Holidays in a Small Space

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Stockings I found at the local thrift store for $1 each

I enjoyed the challenge of decorating a tiny space for Christmas this year. In years past it’s always been unloading box after box out of my Mom’s attic and deciding what we had room for and what would need to go back into the attic.

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Wreath made with materials found along the river

 

 

Currently, we don’t have room to store much in the camper so minimalist and low cost decorations that can be tossed or reused were this years theme. Thrift store, dollar store and nature are where all of the decorations came from.

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New Mexico & The Four Corners Region

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4 corners

We spent a night in Santa Fe, New Mexico at a little RV park right off Route 66. We went into town for dinner, and after being told by several people about the green chili burgers in New Mexico, that’s what we were on the hunt for. We enjoyed burgers and beers and walked around the city. Santa Fe is a small city with lots of character in all their Pueblo style homes and buildings, there’s also many art galleries, beautiful jewelry, and other handmade crafts in the downtown stores. The bar scene that night was hoping and the town was bustling. We enjoyed our night in the big town before setting off for more rural scenery.

After leaving Santa Fe we headed to Aztec, New Mexico, a little over 3 hours Northwest. Aztec is a great spot to bounce around the Four Corners region, we were about 45 minutes from Durango, Colorado, 45 minutes to the Arizona boarder and just over an hour from Utah. While we were in Aztec we bounced around all four states, visiting Mesa Verde National Park, Aztec National Monument, and driving around BLM land in Utah. We also celebrated Paul’s birthday while we were there which was great, we spent the day exploring the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde.

After spending a few days in Aztec we stored our camper at a local storage lot and went into the mountains of Colorado to do some backpacking. We did a beautiful 4 day hike up to an alpine lake. I may have cried after having to climb over the 100th downed tree on switchback trails at over 10,000 feet, but we pushed on and it was totally worth it. before picking up the camper we regrouped after the hike with burgers, beers, and hot showers in a cheap hotel room.

 

 

Space Saving RV Gifts

  1. Instant Pot

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    7-in-1 programmable cooker
  2. Collapsible Silicone Pot

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    Save room with this collapsible pot

     

  3. Outdoor Mat

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    Helps keep dirt and rocks outside, while giving you a homey feeling where ever you are

     

  4. Table Top Patio Heater
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    Great for chilly nights when you don’t/can’t have the campfire

     

     

  5. 4-in-1 Hand Blender
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Great Multi-functional Kitchen Tool

Arkansas to New Mexico

Arkansas —> New Mexico 876 Miles in 2 days (wow!)

There wasn’t much on our list to see in Oklahoma or in northern Texas so we decided to just continue heading west. We left Arkansas and hightailed it through Oklahoma, a state filled with ranches that make more money from the oil wells on their land than they do from the cows. We slept in a Walmart parking lot in Checotah. Checotah, Oklahoma is a small town of about 3,000 with signs all over letting you know that it is the birth place of the one and only Carrie Underwood. Sleeping in a Walmart is a right of passage to any new road traveler, and Paul was itching to check it off our list.

Walmart’s aren’t terrible to stay at, if you can find a quiet one…good luck. When you pull into a Walmart you go inside, ask if you can spend the night in the parking lot and if you can, the manager will tell you where to park. We parked on the side of the building and lucky for us it was the night of landscaping and street sweeping until 2 AM. So while Paul slept soundly, I stared at the ceiling and listened to what sounded like a street sweeper doing doughnuts in the parking lot at 40 mile per hour. There was also a lovely train that went by a few times, and did i mention the mass of stay cats chasing summer bugs all around the parking lot lights. Ahhh…Walmart parking lots, what dreams are made of. In all seriousness though, for a quick overnight when you’re tired, you can’t beat a free spot at Walmart, it’s also a good time to stock up on anything you might need.

After a sleepless night in Oklahoma I was determined to find somewhere to sleep other than a Walmart. Before leaving New Jersey I bought a membership to Harvest Host. $40 for the year and they give you a list of farms, museums, wineries, breweries and other (usually agricultural based) businesses that allow you to camp on their property for free. I looked up what we had around us and found a winery just outside of Amarillo, Texas to stay at for the night. Our night at the winery was much more peaceful than our night at Walmart.

After a night in Texas we headed out to New Mexico, following the old route 66 until we hit Santa Fe. Route 66 is unfortunately dead and gone through this stretch of highway, businesses and entire towns have been abandoned because of the interstate that replaced the famous highway back in the 80’s. No one is taking the time to stop and check out any of those old route 66 roadside attractions, the interstate has you zipping right past without even realizing it. Of course we had to stop at some of the iconic places along the way like the giant cross as you enter Texas, Cadillac Ranch, and The Big Texan Steak Ranch.

So, what did we learned after this big push to make it out west? Well, we came up with a new and very important rule that we lived by for the rest of the summer. Our new rule, no driving for more than 4 or 5 hours a day, after that we start to annoy each other and get cranky. Driving anymore than 4 or 5 hours didn’t let us see as much as we wanted to either, we felt like we were passing by too much and with the added weight of the camper we were going no where slow anyway.