peaks & valleys

driving off the edge of the world

Another week packed with all the things! And all the photos!!

Saturday morning after a pick-me-up from Starbucks (gotta have at least one PSL ☕ this season!) we took a quick tour of the Stafford Air & Space Museum. (Part of the Harvest Host membership agreement is that you patronize the businesses you boondock at.) The museum was pretty neat – tons of Air Force and NASA exhibits and information. From there we headed for Groom, Texas. Our RV park was not super easy to find (it’s tiny – only 4 spots – and there’s no sign, and GPS kept telling us it was across the street) but luckily Deron recognized it from a picture he’d seen. We parked on the grass, pretty much in the middle of a wind farm. It was so peaceful! (This part of Texas is ALLLL wind farms everywhere.)

The next morning we decided to check out a place the park manager had told Deron about: Palo Duro Canyon. Apparently it’s the second-largest canyon in the US (the first being, you guessed it – the Grand Canyon). In some ways it’s similar to the Grand Canyon, but it’s greener, shallower and much longer. And they let you drive down into the canyon, which is cool. Of course, we took lots of pics.

Afterwards we went to see the giant cross I’d read about on Facebook, at the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ Ministries. It’s impressive! But the other really neat thing is all the life-size statues around the campus: the twelve stations of the cross, the ten commandments, the crucifixion, the empty tomb, the last supper, etc. It was so moving to pause at each statue, read the scriptures, and reflect on all that God’s done for us.

Monday we stopped in a little town called Borger to give the dogs a break at a local dog park. There wasn’t much parking at the park, but there was an empty high school parking lot down the street, so Deron pulled in there. I stayed in the RV to make us some lunch while Deron walked the dogs to the park. All of a sudden I looked up and a bunch of cars were pulling in and parking, and a school bus pulled in and dropped off a bunch of kids. Who would have thunk that school would start at noon???? I panicked and called Deron to get his bootie back to the RV because if many more students parked in the row we were in, we’d be blocked in! Thankfully he got back in time to pull out before the lot got full. I guess it might be a good idea for me to learn how to drive the beast, at least enough to get us out of sticky situations!

We headed back into New Mexico – driving through flat, boring scenery for a long time. We stayed in a very neglected-looking RV park in Clayton. Deron spent the afternoon replacing all the brake pads on the Honda. (We’re still dealing with the unfortunate consequences of leaving the parking brake on (just one click) while the car was being towed.) Unfortunately that didn’t completely solve the issue – he’ll still need to work on the parking brake later this week. So it was overall a bleh stop; thankfully we were only there one night.

The next morning we happily checked out and went on our way to Colorado Springs (the landscape is so much prettier in Colorado), with a brief stop at a dog park in Pueblo. A dog came running up to us dragging his leash, but no obvious owner in sight – kinda weird. He kept wandering around just outside the park, where there was a car parked with a person in it, but the person was making no move to get the dog or even acknowledge it. I was starting to think we should call animal control or something, before the dog wandered out into the street. But suddenly I noticed the person in the car had somehow ended up on the ground next to the car – I could just barely see him underneath on the curb on the other side of the car. I told Deron I thought he’d fallen over or something, so we leashed up the dogs and Deron went over to check on him. Turns out it was a very elderly gentleman who had stepped out to get his dog back in the car and then lost his balance. Deron helped him up, the dog jumped into the car, and Deron asked what else he could do to help, but the man insisted he was fine and was heading over to see a doctor. They chatted a bit more, and we headed out. I just love watching my sweet husband operate in his gift of helping. He has such an easy, kind way about him and people trust him.🥰

We set up camp in Colorado Springs and the next day Deron headed to a local auto parts store and proceeded to repair the parking brake in the parking lot there. (Many RV parks (such as the one we were staying in) insist that no repairs be made in the park.) It literally took all day for him to repair most of the problem. Ugh! But at least it’s drivable for the time being. Late that afternoon we decided to drive through the Garden of the Gods Nature Center. Unbelievable! Just when you think you’ve seen all the types of cool rock formations there are, you’re stunned yet again. So beautiful! When we got back, we mapped out our next few stops – it’s getting difficult to find RV parks in Colorado that are operating through the winter and still have space. And we’re not sure how the beast will fare during really cold weather – we’ve done pretty good at insulating against the heat; hopefully that will also work in the cold? Can this thing drive in the snow? Who knows?

The next morning we went to the Manitou Cave Dwellings which were really cool! We (and the dogs) had lots of fun walking (sometimes squeezing) through the different parts of the replica homes built to resemble actual cave dwellings in Mesa Verde. Afterwards we drove up Pike’s Peak. When we got to the ranger station at the entrance, we were told the parking lot at the very top was being repaved, so we’d only be able to drive up 16 of the 19 miles. We decided we might as well go anyhow, since who knows when we’ll be back this way? And I’m so glad we did because oh my gosh, the drive is so so beautiful!! The trees were starting to change color, which just added to the beauty. The road is pretty crazy – sometimes it looks like you’re headed right off into the sky. And the view from the top – wow!!

That night we decided to splurge and go to a restaurant owned by Brother Luck, who was a contestant on two different seasons of Top Chef. We both decided to do the four-course tasting menu; we ordered different dishes so that we could try as many things as possible. Everything was amazing! Our waiter was super personable and knowledgeable, and took the time to describe all the ingredients and notes on the palate about every dish – we enjoyed chatting with him so much! After dinner he thanked us for being such great foodie customers 😊.

Friday (our last day in Colorado Springs) we found out that the new leveling system we’re going to have installed is arriving much sooner than anticipated, so we decided to head down to Arizona in a couple of weeks to get it installed rather than wait until November as originally planned. Then we’ll head over to Newport Beach to visit Deron’s niece, up to San Carlos to visit his sister, and on to Portland to visit Tori. Then we’ll head back to Arizona in time for Thanksgiving and then December in San Diego. Hammering out that schedule, finding parks to stay in at the right places, and making all those reservations is incredibly time-consuming – so that’s what we did most of that day, other than taking advantage of “civilization” one last time with trips to Trader Joe’s, Sprouts and Costco.

Saturday we checked out of the RV park, parked the coach at Walmart and drove the Honda to meet Danny, Lori and Jet Stuckey at Pub Dog Restaurant. While Jet played with the dogs, the adults had fun catching up and eating some pretty yummy food. It was so nice to see them! Back at Walmart we gave the Stuckeys a quick tour of the beast, and then headed up to our next stop – Loveland – through a crazy gusty wind gale. No worries, we made it safe and sound, and will be here the next six days, checking out Rocky Mountain National Park, Benson Sculpture Garden, Carter Lake and more.

Thanks for following our #nomadlife!

random observations

When you pull into a gas station, you better know you have room to pull back out again. Or else you’ll have to unhook the Honda right then and there (which you can only do if it’s lined up straight behind the RV) and pull everybody out separately. While all other customers wait for you. Because backing up with the Honda attached is NOT an option.

Cold temps are a serious matter – apparently heated water hoses are a thing??

praise & prayer

The more we learn, the more we realize we have a lot to learn! But God is so gracious to protect us through it all. We need His wisdom as we make decisions for the future!

As much as we enjoy this season of being together, we feel so incredibly blessed to be able to meet up with friends and family in the midst of this journey! Please reach out if you’re near where we are – we’d love to see you 😍

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: