Visit Of Town Of Red River

Trip to see Questa, as I thought I had just passed by it on the way. Nope, I went right through the center but did not notice! From there to the town Red River. Red River is in a hiatus between summer sports season and winter sports season. Most shops are closed. Empty chair lift awaiting snow. It was so sleepy that I had difficulty spotting a restaurant on the single street that was open. But I did finally have a great lunch of BBQ pork and sausage.

I performed another oldtimers slip. I topped off Jeeps radiator with about a cup of water, but forgot to put the cap back on. I was passing through Questa when I noted my brakes were faded although I had not been down a hill, then a strange smell, then smoke, and I finally looked at the temperature gauge; pegged as so hard that it was almost bending, smoke rising from oil drips on the side of the engine.

After waiting for the temperature to drop back below the boiling point, I added the gallon of antifreeze that I had with me and 1.5 gallon of water after it. An indication that there was not a drop of water left in the engine. Fortunately I was still in a populated area. It would have been a real pain to have been 15 minutes farther down the road. I was disappointed in the NM folks, as probably 100 cars passed me but did not stop. Perhaps it would have been different if I had been deeply into a rural area.

Jeep seems to be getting used to being overheated, and took the incident in stride. I think it may have sealed an oil leak!

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Yipee! Electricity

Yesterday I was chatting with the folks, make that folk, at the visitor center, which is only open on weekends. I learned that the summer camp host left just two days ago. I also found out that the host site could be rented. It has full hookups w/ 50 amp ac. $14.00!

I jumped on that like a cat on a mouse. So now I have full hookups to combat the cold nights. The Passport America rate is half at $7.00/night.

I also learned that specific summer host is here only every other year. So on the chance there is not a standing host replacement for next year I put my name on the list.

This would be a good place to summer. Host responsibilities appear to be limited to this specific campground, which has only six sites, very light duty, five days on, two days off. I could just about do the things I would do anyways. The lady that just left is 80 years old.

Perks are a free site with hook-ups (this one), $20/day, mileage if I use my car for any business. The vast majority of host opportunities require a couple, and both are expected to work. This place is one of the very few that will accept a single.

But I suspect that they have an alternate-year host already. The guy that would know is not available right now. That is the way hosting frequently works. Once a person gets in, they have first dibs at returning the next year. So it is difficult to pick a particular place and get in. It usually requires going to a place that became available, and they may be available because too much was expected of the non-returning host.

It would be nice to live here in the Northern NM high country for the summer!

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A Few Gorge Shots

A shot of the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Red Rivers at the joining of their respective gorges.

A shot of the Rio Grande River nestled calmly in the bottom of it’s gorge – at least it looks calm from the top!

And finally (three is a few, right?) a shot of the top end of the trail to the bottom of the gorge(s). If I try the trip down, it will undoubtedly be an all day affair. I really wonder what the bottom half of the trail looks like.

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Arrival At El Aquaje Campground (BLM)

Where is El Aquaje Campground (BLM)?
Day before yesterday I drove from AR to Amarillo, TX as the half-way point in my long move back to the Western US. I stayed at Uncle Wally’s overnight. Unfortunately they were re-striping the parking lot and I had to move twice to get out of their way. It was a six hour drive without incident, mostly interstate highway. I do not like interstates, but in some directions it is entirely impractical to avoid them. Also I needed to get some miles under my feet.

Yesterday I arrived after a six and a half hour drive at the Wild Rivers Recreation area, a BLM area. I allowed Gabby Gertie to guide me, knowing that the shortest path might not be the quickest. But I enjoyed the drive, seeing more of NW NM than I would have otherwise. I came through the town of Red River which looked like a tourist-friendly place, as snow ski resort towns always appear. The nearest town of Questa actually reminds me of the border town Columbus in Southern NM, but larger, and perhaps a little more developed.

I found a site in the El Aquaje Campground, a small primitive campground that Ranger Danger advised as the best for a large rig. It has about six sites that are not very level, most being too short for Barth, but I did find the one pull through site that was suitable. I am camped on the rim of the canyon of the Red River with the canyon of the Rio Grande a short distance away, as is the confluence of the two river canyons. I may send Annie into the canyons to report back to me the way they look at the bottom. I think I am the only person camping in the entire park!

Primitive sites, no hook-ups, at $3.50 per night. The low cost helps with the propane and generator fuel that I will use. It was well below 30 degrees last night; I am not sure how long I will stay here before moving to warmer climes. I will do some exploring of the canyon views and perhaps a local town or two then move on. This place would be great in the summer at 7400 ft. Altitude.

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Arrrrgh! Weather

To Annie’s chagrin it has been raining cats and dogs!

It has been raining almost non-stop yesterday and through the night. Visibility is very poor, especially on the Ozark roads of the area, which are bad enough in the sunshine.

If the conditions improve by mid morning today, I will depart for OK. Otherwise I will wait for tomorrow’s forecasted weather improvement.

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