December 7, 2021
My mother came to visit for a few days while we were staying in Socorro, NM so we got to see how it would be having a guest in the camper. Sophie (our dog) was happy to sleep in the queen size pullout with her and Mom said it was more comfortable than a typical pull out couch/bed which is great! We drove out to White Sands NP to catch the sunset one day and it was beautiful. This is my happy Mom at the park.
She and I had a nice girls day and drove down to the town of Truth or Consequences to sightsee. We enjoyed the Geronimo Springs Museum which was only $5 for admission. They had pottery from the prehistoric era which is very interesting. Geronimo was an infamous Apache chief and medicine man in the mid to late 1800’s. He was known for his fearless refusal to leave their lands and go to a “reservation camp” where he knew his people would suffer. He evaded capture many times and was the last Native American leader to formally surrender after being captured in 1886. He spent the last 23 years of his life as a prisoner of war. After our history lesson we enjoyed some delicious enchiladas and then went to the Indian Springs hot springs. There are lots of hot springs in this area that was once known as a health center that people would flock to for the healing powers of the mineral hot springs. The one we chose was a no frills one with river stones in the bed of it. We got our own private bath house for $5 each and enjoyed a good soak. We also stumbled upon a local brewery with outdoor fire pits. We shared a flight and relaxed by a fire. The smell of juniper burning is what enticed us to this place. The local beers were also fantastic. I especially liked the green Chile beer. NM is known for green chilis and they go on just about anything.
Luke and I went to a local diner a couple of times while in town and noticed signs up apologizing for any wait that customers may experience and stating that due to government handouts, they were short staffed. This was a big diner with three rooms that seemed to always be busy right downtown. This sign irked us as we believe it is short-sighted and untrue. People stopped doing some of these jobs as they are hard jobs with very low wages. The shut down gave people a chance to re-evaluate their lives and priorities. It helped people see that there may be better options for them. Many went back to school or find higher paying jobs. Me, I just made the decision to live a cheaper lifestyle off grid in a tiny home on wheels so I could travel and do things I enjoy while I’m still fairly young and able bodied. People deserve to follow their dreams and strive to do better and people need to do this to improve our society and way of living as a whole. Owners by and large do not typically need to get richer by treating employees like indentured servants. It’s not right and I’m glad that this change has started. The owners of that diner and some other businesses we saw with this type of sign on the door need to get their heads out of their asses and figure out how to solve this problem for themselves. You may disagree with me and that’s OK. When we set off on this journey, I had thought we would pick up some work camping gigs for free campsites. This is where you do work at a campground and they let you stay there for free. However, every single one I have seen offered has appeared to be exploitative. For example, many of these gigs offer a free campsite with no pay for a couple to work full time there. To put this in perspective, this is 80 hours of work a week for no pay. The free campsite is worth maybe $350 for a week. Even if you were only paid $12/hour that would equal $960 for two people working full time for the week. Do you see what I mean? Even the gigs that are part time are still a bad deal. I think that they exploit the people who need a place to stay and cannot afford campground fees and are not set up for boon docking.
Mom even went out adventuring with us at night to see and take shots of the Milky Way. This was super cool as she had never seen the Milky Way this bright and clear before. It was a great visit and helped to lessen the homesickness that was beginning to creep in for me. Luke and I also went back to the Bosque del Apache wildlife refuge with a new long lens we got. This refuge had thousands of birds who winter here and return to the ponds here at sunset. The winner at the bird show was definitely all the sandpiper cranes. We even spotted a family of javelinas at the refuge. Just for fun, I’ll share some of my favorite shots from the week here.
Jennifer MacNeil is currently traveling the US with her husband and two dogs. She loves to have adventures, explore, meet fascinating people, and see amazing places. She strives to learn every day and spread kindness to others. She documents her journey through her photography and blog to share with others.