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  • J.F. Rowan

Getting drugs can be difficult here.

Our time at the El Povieier Campground was rather memorable. We got to exercise our bodies and our minds as well as take care of some maintenance tasks in the process. During the final days we analyzed the weather forecast at several possible destinations and decided we would head to another National Forest Camping area just north of Pecos, New Mexico. One of our developing dilemmas was that my one and only prescription needed to be refilled and my normal drugstore of choice, CVS, was nowhere close to where we were. Perhaps the local Walgreens in Las Vegas (New Mexico) could be of help?

Las Vegas, NM

After a quick breakfast, we headed down the mountain to the town of Las Vegas. As it turned out, Walgreens took my old pill bottle and said they would refill the prescription but they would have to call CVS to have everything transferred under the nw account. Sounded fine to me. We took advantage of the hour prescription re-fill turn-around time to do some re-stocking and visit the local ranger station to see what camping areas and options were open in the Pecos area. When we returned to Walgreens the pharmacist informed me that not only were they unable to fill my prescription, but they could not verify my medical insurance. In fact, the insurance company representative they spoke with said that our insurance was “not active”. WTF! I had to outright purchase the medication while Yvette made a phone call to our insurance company. Bottom line, our insurance would not cover any out-of-state prescriptions but at least we confirmed that we still had insurance, and because I purchased the script outright, I was able to get a 90 day supply.

We were back on the road by 11:45 AM and headed to the Pecos area in search of more primitive camping retreats. Our little visit to the Ranger station in Las Vegas resulted in some good news and some bad news. The good news was that at least one campground was open, the bad news we had no idea what it looked like or whether we would want to stay there. The drive was mostly on I-25 west until we reached Pecos, then north on RT 63. We traveled quite a ways until we found the correct forest service road and after 5 miles of windy single lane driving, we discovered a locked gate to the campground names "Holy Ghost". We turned around and backtracked down the canyon looking for spot number two, an area we knew was open that we had passed on the way in. But once we got there, we noticed the small loop was surrounded by houses, a distressed and disabled bathroom and no fresh water. That coupled with the fact it was right next to the road, we weighed our options.

Sunset just outside of Santa Fe, NM

Hyde Memorial State Park, just outside of Santa Fe New Mexico, looked like a possible option. It was late in the day, the internet was sketchy as well as our cell service but we took a chance and set out once again. We passed through Santa Fe to get to the state park and the sun was beginning to set. Fortunately, the dash cam was able to capture the gorgeous color as the sun faded from our view. The road to the state park was also an access road to a few other National Forest campground options further up the mountain. We were pretty confident that one way or another we would have a place to camp at least for the night. However, there was another small problem induced by yours truly. I had been putting off filling the trucks fuel tank in hopes for a “better” price, and as such the fuel level was slightly less than a quarter of a tank. (Yes, I have since learned my lesson and changed my ways!) Quick calculations and I knew what my limits were but I’ve never been that close to empty, especially in this vehicle. It was 15 miles up the mountain and as we pulled into the state park, it became obvious the park was packed.

We continued up the mountain, up to about ten thousand feet where the supposed campground in this part of the Santa Fe National Forest was to be found.

Finding a spot at Hyde State Park after sunset. Not an easy task.

All we found was a parking lot for the now-closed ski area and about 4 other vehicles that looked like they would be spending the night. We decided we had enough for one day and parked the rig trying to make it as level as possible. Being up so high the temp naturally dropped pretty fast. Normally, the furnace would take care of us if it got too cold in the rig, but not tonight. The previous night the furnace control panel had displayed a fault code though it did continue to work. It didn’t work as well, but it worked. But it runs on diesel fuel, the fuel that was now down to less than a quarter of a tank. Apparently, I need more than a quarter of a tank to run the furnace. I discovered all of this when I awoke at about three in the morning and found that the outside temperature had dropped to 28. Nervous now that the trailer would be affected, knowing that the furnace wasn’t working correctly, we decided to just get up and head down the mountain to Santa Fe. Heading downhill gave a different reading on my fuel gauge, less than an eighth of a tank and occasionally the needle would bottom completely out on empty. Will I be able to make it to Santa Fe with the fuel I had left and even if I could, would there be any place open this early in the morning? Stay tuned for the next blog post to find out.

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