I have some photos from my last stay that I didn't post, and I'm going to put them in today and then start fresh next time.
|Riding through the campground.|
We only had an hour drive from Gallup back to Bluewater, but I was so over staying where I was, I decided to travel part way back last night and overnight at the Pilot gas station in Jamestown, NM.
I thought it was kind of strange that I had no problem sleeping, whether in Wal-Mart right on the edge of their parking lot by a busy road, or last night with all the big rigs around and RVs close by on both sides. I slept like a log the whole time I was in Gallup.
|Airtop sleeping room - it comes with a ladder.|
I woke up at 6 am this morning and jumped up, got ready and behind the wheel. I didn't even let Katie out - of course it was pretty early for her. We had about a 40 minute drive and came through the gates right after 7 am.
|This little squirrel/chipmunk (?) came barreling along, jumped up on the wood retaining wall and stopped on a dime when he saw the big squirrel on the other side. He turned around and scooted off in the other direction. :)|
I'm not sure about this 14 days in the park, then six days out. I decided this is a pretty silly way to live. It's like living in a home you love and having to leave every two weeks to stay in a place that is borderline unsafe. After six days, you get to return to the wonderful home. But now that I'm back, it all looks a little different because I'm back and I love it here.
I don't think I was ever in any danger while I was in Gallup, but I have to tell you, it gets pretty tiresome being constantly approached for money, or to buy something, etc. I was doing laundry yesterday and a man came up to me as I was loading the dryer trying to sell me some CDs. Good grief, a little privacy please. My delicates were visible! I was coming out of Family Dollar and was approached to buy jewelry, twice in that same strip mall on different days. It seemed that wherever I was, I was considered fair game, and you know what? I got really tired of it. I know people are having a hard time, but stay out of my space.
I debated about posting this, but decided to tell you about a couple of experiences Katie and I had in Gallup. I wanted to wait until we were back at the lake, though.
|Gnarled, twisted tree trunk on a juniper tree.|
On Tuesday afternoon Katie and I were in the parking lot when she had to go outside for a little potty break. I put her leash on, locked up The Palms, and as we were walking away from the rig, I saw three men talking nearby. As soon as they saw us, they approached. Katie was on high alert. Two of them kept walking and one started our way. They were all well dressed in jeans, boots and cowboy hats, but were part of the group that hangs around panhandling.
As the man came near, Katie ran toward him, stretching the leash to it's fullest length, and she went ballistic. If I had let her go, I have no doubt she would have attacked the man. I've never seen her like that before. He continued walking toward me with his hand out, asking for money. I held out my arm with my palm facing him in a "stop" position and said to him, "She won't let you get ANY closer, please STAY THERE." He tried to talk to Katie and befriend her, but Katie was having none of it. Barking, snarling and showing teeth, she was scary and held her ground. He finally smiled and walked away. I was so proud of Katie! There was no way she was letting that man near me. I didn't sense any danger, but she must have.
|Here's our beautiful Great Blue Heron fishing in the lake. I don't usually see them wading in water this deep - his feathers look wet.|
As soon as he was far enough away from us, she came right back to me. She got lots of pets for her good job as a protector.
Later we went back to Wal-Mart where I did some shopping. I wheeled my purchases back to The Palms, and parked the cart outside our door. I opened the door and latched it so I could bring in the bags. I saw a toothless, dirty man approaching the rig, again with his hand out. He was smiling, but still, my door was open and THIS IS MY HOME, Gosh Darn It! I finally lost it, and yelled at him. "I don't have ANY money for you - LEAVE ME ALONE! GO AWAY!" Poor guy, he got more than he bargained for, that's for sure. I guess all the anger that was building over the last five days because of these people making me feel not as safe as I wanted to feel - it just spontaneously poured out. I was kind of like Katie earlier in the day. I was fine until then, but when he was approaching my open door, I blew. I realize that I am fortunate to have such a nice life, and not everyone is as lucky. But, !#%*, I had had enough.
|Butterfly in our campsite.|
Okay, deep breath... Afterward, but quite a bit afterward, I felt bad. I just don't lose control like that, but I think the pressure was building for a few days, and that poor man got the brunt of it.
I'm not sure they are homeless, because they were never around at night. They arrive in the parking lots when the store opens and leave around dinner time. They all come in from the same direction, and leave the parking lot in the late afternoon to go in the direction they entered. I'd love to follow them to see what kind of car they are going back to. One man sat down on the curb in front of The Palms one day and pulled a wad of bills out of his pocket. He unrolled it and counted it, then put it back in his pocket. Judging from the size of that money roll, he's probably got a larger monthly income than I do.
|Here's our campsite bunny keeping a close eye on the intruding squirrel. The rabbit won again - he didn't attack, but the squirrel ran off.|
So, that's my story, and a bit of a rant, I guess, about the "homeless" beggars. I know that phrase is not very PC, but I'm really tired of having to PCize everything. I decided a while ago to use real words, the honest words, and not be PC.
I think I should definitely thank Wal-Mart and Home Depot for letting me stay in their parking lots for that long with not a word from them. They never bugged me at all. The security, camera and lights at Wal-Mart are great. The free, very fast wi-fi at Home Depot was a real gift, because that's what I did all day and I really appreciated it. Nights were good and I felt fine sleeping at Wal-Mart, it was only the days when the beggars swarmed that were iffy, and we stayed in The Palms most of the time.
If I decide to do this again, I'll stop one night at the Pilot gas station, then the Indian Casino, two nights at Wal-Mart, then head back, Indian Casino, Pilot and then Bluelake. And stay away from other parking lots and strip malls where the homeless gather. Or I'll head in the other direction and stay at the Wal-Mart in Grants. I know that city better, and know of different places I can park during the day like the library, or post office, or maybe even the police department. It's much smaller, and you don't see people hanging around like in Gallup, which is a much bigger place.
I'll leave you with a beautiful sunset from my last visit here.
As I write this, it's storming - rain, lightening and thunder all over the place. I love it!
From me and Katie, happy as clams at Bluewater Lake, have a great Thursday, everyone! :)