Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Big Lake

After much begging I finally relented and agreed to stay in Edgewood through Sunday. The church we used to attend has an annual Fathers Day car show that is quite an event. We stayed so we could see that and and it also gave us an opportunity to see a lot more old friends. Thanks again to Jason and Jeneane Weaver for the use of Weaver's RV Park.

We went to Gardunios for dinner Sunday. We needed a New Mexican food fix and they do it right. Once you have eaten New Mexican food you will never be satisfied with plain Mexican food again.

We left Monday morning and drove south to Socorro and then west toward Datil. We stopped at the VLA (Very Large Array) which is currently the largest radio telescope in the world. We have driven by there many times and had never stopped. Now we are retired so we don't have a schedule. Yeah! It was interesting and the kids seemed to enjoy it.

We continued about 15 miles west and stopped for the night at Datil Well, a BLM campground at the site of an old cattle drive. This was our first night without any hookups and we managed just fine. Nice quiet campground and only $5. They have firewood available for your use and we had a nice weenie roast followed by smores. Only drove about 150 miles.

Tuesday we continued west to Springerville where we stopped for groceries, and then up to Rainbow Campground at Big Lake. We camped here many times when I was growing up in AZ but it sure has changed. Everything is much more developed. Even without reservations we were able to get a very large pull through campsite. Even though it is a pull through, the loop is in the form of an arc. Our huge rig makes even these tough but I got it in eventually. Actually, back in sites are usually easier as long as we have room to swing the truck.

The campground is run by a private company for the forest service. Costs have certainly gone up. It is $16 per night with no hookups of any kind. We are trying to conserve water as much as possible since moving to dump and refill will be a major undertaking. Last evening we were going to take showers at the central shower facility until we found they charge $3 per person! We are going to be dirty or take sponge baths.

I need to work out a method of hauling fresh water and hauling away grey water. Our trailer can only be filled with a pressure connection so I have no way of just dumping water in. I need to rig up some kind of pump along with a large water bladder of some sort. As for hauling away grey water, I think I need to mount some kind of tank on the truck and then use a macerator to pump waste to it. Lots of things to do.

We took a hike when we got here yesterday afternoon. We went up the the fire lookout about 1 1/2 miles from the campground. The rangers there are really nervous. The fire danger is the worst in memory. Campfires are not allowed anywhere and other restrictions are in place. We will be very careful.

I set up the satellite this morning so we can check email and keep everyone posted on our comings and goings. We will limit our use since we are running off our inverter which uses battery. Until we add solar collectors for electricity we have to run the generator a couple hours a day to charge the batteries. The less of that the better considering where we are and the cost of gasoline.

More later.


  1. Yes, please be careful in our drought-ful state. (I'd almost think they would let you run your gray water on the ground to give it a drink.) From the fire lookout, could you see the Brins fire over by Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon? Right now, that't the one getting the most attention nationwide. It's very near homes and recreational areas.

    What are the temps up there? Sounds wonderful to be able to relax so thoroughly and not worry about schedules and time and work. Enjoy!

  2. Must be you had plenty of power to pull you to Big Lake! We probably had more fun there than at any other place we ever camped. Of course, we had all you kids, plus some grandkids, with us when we went there--that helped.

    Do keep listening for fire news. I hate it that our beautiful State is burning up.

  3. Good update. Keep it up.

  4. Hey, Richard, how about updating your blog header with a nice picture of your rig nestled among the pines?