Friday, October 24, 2014

10/23/14 Pie-o-My

If I'd seen this last night I might not have stayed.

Hmmm...there's supposed to be a 3 day limit on staying here...

Pie Town has seen better days.

My heart dropped when I saw the Pie-o-neer deserted.

I was cursing and waving my arms as I thought it was Weds. :-) A few minutes later, a vanload of folks & a couple other cars pulled in, parked, and flowed past me like lemmings to the door, which had magically just opened. Yay Thursday!!


The blueberries tumbling out of this one sure were tempting...I hd a slice of coconut cream pie still warm from the oven, followed by a bowl of green chile stew.  Heaven!. A few people were bitching about the prices of the pies, at $5 and change per slice. I say, get over it. The nearest grocery store is almost 90 mi away. And it's awesome pie.

I headed west to Quemado then up to Ramah. I took a 20 mi detour to Zuni but no photography is allowed so no pics. I had my heart set on staying at the Ancient Way Cafe & RV park, enjoying sunset over el Morro, and a nice dinner. I was denied on all three counts.  The park closes at 5pm, not sunset. I got to the visitor center at 5:02 and saw they were closed. So i was looking at the map to figure out where the rv park was when they came over to tell me I couldn't even sit in the parking lot. So much for that. They did tell me to check out their campground and I did. But there was only one site left and it was so sloped I would never have have been able to level. Nice price but didn't work for me.

I headed to Ancient Way just up the road and found the "Open" sign was a lie, it had closed at 5pm. So now I was in a quandary....go back & try to make the sloped site work, head to Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and camp there? Being after 5, who knew if I could get in there? I could ask but, and I know this will shock you,  no ATT service.  I finally threw up my hands in disgust and headed for Grants 40 mi away. At least there I could get groceries, dinner, and maybe even make a phone call.  I passed another rv park a few miles up the road, even turned around & went back, but there was no one around there either. So I went to Grants & had dinner at a Mexican place. It was pretty good. Then to Walmart for groceries and to see if they had a decent laptop as I am greatly looking forward to tossing this one. They didn't. This place is RV/truck central tho....I can see a dozen and I'm sure there's more. Of course one of the trucks is having a tire changed at 2am. And I thought my day was kinda shitty.  :-)  It got off to a good start, but there was too much driving and not enough payback.  But I'm learning.....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

10/22/14 Chloride & the VLA

I left Riverbend with a hankering for lunch. Instead of hitting up one of the dozens of places in TorC, I decided to do a 70 mi side trip to Chloride to the Bank Cafe, which was reputed to have awesome food. Of course when I got there, I found it was closed as the cook quit Sun. :-( I need to learn to call and see if places still exist. Actually I guess it's good I didn't as I might not have gone, and it was a worthwhile trip.

 After that I took a quick swing through the Bosque de Apache Wildlife Refuge, then hightailed up to Socorro and hung a left for the Very Large Array. I wanted to be there for sunset, and it was looking tight. I barely made it, and thankfully, unlike some other places I could name....el Morro, I'm looking at you...there wasn't a ranger shooing everyone off just cause it was 2 minutes after closing. I have to go back & get there earlier. What I SHOULD have done was boondocked nearby and seen it in the AM. But I had no cell service, and I'm uncomfortable camping without it. It's something I have to get over, and I soon got the opportunity to make a beginning of it, as I wouldn't see the ATT logo again until Ramah. I cruised west on 60, which fortunately is a pretty good road. Got to Datil, and nothing. If there's a town there, everything was closed. It was all dark & still no cell svc. I set my sights on Pie Town as I had read there was a city campground there which had the virtue of being free, and right across the road from the Pie-o-neer Cafe. I suspected I wasn't getting any pie since it was after 7, and I was right. All three buildings in town were dark. And still no ATT. I was feeling a little befuddled at this point & kept going west. I got about 3 miles and said, "this is have no guarantee the next town 25 mi away has any services or service....just stop here. It's a campground. You'll live without a phone. In an emergency you have the sat phone." So I turned around and went back to find that CG. "Campground" was an overstatement. Man, there is nothing quite like bumbling around in a dark forest on dirt tracks never knowing if they'll dead end, how the hell you'll find your way back out and what exactly constitutes a "site". I finally found a spot next to an open clearing that looked reasonable & backed into it. Once I looked around, I realized I had circled around & was on the edge o the ball field, quite near the road. I was actually ok with that. I was having a pretty unreasonable panicky reaction to being parked somewhere where I hadn't been able to see/scope out my surroundings. It was really a surprise, and I struggled with it for hours. In the morning it looked so much better that I felt like a ninny. :-)

TorC Airport

You can't see it as the camper is blocking it, but there's a gas pump too.

Gallery in Chloride NM

Old tractor in front of the Grafton Cabin

The Grafton Cabin

The reason for my visit. Lunch at the Chloride Cafe. Sadly, the cook quit Sun. The owner looked at me hopefully and asked, "Can YOU cook??" ROFL!!

Incredible old weathered wood.

Weird to see this 60's-ish writing on this old tractor.

Cool little shutters in the door windows

I kept marveling over this incredible wood.

Stove in the cabin

The fireplace looked very inviting....till I saw the three dead heads glaring down at me. They all looked PISSED! :-)

Life was simpler then...

If one stood still too long they would begin to congregate on you as well.

The guy that owns lost of the buildings tools around in this. He was quite excited when he saw me.. "We have an RV Park!! You need an RV Park??" I had to disappoint him. I had miles to go before I sleep.

Even the hinges have great detail.

This machine was the heart of the store. It was used to keep everyone's accounts...what credit they had or owed.

From the scales.

The safe. It weighed 6000 pouds and was hauled in by wagon. Unreal.

Sign says "Chloride National Forest" :-)

Things that make you go WTF??

Lonely road. Yes, I'm driving down the middle. I don't think the cows mind. Oh, wait, even the cows don't hang around here.

TCS VOR, for my aviation-oriented friends..

Fall colors in New Mexico

In the Bosque De Apache Wildlife Refuge

Sunset at the Very Large Array