Friday, May 21, 2010

On and Off the Grid in Colorado

Well folks, it's been an "action-packed" week here on our excellent adventure, and for most of that time we've been off the grid and out of cell-phone and internet range. That said, today marks our 29-week anniversary of being on the road, and the consistently interesting experiences of people and nature keep things humming along quite smoothly and gloriously.

We had a brief visit to the charming city of Durango in order to check out this city that we've heard so much about. Durango is special----it has some of the best kayaking, mountain biking, skiing and hiking in the country, and the city seems to be steeped in the culture of the great outdoors. The Animas River flows right through downtown, and we've heard that summertime brings literal flotillas of people bobbing down the river in anything that can float. Durango has excellent cafes, restaurants and shops, and also caters to those who prefer the arts. If it wasn't so snowy in the winter, it would certainly be on our short list. Alas, it's a nice place to visit.......

Speaking of visiting Durango, one thing that drew us there was a lovely couple (Randy and Kristen) who we met oh-so-briefly at a campground in Alabama many months back. Giving us their card and inviting us to keep in touch after a thirty-minute conversation of like-minded souls, we took them up on their offer and we had a delightful lunch and walk along the river, confirming the kinship that we felt when we crossed paths so long ago. Last month, we even had lunch with Randy's sister and brother-in-law in Silver City, New Mexico, further proof that the kindness of strangers is alive and well in American society.

Leaving Durango, we made our way not thirty miles east to the San Juan National Forest and a small National Forest Service campground down a dirt road and along a gorgeous rushing Colorado river. Luckily for us, even more kind strangers crossed our paths in the persons of the campground hosts who took us under their wing and made us feel right at home in an otherwise people-free empty wilderness campground. Without electricity, water, sewer hook-ups or cellphone service, we spent two days lying in the hammock, doing some writing, talking with our hosts, and hiring them to do some needed work on the rig (he's an expert RV mechanic and she's a Jill-of-All-Trades).

Jack and Rose are salt-of-the-earth wonderful people who welcomed us warmly and advised us on all manner of things pertaining to RVS, trucks, engines and camping. They carry an encyclopedic knowledge in their heads and willingly shared it with us. We especially enjoyed the stories that they told, and we laughed with them more than we've laughed with anyone in a long, long time. (Who need Laughter Yoga, anyway!)

Who would have thought that two self-professed red-neck hillbillies and two itinerant hippie RV'ers could hit it off to the point that they begged us to stay longer and to visit them at their Arizona hideaway next fall. We owe a debt of gratitude to Jack and Rose for their kindness, skill, friendship and knowledge, and we all had great fun talking about RV'ing and camping as a mutually satisfying way of life. Here's a photo of them leaning over our Cummins Turbo Diesel that Jack says is the best engine ever made, an engine that many a trucker has salivated over when we tell them it has less than 70,000 miles on it (they've been known to last more than 1 million miles!).

Here's Mary meditating by the river.....

The view behind our rig......

Our local pond which was cold but refreshing (and startlingly green)......

The hammock......

Taking our somewhat reluctant leave of our priceless hosts and forest refuge, we headed through the touristy but attractive town of Pagosa Springs. We had to pass up the pricey hot spring resort across the river (the winds were gusting up to 50mph this afternoon), but we had a quick foot soak in some of the public springs just off of the main street in town.

Now, we've returned to northern New Mexico and have ensconced ourselves in the town of Chama, with yet another campsite overlooking a river, this time the Rio Chama (with perhaps some photos manana).

At 29 weeks, we're still looking forward to our more settled time in Santa Fe, but also recognize the blessings of this current lifestyle, one which we are hesitant to give up and will probably continue in some form or another, probably much sooner than later! (Hint, hint!)

Anyway, being back in New Mexico feels like coming home, and we're happy to report that the Land of Enchantment is still as friendly and enchanting as ever!

1 comment:

  1. It's so neat the way you have connected with various people along the way through various sources!
    Love janice