Ojo Caliente — Day 1

Well, trip day has arrived. We met up with our fellow Airstreamers at 7:00 am and headed south. Took route 285 out of Denver and crossed through some beautiful southern Colorado/northern New Mexico desert country including The Great Sand Dunes National Park.

It was fun following our friends’ 16′ Bambi, pulled by a Toyota Tundra. Our F-150 struggled on some of the hills, hitting 5,000 rpm on some uphills, and 5,500 rpm on some downhills. All-in-all, though, BATmobile (short for big-ass-truck mobile) did great.

We arrived at the Ojo Caliente hot springs spa area around 5:00 pm and set up camp. This was my first experience backing Yertle into a campsite. What a hoot! Took me about 10 shots at lining things up right but I got her done, eventually, although the metal-on-metal grinding of the equalizer hitch could have awakened the dead. Learned it’s best to squirt a little oil on those moving parts.

One of the things that made this campground tricky was that, with few exceptions, the campsite water and electrical hookups were on the curb side, the wrong side, because most camper trailers have their hookups on the street side. Fortunately, I had a 30′ electrical cord that reached the 30 amp outlet.

After setting up camp and realizing that no campfires were allowed, we decided to have dinner at the resort’s restaurant. And we got lucky because we didn’t have reservations and because the food was excellent.

That night we hit the sack early, about 8:30 pm, and slept fitfully because Yertle’s beds aren’t all that comfy, and because too much water and beer had us scrambling in the dark to the nearest outhouse.


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