October 10, 2016
Ron & Liz met me in Albuquerque on the 30th of September, and we headed for Angel Fire, New Mexico the next morning. Of the 30 RV parks in which I stayed this summer, the one in Angel Fire is the best. I am abrogating my first criterion of shade trees because this park had everything else; and, in 10 years, the trees will be tall enough to provide shade. Each site has a concrete pad (therefore level) with ample grassy personal space on either side. The roads are paved, so there is no dust. It was OK to wash BOB because of the time of year, and the Wi-Fi was good (although it may not be when the park is at full capacity). There are eight high efficiency washers and dryers, but at $5/load they were the most expensive I had encountered. The staff was extremely courteous. The view from the park at 8,500 feet is of meadows and coniferous hills, including the Angel Fire ski resort. I could have ridden my bike to town, and I would have if I'd been there alone. There are no dumpsters: trash is retrieved from each site every morning. The bathrooms and showers are luxury hotel quality. Ron said they were nicer than his home's amenities. The shower building also contained a lovely lounge which it led to an outdoor hot tub and fire pit.
It was 24 degrees at seven our first morning in Angel Fire. It was so arid and sunny that it felt considerably warmer. Ron returned from the shower wearing just a t-shirt and shorts; he was dumbfounded by the low temperature and his comfort with it. Shortly after nine, a man approached BOB, and he said hello through the open cabin door. He apologized for interrupting our breakfast. At first I thought he was looking for our trash, but he said that he had seen the dogs, and that he and his wife were contemplating buying a Westie. I took the dogs outside and I spent more than half an hour answering his questions based on my 23 years of experience with the breed. His wife joined us and I offered to let them borrow the dogs at their leisure over the next couple of days. They said they'd like that (me, too!).
Two mornings later with coffee in hand, the dogs and I visited the couple in their fifth wheel. The dogs were thrilled to have carpeting and real furniture on which to play, and the couple got a big kick out of them. I sat on the floor and learned about their 40 years of camping and RVing, living all over the US and in Germany, his upbringing on an Indian reservation, and the pros of gun ownership. The next day, two other men stopped me to ask about the dogs: they were very popular in Angel Fire.
When I left Angel Fire on the 4th of October, it was 20 degrees. I drove to Wichita, St. Louis, and Columbus in each of the ensuing days, decreasing over 7,000 feet in elevation, and gaining 50 degrees of temperature. BOB killed every bug in Kansas. BOB got a new tire in Kansas, too. I spent two nights in Steve and Karen's driveway in Columbus, then yesterday I drove the final 400+ miles to my parents' house. Our friend Sarkis was visiting from Sacramento, and we had a dinner date last night at the Dienharts' – friends who live nearby.
It was the first time in over four months that someone else had cooked dinner for me, and I had only gone out for dinner once during that time (with Kim and Kate). Irmel Dienhart opened a 1987 St. Emilion for me, and served it in a proper glass. (For reference, I drink Bota Box Malbec in a plastic vessel.) After dinner, Irmel opened a bottle of Cognac from 1909 – the year her father was born. She knew I would appreciate it. I don't remember the last time I had Cognac, but it was smooth and lovely, and it was sweet that she would share such a treasure.
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Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.