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Our 7 days in the camper (FINALLY!)

 

Our AR Camper journey started exactly 4 years ago. Man, what a ride it has been. Crazy truck breakdowns, allowing Siri and the GPS to take us down the wrong path, falling out of tow trucks and falling out of the back door of the camper. Just a few of the memorable times Michelle, the dogs, and I have had. No boring trips!

This past week, we were finally able to take a real trip! 7 days with everything being fully operational in the camper. On the few trips we took prior to completing the camper restoration, we endured the ordeal without a working refrigerator, plumbing/potty, and made do with a limited supply of 12VDC power. This time, we had it all, baby! Woohoo!
Plus the truck now has a 12,000# rated winch on front, in case we get into a pickle.
Other than running out of gas in the middle of nowhere, the week went off without a hitch. We did have one crazy experience which is almost laughable, now. Looking for a gas station in northern NM proved to be quite a challenge. After spending 3 days at the lower Lagunitas campground. we arrived back at Tres Piedras, NM, only to discover no gas station. In addition, our intended route to head west towards Hopewell Lake was closed due to road construction. No sweat. We’ll just head to Navajo Lake State park, instead, by way of Antonito, CO. Guess what? Gas station out of business. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, we did all we could do. Let’s  head west and hope we can make it to Chama, NM. We climbed to the top of some pass in Colorado heading towards Chama. I swear, I didn’t think we’d ever get to the top. I’m the meantime I’m sweating bullets watching the gas gauge needle bounce off the E, not unlike a cartoon. We reach the summit and the truck says, see ya. I’m done, with one or two last lurches and chugs. And that was that. The incredible thing was that we got to the top before running out of gas. Believe it or not, we were able to coast all the way to the town of Chama. It had to have been 5? Miles. Talk about sweaty palms. All the while , Michelle was blowing on the windshield for that extra push. We coasted to a wide spot in the road, and I started walking to find a gas station. I won’t bore you with the details, but with the help of some really nice people, we got fueled up and were once again tearing up the highway in our 44 year old beast.

Also new to the camper was the addition of a 160W solar panel and 2 deep cycle batteries. We had more than enough power to run out furnace, lights, water pump, stereo, etc. made a believer out of us. Between this and the awesome Dometic refrigerator, we were set for the week.

For some specific highlights of our fun ride, please take a peek at the pictures below!
Happy trails, y’all!

Tony, Michelle, and the magnificent 7 travelin’ terriers

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Good morning, beautiful Lagunitas! 10,500 feet elevation. It’s a painfully slow and rough 28 miles or so of winding dirt road to get here. The plus side is that most people look for an easier place to get to. We pretty much had the mountain to ourselves. Stunning beauty.
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One of the two small Lagunitas lakes. I tried to catch some fish, but they just laughed at me as they jumped out of the water all around my line. In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t have to clean fish.
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There must be 20+ varieties of gorgeous wildflowers. These asters are everywhere. Beautiful purple, red, yellow, orange, blue, and white flowers mixed in the lush greenery. It is paradise.
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Their best days are over, but still so pretty.
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Another view of the lake with the laughing trout.
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Yet another. As they say, the quiet is deafening. So serene. If you can’t decompress here…
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One morning, we were visited by an amazingly beautiful red fox with a white tail. He was gone before I could take a picture, but what a thrill to see.
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About 1/2 the pack. They had a good time. They always have a good time.
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I’m just a sucker for a winding mountain road.
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There is an upper campground, and a lower. The upper requires a steep hike down and back if you want to visit either lake. There is a toilet sort of, at the upper CG. It was, shall I say, not for the faint of heart. Thankfully, we have a fully functional and CLEAN bathroom in the camper. There is a much nicer vault toilet at the lower CG. Along with picnic tables and rock fire rings. No trash service or drinking water. But it’s also a no-fee campground. Such a deal.
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Just another example of the beauty. The pictures can’t come close to the real thing. Lots of AHH’s and OOH’s at this place.
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When you’re a princess, you don’t have to waste  your own energy. The servants will transport you.
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Hanging out with my bud, Malcolm. This was his first, ever, camping trip. He thinks it’s OK. Especially the part with bacon.
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“We don’t know where you guys are going to sleep, but we get dibs on this bed”
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The Continental Divide Trail runs through the Lagunitas campground. You really are on top of the world at this place!
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44 years old, but you’d never know it when driving down the road. The old truck is so capable with the massive V8. Just walks up the mountain without breaking a sweat. I think it was having as much fun as we were.
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We spent one night at Navajo Lake State Park. Beautiful facilities. Gorgeous lake. LOTS of people. It was a slice of heaven, folks, but not our cup of tea.
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Last stop was at the gorgeous Rio de las Vacas campground in the Jemez mountains, just east of Cuba, NM. The creek ran by our campground. OK, FISH! NOW YOU ARE MINE! But they laughed at me and I didn’t have to clean them. Worked out for the best.
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What can I say? I’m a sucker for wildflowers.

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