For now, the smelly water problem is solved, or at least mitigated. I flushed a lot of water through the heater, and the result is probably a 90% reduction in the smell. One more flushing session and I should be back to normal. I'm still puzzled as to why a calcium build-up should produce a very organic smell...
So that's problem one more or less taken care of. My Golden Age card is on its way to General Delivery in Moab, to arrive tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. My plan is to amble up to the vicinity of Cortez, CO, today, and then to Moab the next day. Short, easy days.
I've been having some thoughts about commercial RV "parks." I'm staying at one now: USA RV Park in Gallup, which I found through the Escapees directory. And I'm impressed. The convenience of electricity, water, and sewer service cannot be denied. The place is really really clean. It's ugly as sin ... but it is, after all, a big parking lot near a town. The sites are all "pull thru" so if you're hauling a trailer it's easy in and out. It's quiet, and has amenities like a pool and playground if you're so inclined. They serve a BBQ dinner every night ($11 max.) I passed. They have a small store (I bought ice and paper towels.) The staff are pleasant. I sat on my "porch" last night for a while before the rain drove me in, and exchanged pleasantries with people walking their dogs. It was very suburban. It felt very middle class white folks.
The reason I stayed here was that I needed water and sewer connections to diagnose the smelly water problem. But I realized that I've gotten myself in a mindset in which anything other than boondocking with solar power is "less." I've set myself up to do that. Staying at NFS or BLM campsites is OK, but less virtuous than dry camping. Well, no! I'm happy to use places like this from time to time, and while I have to struggle to convince myself I can afford it, I can. So I may stay at another place like this tonight up near Cortez. It serves mostly people headed for Mesa Verde. If the roads are passable after all this rain, after I pick up my mail at the Moab PO, I'll head for the same boondocking site north of Moab I used for many days on my previous trek through these parts.
Maybe. Plans change. Stay tuned.