Friday, December 13th, 2013

Up the road, outside of Jemez Pueblo

 

From Rio Grande Camping and Hooping

are some campgrounds. We found one that was open and sunny, It was right by the river and had a beautiful view of high, red cliffs across the street. We stopped there and found a nice little site. Earlier, we had seen where there was suppose to be some rain/snow sometime later on Thursday and Thursday night. So, since we had a pass to go up, we decided to keep moving on. The road was up, up, up and twisty, twisty, twisty. We finally got to Bandolier. It was late and it just seemed so dark and cold.. The visitors center where the hiking and ruins are was 3 miles down into the valley. It was freezing down there with no hopes of seeing any sunshine. Sam went inside the visitors center to find out about more camping. We both agreed Bandolier was not ideal for us and decided to head for the 

 

Ohkay Casino just outside of Espanola. Some of the campgrounds along the way that we were told by the ranger would be open were, in fact closed, so really, we had no choice. The short of it is that we drove too long, it was dark by the time we rolled into the Ohkay Casino parking lot. In order to get there, we went through Los Alamos. We were both surprised when we came upon a check point. We had no idea we were going through US Lab territory. We were asked where we were going, if we had anyone with is or if we had any weapons. He told us to go ahead, but not to stop anywhere or take pictures (it was dark, afterall) until we had gotten through the area. The casino was RV friendly and it was a very quiet parking lot. The night was again windy and below freezing. Sam was kicking himself for not staying at the campground in Jemez Springs. For some reason, after I saw on the map where we were headed, I was not worried about it. He showed me the road to Taos with camping spots on the river and I just knew we were going to find something equally as good. The morning was super cold, but clear and sunny. Sam was able to procure a Starbucks Americano at the casino and we headed into Espanola.

 

We drove around and checked things out, got gas, etc. We had yelped burritos in Espanola and came up with the place everyone was raving about, Rigobertos. We couldn't find it, so we wound up at Angelina's, which we had seen on our way through town. Sam went in and got a breakfast burrito that was smothered in hot chiles, with melty cheese on top. I was able to eat mine after I scraped off the chiles. Geez... I have a pretty high tolerance for heat, so I thought, but c'mon.

 

After our foray into Espanola, we zipped up the road toward the river sites. We stopped at the visitors center in Pilar and got the lowdown. There were 7 campgrounds on or near the river. Some weren't open, some had water, showers, rv electric hookups and heated flush toilets. Some were more primitive with only pit toilets and no water. We checked out all of them and settled on Arroyo Hondo.

From Rio Grande Camping and Hooping

Of course, this place only has pit toilets, but has an excellent view of the river right from our back and side windows.

From Rio Grande Camping and Hooping

We got sun all afternoon the first day we were here and even though it was overcast yesterday, we got just enough sunshine to keep it fairly warm in here.

From Rio Grande Camping and Hooping

 

 

As an added bonus, we discovered a path just below our campsite that lead to a perfect, river view hoop deck.

From Rio Grande Camping and Hooping

The sand covering the cement is ideal for whirling and twirling in any shoes. I was tired, and almost didn't go down there, but with an IPA under my belt, I grabbed my hoops and my music and made my way down the stone staircase leading to the hoop path. So glad we did, because it was sunny and warm and sheltered from the sun. We hooped it up for the first time in 3 weeks. We didn't stop until the mountains stole our sunshine.

 

 

Yesterday, was overcast and cloudy so we pretty much just rested. Later, the sun came out and we took our hoops back down to the deck. It was a bit windier and colder than yesterday, but still pretty great. Today is beautiful out. Got it up to nearly 82 degrees in the cabin without using heat. We even have a window and a vent open. After all that cold we've endured, this is like heaven. Now I must get outside and do something.

 

 

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