Monday, June 30, 2014

Storrie Lake revisited....

After leaving Cummins Rocky Mountain shop, I drove to Santa Fe to spend the night in the parking lot of a new Wal-Mart.  The store is huge and the parking lot was very nice.  As usual I found a nice spot in the rear corner of the lot and we were settled.  The plan was to drive on to Storrie Lake after we woke up Saturday morning.

When I woke up in the morning and looked out the window, this is what I saw:

Well, crap!  This was a HUGE parking lot, and it was almost empty.  I immediately thought of Denise - this happened to her once, too, right Denise?  (I tried to find her link, but couldn't.)  Anyway, I took Katie out for her morning potty break and took this photo, then walked over to the car and bent down to peek into the driver's window (the windows were dark and I couldn't see into the car).  YES!  Someone was asleep in the passenger's seat!

I went into The Palms, cleaned up, made coffee, and got ready to leave. I set my GPS for Storrie Lake, started the engine, and immediately the car backed up and drove off.  Whew!  That was lucky, what if they were gone for the day?  Did I notify Wal-Mart security that a car that was legally parked was in my way?  Did I call the police with the same info?  The Palms was the one taking three spaces sideways.  Would I be here all day?  I felt so lucky he was in the car and woke up right away!  I'll bet he saw me peeking at him.

When I told Jeanne about this, we discussed different ways of blacktop parking for overnight stays.  She gave me a good tip:  pull forward more than I did in the photo above so my rear bumper was still in that left-most space and no one could squeeze in.  That would put me over the line into the space the car took during the night.  Then if they did  park right next to my front bumper, I could back up quite a bit, since the rear of the cabin overhangs quite a bit before my tires would touch the sidewalk edge (and before I would squash a bush with my rig). Of course that would take up four spaces, but in a large empty parking lot, who cares?  And I wouldn't have to worry about getting stuck.

The other option, of course, is to take up two tandem spots, and then I'd have the driveways front and rear to drive out in either direction.  That's how I park when I shop, but it's my second choice when overnighting, because I seem to have more privacy parked as I am in the photo above. 

And so off we went down the road and about an hour later, "Hello Storrie Lake!"

It is so good to be here again.  It's been windy and a little hot from time to time, but the wind and breezes seem to cut the heat, so all in all not bad right now.

The park has been busy, but I was able to get one of my favorite spots, all by itself and across from the showers.  It's a really big site.

When I arrived, I checked in with Jeanne and Annie, who were dry camping down by the lake.  There was only one open developed site left and another in the lower electric circle that was a dry camping site and Jeanne knew it was emptying before noon so she snagged it when the camper left.  I nabbed the large site across from the showers to share with Annie, who was hoping an electric site will open up soon. She is in her new-to-her smaller rig with no solar panels yet. Luckily she has a good generator, so when it's hot, she can run her air to cool things off for now, and she was right next to a tree that gives her some shade for part of the day.  (The Palms on the left, Bliss on the right - this was taken yesterday, and this morning Annie was able to grab an electric spot, so she's settled.)

Sometimes when you get to a new campground you just get a great spot, no problem.  Sometimes you have a choice of great spots.  But other times it's like musical chairs.  Get ready, get ready, get ready - DRIVE!  Get that one open spot before anyone else sits down in it.  I like the second option best.  :)

Annie made a big pot of chili Saturday and invited Jeanne and me to share it with her, so Jeanne made some cornbread muffins and I put a green salad together and we had a nice late lunch.  I'm not a chili eater, but I did try some, and it was so good I went back for seconds.  I guess I do like chili!  And Jeanne's cornbread was perfect - warm, soft, and crisp around the muffin top edge.

As you can see from my bowl below, I was being very cautious with the chili serving.  LOL  When it was gone, I went back for more.  I loved the grated cheese and sour cream on top, too. Annie was nice enough to let Jeanne and me take a bowl home with us for dinner.  That was BIG pot of chili!

I was out of tomatoes, but added artichoke hearts, avocado, raw carrots and croutons to the lettuce, and Jeanne brought some Greek olives that added a lot of flavor, too.

Great lunch, thanks!!

We've been doing a fair amount of visiting back and forth, sitting in our shelters and chatting.  Katie has been such a bear lately with other dogs, she is especially not nice to Riley, Jeanne's dog, and then yesterday she snapped at Annie's dog, Jake.  So embarrassing when your dig is the bully.  When they took a walk yesterday morning, Katie and I met them on the way and walked with them a bit, and Katie did fine, of course she was in the stroller most of the time.

Then Saturday late afternoon Annie and Jake and Katie and I walked over to Jeanne's shelter.  She has a fence across the opening to keep Riley inside, so we took our dogs off their leashes and Katie did great!  We were there quite a while chatting, and the dogs just did their thing.  Katie even sniffed Jake's butt (at least she tried, he's lots bigger and taller than she is, and she couldn't reach much more than the lower part of his tail to sniff, but she tried).  I was glad she got that close and was okay.

I thought Jake was a super shy dog, and he is somewhat, but the main reason he's that way around us is because Katie barks at him and he's afraid of her.

Riley is a "chill" dog - he does his own thing and if Katie bugs him, he just walks away and lays down and ignores her.  I wish I was like that!  I think Katie is getting more used to him, too, just being around him more.  Things are getting better, so that's a good thing for the dogs.  And for their moms, too.  As usual, like most RVers, Annie and Jeanne are super polite about Katie's bad manners.  We're working on it.  And being around dogs more is helping.

Before I end for today, I wanted to show you our other Wal-Mart neighbors.  They drove in a little after we did and stayed for an hour or so.  Three or four large horses, one yearling, I think, and two babies.  They were snorting and clumping their feet, moving around, making "I want out of this trailer" noises.

When Katie and I were out walking and checking them out (staying quite a bit away from their trailer; the horses were nervous when we were walking in their vicinity) a cowboy-looking young man walked by and I asked him if those were his horses.  He said, "Yes, Ma'am," just like you hear in the movies.  I said, "They are just beautiful - you made my day!"  and he says, in that cowboy accent, "Thank you, Ma'am!"  So cute.

And guess what?  Caught a mouse in the engine.  When I checked yesterday morning there he was.  I added two additional snap traps.  And that was with two sets of my solar flashing lights covering the top of the engine and a small, bright light shining down the middle of the engine to the ground all night long.  The lights might deter some of the critters, but obviously not all, and they only flash at night, so not such a good deterrent during the day.  This morning, no mice.  :)))

NOTE:  If you're thinking about changing out your current batwing TV antenna for a Jack antenna, I noticed this morning they are priced at $48.56 today on Click HERE for my post on how easy they are to change out.  (I paid in the low $60s for mine)  :)

From me and Katie, have a great Monday, everyone!  :)


  1. From your picture it looks like you could have gotten out easily to me. A little backing and turning and you should have been clear to roam. Thanks for writing such nice posts.

  2. I'm trying to understand why anyone would park that close to you with all those empty sites to choose from. Safety in numbers? Unbelievable.

    Glad you found good sites at Storrie Lake.

  3. Good tip for blacktop camping. You gals are having so much fun! We were talking the other day about the 2 degrees of separation for travel bloggers. I've met Annie and Jeanne .... but not you yet! And I'm meeting up with Suzanne for dinner tomorrow night. And she's met you.

    We are making the world smaller!

    1. We will meet up, maybe Quartzsite? Not sure I'm going there this year, but if not, I'm sure we WILL meet. I'm starting to meet more and more people as the years go by. You are meeting some really fun people. :)

  4. A Clinger strikes again!!! Maybe the owner thought you would protect him! Or it was your ferocious Katie! lol

  5. Wow, Barbara, I think your camera is magic. That's the best picture of me in ages. I'm snagging it! It's been great hanging out with you and Jeanne.

  6. We just left Storrie today. I kind of thought I saw Annie this morning as we were leaving. We have to do our 6 days out so we're at Pendaries in Rociada. It's a private park but the spaces are bigger and more private than most state parks and it's Passport America so the price isn't bad. You should check it out sometime if you want to stay at Storrie for awhile but need to do a week out. It's only about 15 miles north of Storrie.

    1. That's a bummer, we should have met before you left! If you come back, come on over and we can meet - also Annie and Jeanne if you haven't met them yet. We're here for at least another week.

  7. So glad you didn't get "hemmed in." I don't understand the mindset for parking so close. Maybe he thought it was the RV section...LOL
    So glad Katie is warming up to her doggie friends!!! Sounds like you are enjoying your friends there at Storrie Lake....have fun!!

  8. Sounds like you had a good bowl of chili! Give Katie a hug from me!

  9. What fun it is having gal pals around to visit with sometimes! And the dogs are getting along SO well. They are having good experiences with each other and learning how to get along. That chili lunch was a nice spur of the moment get together. Fun!

  10. So glad the genie is in and you and Katie are on the road again...Our little Jack is the same way as Katie. He doesn't make new friends easily. Hanging out with other pups is good for them...they need the socializing too! I LOVE chili and cornbread!

  11. For me, exiting is more important than privacy when parking in a parking lot. It looks to me that you could have easily backed out of that spot and got around that car, but why not just back into the slot normally on the end of the parking lot so you could just pull out in the AM? Your door would not have been facing anyone when you opened it.

  12. Think a lot of people in cars are worried about being run off because well they are living in cars lol. Something frowned upon by authorities :( I encourage it. So they park close to RVers to make it look like its a towed, or an associate. Ive met 4 different people on my journeys who do this to avoid harassment. They were always parking right behind my fiends class A when I asked why that was there reasoning. Turned out to be pretty good people.

    Up the road about 50 miles at Coyote creek

    1. Hi Ryan - That makes a lot of sense - good explanation as to why so many cars park close to RVs in the parking lots. I'll park differently next time, as Gene (and Jeanne) suggested. Then if an over-nighting car parks close, I can just drive away and leave them be. :)

  13. I think it's pretty common to have this happen. I parked at a Walmart once and had a car pull in right in front of my truck. It was hot so I had to have the windows in the RV open. They were sleeping in the car but one of them stayed up and chain smoked all night long....not pleasant to have the smoke blowing into my rig and they could have parked well away from me. But as you noted, one cannot really complain when one is staying for free.

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