Sunday, October 26, 2014

New Mexico Awaits - Boondocking, Beer, and Bringing the Bus Home

We found our bus on craigslist. In New Mexico. 430 miles away. We called them up and discussed the features and details of the bus, and based on what we had seen locally it seemed perfect from afar. We decided to take a road trip!

We left Fort Collins on Friday evening after work. Huskies loaded, camping gear loaded, we departed. It was a long road down I-25, through Denver, through Colorado Springs, past Pueblo, until it was time to find a place to camp. Erik and I love camping, and the huskies love it even more. With our awesome Subaru Outback (1996!) we can all four comfortably sleep in the back. So when it is cold or when tent camping is not an option, we do just that. This night, it was near Raton Pass and just past Trinidad, CO, along the railroad track frontage road. We got in late, and went to sleep.

We were in no hurry the next morning, as we weren't supposed to meet the bus' owners until afternoon. In the morning light, a little ghost town up the hill from where we were camped became apparent. We could see a church and some cabins, so we decided to explore! The huskies tried to make "friends" with cows (from a distance), and when we came across "no trespassing" signs they were facing the wrong way....oops. We learned later that this is the "Cima" ghost town that was a late 1800s railroad stop and coal mining town. It peaked in the 1920s and had about 600 residents. In 1909 an explosion killed over 300 miners, and it was considered the worst man-made disaster in the U.S. at the time. And a K-rail makes a great table for making breakfast!
St Aloysius Church in Cima Ghost Town, Morley, CO
Another view of the church

Cima, CO as it was circa 1930-1945, photographer unknown. Note church in top right!
The couple we met in New Mexico were from Seattle, and they were moving back there and couldn't take the bus. After 3 hours of details and driving and insurance and mechanical info, we had a bus!!

Inside of the bus - already converted to basic living space.
We left Rowe, NM around 4pm, and made it to Taos, NM. We enjoyed a beer at the brewery and celebrated our purchase. We were actually doing this!!!

That night we "boondocked" in a ski resort parking lot after lumbering up a mountain at 20 mph. Our intent was to climb New Mexico's highest peak, Wheeler Peak, the next day, but after realizing it was going to take us a long time to get home in the bus we left the mountain for another day.

Morning coffee in the newly-acquired bus.
The bus!
Next: Home!

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