Days 10-13: Eagle Nest Lake SP, COVID test

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

As I wrote in our last update, we had a bit of a rough start to our day when we left Heron Lake to drive to Eagle Nest. But the drive eastward on Highway 64 was absolutely stunning. It was a steady climb up to just over 10,500′ at Brazos Summit, where there were multiple places to pull off the side of the road to get a view of the valley and mountains below. I was wondering how Lizzy would do on these long uphill stretches, but she seemed to have no problem at all. And after reaching the summit, it was a long, mostly downhill drive all the way to Taos, where we stopped for lunch.

Since the Walmart in Taos is not a Supercenter and does not have a produce department, we made our lunch stop in the parking lot at Albertson’s grocery store. Andy stayed in the rig with the kitties while I went inside to pick up a few groceries, and I also got us each a plate lunch from the deli. Then we hit the road again for another winding uphill/downhill drive to Angel Fire, where we decided to stop for gas.

If someone had told us we would be sitting in line for almost 20 minutes because of road construction, we probably would have just kept going to the gas station in Eagle Nest, but by then we were committed. All in all, that little detour into Angel Fire took us about 45 minutes total just to get a little gas.

Nine miles later at about 4:00 PM, we made it to our campsite at Eagle Nest Lake State Park, where we were dry camping as there are no hookups in this park. We pulled into site #11 and positioned the rig so that we had a perfect view of the lake through our dining room window. Since there are no hookups, it didn’t take long to get situated, and soon afterward, Andy was down for the count, taking a nap, while I watched several deer come by our campsite as the sun went down.

The view from our dining room window. The deer was a nice addition!

Later, I went to check on Andy and found that he was running a fever of 101°. The long day of driving on winding mountain roads had caught up with him. He was still coughing a lot and felt pretty rough, so I slept on the dinette converted to a bed, while he slept in the main bed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

I got up fairly early on Wednesday morning, ate breakfast, and then went out to search for a couple of geocaches that were hidden in the park. The first one was a tough hunt, but I finally located the small, camo-colored cylinder hanging from a branch close to the ground in a small bush. The second cache was a much easier find, but it was also being guarded by an army of big ants. I had to do quite the dance to keep them off my feet and legs as I recovered and signed the log book, swapped some swag, and then put everything back in place.

Took awhile to locate this little geocache in the bushes, but I did it!

When Andy got up, he said he was feeling better and he wasn’t running a temperature. However, we decided that it would be best for him to get a COVID test just to make sure we weren’t dealing with something contagious or dangerous. We called the nearest testing facility which was in Angel Fire, and they said to come in at noon which is when they begin COVID testing for the day. They instructed us to call them from the parking lot, and then they would put us in the queue for the test.

We arrived at the facility just before noon and checked in by phone. They finally called him in about 20 minutes later, and he was only inside for a couple of minutes. They did the nasal swab and said that they would have the results back on Friday.

After we had lunch, Andy hung out in the rig while I drove over to Walmart in Taos to pick up a couple more blankets. Since we were sleeping in separate beds while Andy wasn’t feeling well, we needed some additional cover for the cold nights (we didn’t want to use up our propane running the furnace when blankets would work just fine). We needed a spare blanket or two in the rig anyway for those times when Molly gets a little stressed and decides to pee on the bed.

By the end of the day, I had started to develop a scratchy throat, and pretty much knew that I was coming down with whatever Andy had.

Eagle Nest Lake

Thursday, August 12, 2021

We didn’t do much at all on Thursday. I worked on the bookkeeping and a blog post, while Andy took a shower in the rig and continued to deal with a heavy cough. I still had a scratchy throat, but not much worse than that.

We got some heavy dark clouds moving into the area in the afternoon, and I received a severe weather alert on my phone. The clouds looked pretty menacing, but it turned out to be only a light shower after all.

Dark clouds but not much rain.

When we were retracting the awning in anticipation of some high winds, we noticed that one arm was not retracting all the way to the bracket on the side of the rig. This could cause some serious problems while driving down the road if the wind got up under it and pulled it away from the rig. But it was too windy to extend the awning fully to troubleshoot it, so we decided to wait until the next day to look at it.

By that night, I was starting to develop a dry cough and we were running low on cough drops. We both slept somewhat sitting up in our separate beds, and hoped to feel better the next day.

Friday, August 13, 2021

One advantage to sleeping on the dinette bed was that I got a great view of the sun rising over the mountains and reflecting on the lake each morning. And each morning I got to watch the deer and their fawns come by our campsite to graze on the lush grasses and foliage on the lake shore. It was a perfect start to my day!

This was a travel day, but since we only had to drive 29 miles to reach our next destination, Coyote Creek State Park, and checkout wasn’t until 2:00 PM, we took our time getting ready to leave. I called my mom and dad and talked to them for a bit, catching up on news from home. I was so saddened to learn that the son of one of my best friends in high school had died of COVID a few days earlier. He was only 41 years old.

Later in the morning, we got a call from the clinic in Angel Fire with Andy’s COVID test results. Thankfully, he tested negative for COVID, which put our minds at ease. Evidently we’re dealing with a run-of-the-mill summer cold, or possibly allergies, either of which we can handle with cough drops, Musinex, Nyquil, Flonase, loratadine….all those good meds! We’ve gone through about three full boxes of tissues, but that’s OK.

We got the awning to roll up properly by hand-guiding it into the bracket as it retracted. When we get back home, we’ll see if there’s a way to adjust it so that rolls up evenly on its own. By 11:30 AM, we had everything stowed away and we were on our way to Coyote Creek with stuffy noses, but COVID-free!! We made a quick pit stop at the Family Dollar store in Angel Fire on our way through to pick up some more cough drops and tissues–I’ve been to Family Dollar more times on this trip than all my previous visits combined! 🙂

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Eagle Nest Lake State Park. The weather was mild enough that we never had to run our air conditioner, which meant only running the generator long enough to recharge the house batteries each evening (we didn’t bring the solar panels with us). The park is meticulously maintained by a devoted staff, and there were no problems with loud or obnoxious guests. The park is full of wildlife including deer, prairie dogs, rabbits and all kinds of birds. We definitely want to return to this park again in the future for a longer stay, hopefully when we’re feeling better and can spend more time exploring the area.

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