We never would’ve found this place on our own, but thankfully Rich at Airstream Life clued us into this gem in New Mexico, about half way between Marfa and Tucson. The sun had already set when we pulled into Rockhound, so we didn’t understand the pure awesomeness of the location until we woke up around sunrise the next morning to this:
Wow. Hello Deming New Mexico down below.
Rockhound is located close to Deming, on the west slope of the Little Florida Hills, and has 30 RV campsites that are among the largest we’ve seen so far. Oh, and they all have amazing views of the mountains and city below.
That’s a pretty big site.
Because we pulled in after the office was closed, the park ranger came over the next morning and asked if we wanted a better space. I don’t think he was kidding, either, but I really couldn’t imagine there actually being a better space. And all for $14! In the morning we took the Thunderegg Trail which is an easy mile, and gives you this view of the campsite from the top of the mountain:
Rockhound from midway up the Little Florida Hills.
Here are some other photos from the hike. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay longer, but we wish we had one more day here. Onwards to dinner in Tucson!
They even put in a bench so you can relax and admire the view.
Deke and Lucy.
Deke works late, so he often get home after dark. And our park doesn’t have any outdoor lighting, so when the moon isn’t bright, it’s actually pretty hard to see where you’re going (I have to take a flashlight with me when I walk Lucy).
So I went to Ikea (of course) and bought some of their solar powered Solvinden post lights. They were more expensive than the usual ones everyone in the park has from Walmart and Target, but they were bigger and sleeker, so I bought four. I think two broke the first day. The post is very weak– almost too weak to hold up the actual light in my opinion. Fail.
I then realized that if everyone in the park had the same lights — and they looked good and weren’t broken and falling apart, I probably should’ve got the same ones. Good old Westinghouse solar path lights for $3 have worked perfectly so far!
I definitely should have brought warmer clothes. And wellies. Our first weekend camping in the Weasel and its been raining since we set up camp here; here being the Sycamore RV Resort in Sycamore, Illinois. For any Gilmore Girls enthusiast, we’ve entered the Midwest version of Stars Hollow complete with a diner, a town square, a small history museum right off the town square and a day where apparently everyone joins together to paint the town’s store windows in celebration of Autumn coming to town. The Weaz has been at the Airstream repair shop for two weeks getting her 22 point inspection, her roof resealed and a few odds and ends looked at, including putting in a new rivet to replace one that popped out before we owned her. We took her to the only Airstream repair shop in Illinois, Airstream of Chicago in Joliet, and although the bill was a bit more than I had anticipated, I’m really pleased with the work they did and at least I know that my valves, seals and dials are all working properly (See our review here).
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Sycamore RV Park seemed like a good place to start the camping test. Its about 90 min or so from Chicago, it looked beautiful from the website and I’m sure when the sun is out and the fishermen are on the lake, its really a great place. Its incredibly clean and has everything we need. We decided to spring for a Preferred Spot meaning we’re lakefront for $33/night including all hook ups. We have our own little patch of grass and our own picnic table and fire pit. This place is extremely quiet, even with some kids around, allows dogs and the owners seem like good, no-nonsense folks. Others must think so too because this place is packed. For the beginning of a typical, prematurely cold October, there are barely any empty spots. (We called about 2 weeks ahead to book ours).
I guess we encountered the worst of conditions pulling in — pouring down rain. Deke unhitched and got all the hook ups done while I unpacked the food and all the goodies we bought to help us get settled. I think drawer organizers are my favorite thing so far. I have stuff, and I feel that I need it all. Paperclips, Swiss Army knife, pens, tape measure….so a two level junk drawer organizer with a sliding top tray from Walmart ($7) is doing me right at the desk. Also, my new Ikea sheets are fantastic, as well as the new feather bed from our best friends in Raleigh. I also have a lot of nightstand things. I’m big on lotion, magazines, ear plugs and in this Airstream model, there’s no room for a nightstand. So I bought a woven, but very stiff, basket from Ikea that has a hook at the top. I bought some S hooks and hung it from the curtain rail in the bedroom. Its just big enough to hold all my stuff and its so much better than climbing over Deke to get a book. The medicine cabinet is also a place I anticipated some trouble. Being a fan of products, having them fall out of the cabinet every time I opened it was not going to work. Also from Walmart, I bought two white plastic 10″x 2″x 3″ trays and with a little stick on velcro, adhered them to the shelves in the medicine cabinet (well, Deke did it). The travel size containers fit perfectly in them and nothing falls out when I open the door. One brand of products that Ive been severely disappointed with for the RV is Oxo. I bought a soap dish, a toothbrush holder and a washcloth hook and all but the soap dish actually popped apart before I even got them on the wall. Also, the all-in-one kitchen soap dispenser and sponge holder has been pretty disappointing. I used it once and it started getting rusty. Oh, and the can opener– doesn’t work. I’d skip the Oxo products all together.
The Weasel Goes to the Blue Ridge Mountains
We were always drawn to the Airstream much like we’re drawn to any new Apple product that comes out, but Airstreams are heavy and expensive — two of the most major drawbacks on our list. As we studied other RV makes and models, we continued to browse the Airstream Bambi, Safari and Flying Cloud on ebay and check them out at RV dealers always with the understanding that maybe we could get some good ideas on how to redecorate whichever trailer we would end up buying. After all, we’re the Ikea generation — if we can’t own a Saarinen table or buy everything at DWR, we’re going to go after the next best thing.
After seeing two or three Airstream travel trailers in person, we couldn’t shake the fact that the others paled in comparison — the fiberglass boxy travel trailers with their sticker wallpaper border and their odd wood cabinets just didnt fit with us. We could’ve gotten more for our money with SOB (some other brand) but the comfort level we felt — the ‘ahhh this is it’ feeling when we stepped into an Airstream couldn’t be matched.
This picture was taken on our way to Lenoir, NC to see Deke’s Family and show them our new soon-to-be-home, the 22′ 2003 Airstream International CCD we named, The Weasel.
DSC04373, originally uploaded by TSorb.
West Virginia is beautiful during the daytime; the mountains are covered with trees in all shades of blue and green and the vast expanses of land are majestic. Then night falls. Not a lot of light in those vast expanses, not a lot of places to stop. Not a lot of gas stations, and very little room for an Airstream.