Tag Archives: Boondocking

By the time I make Albuquerque…it’ll be time to go to Sante Fe


For a place that has alot of songs about it Albuquerque is not much to shout home about. The town is a bit of a sprawl and I was unimpressed by the historic old town which was a handful of streets selling all that damn turquoise jewelry and bad clothes. However, the sunsets were pretty amazing and the full hook-up High Desert RV park we parked up at was cheap at $18 a night and backed onto desert scrub which made for some great sandy jogging. So after a minimal sampling of the town’s delights we hot the road to go and see the much more dramatic and beautiful Sante Fe.

Santa Fe

Sante Fe, nestled in the foothills of the Sangre Christie mountains seems to have everything, a stunning landscape, access to great hiking, biking and ski trails and endless sunny days. This is a city that looks like no other due to the zoning codes of 1958 that rules that all new structures are based on the pueblo style adobe structures which are essentially mud and straw. So the center of the city and the structures up into the mountains are for the most part beautiful organic, natural structures that just sit in the landscape beautifully. This is a green city with tree lined streets and a beautiful European style feel to it where people hangout having coffee, go to the museums and check out the endless art galleries lining the streets. We happened upon the Lisa Kristine Gallery with some of the most evocative photo’s I have ever seen of indigenous people from all over the world in dramatic landscapes and settings. Sante Fe still has it’s sprawl and speaking to one of the locals it seems that those that live in the zoned area boast about never ever going down to Cerrillos Road which is the pure americiana with mall after faceless mall. But having spent a week there I found it to be one of the few places in the US that I think I could live. We camped up in the pine forested mountains in Black Canyon Campground which is only 8 miles up the mountain from the plaza. It was a treat to be out of the RV parks and into the forest campgrounds where you have space to breathe, watch the light sparkle through the pine, make campfires and be a little closer to the wildlife. The campground is situated really close to the trails, in fact there is a great 1 mile loop out the back of the campground that served as a great jogging trail (if you did a few loops). The Chamisa trail which is a 5 mile round trip was a real treat too for either hiking, biking or jogging but unfortunately for us some cold weather weather came in for a few days. There is so much to do around Sante Fe, with Bandelier National Monument only an hour away if you want to see some pre-historic cliff dwellings that are some of the oldest remains found in the US today.

Ram's Head, White Hollyhock Hills

I can see why the iconic Georgia O’Keefe adopted New Mexico as her home and painted the landscapes, the bleached bones and the hearts of flowers for many years out at Ghost Ranch just north of Sante Fe. New Mexico with it’s history, the colour and shape of the land, the trees, the flowers, the light and the big starry nights do start to take a hold of you. And from the words of Georgia herself…

“It is not a country of light on things. It is a country of things in light.”

How to get there

You can fly to Albuquerque and hire a car to drive an hour north on the I-25

Where to Stay

We stayed at Black Canyon Campground however there is a bunch of camping and accommodation options to chose from from boondocking in Walmart to these campgrounds http://wow.gosantafe.com/campgrounds/

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Boondocking in Bermejillo, Durango, Mexico


The night was hot. The air was heavy and thick and the ever present Vicente Fernadez’s beautiful voice singing Estos Celos was filling the diesel scented air with his smooth notes. The vulcanizer store next door was still busy with the trucks arriving in late and needing some repairs. The whole family was out in the street with children giggling outside the trailer while the father set about fixing the truck. The truck cleaning men were still waving down the drivers enticing them to park up and have their huge semi-remolques cleaned while they stopped to rest for the night. This is when having an older trailer works – we blended into the mayhem of the place, our 24ft 5th wheel looking petite next to the medley of colourful trucks. After spending a few hours watching the street I realised that it was not mayhem out there at all. This was a small town fully geared to servicing the truckers. The following morning after not much sleep we had a wonderful Huevos a la Mexicana from one of the street stands. Having come from Patzcuaro and Zacatecas where the 7000ft+ altitude gives you hot days and cool nights we were shocked to find that the temperature never really dipped much below 34c even through the night. It was steamy, loud and smelly where just the sheer exhaustion of all the travelling allowed us to store a few hours in the sleep bank. We were not really sure where we were and it was only upon leaving the town the next morning that we found out the name of the town. It was Bermejillo about 40 kms from Torreon in Coahuila.

When you travel in Mexico looking for a place to stay for a night, the Pemex gas stations are generally a good spot. The trick is to buy your gas and ask whether it is alright to park for the night. The Pemex station outside of the towns are generally better as they tend to be large and act as truck-stops. But pick the right one make sure you know what is around you and that you are going to feel safe for the night. Other good places are Police stations or even motels or restaurants – just ask. If you park in street which we did in Los Mochis make sure the street is well lit and that you check out the neighborhood and know what kind of place you are in and don’t be surprised in the morning if you find some curious people checking out your trailer from underneath…

Never park in a deserted area as you never know what is going down in that area it may not be deserted.

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