November 14 – December 7, 2016
ABQ, New. Mexico
Back in Kanab over a month ago, we discovered a leak in one of our gray tanks which proved a stubborn fix. After a few attempts to fix it ourselves, and one attempt at a repair shop, it became apparent the the whole tank would have to be replaced. It can be a bit of a challenge to find replacement tanks for these older trailers, as they change the size/shape of them each year in the new trailer models. So we knew we would have to find a larger town to connect with a repair shop and wait for a tank to be shipped or even fabricated. We decided a great place to be “stuck” for awhile was Albuquerque, NM. Neither Brad nor I had ever spent much time in New Mexico, so it was an area we were interested in learning more about. And with ABQ being a city of half a million people, it was a refreshing change from the previous weeks of spending most of our time in very remote areas.
Our pace drew to a grinding halt here. We toyed with the idea of going south to the White Sands NP or Carlsbad Caverns. But we had just exhausted ourselves with all the big day trips, and we didn’t feel like towing hours away for places that we weren’t dying to visit. So we opted to stay put in ABQ for awhile.
It’s been nice to sit still for awhile. We’ve done lots of homeschooling, lots of design work, lots of normal-life type stuff. We’ve also enjoyed some of the perks of life in a bigger city – great museums being our favorite part.
We also frequented the library, got to know the lay of the land, and visited a couple of churches. One of them was the Catholic Church where Richard Rohr serves as one of the church Fathers. He’s an author who I’ve been interested in for some time and whose book I was just about to start reading with some friends. It was wonderful to participate in mass with this group of Christians, but our family may have inadvertently desecrated the Holy Eucharist. This is a story better told in person, so if you’re interested in the details, ask me when you see me! The other was a very different experience of visiting a mega church called Legacy where 7,000 people attend each week. It was definitely unlike anything we had participated in before, but we were grateful for the new experience. It made for great conversations with our kids that day about what we believe and why, and some great self reflection as well.
We also enjoyed a great little Thanksgiving Day at the Enchanted Trails RV Campground in ABQ. We have had many turkey days with only our immediate family, so the main difference from being on the road was that we scaled back the menu to a more realistic amount of food for preparation in the small space. We still managed a turkey (crock pot…who knew?!), stuffing, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, rolls, and pecan pie.
We also put together our traditional Thankful Tree. Brad’s only contribution this year was “Studio Gibli Films”. Hopefully that was because we most often put our “leaves” on the tree during school hours, and not because it’s all he has to be thankful for this year!
It’s been great to be forced to slow down and get to know a place more fully than the fly-by’s we’ve been doing so far. But we are also eager to get on the road before these snow flurries develop into something that actually sticks and spend holidays with family in the south. We got word today (from repair shop #2 in this ordeal…) that our new gray tank is on its way here from Indiana. So hopefully it will be here and installed within the next week and we will be on our way east again.