October 23 thru October 30
Life at the Ranch
We left Albuquerque and headed to southeastern New Mexico to spend some time at THE RANCH. The ranch is an RV cooperative where people hold long term leases on their sites. If you are a member of Escapees you can stay there at really reasonable rates. We did. It was a bit overwhelming at first because you are out in the middle of a cactus pasture in a free range state. To keep the cattle and other livestock out of the 15 acre RV park, you have to go over a cattle guard to enter the property. The rest of the property is surrounded by hot wire so watch out where you are walking the dog or you could get zapped! Not only was that overwhelming, but when we arrived, even before we got out of the motor home, 10 people converged in front of Esperanza. One went to the flag pole and began ringing a bell. G and I looked at each other with large question marks in our eyes. We exited the RV and were immediately swept up into a series of hugs. You see we had arrived just prior to happy hour and there were a lot of people on hand to give us our welcoming hugs (it’s an Escapees thing). Anyway, we finally got to our site and then hurried over for happy hour with the rest of the residents. They even sing “Happy Trails” to those who are leaving. I swear I have never met a more social group of RVers. You could not walk around the park without someone welcoming you. The people who lease the lots have put the cutest little buildings on them. One of the ladies showed us hers—she had an office and sewing center room; her husband had a miniature man cave with bar. It was all in a 10 foot by 8 foot building.
The Ranch is located 30 minutes from Carlsbad, NM, 30 minutes from Roswell, NM, and 10 minutes from Artesia. We went to church in Artesia and had our date night at the Italian restaurant there. Of course, we had to go to Roswell as G is a firm believer in alien forces. As you can see from the picture, he made a new friend there.
Best of all was Carlsbad Caverns. We were able to go on a hike with a ranger to one of the lower caverns. It involved rappelling and scooting around tight spaces plus a lot of slippery ground. We saw several fossilized remains of bats as well as the traditional cave formations. We wore gloves and helmets with lights just like modern day spelunkers.