What’s Next?

 Posted by at 2:54 am  Nick's Blog
May 262013

Several readers have asked where we are going when we leave Show Low next week and what our travel plans are. While we have a general idea of what we’ll be doing, nothing is set in stone.

The only obligation we have is to be in Gillette, Wyoming for the Escapees Escapade rally the end of June, which will give us a month to get there.

We’ll probably leave here Tuesday or Wednesday and go to Albuquerque for a week or so. There are a couple of places I want to visit to do stories on while we’re in town, and we may make a day trip to Santa Fe, since we’ve driven past it on the highway but never stopped.

Then we’ll go north into Colorado and kill some time playing tourist and collecting a few stories for future issues of the Gypsy Journal. I’m not sure where all we’ll be visiting, but it will be along the Interstate 25 corridor. There are a few places around Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver that might hold a few stories. Again, nothing is set in stone as to where we’ll be staying or what we’ll be doing. Any suggestions?

Eventually we’ll make our way to Gillette for Escapade, where we will have a vendor booth and I will be presenting my Highway History And Back Road Mystery  seminar. After Escapade, our next commitment is back in Tucson for medical stuff at the VA hospital in mid-November, so we have a lot of time to play. From Gillette, we’ll be making our way west and plan to spend the rest of the summer in western Washington and Oregon.

Again, nothing is set in stone. We know we want to spend a week or maybe two in Bremerton, Washington at the Elks lodge. It makes a good base for taking the ferry across Puget Sound to Seattle for day trips and exploring that part of the Olympic Peninsula. Then we want to go up to the Escapees Evergreen COHO in Chimacum, which is the perfect base for visiting Port Townsend, one of our favorite small towns in America.

When we get bored there or they run us out of town, we’ll follow U.S. Highway 101 out to the coast and spend some time at some of the Thousand Trails parks and affiliates in Ocean City and then Long Beach.

From there we’ll make our way slowly south along the beautiful and wild Oregon coast, stopping here and there as we go. Again, no commitments, no place we have to be, just as we like it. We may stay one night in a town, or we may stay a couple of weeks. Now that’s RVing as it should be!

The other day, faithful reader Jim Hamm in Prescott, Arizona sent me a link to a neat website call My Scenic Drives that outlines road trips from Alaska to Wyoming and just about everywhere in between. I’m looking forward to checking it out and seeing what adventures it can lead us to in our travels.

Thought For The Day – Give the gift of your absence to those who don’t appreciate your presence.

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Nick Russell

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  20 Responses to “What’s Next?”

  1. As you pass through Albuquerque on your way north, visit the Balloon Museum for a story before the crowds show up. Then interview Jennifer Garcia, the coordinator of the three RV Parks for the Int’l Balloon Fiesta. Her office is at Fiesta headquarters on the corner of Alameda & Balloon Fiesta Drive. She is a native of ABQ and a balloon owner and pilot. We hosted the SKP Boomers there for many years. (Don/Sharon Del Rosario & Frank/Gloria King are replacing us this year.) Good potential story on how RVers can attend and crew the frugal way. Fiesta is the first two weeks in October. Contact me for more details if interested.

  2. May we suggest as you travel to the WA coast you go to explore Lake Roosevelt …154 miles of the Columbia River and awesome! You could really give those kayaks a workout.

    Safe journeys.

  3. Hi Nick. Mountaindale RV Resort is a great place to stay and they have Passport America Rates Monday through Thursday. Bishop’s Castle might be an interesting story.
    If you get to Mountaindale, be sure to say Hello and stop for a visit in Site #82.
    The Wolf Sanctuary in Divide, CO might interest you for a story also.
    Travel Safe!
    Thanks for your service!

  4. Eastern Wa. ever been to the Twisp and Winthrop area?

  5. Also, Grand Coulee Dam and North Cascades Hiway?

  6. If you get to Santa Fe, consider going north to Colorado via Espaniola, Abiquiu and Chama to Durango. Stop a little north of Abiquiu at Ghost Ranch for a few days of R&R. Absolutely unbelievable scenery, full but primative hookups (30 or 50 amp (can’t remember). It was the summer home of artist Georgia O’Keefe. They may even have a class or two you or Terry would be interested in taking, but you don’t have to in order to stay there. Make reservations.

    A day trip to El Rito for lunch at El Farolito is an unforgettable experience — eat with the locals. You’d love it! Then there’s the hot springs in Ojo Caliente — a little upscale but a good hidden treasure for another story.

    Happy travels. Maybe We’ll see you.


  7. Nick, when you get to Bremerton you might want to take the ferry to Whidbey Island and travel to Coupeville, my birthplace. While there you could check to see the effects of that big landslide earlier this year. They also have an old wharf and building that has a skeleton (if I remember right) of a whale suspended overhead. You can be sure I will be traveling with you every day, even if I will be physically in Virginia. Traveling down Highway 101 in Oregon in a big motorhome pulling a dingy to me is a harrowing experience, and my motorhome at that time was only 34 feet long! Drive safely!

  8. Be sure to visit the Loretto Chapel when you are in Santa Fe.

  9. NICK,
    sounds like a great trip…think about Yellowstone and the Tetons even if you just drive through……which is easily done in the MH

  10. If you want to go out to dinner while in Albuquerque, email me. Lots of great places to eat.

  11. I like Barry and Claire’s suggestions and would add eating at Horseman’s Haven at the Texaco station on the south end of Cerrillos Road or at the Plaza Cafe on the Plaza, visiting Shidoni in Tesuque,…don’t take your RV into the center of town or you’ll have an unpleasant adventure to write about.

    Eat some sopapillas with honey and at restaurants say “Christmas” when they ask you “Red or green?” Which is the New Mexico State question. I miss Santa Fe if only for the chile.

  12. It’s been over 20 years since I was in Port Townsend and I still think of it often. Would love to see it again someday.

  13. In Santa Fe we like to stay at “Santa Fe Skies” because it is easy striking distance to town or elsewhere. I think you would like “El Rancho de las Golondrinos” that is on the edge of town. It is New Mexico’s only living history museum and a fascinating place. Miss Terry would probably love landing there on a Friday when the “fiber arts” ladies are in full swing … carding, spinning, dyeing and using the VERY old loom that is still there. We meant to go for a few hours, and wound up being the last car in the parking lot! We also have great things to say about Hal Burns Truck & Equipment , probably the only top-notch diesel shop in northern NM. If you need service and can get there, they are the guys to see. Taos is a “soul spot” and the Pueblo is just awesome … Abiquiu is lovely, and the Portal has the most wonderful artisans displaying their jewelry. LOVE Santa Fe!

  14. I think http://www.byways.org is a better site for scenic byways. if you are near Colorado springs you need to check out Manitou springs it is a funky little town near there. It was at one time the witch and warlock capital of the USA. You should drive the Gold Camp Road from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek/Victor. It is a dirt road thru the mountains 1 to 2 lanes wide (blow your horn before you go around curves). It is both the most scariest and beautiful drive you can take in Colorado. When I was in the USAF and worked in Norad we would ride the road all the time. It is not a road you will go very fast on but then again you don’t want to.

  15. Angel Fire New Mexico Monte Verde RVP. Tell Marie and Lynn Hi ! From us 🙂

  16. If your timing is right, find out when the Air Force Academy graduation is in Colorado Springs. When we were there several years ago, they had a great flyover the day before graduation which is when the ceremony of the new senior class coming in is held. There must have been 25 – 30 different airplanes from WWII thru modern from all over the country. Nobody wants to know how much it costs to hold an Academy graduation. People were lined up on the shoulders of I-25 on both sides watching it.

    Full disclosure: I don’t know if this happens every year.


  17. Nick are you aware of the Oregon State Parks free camping for ALL disabled Vets, not just residents of Oregon. It is 10 days a month, 5 in and 1 day out then another 5, or 5 in one park and 5 in another. you need to contact Oregon State Parks and get a free card from them to use. it is good for 3 years then you need to renew it.
    You have to send them a copy of your DD214 and your latest Vets disabled rating letter to get the Oregon card. A lot of the state parks have full hookups and generous size sites. they get really full in the summer, reservations are recommended, especially along the coast. Give them a call and they can tell you how to apply.

  18. I think Tinkertown on the Turquoise Trail would make a great story. It’s quirky and fun. I love their motto: “We did all of this while you were watching TV.” Lots of other cool stops on the Turquoise Trail.

    I agree with the other poster about Farolitos in El Rito. Great food.

  19. You can avoid a big chunk of interstate by going north from Santa Fe and taking in the Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado near Blanca.

  20. Plan on more than one day in Santa Fe as there is lots to see there. If they still offer it, I recommend you take the tour shuttle from the Loretto Chapel in the morning. We found parts of Santa Fe we never knew existed on that short tour. Looking forward to your arrival in Chimacum. Safe travels.

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