The newest Chapter of the LTV Owners Club, the Rocky Mountain LTVers, took our maiden voyage in the desert-meets-alpine landscape of northern New Mexico.
A fledgling Chapter, choosing our first rally location was tricky. Covering New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, members of the Rocky Mountain LTVers span over 1,000 miles, with mountainous terrain easily adding hours to even seemingly short driving distances. Northern New Mexico proved to be a great place to start with arid summers, cool evenings, and the unknown gem that is the Angel Fire RV Resort.
Only 3 years old, the moment you drive into the gated RV resort you feel the sense of thought and quality that went into the design. Neat rows of paved pads feature full hookups, wifi boosters, and beautiful, well-kept western landscaping. All RVs face the same direction – north so that the southern sun faces away from windshields and you can enjoy the shade on the passenger side of your vehicle in the late afternoon. A large, continuously-cleaned community building offers open access, reservable divided rooms, a front lounge, and a cozy back patio with fire pit. The bathhouse has large, slate tiled private shower stalls, a laundry, another indoor lounge and outdoor fire pit, and a hot tub that satisfies the star-filled night views you hoped you’d see. Onsite amenities include a mile-long crushed gravel walking path, horseshoe pits, pristine pickleball courts, a spacious bark park, a thoughtful store, and more. And the cherry on top – guests have access to the Angel Fire Country Club’s indoor pool.
Arriving on a Thursday, we expected rally attendees as far east as Kansas, and kept planned activities light with a simple meet & greet happy hour. Rally members brought their beverage of choice, a snack to share, and picked up name tags. Each RV crew took turns introducing themselves round-robin style, and Kurt and I revealed the next three days of adventures. We could tell new friendships were already being forged as the group left with smiles on their faces. Some of us capped our evening in rocking chairs next to the fire pit, or relaxed constellation-gazing in the hot tub.
For our first full day in Angel Fire, we’d planned to take the Angel Fire Resort chairlift together up the mountain. The Van Namee’s generously shuttled the crew the 4 miles to the resort, and a group of 5 of us relished in the cool morning by taking our bikes.
Some chose to hike over 4 miles to the top, while others took the lift for the 2-mile ride. Three of us used the bike lift so we could ride the epic downhill mountain bike trails that Angel Fire is known for in the summer. Once at the top, we watched other tourists brave enough to experience the zip line soar among the birds and explored the possibility of playing mountain-top disc golf.
While Kurt, Ken and I biked a curvy 6+ miles to the bottom, others hiked down, and some enjoyed the chairlift and soaked in miles of views. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing, exploring the resort, biking the greenbelt, taking a few more chairlift rides up the mountain, grabbing lunch at El Jefe and tasting a flight at the local brewery.
A potluck dinner & inaugural club meeting was planned for the evening as we gathered inside the spacious community building. Boasting a southwest theme, we enjoyed enchiladas, Carne Adovada, tacos, layered bean dips, and cornbread among other savory dishes. Story sharing and laughs were followed with a brief agenda which included sharing ideas for future rallies.
Our third day together left a lot of room for attendees to choose their own activities. I shared a hike along the Elliott Barker Trail with the Hesses led by Linda Sheldon, while Kurt joined us toward the end on his mountain bike. Sue Van Namee shuttled a group to Taos to explore the adobe architecture, boutique shops, and enjoy a patio lunch. Jerry Shelton revered the nearby Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. And later in the afternoon, Linda hosted another event, a bracelet beading clinic complete with design tips and hands-on clasp and finishing instructions.
A pre-planned walking happy hour and RV tour was the highlight of the day. Starting at Pedro, our RV, rally attendees came with their favorite libation in-hand while we formed our own enchanted circle of RV touring, making our way from rig to rig and sharing our favorite gadgets, showcasing customized features, and solving one another’s problems. Following 2 hours of touring, the group decided on a last-minute leftovers potluck in the community building to share one last dinner together.
A sad departure awaited us as we gathered for one last meal, a breakfast in the community room. Rae, Sue, and Judy graciously helped cook eggs, bacon, and potatoes so we could assemble breakfast tacos, and Linda Sheldon complemented the meal with a fruit bowl. A bittersweet goodbye among 23 newly minted friends departing in 12 LTVs left us all eager for the next rally.
Photo credit: Mark Bohrer, Marie Aliotta, and Teresa Pennington