Posted by: quienessupa | April 27, 2009

Denver to Phoenix – 1st Family camping

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We left Denver Wednesday morning and made our way to the Santa Fe area for our 1st night of camping with the little ones. 

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It was a little chilly at night, but Maddie and Sam enjoyed helping with the tent and making S’mores. 

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The next day, we stopped at Ojo Caliente Hot Springs for some hot spring soaking.  It’s less than an hour North of Santa Fe I figure and it was a great recommendation from Charles Wernig! 

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There were 5 hot pools, and one 85 degree larger pool where our kids could hang out (quietly).  Anyway, trying out the Soda, Arsenic, Iron, and ? pools was interesting and pretty darn rejuvenating after our 1st night of camping with the kids.  You could have an epiphany at a place like that.  http://ojocalientesprings.com/ 

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Maggie Simpson or Sam Herring?

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Before we sent another camera to Heaven, I figured out how to use the panorama feature…  “La Ventana Natural Arch” in “El Malpais National Monument” was sandwiched between 2 New Mexican Indian Reservations.  The Acoma Indian Reservation on the East that we camped right next to, and the Ramah Navajo. 

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A one dog night…

Trying to beat the sun-set, we blazed around the monument area looking for a non-RV, way off the beaten path type of camping spot.  We took a long 4WD trail through sand and cow pastures to this spot.  Morgan the ever-territorial dog chased off all but the bull that approached our camp site…

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After exploring the area via foot and 4wd, we cruised thru Gallup, NM and onto the back roads of AZ in search of the next remote camp spot.  Seemed like a rough spot.  Outside the gas station in Gallup, 2 guys were duking it out over a backpack.  I can’t stand the thought of someone stealing from someone else so I ran over and got involved.  Not that smart, but it worked out and I’m pretty sure I got the backpack to the right guy.  Glad they were both tired and beat up already b/c if they wanted they coulda had their way with this white boy.  Picked up Gwen at Walmart and off we went with another story.  LOL

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The most amazing part of our drive was yet to come, and completely by accident.  We started down a dirt road to get off I-40 and found a nice camping spot in the pine’s. 

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Woke up to a ripping SSW wind that never let up all day long (20+mph HEAD WIND).  We continued South on the dirt road, 288 and it gave some pavement around Young, AZ.  It was nice to just be climbing up and down hills and taking in the scenery at slow speeds. 

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Then, we thought we’d start making time to PHX on 88 and Tortilla Flat but that turned out to be all washboard dirt and often single lane, but the best road of the drive!

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Hawks, crows, and buzzards were ridge soaring almost all the windward cliffs and the new fauna was fascinating.  Literally, everything here is made to prick/stick/spear us.

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Professional Backseat noisemaker, Samantha.

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Now we’re at the Oasis of the In-Laws, recharging for our next adventure to Ft. Worth, TX with stops in Carlsbad Caverns and a new flying site experience at the Guadalupe Mtns.  I flew a new site here in Pheonix yesterday called Shaw Butte which was ripping, and fun.  Although only 8 minutes airtime.


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