Tuesday, June 6, 2023

After Longmont, Colorado: Where?



Lunch al fresco on the Jemez Scenic Road, New Mexico. August 2013. Credit: Mzuriana.
Lunch al fresco on the Jemez Scenic Road, New Mexico. August 2013. Credit: Mzuriana.

I laughed as I keyed in the title to this post. Oh, the consternation I experienced trying to work out the answer to this question! Where? Where?

I'm leaving Longmont at the end of this month. I know where I'll be in September, October, and November, but in July and August? I did not have a clue.

Oh, I had two big-picture plans, but neither of those big pictures had been nailed to the wall. So I scrounged for nails all day today. 

The two big plans were: 

  1. Volunteer for a month for a humanitarian organization.
  2. Camp for an entire month - the closest I have come to that is when I moved to Alamogordo, and I stayed at Oliver Lee State Park for ... I forget how long .... until I could find and move into an apartment there.

I put out a feeler to an organization along the border some weeks ago, but received no response. I stalked volunteer.gov in search of national park volunteer gigs that align with my time frames, to no avail, other than campground host, and God knows, I'd quickly become too grumpy for such a role. 


So, I:

  1. Abandoned my summer volunteer plan, deciding to wait til my next temporary residency* to do something volunteery;
  2. Broadened my definition of "camping for a month." Sure, it could mean camping in one spot for a month  - or it can mean camping for four consecutive weeks, but in more than one location; and
  3. Crawled into numerous deep rabbit holes and many iterations of Google Map itineraries, led by free-range thought fragments.  


Some of the rabbit holes:

  • Follow some themes to help me nail down route stops, such as bluegrass festivals, zydeco doings, powwows or inter-tribal gatherings? 
  • Explore territories I only passed through long ago, en route to Alaska, such as Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, or Utah? 
  • Make a first-time visit to Yellowstone Park? 
  • Revisit my bucket list of decades ago to see if there are items I can tick?

Deep into one of those rabbit holes, I remembered the Do List of state parks, et al, I created when I moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico. My goal was to visit every state park in New Mexico, plus the national lands within its borders. I went back and looked at that list. 

I finally emerged from the underground warrens to the light of day, with a plan. 



Camp for a week plus/minus at each of these three New Mexico state parks that I didn't get to 10 years ago: 

  • Bluewater Lake State Park
  • Heron Lake State Park
  • El Vado Lake State Park



  • Attend the 101st Intertribal Ceremonial in Gallup
  • Visit a TLG colleague who now lives in Green Valley, Arizona
  • Shoot out to Tijuana Valley Campground (and Pacific Ocean, International Park, Tijuana)
  • Visit a Tucson friend (and reacquaint myself with the weekly jazz at Brother John's)
  • Toward the end of the month, check out Nogales, both US and MX, or other border towns, as I leave the Southwest
  • Sweep up to Missouri to reconnect with family/friends and reorganize my stuff for my fall itinerary


*My next temporary residency. I had no clue about this until this evening, either. Until I started watching a show on Peacock Plus tonight, and it struck me! More later. But I'm thinking January will be the time to go there. I don't know; maybe December.


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