We left Storrie Lake SP around noon and plugged the Las Vegas, NM KOA into our iPhone for directions… which was mistake # 1.
After we took exit 339 off I-25 just south of Las Vegas, the iPhone said to turn left over the highway and then left again on the frontage road, “your destination is 700 feet” Siri said. Well, the destination was actually to the right along the frontage road!?! And most of you know what it’s like trying to do a U-turn in a big rig 🙁 I had to go at least a couple miles before I could turn around. In hindsight, there was a sign for the KOA after the exit but I didn’t see it in time – darn google maps 🙁 I probably should have used our Rand McNally RVND™ 7720 GPS, but it’s just so darn complicated sometimes to plug in a destination.
And then, mistake # 2 was trusting the iPhone app for dump stations which turned us on to this KOA in the first place. I think I incorrectly stated in yesterday’s blog that it was their website that told us about the dump station, but it was an iPhone app that Stilla has on her phone that we had consulted. The app said the cost for dumping at that particular KOA was only $5. The clerk behind the counter told me it was $15!?! – darn iPhone apps and expensive KOAs 🙁 If I would have known before-hand that it was $15, I wouldn’t have stopped here because we were only 1/4 full on the grey tank and the black tank wasn’t even registering yet. We dumped before we left Colorado Springs only 5 days ago. We have a combined capacity on the tanks of 178 gallons, (100 black and 78 grey). It’s just that we knew we would be dry-camping at the Elks in Santa Fe and wanted to start off empty. At least the clerk gave us a $5 discount when I showed my military ID.
After dumping our tanks, we continued on to our next adventure of the day…
We headed south towards Santa Fe and passed a lot of smoke from a nearby forest fire on the north side of I-25. We followed the iPhone map (I know, I just don’t learn) to the Elks Lodge and took the first exit into Santa Fe, NM along Old Pecos Trail.
We found the Elks Lodge easily enough – sitting on top of a hill, but we weren’t sure how to get there.
Once again, the iPhone google maps feature didn’t show enough detail to tell us where the entrance was, and unfortunately the lodge didn’t have any signs posted. 🙁 We passed one small road that looked like it might go up the hill to the lodge but it winded through some overhanging trees and looked too narrow… then we passed a second small road but it was a sharp right turn that we couldn’t make while towing the Silverado. Then we passed a third road after we went past the lodge but it clearly went into a residential area and the iPhone map showed a lot of cul-de-sacs, I definitely didn’t want to get stuck in there. Along came a fourth road that had signs for Museum Hill, and I thought, hey – museums usually have room for RVs so let’s turn here and maybe we can unhook the Silverado and go scout out the entrance to the lodge. Well, that didn’t work out too well because the museum(s) were clearly farther away as more signs indicated. So, we were finally able to make a few left-hand turns in a residential area and got back on Old Pecos Trail. We went past the lodge again on the divided road and the two roads that looked the ‘most-likely’ to be the entrances to the lodge parking area taunted me as we drove past.
We ended up going all the way back to the highway to find a wide enough spot to unhook the Silverado and turn around again. This time, Stilla led the way back in the Silverado with her phone in hand. She turned at the first narrow entrance road that had all the trees around it and called to let me know this was it. I barely maneuvered through the trees without scratching the sides of the Coach and drove up the hill on the narrow entrance road to a large field; (let’s call it a parking area).
We picked a nice spot in the corner after our 70 mile trip for the day.
After getting set up, we walked around the lodge…
A lady peeked out the back door to tell us that the lodge was closed for the day (Sunday) and that they (a small group) had it reserved for a baby shower. So we’ll just have to wait until Monday to go inside and pay for our spot.
We downloaded the bicycles off the back of the Silverado and headed into town to check things out.
We stopped at San Miguel Church, reportedly the oldest church in the USA. (don’t forget to click on the link to learn more from Wikipedia®)
And we checked out the oldest house, the De Vargas Street House.
Then we had pizza and salad at Upper Crust Pizza, right next to the mission church.
We then drove further into town to get oriented.
We’ll stop at this church later (maybe on Monday). It’s supposed to have a really cool spiral staircase that was handmade without using any nails.
On the way back to the lodge we drove back up to Museum Hill (near the Elks Lodge). The museums were already closed for the day but we stopped at this sculpture to take a few pics…
Then we returned to the Coach and ran the generator for a while to charge the batteries while we watched some TV and took pictures of the ‘super blood moon’ eclipse…
Pretty cool pics, eh?
Gotta run now… check back to see what we did on Monday 🙂