OK, so day 3 we made it into New Mexico but chose to hang it up in Gallup, just two hours or so west of our final destination, Albuquerque. I can't say much about Gallup, other than that it has the most humongous, crowded Walmart I've ever seen (earplugs: check). It also has Red Rocks State Park, which looked really beautiful...from the freeway. And it ALSO has USA RV Park, which has mastered the fine art of billboard advertising from hundreds of miles away, so by the time you reach Gallup, you just give up and go there. It was a very well-run park, clean and well-priced, complete with an American flag on the bottom of the pool, an evening BBQ, and live country music. Well, one guy singing & playing guitar with an I-Pod backup...but he was pretty good! However, I would not recommend the fried catfish. We enjoyed our evening cocooning in this very safe spot, a decent distance from the trains, and then we marched on to Albuquerque.
I may not have mentioned "the big picture" for this trip...we really had two goals in mind:
1. Get out in the RV---no small challenge. We lived in that trailer for 19 months. Other than moving it from my folks' place to ours last summer, it hadn't been moved in almost 2 1/2 years. So there was a fair amount of inertia to overcome. But dag nabbit...the thing is paid off, and if we're gonna keep it, let's use it! Right? Right???? Right.
2. Visit the high concentration of family and friends in the Albuquerque area. Mark's parents and two of his sisters and their families. My cousins. Several long-term Air Force friends. It takes at least a week to do this well, so we planned on a week, which stretched into 8 days, but we did do it well!
I would say the top of our list was spending time with Mark's parents, who, despite some setbacks in this past year, are amazingly vibrant.
What a wonderful investment.