Our first night in New Mexico we stayed in Carson National Forest just a little way off the highway. We enjoyed a nice fire and watched the lightning behind the distant mountains.
The next day became the day that always must happen on a trip - the day when everything goes wrong. It started when we entered Santa Fe. After driving for a very long time looking for parking, we headed out of the main area and found a parking lot that had no signs about parking for the customers of the businesses in the complex. As we were walking away, a lady started yelling at us that we can't park there. A brief exchange of shouts with Dave telling her to call the cops on us, she did. Or at least started to. We hopped back in the RV and pealed out, possibly clipping a car in the process. Off the road between Santa Fe and Albuquerque is a National Monument called Tent Rocks. We headed there, but about 5 miles off the freeway one of the rear tires blew! I don't know how, you have to loo at that picture, but it made a LOUD pop! Possibly it blew earlier and since there are 2 tires in that spot we just didn't know. Anyway, we pulled over and just as we're starting to get to work on it, this guy came walking over, half drunk and semi incoherent and he started poking his head around under the car and eventually completely took over and wouldn't let us do anything. Then a few minutes later another guy came walking over from the same location. Much more with it and friendly and he helped his friend and together they fixed our flat, though as Dave discovered before we pulled away, the bolts weren't tightened at all. After hearing a lot about the second guy's life I discovered that they were spending the day hanging out at the only bar in town, their Tree Bar. We happened to break down right in front of it. After the request for beer for their unwanted help, we offered 4 cold Rainiers, thanked them, and headed out. As we drove away we saw about 8 middle-aged guys sitting in the shade in their Tree Bar. Finally on the road again, we arrived at the entrance of Tent Rocks NM only to find out that it was closed for the day due to rain washing down burnt wood and ash from a recent fire. Sadness, strike 3. So we headed to Albuquerque. There's a chairlift that you can ride up and then mountain bike down so we decided to check that out. I decided to call ahead and found out the last ride was just short of when we could arrive. Strike 4. So we bailed on that and after getting a new tire we headed to Cervantes, a New Mexican restaurant suggested by our friend Geoff. It was delicious!!! First thing that went right. After filling up on yummy food, we headed to another recommendation of Geoff's, a store called Chile Traditions. There we learned that fresh chiles were being sold around the corner. Unfortunately they were out of mild chiles and the guy offered a taste of a fresh Medium-Hot chile. I was hesitant to try so Dave did and immediately told me I wouldn't like it. As Dave continued his conversation with the guy, I offered the chile to Mike for a taste. As we rounded the corner to the car, the guys lost it! Tears started welling in their eyes and they raided the fridge and pantry for anything to put out the flames. They were dying of heat. All I could do was laugh and drive on because they couldn't hold themselves together for a while. After much thought we ended up not leaving Albuquerque but instead stayed in their KOA. It was amazing!!! We had a pool and hot tub, electric so we had AC all night, wi-fi, $3 pancake breakfast, and amazing showers. Ritzy. All was well until I got a craving for french fries around midnight that was contagious. We wandered around for almost an hour with no luck. We finally stumbled upon a 7-11 that we though might cut the craving and were excited when approaching it because there was a crowd gathered around a side window. Could it be a late-night taco stand?!? No. It appears that this 7-11 had seen too many late-night theft or burglaries to allow people in between the hours of midnight-4am because you had to wait I'm line for this intercom to tell the employees what you wanted, they ran around the store collecting it for you, then you paid ad got your goods through a revolving glass cylinder. After getting over our shock and disappointment we headed back and had a delicious home-made quesadilla and crashed. A lot happened yesterday, or I guess a lot didn't happen yesterday.