Six Months Later…

It’s been six months since my last post, can you believe it?  I actually did that on purpose, and I’ll get real honest and tell you why.  After two whole years of planning this full-time RVing adventure, getting on the road finally and loving it, I was fairly devastated when the truck broke down.  We were on the road for less than two months.  It sucked, and I was crushed, and I couldn’t bear to try blogging about what we were doing to keep busy in Alamogordo.  Don’t get me wrong.. New Mexico was fine and not a bad place to be stuck for six months.. but we definitely weren’t planning on that.

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Thankfully, we were able to get the truck fixed in time to make it to New England to see family before it got too cold.  But before we discuss that, let’s do a brief recap of those six months.

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The first three months, we stayed at Desert Paradise RV Park.  It’s pretty bare bones, with only a small clubhouse, bathrooms, and laundry rooms for amenities.  The big bonus to staying there, though, was that we were able to get cable internet through the local provider.  Omg, the kids were so happy to have good internet!  (Okay, I was, too.)  We also met a nice family with young kids staying in the park and Fiona and Niall spent most of their free time exploring the ‘desert’ with them (the desert was really just a big empty lot filled with car parts and tires and other weird junk).  We got to meet several other full-time families as well, when they came through the area.

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Local attractions we visited included White Sands National Monument, the New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alameda Park Zoo, Three Rivers Petroglyphs, Valley of Fires State Park, the Trinity Site, McGinn’s Pistachio Ranch, the Toy Train Depot, and Oliver Lee Memorial State Park.  All were wonderful, and we have videos of each spot on our YouTube channel.

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We got into a great habit of taking the dogs to a local dog park after dinner.  I don’t know why it took so long for us to have the idea to go after dinner to avoid the sun, but boy, was that a game changer!  There were only two main problems with staying in Alamogordo.  First was the dryness and thus the dust – our skin really suffered, and we all came down with chronic coughs, though Doug had it the worst.  The second was that after the first two months or so, it started getting really hot.  We quickly decided that we’d have to move to a higher elevation to survive the summer in New Mexico, and we chose Ruidoso.

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Our truck was still not capable of towing us, obviously, so we paid a neighbor to move the RV for us.  Ruidoso is only about an hour away from Alamogordo, but consistently 15-20 degrees cooler.  This is due mainly to its elevation – a whopping 6,920 feet, which beats out Mount Washington by a good 600 feet.  (Alamogordo itself is 4,336 feet above sea level, which is pretty funny because I’m writing this post from quite near Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard, which only makes it to 1,529 feet.)

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Anyway.  Ruidoso is a lovely little mountain town.  If you looked up “small mountain town” in the dictionary, it would have a picture of Ruidoso as the definition.  It has a population of just 8,000 people in the off season, but when the tourists arrive, the population balloons up to 25,000.  The most interesting thing about it, I think, is the abundance of deer and elk.  They are literally all over the place.  I can’t tell you how often we’d be driving down the main street downtown and traffic would stop to let deer or elk cross the road.  We also saw some wild turkeys, and the owner of the campground we stayed at (River Ranch RV Park) said that there was a mountain lion roaming nearby, eating the feral cats that lived in the campground.  Thankfully, we didn’t have any run-ins with it.

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The best thing about Ruidoso, especially after coming from Alamogordo, is the water.  Our RV park had a little creek (which the locals insist on calling a river) running behind it, and the kids LOVED playing in it.  The same river ran into town to our hands-down favorite spot, Two Rivers Park.  We spent a few hot evenings picnicking there and playing in the water, but I often took the kids during the day to just walk along the river.  It was such a refreshing change from dry, dry, dry Alamogordo.  Ruidoso has a really great dog park, as well, and we settled into a pleasant routine of taking the dogs there after dinner every other night, which gave the boys time to take turns staying home alone (alternate nights were spent playing Dungeons and Dragons, obviously).

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We did plenty of fun and exciting things in Ruidoso, too.  We visited Fox Cave, Fort Stanton, Smokey Bear Historic Park, the UFO Festival in Roswell, and the Hondo Iris Farm.  Again, all of which you can find videos for on our YouTube channel.  For Fiona’s birthday, we went to Pillow’s Funtrackers, and for Lachlann’s, Doug took him horseback riding with Grindstone Stables.  Ruidoso also has a fantastic library, and the kids really enjoyed getting to participate in the summer reading program – the reward being free tickets to the Ruidoso Pool.

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All in all, we really loved Ruidoso and would gladly go back to visit.  However, like all good things, our time there had to come to an end.  We were able to fix our truck and set off for a mad-dash across the country.  We took nine days to get from New Mexico to Salisbury, Massachusetts, making stops in Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Sullivan, MO, Marshall, IL, Wilmington, OH, Emlenton, PA, Scotrun, PA.  Man, I’m tired just writing it out!  The mad dash was not enjoyable in any real sense of the word.  Yes, we saw a few cool things (Cadillac Ranch, the Blue Whale of Catoosa), but it was exhausting and boring and because we were so tired, we ended up doing stupid things like not making sure all cabinet doors were secured before moving the slides – bet you can guess what happened there!

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So we finally made it to New England!  We’ve spent time at Salisbury and Plymouth, Massachusetts, Wells and Bar Harbor, Maine, and South Hampton, New Hampshire.  Mainly we’ve been spending time hanging out with family and friends, but we’ve been doing some touristy and educational things, too (again, check out our YouTube channel!)

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We’ve had to make several repairs to the RV, we had our first tire blowout, I finally started working on remodeling, I consolidated two YouTube channels into the one linked above (got tired of trying to manage two separate channels), and I became a teacher on Outschool!

Now that we’re on the move, I’d like to say that I’ll keep this blog up to date better.  But, well.. you know me.  The best place to keep up with our travels is our YouTube channel, followed by our Facebook page.  We also have a Patreon page and we’re trying to establish a community there so we can interact with those of you who are interested in our adventures.  If you’d like to become a Patreon member, we would sure appreciate it – we have so many hopes and goals for All Over the Map, and improving our content will rely on things like updating our equipment, going to cool locations, etc.. all of which cost!  So we are super appreciative of our supporters, and in return for your support on Patreon, you’ll get all sorts of extra goodies!

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