Finally On the Road Again (Elks Lodge 408 – Las Vegas NM)

On Tuesday morning, after we pulled in the slides and raised the jacks, I remembered that our dash air-conditioner wasn’t working.  The system quit working earlier this year and only blows warm air.  I always forget about this until we’re on the road somewhere and it’s not convenient to find a place to check it out and recharge the system.

This time however, I remembered 🙂 and realized that we don’t have a pressing timeline to be anywhere, so I called my old high school buddy Mike who owns Chuck’s Auto to see if I could stop by on our way out of town and get it fixed.  Mike told me to bring it by as long as I could maneuver around all the road construction that is currently going on around his shop.

So after we dumped our tanks at the Colorado Springs Elks Lodge dump station in preparation for travel, we headed over to Chuck’s Auto on the southwest side of town.  We decided to not hook up the Silverado yet and Stilla followed along behind.

When we got close to Mikes shop, I pulled over on a side street and we both jumped into the Silverado to scout out the best route through all the road construction.  It was a good thing we did, because the construction detours required us to maneuver through neighborhood streets with low-hanging tree branches and very large dips in the intersections.  Anyway, we found the best route and made it unscathed.  Mike made quick work of recharging the system with his high-speed mobile A/C service cart from Snap-on.

The Urban Escape Vehicle getting an A/C recharge at Chuck’s Auto.

While Mike was working on the system, Stilla went over to the local German bakery (Wimberger’s) and got the fixins’ to make some sandwiches.  When she got back, she made everyone in the shop some authentic German sandwiches which was our payment to Mike for the A/C work.  It’s good to have friends 🙂 Thanks again Mike!  We’ll see you again next year when we get back to the Springs 🙂

After saying goodbye to Mike and hooking up the Silverado at a wide spot on a neighborhood street near the shop, we headed south on I-25.

We stopped at the KOA in Colorado City (~60 miles from COS) because my Dad and stepmom Elaine are spending the week there with the FCRV ‘Rolling Springs’ camping group for their annual “Retiree Rally”.


We parked the Urban Escape Vehicle at a wide spot near the entrance and walked in to say Hi and “crash” their party.  We crashed their party here last year too, I blogged about it HERE.

Dad & Elaine outside their Coach at the KOA in Colorado City for the Rolling Springs “Retiree Rally”.

Before long, fellow FCRV members (and friends) Biff & Linda came over and we had ourselves a little “Happy Hour” time before we decided to go out for dinner.

Stilla, Linda, and Biff at the Colorado City KOA.

We intended to just stop by and say Hi on our way south, but since it was already late in the day and it looked like rain down south.  We decided to see if the KOA had any dry-camping (no pun intended) spots available.  We usually don’t stay at KOA Campgrounds because they are more expensive (based on our experience) than other campgrounds.   KOA’s usually have all the nice amenities; i.e., swimming pools, playgrounds, mini-golf, etc., but of course, they charge a premium for all that.

The nice camp-hosts hooked us up with a boondocking spot right next to their multi-use building for a $20 charge.


We were able to leave the Silverado hooked up behind the Coach which was a convenient bonus.  Plus, we were right next to the “doggie-park” which Little Coach liked.


So after we moved the Coach into the KOA and parked next to the building, we all piled into Dad’s Jeep for a ride over to Obie’s Fillin’ Station located on exit 74 just off I-25.  Obie’s is a BBQ restaurant, saloon, gas station, and country store all rolled into one… good food with good atmosphere.

Obie’s Fillin’ Station as seen from the frontage road heading north.
(L to R) Dad, Elaine, Stilla, Linda, and Biff at Obie’s Fillin’ Station.
Obie’s Fillin’ Station saloon area.
Obie’s Fillin’ Station country store.

After our good meal, (Ugh! I ate too much), Dad & Elaine stopped by our Coach to show off the hats that they wore yesterday at the “Retiree Rally” hat contest.

Elaine & Dad with their “Retiree Rally” hats.

In the morning (Wednesday), we joined a lot of the FCRV camping group members in front of the multi-use facility to go on a walk which is a traditional morning event.


We walked along a pre-designated route from the campground and ended up going about 2 miles.

Dad and Stilla on the morning FCRV walk.


After our morning exercise, we all piled into Dad’s Jeep again for breakfast at Max’s Place, (ate too much again), which is another nice local eatery with huge portions.

When we got back to the KOA, we said our sad goodbye’s and ‘see-ya-laters’ and broke camp to head on south.


We made it over Raton Pass without incident this time.  You may recall we had a rock hit the windshield the last time we traveled over this pass.  Link HERE.


We checked our online resources and determined that Las Vegas, NM had an Elks Lodge with RV spots.  We tried to call ahead to confirm availability but got no answer.

When we pulled in, we found four RV spots with full hook-ups – all empty.  The lodge doors were locked, but cars started pulling into the lot for Wednesday evening Bingo and the doors were soon opened.


Stilla backed into one of the RV spots while I ground-guided.  It’s good that she practices every once-in-awhile.


And here we are (all-by-ourselves) in one of the four extremely un-level RV spots at Elks Lodge 408 in Las Vegas, NM.  The “Mother Lodge of New Mexico” according to their website.


Our view of the lodge entrance from the Coach.


We went inside the Lodge and found a nice lady that said she was a past-exalted ruler, cook, dishwasher, etc., 🙂  She directed us to the nice bartender who took our $15 donation for parking overnight.  We decided to stay for one more day and check out the town, so we paid for two nights ($30).

They have great southwestern style food here; for dinner we had taquitos, an excellent beef-filled quesadilla, and an egg/potato burrito smothered in green chile.  Yum!  But I’ve got to stop eating so much 🙂

Our second drinks were free (courtesy of the lodge for visiting members) and they had a separate room with slot machines that Stilla always enjoys.  So we left our little contribution and called it a night.


I think we’ll head on over to Santa Fe, NM after we leave here on Friday.  We don’t have to be in Lake Powell for the Alpine Coach Rally until 5 October, so we have time to do some sight-seeing until then.

Oh, and by-the-way… the dash A/C is working great so far, thanks again Mike!