• brandenfugate

Road Notes: Day 134

Since we couldn’t check into our campsite until today, we ended up overnighting in the Taos Wal-Mart parking lot. This is about 15 minutes from our campsite, so we slept until the traffic woke us (surprisingly late…all that driving from yesterday really took it out of us). Once again, arriving in a new place at night can lead to a dramatic reveal the next morning. We have never been to Taos, and really didn’t know what to expect. We opened the door to the camper to grab coffee at the cafe next door, and voila…mountains. Huge, 360 degree, sprawling, evergreen-covered, snow-capped mountains. I actually stood in the WalMart parking lot to take pictures. I think we are going to like it here.

Coffee in hand, we headed to our campsite. I have to admit, we are both pretty excited about the next month, for reasons beyond the Earthship Academy. We are staying in one place for a whole month at a campsite that has water, electric, sewer, and wifi. This is the life of luxury. Being as frugal as we are, we do a lot of boondocking (free camping in the middle of nowhere with no amenities). This is great for our budget, but leads to a lot of time spent doing things like packing down all of our stuff every 5 days so that we can dump our waste water tanks and fill up our fresh water. Even when we stay at campsites (usually in state parks because they are cheaper), they don’t have sewer connections, so we face the same dilemma. Staying put will be a new experience. To be honest, we don’t even know how to hook up a sewer connection. Boondocking is fantastic because it leads to great views and time in nature. I have a feeling that the views here, even in a campsite, will be stunning. Best of both worlds.

I am also excited to have time to catch up on editing. I have a stressful amount of interviews, photos, and footage that I have to organize and form into coherent videos. Being in one place with Branden gone all day (no offense to him, but less distractions) will hopefully provide me with the time to catch up a bit.

So here is the deal with our campsite. Branden applied to Earthship on a last minute whim. It is something that he has always wanted to do, and he knew we were going to be in the Southwest starting in March. When he first proposed the idea, I did some research and found an RV park only 7 miles from the school. They had availability and was very reasonably priced, but I didn't reserve it just in case the class filled up. He was accepted (duh…he was made for this sort of thing). I called the RV park back and they were booked. The next closest place was 45 minutes away. We truly started freaking out. I harassed the local RV park enough times, and they finally told me to “call Buck.” There is a guy that has a nameless, non-advertised RV park right across the street from this other one. I called him, grabbed the last spot, and ended up paying $100 less per month than the other park. Score.

I called Buck as Branden ushered Reba (our travel trailer) into her new home. He showed us the way in and helped us get set up. He is also hilarious and I want him to be my friend. Buck is elderly and retired but full of energy. One of the founders of Casablanca Records in LA in the 70s, he worked with Kiss, Donna Summer, Parliament, The Village People, etc. When he found out we are originally from Ohio, he told me all about how he won the Akron Beacon newspaper’s 1946 freckle contest and took home a whopping $500 (I saw the picture as proof…the guy had a lot of freckles). Buck stays in the RV park across from the street. I told him I am bringing over a bottle of wine sometime and he is going to tell us his life story.

We spent the rest of the day cleaning, unpacking, and relaxing. Reba has been neglected for a while. Now she is going to get some VIP treatment.

Road Notes are timed entries—written in thirty minutes or less at the end of each day. Considerations are made for spelling/legibility but not for grammar. Deal with it.

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