For the past few years we have done an extended fall road trip. This year with Covid, we didn’t know if we would be able to. As concern with virus transmission from surfaces waned and aerosol transmission from breathing, sneezing, coughing and talking because the main concern, the possibility of road travel became more feasible. When epidemiologists considered distancing, masks and avoiding crowded interior places to reduce transmission probability considerably, we thought a trip could be feasible.

First, we thought about going up the CA coast and then down the eastern Sierra’s. However, smoke from forest fires made that unattractive. Then we went back and forth between redoing our 2019 trip to Utah national parks (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Capitol Reef, etc) or going to New Mexico (Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands and many national monuments). New Mexico had two issues. First it might still be really hot in October. Then we learned that NM had a 14 day quarantine. We had no idea how they enforced this, so we put it aside and looked at UT again.

Previously, when we traveled in our van conversion RV, we never made reservations. We took each day as it went and found places in state, national, county or commercial parks when we stopped each day. However, with reports of surges in people camping and RV’ing and camp sites being filled up, we decided we should plan ahead, at least in the beginning.

So I made reservations in UT, but still kept checking the possibility of NM. I saw the extended weather forecast in NM had cooled off and that NM waived the quarantine if you has a negative Covid test within 72 hours of entering NM. I canceled the UT plans and made reservations for 8 days in NM. We planned to leave right after we got our mail-in ballots.

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