Go Back In Time At The Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post
Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post, Route 66, Vickie Ashcroft
MRV: The Buzz, Your RV Lifestyle Insider. Written By: Olivia Richman
Hay Days And Western Ways: Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post
Founded In 1969, And Aims To Bring People Back To The Hay Day Of Cross-Country Travel With It's 50's Theme
Sitting right on Route 66, Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post aims to bring people back to the hay day of cross-country travel. Guests enjoy the high desert mesa overlooking the “sparkling night lights” of Albuquerque, New Mexico from Enchanted Trails' 1950's-styled vintage trailers.
Once the Hilltop Trading Post in the late 40s, the building was converted into a campground RV park in 1969 and has continued to evolve – by going back in time. “We got rid of the modern-day furniture inside the building and brought in vintage pieces - 1950s furniture and antiques on the walls,” explains owner Vickie Ashcroft:
The retro atmosphere soon got Ashcroft thinking even further. She started to get involved with the vintage camping community and bought her first vintage camper, a '56 teardrop with a matching 1947 Hudson Super Six. Ashcroft now has ten vintage trailers, which are all completely restored, functioning and used as rentals. The trailers are decorated to the period, down to old books and magazines.
The RV park also sports two old cars, a vintage gas pump outside and vintage signs on the barn. All of it together not only creates a unique, vibrant atmosphere but brings back many memories. “These are things you normally don't see at an RV park,” said Ashcroft. “People will say, 'My grandfather had a washer like this!' It's all just a lot of fun.”
Originally a New Englander who grew up in Massachusetts, Ashcroft moved to New Mexico in 1976 after college “as a fluke.” After her father purchased a business in the area, Ashcroft volunteered to drive his sports car from Cambridge to New Mexico. She continued: “I stayed for a little while. I ended up meeting somebody. You know how it is – life takes you on all kinds of twists and turns.”
Initially she didn't really like New Mexico at all. Back in New England she lived right on the ocean. But now she loves it. “It took a few years to get used to the lack of water recreation and that kind of thing. When it rains here I am the only one standing outside, smiling. My mother-in-law would call me, laughing, saying 'I know you're happy!' I've been divorced for 20 years but I'm still happy here and I love the life I have here.”
One of the main sources of joy for Ashcroft outside of her family is the Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post. She fell in love with the RV park after her father-in-law and a business partner purchased the place 29 years ago. She became the bookkeeper. When all of the business associates slowly lost interest, she started buying everybody else out.
“They didn't really have an interest anymore. But I really enjoyed meeting the people, hearing their stories. I thought it was a lot of fun,” said Ashcroft. “Traveling people are usually excited and interested in the area and what there is to do. I like the whole vibe. I've just always enjoyed people.”
She recalls meeting one gentleman who was in a wheelchair, a possible amputee. He was a congressional medal of honor recipient and carried around the coin in his pocket. He had let Ashcroft hold it. He'd told her stories about his life. She also remembers a married couple who had ballooned around the world. They would tell her the things they've seen, about the places they've been.
“My mom is still a traveler and travels the world alone in her 80s,” said Ashcroft. “She has instilled this love of travel in me.”
Luckily, the vibe of Enchanted Trails keeps people coming. There is never a shortage of people to meet and talk to. Customers are often blown away by the vintage setting. Some people have even brought vintage items to Ashcroft, including things owned by their grandparents. They tell her it's something they felt she would like.
“It really makes me feel good about what I'm doing,” she said. “You're able to just share with other people.”
And the sharing continues. Ashcroft has her sights set on creating a hubcap tree, around 18 feet high, all welded, like the one she saw in Maine near her parents' place. So she started to collect hubcaps, old metal ones. The story made it onto the news. People from all across the country have been mailing Ashcroft hubcaps. One woman came in with 40 she wanted to donate.
“They just want to be a part of it,” she said. “I just might be the only hubcap tree on Route 66.”
A graduate of East Connecticut State University in Journalism, Olivia
has written for Stonebridge Press & Antiques Marketplace among
others. She enjoys writing, running and video games.
Make Sure To Stay At:
Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post, offering beautiful sunsets, desert vistas and amazing views. Sitting on a high desert mesa overlooking the city of Albuquerque and its sparkling night lights.