Where to go next?

The crew and I commit to northern New Mexico for at least a week.

I call Camping World in Albuquerque this morning and ask about a Wave 3 propane heater.  The shop guy says they will install it, but they don’t have one in stock.  They’ll order one, but it may take as long as a week to ten days before the heater comes in.  Impulsively I say, “Go ahead and order it.”  I inquire about a possible overnight stay at Camping World and he says, “No problem.  No cost because there’s no utilities.”

Now I need to figure out where we’re going to live for the next week!

I visit Desertgate and Verizon today.  Not very productive.  I guess it’s time to accept the fact that there is a vast area of the United States, namely New Mexico, that is living in the 1950s, except there are no party lines or phone booths!  And no internet, of course!  An antenna purchase may boost a one-bar signal to a three-bar signal, but if there’s no signal to begin with, well, “too bad for you!”  I am tired of dealing with this situation, so I think I’ll pout and maybe a better problem will come along.

The wind calms to a breeze so the crew and I stroll down to the lake.

There’s something about bodies of water, I have to get in!  The breeze is balmy and the water inviting.  Spike and I wade at the very edge.  Bridget is at the end of her leash on dry land.  The water is cool and feels good.  I sit on a big rock next to the lapping waves and the crew settles down beside me.  I think about a lot of things . . .  the way you do when your senses are soothed and time seems to pause.

On the way back up the hill to the campground I’m hit with a wave of sadness.

Bridget prances around, this way and that.  Spike and I, however, tag along behind her, not possessing her boundless, youthful energy.  I try not to see it, but I can’t deny it.  Spike is getting old.  Even though this new way of life brings a happy brightness to his eyes and the alertness of his younger years, his face is turning grey and he tires more quickly.  I can’t bear the thought of the horrible, inevitable day when we part.  I resolve to make sure every day is full and wonderful for all three of us!

Today being Monday, most of the campers are gone.

I guess it’s time we left here, too.  Going to new places and seeing new things is habit-forming!



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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44 Responses to Where to go next?

  1. Roger says:

    U should go to Ghost Ranch near Rihana or the COE campground nearby on the reservoir. Georgia O’Keefe did most of her best paintings there. A magical place.

  2. Steve says:

    Don’t forget the mini gathering a few of us will be doing in NM in about 3 weeks. Email me for the details.


  3. Fred Wishnie says:

    I forgot – what is the attraction to New Mexico? Reason for asking is that NM is pretty barren and the dessert is grey and dusty, and there are no people and there is no Verizon. Right next door however is Arizona which is much more interesting and populated – so there is good Verizon coverage just about anywhere.
    Food for thought

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      I’m still a campground fulltimer. Once I’m equipped and more experienced for adventurous boondocking, you will see the glories of New Mexico.

      Arizona is expensive compared to New Mexico. If Arizona would offer state parks at a lower price, I’d be there. Let me know when AZ offers a night’s stay with water and electric for four dollars with an annual pass or free without utilities.

      I don’t want to live near cities all the time.

      I’ll let other readers defend New Mexico and all it has to offer.

  4. Janet says:

    Hi Sue,Naomi and I have returned safely to Nashville. The trip to Carlsbad was fantastic and then we turned east and drove three days home. We both had tears in our eyes when we drove the last miles. Neither of us wanted the time we had on the road to end. What a wonderful trip we had and how difficult it was to reenter the real world. We drove to Indianapolis today to work here tomorrow where Naomi will do a keynote for a conference.
    Just a note–don’t know where you will be going after New Mexico–but Louisiana state parks all have internet access!
    Loved our time together!! We have been telling people about your adventure and your courage–they are impressed!
    Safe travels for you and the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      How wonderful to hear from you! Look at it this way . . . You teared-up when the trip was over because it was a fabulous trip!

      I looked at the website …. redclayandvinegar.com…. Tell Naomi that I’m almost as impressed with her degrees, her keynotes at conferences, her writing, her DVD, her resume, her many accomplishments, as I am with her country-fried steak . . . almost! Like you said, she cleans up real nice, too.

      It was a short time we spent together, but I enjoyed it immensely. Best of everything to both of you . . . . May our paths cross again!

  5. Reine says:

    Conchas Lake State Park is about 85 miles from Storrie Lake and 168 miles from Albuquerque mostly along Interstate 40 (easy drive) and it should be warm enough to hang out at till you’re ready to head to Albuquerque to get your Wave 3 installed. That would keep you in a state park for cheap camping and give you a new place to explore.

  6. Reine says:

    While you’re at Camping World, have them install a MaxxAir Vent cover over your Fantastic Fan so you can keep the vent open when it’s raining. The cheapest one (about $25 plus installation) will work fine – no matter what they tell you. The cheap one is what we have and it works fine – especially since we never run the fan on more than low anyway.

  7. JoJo says:

    HI Sue,
    As you know I live in AZ. and yes it is way to expensive to camp here. I am so disapointed at the way they have raised prices in State Parks. Most have now put in electric and some water or at least a place to get water and they have dump stations. But to have to pay $25. and more a night is sick. I hope to go to a few RV Parks so I can have full hook ups and pay $15 or 16 a night using my PA. Yes Fred this is a beautiful State and very different from South to North if you have lots of money to spend.

    Good luck Sue with the new heater.
    BTW there is a blog Mini Minerva and she is in NM in Taos at this time if you would like to go over for a read.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, JoJo,

      Yes, it is a shame AZ has priced a lot of people right out of their parks . . . and out of their state. Maybe AZ figures the desert around Quartzite and such is enough for us poor folk. LOL

      It does remind me of an old cartoon showing some fundraiser people brainstorming. One guy pipes up with, “I know! We;ll charge $100,000 and then we’ll only have to sell one ticket!”

      AZ has its share of financial woes. Because of NM’s parks, I buy gas, groceries, a radio, a camera . . . here. I also am buying a heater and paying for installation here. Chances are I’ll buy solar panels and all that goes with them . .. here. If the PTV needs a part or breaks down . . . etc. Multiply that and much more (restaurants) by all the rvers who come to NM.

  8. Joan Gagnon says:

    We started out with Verizon, and after 3 months of frustration we took our laptop and the air device into a Verizon stoore and asked them to show us what we were doing wrong. Turned out we had a defective devise, they outfitted us out with a MiFi, I had them put it into the laptop right there and everything worked just fine since.They also downloaded VZAccess for us.

  9. Bill Kelleher says:

    No people = no cell service unless near a major highway.

    Reason, you have to have people to make a profit.

    Verizon does not put up towers unless they think they will have enough customers.

    The reason I tried to explain this is that you stated that Verizon is still in the 1950’s.

    Bill Kelleher

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Funny you should mention the major highway, Bill. That’s what the Verizon guy said when I was at Brantley Lake. Move to Santa Rosa, he says, because it’s on the interstate. So I move there and nothing.

      I don’t want the government getting into any more of our personal lives. However, it’s getting to the point where internet and cell phone service are as important as highways and, (previous to internet) the regular mail . . .

      And what’s this I hear about Verizon not sharing cell towers?

  10. Bob says:

    Sue, don’t be blue. Spike has a long way to go yet.

    Our four-legged family members (like Spike and Bridget and my two, Fancy and Prissy) are cute, entertaining, comforting, and give unconditional love. Enloy them as long as you can, and let them go when it’s time. Memories and wonderful pics like yours help us to cope. It’s a fact their life spans aren’t usually as long as ours, but we can enjoy every day we have with them.

    We always adopt a new companion for the one remaining, and have wonderful memories of past friends.

    Hope you can solve your communication woes. Do you have WiFi connectivity for when you are near a free source? WiFi access is steadily growing.

    Bob (aka stude53)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bob (aka stude53),

      It’s nice of you to write about coping with the loss of a pet. Generally I don’t think about it. It sort of hit me broadside yesterday.

      Yes, I can get Wifi at restaurants and places like that.

  11. Bob Giddings says:

    When you install the Wave 3, pay particular attention to clearances above the heater. As I remember, the specs call for 2 inches of clearance to bottom and sides, and 6 inches to top. This is what the factory says, and how Camping World will install it. I don’t think 6 inches is enough. I had about a foot.

    I’m here to tell you it gets HOT above this heater. And as a former fireman I can tell you fiberglass burns easily and quickly . I’ve seen large boats completely consumed in a very few minutes. If it catches fire, you are going to have trouble getting out of a tiny trailer, and have no time to dither about dogs.

    A radiant heater doesn’t distribute heat well compared to a fan driven one, and the catalytic heaters don’t have much of an open flame, but both can start a fire if anything flammable gets close enough. I charred a cabinet door that accidentally swung around to touch the grill of my Wave 3. If I hadn’t gone back inside to get a beer – while whale watching on the California coast – that door would have burst into flames. It was that close. A small trailer presents unique challenges when it comes to clearance.

    That’s my experience with the Wave 3. The problems multiply as the trailer gets smaller.

  12. Bill Kelleher says:

    “And what’s this I hear about Verizon not sharing cell towers?”

    Have not heard that one before.

    Bill Kelleher

  13. Bill Kelleher says:

    This is the model I have over my Fantastic Fan.


    Bill Kelleher

  14. Bob Giddings says:

    I look forward to the pictures, and hope it works well for you. Be sure and check the factory clearance figures. I may have misremembered.

    Here’s a guy putting one in a Casita. He says 18 inches on top. A call to the manufacturer may be in order:


    And here: http://forums.goodsamclub.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/25021861.cfm
    By the way, I’m having trouble with Google Chrome crashing while commenting on your page and only on your page. It happens when I try to start a new paragraph. Anybody else?

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      If you still have trouble with Google Chrome crashing when commenting here, you might want to mention it again in comments under a more recent entry. Your comment didn’t show up here right away because of the link. Whenever a link is in a post, wordpress holds it for moderation. Since I couldn’t get online, it stayed in moderation-limbo.

      Thanks for the links. I’m checking them.

  15. Reine says:

    We have the Maxx Air Standard http://www.maxxair.com/standard-maxxair.html over our Fantastic Fan. Since the Casita is so small, we never run the fan higher than Low and the standard model works fine. At any given rally with about 80 plus Casitas, I think about half of the folks that have a vent cover have the Standard and others have the Fan Mate that Bill mentioned. A vent cover of some type is especially important if you plan to use the Wave 3. The instructions say to open a the top vent about an inch as well as a window a little.

  16. Jim Melvin says:

    I think I just missed you again. I was at Eagle Nest a couple of days and then was off to Coyote Creek. WOW! I really love that place, it is so beautiful. I left there Tuesday and now am at Storrie Lake.

    Just a tip on the Wave 3 heater. I also have a Wave 3 but have it with a 10′ line connected to a quick-connect to my propane. Then I can move it anywhere I want to in my rig. If you are going to the Camping World off I40 in Albuquerque there is a guy in the RV park (turn right as you pull out of Camping World) that deals only in propane. He is in a small trailer. He made up the hose for me and could probably also install the quick-connect. Camping World is not too familiar with the connections needed to hook them up. They will probably refer you to him. I would check him out before you have Camping World install it. I would highly recommend him. I will also be going to him before the Balloon Fiesta to install an external propane tank on my rig.

    Maybe one of these days I will get to meet you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Jim! I keep moving right ahead of you! So sorry, once again, that I missed you.

      I appreciate the info on installing the heater. I will check him out. Maybe we’ll bump into each other in Albuquerque.

  17. Jack says:

    Did I understand you correctly Sue. Dry camp free in state parks and 4 bucks for hook ups. What about water and a dump if a person dry camps? Jack

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jack!

      Yes, you got it right. No charge at Conchas Lake for a site with water, but no electric, as long as you have an annual permit ($225). You can use the dump station at the state park even if you don’t pay for an electric site.

      I’ve found that some state parks don’t have dump stations, such as Eagle Nest and Cimarron Canyon. Storrie Lake, Coyote Creek, and Santa Rosa have dump stations. I’m not sure about Conchas Lake, but I think it does as it looked like a full service park.

      At Conchas, if you camp right on the shore, you don’t have a water spigot, so you need to use your fresh water tank.

  18. Jim Melvin says:

    I ran into this blog that you might find interesting. It is a group of people all with Casitas. How cool.

    Check it out at http://eggrollings.blogspot.com/

  19. Hi Sue, just found your blog. We use an amplifier which boosts our Verizon signal and we had internet at Santa Rosa, although not the fastest. It has definitely helped us other places, too.

  20. Bob Giddings says:

    Well, now, it’s been a week. Daily blogging, then nothing for a week. I hope this is a sign you are having too much fun to blog, and not something more serious. Best wishes, in any case.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate your concern, Bob. I’m finally back on the internet!

      I really hate it when I can’t blog every day. It looks like I’ll be dropping out of sight for a few days to a week occasionally due to NM state parks in rural areas.

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