Questa, New Mexico

Life on the road….

I just spent what will go down as one of the most relaxing weeks of my life. Trout fishing and hiking by day and campfire sitting by night…..and naps….plenty of naps.

I stayed at the Questa Lodge and RV Park in Questa, New Mexico. It is tucked in the mountains along the Red River where the sound of the flowing river is the only sound you hear….no highway or train noise up here. At night you lay in bed and let the river and occasional coyote call lull you to sleep. I showed up on a Thursday and Elaina, the friendly woman who runs the place, informed me that Thursday was “pot luck” night at the gazebo….I have the best luck when it comes to “pot luck”……So we had burgers and hot dogs and beans and potato salad and…..some stuff I didn’t even recognize…..but it was all GOOD. The weekend brought in a large group of campers and the campground had a movie and popcorn night. The movie was displayed on a big canvas drop cloth in the gazebo and I sat behind it near the campfire and watched. What a way to enjoy a movie…..what an AWESOME way to enjoy a week. The park was about as rustic as you can get, featuring a log cabin that was built in 1933 and available for rent, as well as some more “modern” log cabins. The campground also had 2 resident dogs who wandered around the area. One of them was a “feral dog” that would not allow anyone to come close to her. Johnathon (Elaina’s husband) told me they tried to befriend her but she just doesn’t like getting close to people…..which means she hasn’t had a bath in a while. The interesting thing was, she never left the side of her companion “Petey”. They were always seen walking through the campground together. Petey belongs to Elaina and Johnathon and seems to take it all in stride. Quite friendly and a real hot dog lover.

Questa, New Mexico is part of New Mexico’s “Enchanted Circle” which includes the ski resort towns of Red River and Taos. It is an 85 mile scenic wonderland filled with rugged mountain views, lush green valleys, (white in the winter) aspen and pine forests……and plenty of places to stop and stand in awe of it all. The photos of the green ski slopes were taken from Main Street in Red River. Imagine what this place looks like under 6-10 feet of snow. Another beautiful place in the summer…..but OOOOOHH those winters.

I met a couple of interesting people this week. Gary, who is retired and from Dallas, Texas comes to this RV park every year for a month or more to fish and relax. He taught me how to catch the trout, drove us around in his NEW Chevy diesel truck…..while listening to “Willies Roadhouse” on satellite radio (all old country hits), showed me the best place to get a great, mouth watering, cheap burger and even invited me for steaks on the grill with his “famous” potato salad. Someone who I will probably never see again but became lifelong friends with. Thanks Gary.

The other interesting fellow I met was by his definition a “gold prospector”. He was panning for gold along the river and offered some interesting insight into what may become my next “JOB”. With gold prices at over $1,000 per ounce, prospecting seems like a great way to generate income while living life in the great outdoors. Imagine being camped along a stream fishing for dinner and panning for gold……enjoying the fresh air, wildlife and tranquility …..and making money! My new friend, Brian, claims to make about $900 per month just doing it part time……he has a regular job that he goes to daily! I may have discovered a way to keep the adventure going indefinitely….or at least until the gold runs out. I hear there’s lots of gold in the streams and rivers in California and Montana and Wyoming and….everywhere!….if you know where to look…we shall see…..

My last 2 nights in New Mexico were spent at the Enchanted Trails RV park just west of Albuquerque. It is the first RV park I have been to (14 so far) where there were travel trailers older than mine. They had a collection of old trailers that were refurbished and used as rentals…..and a couple of old cars to add to the nostalgia. It was another case of RV park shock for me though…….going from quiet mountains to camped right next to I-40. While there I visited my first volcano. The “Albuquerque Volcanos” were formed more than 130,000 years ago during a series of eruptions that caused a 5 mile crack in the earth’s surface. I climbed to the top and the views of Albuquerque were breathtaking.

I am now in Arizona camped about 20 miles from the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. Sounds like perfect places for hiking! I plan to stay here through Labor Day because it’s cheap and the Wi-Fi is pretty decent. Plus I have to install the new water heater when it arrives Monday or Tuesday. Being a different design than the original, it may involve removing the sink cabinet and reworking the drawers. Looking forward to the project….and hot water again.

The Adventure Continues……

8 Responses to Questa, New Mexico

  1. Avatar Doug Unca McClung
    Doug Unca McClung says:

    Damn man…I took out the trash today,lol…”Keep On Truckin” cuz!!!

  2. Avatar Juliann Pick Reynolds
    Juliann Pick Reynolds says:

    Your exciting venture is a once in a lifetime experience. I know you are enjoying everything to the fullest by your descriptive posts and beautiful pictures.

  3. Avatar Nerissa McClung
    Nerissa McClung says:

    Hi daddy! This post made me cry because I miss you SO much and I know how happy this makes you!!!!

  4. Avatar David McClung
    David McClung says:

    Well Dennis I’m not sure how your ever going to top this trip but I have friends who make a nice living panning for gold up in Alaska

  5. Avatar Dennis McClung
    Dennis McClung says:

    I could go to Alaska…..

  6. Avatar Kim Zeigler
    Kim Zeigler says:

    I’m soooo happy for you!! Don’t stop enjoying all of this amazing stuff and giving us your stories to look forward to… And know that as your oldest not only have you taught us to work hard for what you want but you have given me hope for my future knowing that you are never to old to follow your dreams!! Love You!!!

  7. Avatar Alison Godden
    Alison Godden says:

    You are having a summer and a half. Looks awesome!