The Great Winter Vancation: Part 2

Christmas Day. It’s after noon and we’ve had a hearty breakfast and a dance-off in the kitchen. Mr. Ridiculous made bacon and eggs and coffee; I made terrible bloody Marys with beet infused horseradish, because that’s all they had at the market last night. We got a dusting of snow throughout the night and I’m perfectly happy sitting in front of the fireplace for now.

Patches of blue sky are starting to appear through the clouds, even though it’s starting to drop snow again. We’re currently planning the next few days of our trip. If the weather cooperates, we expect to get in a couple of days of climbing on our way home. We’ve been sussing out potential campsites and discovering all of the lesser known national monuments and forests between here and Flagstaff. Six more days to go.

Since I last wrote, we have been to the New Mexico Space History Museum in Alamogordo, the Three Rivers Petrogylph site, Villanueva State Park, Pecos National Historic Park, Santa Fe Climbing Center, Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos, Cross of the Martyrs in downtown Santa Fe and countless other roadside stops. I will have more to write on these things later, but for now, time for festivities! Here are some photos  🙂

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Our second night of rain, at Holloman Lakes, outside of Holloman Air Force Base & White Sands National Monument

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The roughly finished “kitchen” in the Creaky Sausage Boat

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White Sands National Monument

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New Mexico Space History Museum at Alamogordo

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Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

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Villanueva State Park

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Pecos National Historic Park

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Bandelier National Monument

The Great Winter Vancation: Part 1

It’s currently Night Four and we have cell reception at camp! We are currently boondocking at Holloman Lakes, just outside of Holloman Air Force Base. There’s one other car and a tent, some lights in the distance on one side of us and a very still lake that is part of a wildlife refuge on the other. At sunset we hiked around White Sands National Monument (which is AMAZING), and tomorrow I am so excited to visit the Space History Museum. The below was written last night, while we were outside of cell range. 

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White Sands National Monument, NM

As I am writing this, we are on night three in the Creaky Sausage boat. Mr. Ridiculous is cooking pasta and we’re listing to my favorite playlist. I’m lounging on the bed with my laptop after chopping vegetables and washing a frying pan … during which I somehow managed to douse my left leg and shoes in soapy pan water. We are having quite the adventure. It isn’t at all how I pictured it, yet it is exactly what I was hoping for.

We left home Saturday afternoon to spend one night with family in Big Bear, making our final preparations and taking some time to relax. I’m going to call this Night Zero. Night one was spent in a gusty stretch of desert south of Joshua Tree and north of the 10 Freeway after a short drive and a long trip to the market to stock up on supplies. We learned that even in the van violent wind gusts make for minimal sleep, just minus the tent walls flapping.

Night two, and tonight, have been more than pleasant, unseasonably warm for Tuscon, parked up on Mount Lemmon in the Molino Basin campground (where camping is only $5 a night with your interagency pass!).

I am warm, I am comfortable; we are working out all of the kinks that come with a mobile lifestyle. I have installed hooks here and there, fashioned a door stopper that adjusts the sliding door to a desired opening size; we’ve figured out that cooking with one burner can be a challenge and that drawers must absolutely be secured. Velcro, utility cord and Command hooks are our friends. We successfully installed a strip of LED lights and tested out the solar panel.

We’ve already passed through two national parks, including a clear, moonlight drive through Joshua Tree, a sunset hike with petroglyphs and an abandoned mine in Saguaro National Park, and climbed at the hairpin on Mount Lemmon.

Even rest stops hold their own species of magic. We are here, in this place, right now — and that’s all that matters. This moment right now, this is the ideal moment, the one that is happening. Time means nothing. Even sleeping past the alarm, as we did this morning, didn’t matter. It’s okay to take time when you need it — when it serves the soul. What matters right now if how we feel — that our minds and hearts and souls are healthy.

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Saguaro National Monument West

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Goodnight from Holloman Lakes