high altitude, I actually did get to feeling a little Rocky Mountain High. It's a beautiful thing.
Wednesday, we went to visit The Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. That was an item on my "Places I Need To Visit: spreadsheet, and Kath thought she could put a check in the been-there, done-that column. The last time I flew out to Santa Fe, the museum wasn't finished, so it has been on my list for a long time. The museum is smallish, but holds enough of O'Keefe's works to satisfy my longing. There were a few rooms filled with the works of her contemporaries, and artists who were influenced by her work.
While in Santa Fe, we walked the market square, and looked at all the hand-made wares around the palace of the governors. Those indigenous jewelry artists are every bit as beautiful as their work. I spoke at length with one woman, who made some amazing things from copper and bits of various colored sea shells from around the world, each chosen for their particular color. These pieces totally drew me in, and I realized that even here in the high desert, I am attracted to shells. It makes a certain kind of sense because, I grew up on an island that was at or below sea level, depending on the tides.
The next day, we drove to am RV dealer to do some test drives. There was a Navion that Kath had her eye on, but she did not drive it, because just in climbing aboard, we realized that it was waay too wiggly. She told me about some horror stories from her research, of RVers who had all their dishes broken because of their rig's excessive swaying. Adding anti-sway bars would be a really expensive job, and the dealer suggested that there was just too-much-motorhome, built onto not-enough-chassis. So instead, Kath did a test drive on a 2011 Pleasure way. And she fell in love with that make and model all over again.
When we made the plans for this trip, I thought I'd be test driving too, but I already had a deposit on The Winster, so it felt like I'd be two-timing her. It's funny how reality has a way of adjusting our dreams. Prior to this, I'd never actually bought a home or a vehicle, yet here I am doing both at once.