a more modest snowbirding loop

I mentioned before that I am in a reset cycle, re-evaluting my needs and preferences. Part of this is a more modest (smaller) snowbirding loop that will

  • save miles and therefore money
  • give me a consistent winter base
  • where I can access VA and other resources
  • and supplement my income

the previous loop: 1,652 miles

  • winter in Yuma / Quartzsite / American Girl Mine (Winterhaven).
  • shoulder seasons at middling elevations: Pahrump, etc
  • summer at elevation: Flagstaff, Colorado, Utah
  • the minimum miles for this loop (flagstaff) is 1,652 miles.

the proposed loops

Part of the criteria here is access to Amazon pickup locations (mail order) and Planet Fitness (showers, wifi). Those aren’t mandatory but they are preferable.

winter base

The core of the loop is spending November to March in El Paso. Not quite as warm as Yuma in winter but the winter lows are usually right at freezing. I don’t mind 32F as it doesn’t cause problems in the van, and hard freezes are relatively rare in ELP.

This will allow me to get healthcare at the VA (no matter how long the appointmentss take!) and pick up part time work to supplement my retirement funds.

summer base

The idea is to go north from El Paso into the higher-elevation areas of New Mexico and come back down again in the Fall. Move up/down as temperatures dictate.

proposed average summer base: total loop 700 miles

City base at 7,200ft, camping up to 10,000ft. PF and Amazon pickup.

hot summer base: 300 - 800 miles

No PF or Amazon pickup at these

  • Cloudcroft (8,600ft, camping to 9,000)
  • Taos (camping at 9,200ft)

To be fair, there may be an Amazon pickup on the way down from Taos. It’s been a while since I made that trip. Reprovisioning runs in early morning when temps are lowest. Retreat from high base when temps allow.

Which hot base depends on which is closest to where I am when the temperature becomes unbearable.

proposed mild summer base: total loop 600 miles

If the summer were mild (LOL) the loop could be less. A city in this range is only 5,100ft but has mountain camping to 7,000+.
PF and Amazon pickup


mastodon comment thread for this post