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Day 1: Prescott, AZ to Grants, NM

Left Prescott with the 356 in tow, so to speak, headed for New Mexico.  In typical fashion, the wind raged on I-40, particularly east of Flagstaff.  In fact, it was blowing so hard that the sides of the pop-top were lifting up and the chairs in the luggage bin (held down by a bungee net) began flying out.  We pulled off the highway where I lashed down the pop-top lift arms (something I do regularly now, for every trip) and put the chairs inside the van.  The wind was blowing from the northwest; thankfully, the van and I didn't have to deal head winds.

We stopped in Holbrook for a quick lunch at McDonald's and were off.  Our initial destination for the night was to be Bluewater Lake, but the GPS didn't know where it was and took us a bit out of the way. That resulted in us arriving at the actual road to the lake at dusk.  Figuring that the campground was probably either full or closed for the season, we opted to drive on.  The van was running low on fuel at this point as well.  Coasted into a Prewitt gas station nearly on fumes.  While there, Mom turned on her computer and looked for an RV park.  There were a couple of them down the highway a bit, and one had plenty of spaces available.  After filling the fuel tanks, we drove on and eventually checked into Lavaland RV Park where we had a late dinner and went to bed.

Day 2: Grants to Santa Fe, NM

Woke up to gray skies and drizzles.  After breakfast, we were on the road again.  The wind had abated, for the most part while driving across the remainder of I-40.

Arriving in Albuquerque, we stopped in at the Balloon Festival gift shop to get souvenirs while we could.  The Porsche show coincided with the annual hot-air balloon festival, which was to get underway the next day.  While in the shop, the weather turned sour: Wind and rain!

After a sandwich lunch in the van, we then ventured north to Santa Fe, enduring bouts of rain the whole way.  While the Porsche got to park in a nice parking structure, Old Blue had to be parked in an open lot.  I waited for a bit and, finally, after hearing no news, walked over to the hotel (La Fonda) to hear some bad news: Despite being registered for an event and having reservations for said event, the hotel gave away our room since we weren't there on time, nor we did call.  Turned out, Mom had made the reservation for the previous day and forgot that little detail.  After some finagling, we were finally accommodated by another nearby hotel (St. Francis), which, in the end, worked out better anyway because the van was able to be parked much closer (after all, it served as our restaurant while in town).

Day 3: Town tour

After a cereal breakfast, we put on our walking shoes and toured the town, stopping into shops, historic sites, and museums.  Having seen a number of Georgia O'Keeffe's artworks, I was keen on seeing the O'Keeffe Museum.  Admittedly, I was rather disappointed.  I did not find some of her best works hanging on the walls, but her lesser works instead.  The Loretto Chapel with its Miraculous Staircase and a shop displaying multiple artworks, from paintings to sculptures, were more impressive.

Santa Fe is quite the quaint, historical town.

Day 4: Show day

Parents got up nice and early to get their 356C into the show on time.  I was a bit more leisurely and strolled over a couple of hours later.  The show was filled with all sorts of 356's, from high gloss restorations to rust buckets.  Also on display were 911's from all eras (drool) and Porsche tractors.  

The show ended early in the afternoon. Dad had eaten a hot dog, but Mom and I were starved, so we set out about town in search of a pizza.  We found a pretty good one at Upper Crust Pizza.

That evening/night was banquet time.  While Mom and Dad ate sparsely over at La Fonda, I indulged in a delightful, filling dinner at Old Blue Inn.  Upon their arrival back at the hotel room, they walked in empty-handed… once again, the awards went to other cars.  At least this time the car didn't lose to another Champagne Yellow 356C whose owner passes it off as all-original (it's not).  It's not about winning, it's about participating… but it's also a people's choice show every year, which always sucks the genuineness out of a car show.

Day 5: Santa Fe to Elephant Butte Lake, NM

As long as we were in New Mexico, most of which I've not seen, we took the long way back home.  Looking at the map when we arrived back in Albuquerque, we made our destination Elephant Butte Lake, since we love being around water.  Arriving at Elephant Butte Lake, wow: the lake was just 50% full!  The drought is in full swing in New Mexico.  We could have camped out where we initially stopped, but since the Porsche doesn't like dirt, we opted to head to the campground, which was a nice one.

Day 6: Elephant Butte, NM to Roper Lake, AZ

Leaving Elephant Butte Lake, we stopped in Truth Or Consequences for snacks, fuel, and ice.  We decided to take the scenic route to parts unknown and chose highway 152.  This route took us through old mining and ranch communities and up into the mountains, which had experienced a good fire in recent years.  While many of the trees were blackened, the green underbrush had grown back in gangbusters.  Beautiful drive!


We dropped down into Silver City where we stopped for lunch and pressed on.  Roosevelt Lake was to be our camping destination, but the sun was dropping lower and lower.  Looking at the map, another little lake popped up and was part of the Arizona State Parks: Roper Lake.  We pulled in just as the sky turned black and were able to find a spot.

Day 7: Roper Lake to Camp Verde, AZ


We had planned to stay the night at Roosevelt Lake (another place in eastern AZ I had never been to), but nooooooooooooooooooooooo, the damn government had to inconvenience millions of travelers by including the Park Service in their shutdown all because the infantile politicians couldn't agree on a budget. So, not being able to camp (the one private campground was basically full), after stopping to admire the blue waters while eating lunch, we pressed onward and ended up at a quaint little RV park in Camp Verde.

Day 8-9: Camp Verde, AZ to Prescott, AZ to home


Took the scenic and winding route into Prescott via the historic mining town of Jerome.  After an overnight stay in Prescott, time for Old Blue to head home.

Brief write-up, but fun trip (in spite of our esteemed congressional representatives), seeing sites never encountered before!

Total miles: 1,422

Avg. MPG: 18.1

Adventure 15: Porsche 356 Show / New Mexico                                                         October 9-16, 2013