June 29, 2021

Last camp spot, same wildlife management area in Arkansas we spent the first night (but different spot) – 47 nights camping on this trip and only spent $5 total.

We made Nashville around lunch, and tried to find a spot to picnic, we had leftovers from last night… every park on map was closed or filled with homeless… finally found a spot and hit Whiskey Row

HOME!!! 8500 miles in 7 weeks. I am ready to go back…..

June 28, 2021

Free camping at McBride Canyon. We left Palo Duro and raced the dark to find a camp spot, as we set up it started raining so I had to set up the Kelty tarp too, then dinner and bed. Another cool place, but needed to head east and make miles, so we didn’t get to explore.

Texas Farm to Market road FMxxxx – long, straight and empty. That’s fine, but I didn’t get gas last night trying to beat the night and finding camp.

No stress…..

Funny thing is the road dumped us at the Slug Bug exit on I-40.

June 27, 2021 – Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Before the trip, I researched, ask friends and looked at maps, my buddy JD said stop at Palo Duro Canyon State Park if near Amarillo, Texas.

We tried all day to get a camp spot there, but could never get anyone to answer, but we still went and drove the loop…

Hiked to the big cave

One of the things I wanted to see on the trip was a wild tarantula, leaving the park, I spotted one in the road

very cool

Finally it had enough of photos and went to attack/defense mode.

June 27, 2021 – Cuervo, New Mexico

Sad day, day 45 of my trip and we said good bye to James and Elizabeth. Deb and I started east as they waited for a flight to Raleigh and to pick up their truck at my house before visiting family in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Indiana before they head back west – follow them at Flight of the Crows Wing – https://flightofthecrowswing.com/

As Deb and I headed east on I-40 I saw this ghost town, so we did a U-Turn to explore Cuervo, New Mexico. It’s got an interesting history, and at least one TV news story of a sinister side.

Just driving around

A bunch of empty houses

and cars

We ate lunch and walked around

I’ll hold it….

A 1915 Catholic Church was just finishing Sunday services, so we got to look inside.

June 26, 2021

Santa Fe, New Mexico and Canyon Road (over 100 artist galleries)

Today was supposed to be an art filled day, including stopping in Madrid on the way home, but my stomach said not today and I was left scrambling for facilities, glad I have some in my truck 24/7. I could tell this wasn’t good, so I left James and Beth to enjoy the day and started back for camp, I knew I would need to stop and had sweaty cycling cloths, so I stopped in the most run down laundry mat and “hung out”

Breaking Bad was filmed in this area and I think I found the real thing while waiting…

June 25, 2021

Prepared for a long day at Toyota in Albuquerque. Pongo started making noise at 3500 RPMs and was loud at 4000 and losing power, we tried to find the problem at camp, checked intake, vacuum leaks, etc and Beth made a guess, failing fan clutch. I called several dealerships and they were all booked, but said I could drop off and wait to see if they could get me in. Larry H. Miller opened at 7am, I was there at 6:15 and 5th in line, by 7am, the line over 20 deep… I was prepared for a long day, but their temporary waiting room was amazing, free sodas, food, newspapers and wifi… I was done and fixed before 10am. Funny story, after confirming fan clutch, the tech wanted to ride with me to confirm the lack of power, he wasn’t used to driving a Tacoma with all the bumpers etc… we only needed the parking lot to confirm it was fixed. Glad all dealerships are not “stealerships”

Cactus blooming, since I figured it was a down day, spent the day at camp and a bike ride.

June 24, 2021

The new campsite

A drive through the Gilman Tunnels

which lead to this great swimming hole and lunch spot.

Then Beth found an awesome “short cut” back to camp that passed Sandia Man Cave, so we had to explore it. The cave has an interesting history and what was found in it and by whom, as I tell my students, Google is your friend.