Cloudcroft, Shangri-la in the Sky

 

Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery. John Ruskin Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/mountains.html#Pm0Lj1cg7IvZlF7W.99

Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.
John Ruskin 

On June 28 we left the sweltering heat of Texas and made our slow trek to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

The trip took longer than it would have, had we not been pulling an over 7000 lb. camper. And it would have been cooler as well, for we rode the entire way without air conditioning. Very pioneer us, don’t you think? ; )

As the flat, dry lands of West Texas passed by at no more than 55 mph we eventually entered the Land of Enchantment (New Mexico). I must admit that I was not very enchanted. Flat, scorched land, sizzling heat  and oil well after oil well greeted our beauty-starved eyes.

Like pilgrims searching for Shangri-la we pushed our 12 passenger van ever onwards toward the promise of green mountains, tall trees and cool air. At the base of the Sacramento Mountains we rested in the cooler clime of Wal Mart as the thermometer outdoors read 104 degrees.

After summoning up our courage and saying a prayer we headed up the mountain to Cloudcroft at 8650 feet. At 30 mph our modern horse-drawn wagon lurched and pulled its cargo ever closer to our destination, and if you were impressed with our fortitude while traveling without the comfort of air conditioning (and I’m sure you were), you should be doubly impressed with the fact that we spent that two hour trip up the mountain side with the heater on doing our best to keep our only mode of transportation from overheating.

But as we climbed to heights that we had never been to before, the temperature began to drop and before we had even reached our journey’s end we were enjoying a cool 74 degrees.

So we did it! We made it to the Sugar Pines RV Park in Cloudcroft where we thanked God for His mercy and I quickly succombed to altitude sickness, vomited and went straight to bed. : )

Home sweet home for the next two months.

Home sweet home for the next two months.

 

You Might Live In A Camper If…

RV stuffed

 

RV stuffed 2

I thought that I would try my hand at a Redneck-Esque joke.

You might live in a camper if your canned goods are stored under your couch. Or … You might live in a camper if when your daughter asks you where the washcloths are you respond with “Behind the potatoes and onions of course.” 

They might not be very funny, but they are very true. One of the great challenges of six people living in a 35ft travel trailer is SPACE. Where do you put everything? And I’m not talking about frivolities. No, I’m talking about food and toilet paper and soap and sheets and pots and pans and paper and pencils and… well, you get the idea. So what do you do with all of these needed items? You start looking at every nook and cranny as a possible place of storage. Now there aren’t too many spots left in the ol’ Zinger, but I did notice that under the couch there was a bit of territory that had not yet been conquered. So I set about finding a container that would fit in that meager spot.

After searching the Dollar Store to no avail, Jim and I headed to the Lowes, not the home improvement store, but the highly over-priced grocery store, which has the privilege of being the only one in LLano. Here we found FREE cardboard boxes that were just the right size for storing canned goods and extra Windex and whatever else will fit under the couch. It’s not pretty, but it sure is practical; and that’s what matters most (in a camper at least ; ).

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The First Week

The Adventure begins.

The Adventure begins.

So here we are, all but Jim that is, he’s behind the camera. That’s the benefit of being an awesome photographer, you never have to be in the photos.

This was taken nine days ago when we picked up the Zinger and drove off to start a new life. Driving to LLano, Texas was the first time Jim had ever pulled anything so large as this and although we were all a bit tense, I must say he did a great job.

The first week of living in an RV park was a little stressful to say the least. But you would never know it by watching Jim. For at least the first four days he never quit smiling, I even caught him grinning in his sleep. I on the other hand was not as quick to embrace this new lifestyle, even though I was the one who pushed for it to begin with.

First, there was the struggle of trying to find a place for everything ( I plan to post a video tour of the inside of the camper soon). We actually made another trip to Goodwill to rid ourselves of excess weight. And I know that I am going to have to let go of a few more books. : (

Second, there was the miniature stove, and gas to boot. I know many of you cook with gas, but you probably also have a kitchen bigger than my whole ‘house’. And cooking for six people on three tiny burners, none of which line up properly with the pan, is a very awkward task. I’ve yet to use the oven.

Third, the internet went out for two days. I know what you’re thinking, “what a cry baby”. But a teenage daughter who cannot text her friends does not make for a Happy Camper.

I could go on about how hot it is or how dull it is, but lets get positive.

The RV park is lovely. It’s clean, quiet and has a great clubhouse, with private showers and an adult size stove which I have used several times now.  There is a river running through the park and there are swings and playground equipment for the children.

I must say that even with my genius for pessimism this might turn out alright after all. : )