Friday, January 11, 2013
DAY 4: ALBUQUERQUE, NM 2012 AND 2008 Part #1, PLUS A CORRECTION
Monday, November 20, 2012
I need to make a slight correction. I wrote in my last post that we stayed in Santa Rosa the third night, actually we didn’t. That is one of the problems with writing nearly two months later about a trip. Once we returned to the camper we had lunch and moved on to Albuquerque, NM to camp for night #3 and #4 at the EnchantedTrails Campground on the western side of Albuquerque.
The following posts are going to be a little longer than usual because there is so much to see and do in the Albuquerque area.
We have stayed at this campground twice before and have always had a good level site, clean restrooms, and the lovely ladies who run the campground are a delight. It also doesn’t hurt that their rates fall well within our shoestring budget. A 30 amp campsite, which is what we use, is listed as $30 per night, but they offer various discounts that bring it down to even lower. I believe we paid $26 per night, but I can’t swear to it.
We had drove straight through from Santa Rosa, drinking lots of water as we did. So I had to make a “mad dash” while Gary checked us in.
Once again our campsite was very close to the registration area, which has a small gift shop, a swimming pool and pool table at it. The site was level and clean, as well as well lit at night for easy maneuvering around the camper after dark. This was handy as we pulled in just before dark and it took a bit to set-up for the planned two day stay.
One of the things I love about this campground is the old cars and campers that are part of the permanent set-up. Although the owners do take at least one of the duos out at least once a year for a rally.
Located on Route 66 seeing these campers and cars of the by gone era is a delight and reminds me of my childhood when both were of the norm to see.
If you are traveling through and would like to visit this campground overnight, but do not have a camper this may be just perfect for you as they rent the campers out by the night to many a weary traveler while you stay at the Enchanted Trails.
That first night we decided to just hang around camp and then the next day go to Camping World (which is next door to the campground) to just look around and drool at all the things we might purchase for the camper once we are debt free, then over to Old Town and maybe out to the Three Sisters Volcanos at the Petroglyph National Monument We had already decided we would not go to Rinconada Canyon Petroglyphs part of the the Petroglyph National Park or the Kuana Pueblo at the Cornado State Monument because we visited both of those while in Albuquerque in 2008. Both were very interesting to visit so I will include info and photos about them in the blog posts that follow.
Day 4 dawned with us moving slowly and staying the camper until around 10:00 a.m. tidying up and just enjoying the luxury of moving slow.
When we finally headed out for the day we went straight to Campingworld to oooh and ahhh over all the neat accessories they had. I particularly liked the electric scooter that would fold up and attach to the fifth wheel while we traveled. But right now it’s not in the budget so we laughed about how cute it was and how handy it would be to have in the future, but not right now. I also joked that if I had one I’d need a little pink bicycle bell on it to warn folks I was coming.
We’d had a minor Murphy problem in the camper that was causing a spray nozzle in the camper bathroom to leak when the toilet was flushed so we looked around for a replacement nozzle, discovering it was a “parts department” part rather than a over the counter part in the store. Generally when they say you “must get it in the parts department” instead of the general plumbing department dollar signs appear.
Once told where it was located we discussed the true need for the part and what could be substituted for it. We opted to go to Wal-Mart and check for the availability of it there before purchasing it at Camping World.
We left the store without purchasing a thing—thus staying on or below our $500 extra expenditure budget and headed on toward Old Town
Old Town is a historic district in Albuquerque that is mainly an artisian area now. We spent most of a day there in November 2008 and really loved visiting the museums and shops of the area, then finished up the day eating at one of the numerous restaurants before heading back to the camper once all the Christmas lights had been turned on. This had been our plan once again.
However, in 2008 the parking was free, now the only free parking had a 2 hour limit and on the outer edge of the area near the Felipe de Neri Church the rest of the parking was a bit of a walk from the actual center of Old Town plus it cost $3-$8 to park. With the $3 parking being the furthest out, and quite frankly the less secure or well maintained lots. Despite this they were completely full as were the $5 lots. Only the $8 lots remained with a few parking vacancies and they were still a several block hike to get into Old Town proper.
As we drove slowly through the area we saw that many of the boutiques had changed strictly over to clothing rather than a large range of crafts as it had been before. Neither of us is a clothes shopper. There were also fewer restaurants. This combined with the cold north wind that was blowing quickly dulled our enthusiasm for visiting the area, that and it irks me to have to pay to shop. Which is basically what paying for parking is. We were also in the big dually truck and many of the pay parking lots were down narrow one way alleys into tight parking lots that would have been hard to negotiate without banging up the truck. We also noticed that other than the big decorated tree there were little to no Christmas decorations up.
So we drove through a couple of times looking for any shops I might want to pop out and look at while dh rotated the blocks and found none. We discussed visiting the Felipe de Neri Church again as we had in 2008, but by then I was pretty disgruntled about the unavailability of easy to navigate parking and the fees I suggested we just look at our photos from the previous trip and move on to a new activity.
Let me add at this point that the Old Town is definitely worth at least one visit if you are in the area. I just simply was not in the mood to deal with the crowds and such that day. I have included photos of the church and the Old Town area from 2008 for your pleasure and to remind me of how pretty the area really is.
From there we went to the Wal-Mart just off of I-40 in Albuquerque to purchase a few perishable groceries we were running low on and to look for the plumbing fixture we needed. We found both with ease and the nozzle there was less than $3, we were definitely glad we waited on the purchase. Over the years we have found that many a home type fixture can be used in a camper at a much cheaper price than purchasing a similar item at a camper parts store. This item happened to be an exact duplicate which allowed the replacement to be an under five minute job.
I noticed while we were there that this particular Wal-Mart has a vision center in it. Since my glasses were all cattywampas from being bumped earlier in the trip I popped in there to get a free adjustment too. The young lady fixed the problem in less than five minutes and had my glasses fitting better than this pair had ever fit before.
Then it was straight back to the camper for lunch. As we traveled there I admired the “artwork” on the overpasses and sound barriers once again as I had in 2008. While these are now common place in many a big city in 2008 they were a novelty to us and we took several photos.
A quick lunch after putting up the groceries and doing the nozzle repair then it was time to head out again. See “Part #2” for our further adventures in Albuquerque, NM.
Jan who loves visiting Albuquerque when she is away from OK