The Drive to Santa Fe

Thursday, October 2, 2014
Cold Cloudy
Mileage 525247 km
Last night we stayed at Charlene and Mike's cozy home
Awesomeness: I could get up in my nightie and go take a shower first thing in the morning. Those two must have been up super early to take showers before us. The bed was really cosy as I thought of camping in the cold the next night.

Sadly we had to leave Charlene and Mike. We woke up shortly after six in the morning. This appears to be the time they are usually as up. Both were busy with either cleaning the house or tomato production mode. We packed up the rest of our "stuff" for our departure. Charlene and I got in a few last stories to each other about our past, etc. before they had to go to work. We said our melancholy good-byes. Charlene said we should come for Christmas next year but I do hope to see them before that. As Sisters we both said we wish we lived closer to each other.

The border we crossed at was the Noonan Crossing into North Dakota which is only a few short miles from Charlene and Mike's. We actually did not get searched which is likely the first time we haven't when we have left Saskatchewan and gone into ND. I think it is the BC plates.

We wanted to get our cell service hooked up on our iPad. We had a sim card for AT&T.

We found an office in Wiliston, ND. What a hassle!

We had Visa cards that were gift cards to purchase more time on the AT&T network. We did not have enough money on the cards. We went to the Kum &Go to purchase a Vanilla Visa debit card. Well turns out the States changed their laws to catch criminals using these cards but it totally inconveniences the common person using the cards innocently for the intended purpose.

After Ken sent in a screen shot of his license to prove who he was and his mailing address we still had to wait hours before the info could be confirmed and we could actually get hooked up. Then when Ken called back they wanted more information like a utility bill with the name and address. They require full disclosure of personal information. Ken was able to subvert this easily by allowing them to authorize the debit card as a gift card. Now we do have cell service to give us internet on the road.

We are seeing good sized good sized Mule Deer along the road. None were suicidal and jumped in front of us thank heavens. A few were pretty close to the road shoulder. We did not see any other creatures, alive at least.

Even though we are driving south it does not seem to be getting to be warmer weather. It is getting later in the day and getting colder. In fact by dark the signs on the road have something covering them. We thought it was mud. Actually it is wet snow stuck on the signs and snow on the grass, sides of the road and on some vehicles. We made it passed Gillette, WY. which was our aim for the day.

Friday, October 3, 2014
Cold Sunny
Mileage 526032 km
Last night we stayed at Rest Area at Wright, WY
Awesomeness: It was available when we were tired. Plus it had heated restrooms. Not that either of us got us got up in the night to check it out after going to bed. We also found shelter from the cold wind for Pepe.

Waking up was a bit chilly and Ken read the outside temperature at .2。C - cold, for us anyway.

Putting cold clothes on was especially refreshing. Ken braved the cold and started the van to take the chill off. There was snow outside the van on the grass and playground.

We remain in what we refer to as "the oil patch". Huge long oil trucks, long pipeline trucks and welding trucks dominate the road. You notice areas of civilization with pipelines being built and heavy equipment. Villages of "oil patch" workers are either built of mobile homes or modular built hotels. Some towns that were little bleeps on the map are now built up and thriving due to the expansion of the oil industry. We ate breakfast at a service station built likely to service the oil industry workers. The pumps were surrounded by trucks and a few school buses. Friendly oil patch workers dart in and out of the Exxon station purchasing coffee or breakfast, anxious to get to work on this sunny day.

Just before Douglas, WY we could see the Rocky Mountains or at least the foothills. In around this area I made the decision to purchase a sewing machine from Toews back in Abbotsford. I put in an offer for a price and they accepted it. Now to make arrangements for shipping. It put in a bid because we will have to pay extra for shipping. The machine has all the features I was looking for, plus some and it is brand new. I will not find one used or for a better price looking around in Denver. It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

We drove into downtown Denver. We visited the most unusual of places. We also strolled around Union Station. It appears to be decorated or have built at a time when architects added decorative details, We believe it was Art Deco style. Lots of old building all around. We just got a quick snapshot but Denver seemed wonderful. We also drove for a while out of the city center and walked around in a park. It was much warmer here than north of Denver.

Careening down the highway we saw a nondescript sign for a Rudy's Country Restaurant. It is the same chain of Rudy's Restaurants we went to in El Paso, TX. We were excited about the possibility of eating supper there. We quickly found it on Yelp and followed the map there. Being Friday night there was a big lineup but it went down fast. Ken had a "half a reggie", meaning half a regular sausage. I had a corn on the cob. Then we shared orders of baked beans, coleslaw, best of all new potatoes in about a pound of melted butter. Fattening but delicious supper.

Saturday, October 4, 2014
Cool Sunny
Mileage 526 783 km
Last night we stayed just south of Pueblo Cerreno Verde
Awesomeness: It had heated bathrooms which is a plus at night when it is cold. Lots of groomed paths to walk on and the place was nice and new.

We woke up at a much warmer spot than the morning before. We are getting farther south so warmer. We went into Trinidad, CO for breakfast. There was a Farmer's Market happening near where we ate so we strolled around there. We saw likely poblano peppers being roasted in a hand cranked, enclosed cage over a propane fired heat. That was something we had not seen before. The farmers were selling orange and white pumpkins, goat cheese, buffalo meat, it was actually quite a small market. We walked for awhile in the picturesque town after breakfast.

We did lots of driving, all the way to Santa Fe for for really stopping. Well, we did stop by some little man-made lake for a wee walk. We have to walk or we both get sore low backs. My back has been really bothering me again but this morning it feels better. Maybe because it is used to the bed in the back of the van.

We were driving along and saw a sign for Las Vegas. The mileage was shorter than for Santa Fe. We were all hyped up about going to Las Vegas for a couple of days and staying in a hotel there. Our balloon was soon burst by the fact that it was Las Vegas, NM, not Las Vegas, NV.
Oh well, were will stay in Santa Fe instead.

We parked by the court house in downtown Santa Fe close to the time when stores were starting to close. The buildings reminded us of Creel type style with overhangs and wood posts instead of Mexican portales. Most building appear to be made of adobe. We walked around downtown noticing where we ate or went into when we were here for a brief time in August of 2007. So much art so little time.

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