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Month Seventy-Seven started with work and ended with road-tripping and visiting family in three states.
I still had just over a week left of working Haunt O’Ween and it was a stressful time, where I had multiple call-outs to deal with, no days off, and the highest customer numbers yet. I was relieved when it was over and we could hit the road again.
After a couple of days in Phoenix visiting Toby’s Mum, we spent a weekend in Pecos, New Mexico for the Outlaw Party, then a few more days staying with Toby’s Dad in Espanola.
From there we slowly made our way back to Denver over nine days, doing a Colorado Mountain Town and hot springs road trip for my birthday along the way. We visited Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Crested Butte, Salida, Leadville, and Idaho Springs and it was really nice to visit during the offseason.
The last few days of the month were spent in Denver, visiting family and then star
ting a house sit looking after two dogs.
Now onto the stats!
Countries Visited: USA
- California: Los Angeles
- Arizona: Phoenix, Flagstaff, Holbrook
- New Mexico: Gallup, Santa Fe, Pecos, Espanola, Chimayo
- Colorado: Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Crested Butte, Salida, Leadville, Idaho Springs, Denver
National and State Parks, Monuments, and UNESCO Sites: Pecos National Historical Park, Aztec Ruins National Monument.
Islands Visited: No islands this month.
Best Meals: Chicken falafel sandwich from Culinary Dropout in Tempe; Vegetable enchilada with tomatillo salsa, black beans, and cilantro rice from Cafe Pasqual’s in Santa Fe; Vegetarian plate with chile relleno, bean and cheese taco, cheese enchilada, calabacitas, and red and green chile from Rancho de Chimayo in Chimayo; Green chile cheeseburger from Blake’s Lotaburger in Bloomfield; Charred tomato soup and creamy parmesan polenta with mushrooms at Brickhouse 747 in Ouray; Butternut squash lasagna from Public House in Crested Butte; Vegetarian Indian taco from Tocabe in Denver.
Worst Meals: Nothing bad this month.
Best Craft Beer: Piehole Porter by Historic Brewing Compay in Flagstaff, and Sol Power Sour by Soulcraft Brewery in Salida.
- Zuma Beach walk in Malibu, CA – 2.5 miles
- Lake Balboa loop trail in Lake Balboa, CA – 3.3 miles
- Canyonback trail in Los Angeles, CA – 3 miles
- Ouray riverwalk and Cascade Falls in Ouray, CA – 4 miles
- Recreation Path from Mt. Crested Butte to town in Crested Butte, CO – 4.2 miles
- Section of Turquoise Lake trail in Leadville, CO – 2 miles
- Section of Mineral Belt Trail in Leadville, CO – 4.8 miles
- Section of Clear Creek Trail in Wheat Ridge, CO – 3 miles
Watching: So many amazing shows this month. I especially loved Maid, Dopesick, What We Do in the Shadows Season 3, and Ted Lasso Season 2.
Reading: No books this month – I really need to get back into reading again.
Discovering my New Favorite LA Beach
One of my favorite things about LA is the large number of beautiful beaches, and this month I found my new favorite: La Piedra.
Located just north of Zuma Beach, my previous favorite, La Piedra feels off the beaten path and you have to hike to reach it. It feels very pristine and wild considering how close it is to LA and I loved the relaxed few hours we spent there sunbathing, swimming and walking the beach.
A Quick Stopover in Flagstaff
I love Flagstaff and always stop there if we are passing by to drink at the breweries, shop – there are some excellent independent stores here, and wander around town.
On this visit, we tried the beers at Historic Brewing Company, shopped at Peace Surplus, Sagebrush Trading Co, and Basement Marketplace, and just wandered around the pretty downtown.
Visiting Two New To Me National Monuments
Toby and I always visit National Parks sites when we are nearby any and this month we got to visit two new ones – Aztec Ruins National Monument and Pecos National Historical Park. Both sites have pre-Puebloan ruins and interesting museums, and I enjoyed exploring the history and natural beauty.
Family Catch Ups at the Outlaw Party
After not seeing any of my American family for months, it was great to catch up with a lot of them at our Outlaw Party weekend in Pecos, New Mexico. We rented a house in the mountains and spent the weekend cooking family meals, playing board games, singing karaoke, hanging out by the fire, and visiting Meow Wolf in nearby Santa Fe.
Revisiting Santa Fe
Santa Fe is one of my favorite cities in the US and I always enjoy my visits. On this visit it was peak fall and the fall colors around the plaza and along Canyon Road were gorgeous. I also got to eat at one of my favorite restaurants, the cozy and colorful Cafe Pasqual’s and revisited wonderful Meow Wolf.
Being Back in the Colorado Mountains
It felt so good to be back in the mountains after being in LA and the desert for weeks. We visited a few of my favorite mountain towns during our nine-day road trip including Ouray, Silverton, and Crested Butte and it felt like coming home.
Although a lot of restaurants weren’t open due to it being the offseason, it was still a nice time to be traveling because there weren’t a lot of people.
Hot Springs Hopping in Colorado
I love hot springs and Colorado is home to some great ones. One of my goals for my Colorado Road Trip was to hit up a couple of new hot springs and I did just that – visiting Durango Hot Springs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs.
Both were wonderful and it was the perfect time to visit, when the weather is cold but before the ski crowds descend. I also revisited Orvis Hot Springs in Ouray on my birthday – one of my favorites.
Exploring a New Meow Wolf
I was so excited to visit Meow Wolf Denver after multiple trips to Meow Wolf Santa Fe over the years. Denver was incredible and I love it even more than Santa Fe which I didn’t think was possible.
It is bigger and there is even more to explore. I highly recommend visiting if you are traveling to Denver – it’s fun for everyone no matter your age.
Work Stress at Haunt O’Ween
My only real lowlight this month but it was a big one. The first nine days of the month I worked everyday at Haunt O’Ween, and it was the busiest most stressful days of the whole event. I had multiple call-outs every day so we were short-staffed, there was staff drama including a couple of staff being fired, and I was completely burnt out by the time the 31st came around.
Overall, I really enjoyed working at Haunt O’Ween despite the challenges, but I was definitely ready for it to be over.
Staying in a Creepy Airbnb
Although the Outlaw weekend was fun, the house we stayed in was creepy AF. With creepy artwork, animal heads and skins everywhere, a closet full of knives and fur coats, the isolation of the property, and unusual sounds in the night, I didn’t sleep well during my time there.
A lot of these costs are my half with Toby paying the other half. I also don’t include international flights in my recaps.
It was a pretty average spending month. Our road trip was expensive but we didn’t spend a lot when we were working in LA.
My 12 nights of paid accommodation for the month consisted of one night in a motel in Holbrook, two nights in an Airbnb with family in Pecos, one night at a motel in Durango, two nights at a motel in Ouray, two nights at a ski lodge in Crested Butte, and four nights at an inn in Leadville.
My 19 nights of unpaid accommodation for the rest of the month included ten days in staff housing in LA, two nights at my mother-in-law’s in Phoenix, three nights at my father-in-law’s in Espanola, two nights with family in Denver, and two nights at a housesit in Denver.
Food and Drink $708
Not too bad for the month considering we had a few expensive dinners on our Colorado road trip.
- 3 x leggings $32.50
- Melanzana Hoodie $84
- Winter socks $10.50
- Tank top $27.50
- Gas $136.50
- Parking $10.50
- Meow Wolf Santa Fe entrance $37.50
- Durango Hot Springs $30
- Orvis Hot Springs $22
- Mount Princeton Hot Springs $30
- National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum entrance $10
- Meow Wolf Denver entrance $35
- Hulu $7.50
- Phone plan $35
- Toiletries $20
- Day pack $15
- Stickers $16
- Baseball cap $27
- Carryon suitcase $42
Website Costs $12
- Monthly payment for Keysearch $12
Van/RV Costs $25
- Van Insurance $25
What’s in Store for Next Month
The first eight days of the month will be spent in Denver, dogsitting, spending time with family and friends and celebrating Thanksgiving with family.
Then Toby heads up to Vail to work for a few days and I fly to Long Beach to visit my friend Dani who is housesitting there. I’ve been to Long Beach a few years ago and I am excited to explore more of the city, beaches, and surrounds.
After five days in Long Beach, I am flying to Miami where I will be reunited with Toby. We are spending three nights exploring Miami then we are flying to Colombia!
We’ll be spending the rest of the month in beautiful Colombia and I am so excited to return to my favorite South American country. We don’t have a set itinerary but we will be visiting the tropical island of San Andres first for around a week, and maybe the even more remote island of Providencia if it is open to tourism again after the devastating hurricane hit the island in November 2020.
After the islands, we will be flying to Cartagena to travel along the Caribbean coast where we will be ending the month.
To read additional Monthly Recaps, you can find them here