Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Albuquerque, NM to Lake Meade State Park, KS

(Meade, KS) Saturday, March 5th, we travelled 232 miles from Holbrook, AZ to Albuquerque, NM, ending the trek at the Enchanted Trails RV Park.

This RV park is basically a parking lot with full hookups, but, since we only planned a one night stay, it worked fine for us,with cost including tax and add-on for 50-amp totaling $18 with Passport America membership. The park is adjacent to a Camping World and we were in need of a replacement for our pressure regulator. Actually, Ken ended up getting he regulator cheaper at another RV supply house a little farther down the road.


One interesting feature of this RV park is that they rent out vintage campers and matching antique autos to pull them. I bet those would be fun for a weekend and certainly catch people’s attention in a campground!


I had been to Albuquerque twice and Ken once when my niece, Michelle, lived here. One thing we had missed on those trips was a visit to ‘Old Town’.


There are lots of unique little boutiques and galleries nestled in to little market courtyards just off the main streets of Old Town.

Our intent was to wander the shops of Old Town and then pick out a restaurant for dinner when we’d tired of walking. However, most of the restaurants we came across were either lunch-time cafes or featured Mexican / Southwest cuisine which (I can hardly believe I’m saying this) we’d had enough of for this trip.

We finally happened upon the High Noon Restaurant and Saloon. It turned out that once we were inside we realized we had eaten at this restaurant when we were in Albuquerque for Michelle’s wedding. That time we had done lunch here after a visit to the nearby New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, another local attraction we really enjoyed. Since we always like to try new restaurants this was sort of an ….oops!! Considering the hundreds of restaurants in Albuquerque, what’s the likelihood we walk in to one of the two or three we were at in year’s past? Oh well, it turned out fine. The good news is, that the service and the food were excellent, the bad news was the prices were significantly more than we were planning to spend.


As you can see from the presentation of Ken’s Pine Nut Crusted Pork Chop to the left, this is more of a special occasion restaurant for us than a Saturday night, “let eat out’ place. Of course, that didn’t mean we didn’t thoroughly enjoy a very nice dining experience.

The next morning we were on the road by 9 a.m. planning to try to out-run the incoming weather front bringing high winds and rain/snow.

Our original destination was Ute Park Lake, NM. However, when we arrived at the turn-off to the park, we did not have any Sprint cell phone or data coverage. At that point, we decided,, since it was still early afternoon we’d try to make it farther down the road.

It turned out that we drove one of our top five longest treks in one day, crossing 4 states, from New Mexico, through, Texas and Oklahoma and on to Liberal, KS, a total of 388 miles. Pretty good for folks that usually only do 200 miles a day!

We found a highly rated little cafe just past Liberal called the Cattlemen’s Cafe, great home cooking at really reasonable prices which helped make up for our splurge the night before. We don’t usually stop to eat with the rig but this place had a large lot so it was all good.


We also knew that the Western Star RV Ranch I’d found, just down Hwy 54 a bit, had pull thru sites and after 400 miles on the road, and plans to leave immediately the next day, we liked the idea of not having to unhook the jeep.

Ken and I would both highly recommend Highway 54 as a route if you want to get away from the monotony of the interstates. Likewise, we were very happy both with the restaurant and the overnight RV park we found in the Liberal. Again, the RV park is nothing but a gravel lot, but its new, with level sites, good hookups and easy on/off the highway for $25.

When we awoke Monday morning, there were high winds expected by mid-day followed by a few days of really ugly weather. We decided to head only 18 miles down the road and hunker down in Lake Meade State Park for a few days.

We were very happy with this decision. The folks at the park office couldn’t have been nicer. They told us to pick out whatever site we wanted since we were the only people in the whole park! They also gave us some suggestions of where we might be least impacted by the wind.


The site we chose was a pull through with 50 amp service, water and a nice view of the lake. We are paying $23.90 per night here which includes separate day-use charge for jeep, premium site charge and tax.


Sox thought is was the best place ever because it had real live grass below those leaves. After 2 months in the desert, this little lady was rolling around in absolute heaven!

With no one else around, Ken and I found it a great place to take long quiet walks with the dogs.



A lot of ducks were coming in, apparently, like us, looking for a good roosting spot to wait out the coming bad weather.

Here’s the view we had back toward the motorhome from farther down the lake.


A heron high in the trees above seemed undaunted by humans invading his territory.


By Monday evening, the winds were picking up and we went to sleep to the sound of the rain. Tuesday morning the rain continued.


I was really grateful that Ken did more than his share of dog walking duty so I didn’t have to get wet!

Ken did some vacuuming while I made a nice hot batch of Italian Sausage Soup. We could not find any evidence of a laundromat in Meade but after lunch Ken was getting stir crazy and decided to load up the wash baskets and head in to town for awhile. He went in to the local pharmacy and asked. Sure enough, there was a small coin operated laundry located behind the local tavern. While he was gone, it began to snow big fluffy flakes so I enjoyed the beautiful view outside my window, along with a hot cup of tea, while working through my list of outstanding to-do’s on my laptop.

The weather front has been less fierce but slower than originally forecast. This means we will probably stay here at Lake Meade for one more day and then follow the warmer weather Northeast on Thursday when there are lesser wind gusts forecast.

Hugs, C

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