Saturday, July 18, 2009

Into the furnace

We are at the Elks lodge in Albuquerque (map). It was right around 100° when we rolled in around 3ish yesterday afternoon. We have a view out over the city and the Rio Grande valley out our windows, as the lodge is located on a hillside, and it was a short walk to Applebees for dinner last night.

The descent out of the Santa Fe forest along the Jemez River was lovely, and we made a lunch stop at a riverside turn out. We stayed at the Jemez Falls campground until the 1pm checkout, and it was still in the low 80s there when we pulled out.

The lodge here has five or six 30-amp hookups for $10. There were five rigs here last night, and, due to the way they've arranged the pedestals, that's a tight squeeze. We selected an end space with some extra room between a light stanchion on our left and the power pedestal on the right; however the two rigs to our right, both slide-equipped models, used three spaces between the two of them. When the fifth rig showed up in the evening, he grumbled around the lot until he finally decided to squeeze in between those two rigs and an immense fiver who chose to park, umm, "outside the lines," running over that rig's power cord in the process, and then having to stretch his own cord across one of the other two rigs to reach a pedestal.

Our guide very clearly states that there is no room to extend slides at this lodge, and that the spaces are very narrow and close together. That's the price you pay for $10 hookups in Albuquerque. But three other rigs here thought that that simply did not apply to them, and in yet another case of "I got mine; you can pound sand" just blithely set up as if they were in a regular campground. Not a single person came out to offer to reposition their rig or anything else to accommodate the newcomer. On top of all that, two of the rigs did not unhook their toads, thus unnecessarily blocking off several parking spaces on a night when the lodge was serving dinner -- the RV spaces here are about 40' in total length. We counted ourselves lucky to have snagged the end space, where we were not involved in the power-cord brouhaha.

This morning, before the day gets too hot, we will get some shopping done at Wal-Mart and Camping World before heading west on I-40 to NM-117, which will take us south into El Malpais National Monument.

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