Location: Home to KOA Bernalillo, New Mexico
Yes, we were on the road again with the travel trailer, our destination a butt-flattening and relationship-straining nine hours away. For this reason we book ended a stop in Bernalillo, NM. Sandwiched between are seven days at Navajo Lake State Park where trout fishing is said to be wonderful. Oh, yay.
A slow, musical drizzle fell for much of pre-launch Saturday night. A check of the fancy digital rain gauge showed .62. Yippee. This is a lot for the desert. Perhaps the yard will be knee high by the time we return. The deluge soaked through the sandy soil by morning so hooking up didn’t turn into a morass like I dreamed it would.
As usual, Margo got the travel trailer out through the narrow gate, with a hard right cleared the neighbor’s rock wall by inches and popped into the narrow lane. A left turn not only dodging traffic, but also turning not so tight as to drop a trailer wheel into the acequia which was flowing that morning.
I surprised Margo with the request to pull into empty parallel parking at a small park. After seven trips of Margo driving, it was time for me to take the wheel. You can rest assured I knew our route was on a nice highway without steep inclines or downhill screamers. Driving a travel trailer was harder than it looked. Don’t weave because the trailer is wider than the truck, keep rpms below 3000, scrub speed before going downhill and watch for impatient morons who seemed to lack the capacity to know it takes longer to pass truck and travel trailer.
I happily turned over the driving to Margo before we hit the raceway known as IH25. Glad I did. In Albuquerque, traffic was warned two of the three lanes were closed ahead. Amazing, cutting down a busy interstate by 2/3rds among three of the busiest exits/entrances. Got a little hairy and my “you’re a freaking idiot” voice was in demand. We put Albuquerque in our rear view mirror, but not the traffic. It followed us to Bernalillo where we would find our half way point KOA campground. Even though it is in Bernalillo, the name is KOA Albuquerque North.
This is our first time to stay at a campground where rigs are close enough to almost shake hands with neighbors from our open windows. It’s a very popular place, and we pulled in knowing we had reserved the last spot in the campground that night. Campgrounds are always more crowded on the weekends.
A young man, in a golf cart, escorted us to our pull through site and made sure we were in the correct position. I sure liked that. You could see he had a lot of experience putting rvs in place.
It’s an okay park. Each site has a small tree, a picnic table over a small piece of artificial grass, and utilities. Boundaries are railroad ties, sunk at the ends so they won’t catch tires. Management was adamant. Dogs must be taken to their two dog parks to do their business, both 1 and 2. The dog parks were not big, but with half buried tires and big concrete pipes the dogs had plenty of places to smell.
We arrived when it was too hot and the swimming pool was chock full of screaming youngsters until parents dragged them away for supper. When I heard this I planned to go swim, but by the time I got there the place was full again. The travails of a lap swimmer.
At 7pm it was like someone turned on a people hose. The park came alive with people walking with and without dogs, visiting neighbors, and sitting in lawn chairs sipping magical elixirs which made everyone happy. A barnyard of various meats was laid over flames. It smelled heavenly.
We unhitched the truck to get supper. Our plan involved a Chinese restaurant Margo found online and required following the road in front of the rv park to NM550 about a mile down the road. All agog and taking in the sights, we missed a lightly marked left turn and were suddenly stymied by a divider which kept us from turning west. We are forced the opposite. Margo whipped onto IH25 because she believed it would let us quickly make a U-turn and allow us to slide into a gas station on the southeast corner. I’m shouting, “No, no, no. You KNOW New Mexico”. Four long miles later, we reach the first overpass which lets us make that valuable U-turn. Not as bad as missing the last exit in Las Cruces on IH25. Eight miles before you can make the first U-turn.
The NM550 exit is not standard. I’ll explain in depth later. We find another gas station and bring home what must be 20 pounds of Chinese food. Two soups, two eggrolls, and two entrees. At least we will have left overs for breakfast and six meals after that.
We sup and watch the world. An official acting woman drove a cart on each road. Her head was on a swivel in a manner that told me she was looking for problems and was going to solve them quickly and competently.
We gape at the rigs. What did these people do for a living? Some of those rigs must be well into the $400,000 range and so long I wonder how they got in the spot. Our little 43′ of truck and trailer was definitely smaller, but not the smallest in the park.
I walk tomorrow’s exit route as the sun was setting. Now I know why there is usually an hour gap between rvs leaving and rvs entering. In the morning, all the roads become exit roads. Those setups that are massively long can actually cut across the feeder roads and use the next empty slot to turn about. After check in, all the roads become entrances. I like logical patterns like that.
We enjoy the last television and Wi-Fi we will see in a while and later fall asleep to a light drizzle.