Time to Go Home

We spent Wednesday morning at Coronado State Monument, a lovely little park with the most amazing artifacts. We've been to so many sites--Canyon de Chelly, Mesa Verde, Bandelier, Montezuma, et al--and have never seen what this little park has: the finest kiva murals in the world. Amazing pieces of art and well preserved and displayed. (No photography allowed.)

Plus, the setting--along the Rio Grande--was just lovely. We had a nice time walking the trails. Well, the humans did. The dog wasn't pleased about cactus and rocks, as per usual.

We then embarked on an important task to finish: hiding a "geocoin" in a cache near or inside Petroglyph National Monument. A gal we met geocaching last January gave us this coin, whose mission is to travel to all the national parks in the U.S. We have been photographing the coin at all the national parks we've visited: Big Bend, Hot Springs, Great Sand Dunes and it was time to plant it for someone else to find and carry to a new spot. We had wanted to leave it in Colorado, but the poor AT&T reception made us unable to use the GPS to locate a good spot. So, it was New Mexico for the coin.

We returned to Petroglyph, since we knew where that was and it was sort of a "park" (we are hoping "national monuments" count in the game). We photographed the coin in the park

then we had to drive to another end of the park to find the cache where we could leave the coin. I had to drop Lisa off (no safe parking) and find an unobtrusive place to park in a not-very-nearby neighborhood covered in "Report Suspect Persons" signs and patrolled by the local gendarmes. I don't know which was more challenging--having Lisa find the cache in the lava field or finding a place to wait for her. It all turned out, though. The pressure is off. Oh, wait. Lisa has now picked up another travel coin from our stop tonight in Arizona. Now we'll have to take it around and find it a new home....

We ended up checking into our tried-and-true RV park on I-40 early in the afternoon, thinking we'd catch up on some TV via the Internet. Drats--no 3G. Turned in early so we could be up and out of the park before 7AM to be at our oil change appointment, bright and early and first in line.

Suffice to say, after 6 hours and 10 minutes, we weren't happy campers. I think my biggest disappointment is that we thought we had finally found a competent dealer, albeit one 1000 miles from home, that we could rely on since we had had such great service from them last fall. But this time, in this new location, it was just a series of lousy customer service moves. The manager did call me later that day, after I had made my disappointment known to the assistant manager before leaving.

A very disappointing day, and one that shows what happens when you start letting thoughts of home creep into your trip. It. Is. Time. To. Go Home....NOW. So, we finally hit the road in early afternoon, skipping any tourist sites along the way (putting Acoma back on the list along with Catwalks) and skipping our fun idea of going US 60 through Pie Town. It was just too late in the day to attempt that because there were just too many long stretches of nothing in case we needed to stop.

So, we took boring old I-40 and made it to Meteor Crater Park outside of Winslow. We're here with about 25 El Monte rental RVs full of Finns. Yes, folks from Finland. Very interesting group.

We expect tomorrow to be a big push day--perhaps to Bakersfield--and then Saturday cruise on home. Next post will be the wrap-up post from home.

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