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 stupid....you 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. :-)
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