Sunday, June 30, 2013

6/30/13 - Rockhound State Park, NM

After breakfast we went back into the rocks and found the mill holes made by the Indians in the rock.  We also saw an owl’s nest up in a large hole in one of the rocks.  Then we drove up to the observation point above the campground and you could see all of the rocks at once. 

We left camp and drove 47 miles to Rockhound State Park just outside of Deming.  We have been here once before but without the Casita.  At this state park they let you pick up rocks to take home.  You are allowed 15 pounds per person. We stopped in Deming at Walmart on our way to the park. 

It was so hot this afternoon we stayed inside the air conditioned Casita until after dinner.  At 8 pm we took a short walk up the trail and picked up a rock to take home.  I found one with some pink veining in it that I thought was pretty. It is very small so it didn’t add much weight to be carried in the truck (I’m not like Lucy in “The Long Long Trailer”.)  On the way back to the Casita we found a geocache in the campground.  Tonight there is only one other trailer here besides us and there is one van in the dry camping area.  There are 4 sites with camp hosts (more hosts than campers!).  It’s 9 pm and sprinkles just started to hit the Casita.  There was a weather warning to the east of us a couple of hours ago. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

6/29/13 - City of Rocks State Park, NM

I made egg and sausage breakfast burritos this morning.  After eating breakfast, Jim washed the dishes and then a couple from the NASA/Clear Lake area came to talk to us and see the Casita.  They had been looking at one and had seen Fred & Mary’s at Fort Davis.  After they left we drove to Silver City.  We walked around town a little while and then drove to the Gila Cliff Dwellings.  We crossed the Continental Divide at 6,997 feet.  The drive through the Gila National Forest on the way was really pretty.  It got down to 66 degrees in the forest.  The roads were up and down and very, very, curvy.  This part is a scenic highway called Trail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Byway.  There is a fire in the Gila National Forest and the smoke was really thick in places today.  You couldn’t see across the horizon in the scenic pullouts.
We finally made it to the cliff dwellings at 3pm.  The office closes at 4:00 and after 4:30 the rangers close the trail.  When we got inside the visitor center the ranger came out and told everyone the trail would be closed for at least half an hour.  There was a thunderstorm off in the distance and it had lightning strikes in it.  If the lightning is less than 8 miles away the trail is closed.  We watched a 15 minute movie and then went to the trailhead.  We were waiting for the ban to be lifted and instead they closed the trail for the rest of the afternoon.  We traveled 2 ½ hours to get there and didn’t get to see the cliff dwellings.  Maybe next time we are through here we can try again. 

We took another road back to our camp and we passed the firefighters’ camp in Mimbres.  There were helicopters, tents, RVs, and they had set up a large eating tent to feed them.  We wanted to see the ghost towns of Kingston and Hillsboro but highway 152 was closed to the public so the firefighters could use it.
When we got back to camp I cooked dinner and then we looked at books and maps to plot out the next route we will take.  Jim wanted to go back to site 43 see the bats emerge after sunset but they never came out.

On Saturday night there is a star party here in the park.  This park has a telescope in a building where the roof rolls back.  Since it was cloudy today the star party was cancelled even though it finally cleared up and we would have been able to see the stars. Only us and another family from Las Cruces are camping here tonight.  He usually brings a telescope with him but didn’t this time.

Today has been nice but everything we tried to do didn’t work out.  Some days you just don’t have any luck!  We did see an owl and a turkey today.

Friday, June 28, 2013

6/28/13 - City of Rocks State Park, NM

We left Las Cruces early this morning and drove to City of Rocks State Park north of Deming and about 25 minutes from Silver City, New Mexico. We dodged tumbleweeds on the way.  This park has a group of rock formations which were formed by erosion of tuff (volcanic ash) deposited by a huge volcanic eruption 35 million years ago.  We got a site with water and electricity for $14.00 per night.  There is no dump station here.  This is to make you conserve water because the area is so dry.  There are flush toilets and showers by the office and they are open from 7:30 am to 9 pm.  Pit toilets are also scattered throughout the campground.  There are ten electric and water sites and the rest are dry campsites.  We will try to come here again when it’s cooler and get one of those.  They are nestled amongst the rocks.
After lunch we walked to the visitor center and watched a short movie, then we took a walk through the large rock formations.  After returning to the Casita we sat outside for a while.  The sun came out and the wind began to blow hot air so we went back inside.  It was very nice most of the morning and early afternoon when it was cloudy.

We had a lot of visitors at camp today.  We saw a couple of Gambel’s Quails, a House Wren (they have a red breast), a Long Billed Thrasher, two large Chihuahuan Ravens, a Canyon Towhee and a Jackrabbit.  I sat two bowls of water out at camp and the birds really like it.

After dinner and when the sun started to set, we walked all around the campground.  We found two geocaches and saw bats at site 43.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

6/27/13 - Las Cruces, NM

After breakfast we sat outside and drank coffee.  We also watched the birds.  It was very pleasant outside this morning.   We drove to Walmart to pick up a few items and then went to DeLaVega’s Pecan Grill & Brewery.  Their beer comes from Membres Brewery in Deming, New Mexico.  Jim ordered us the sampler of their twelve beers.  We ate lunch also.  I had green chili mac & cheese with chicken and a side bowl of fresh fruit.  Jim had a veggie burger with green chilis and some sweet potato fries. Two of their beers were Green Chili Ale and Pecan Amber Ale.  (There are a lot of pecan tree orchards in Las Cruces.)
Afterward we went to the Casita and dropped off the items from Walmart and then drove to Old Mesilla.  There is a really nice plaza with a gazebo and a church.  On one corner is the oldest documented brick building in New Mexico, built in 1860.  On the corner across from that building is an adobe building built in 1850 that once served as the Capital of Arizona and New Mexico.  In this building Billy the Kid was tried and sentenced to hang. It is now a souvenir shop.  Jim saw a funny T shirt he wanted but it didn't come in his size.  He took a picture of it.

It was very hot (101 degrees) and we went inside LaPosta Restaurant and drank a beer.  It occupies a mid 18th century adobe building and is the only surviving stage coach station of the Butterfield Overland mail route. Kit Carson, Pancho Villa, General Douglas McArthur and Billy the Kid were all here at one time. In the center of the building they have built a large cage that houses about ten beautiful birds.  We drove by the Meson De Mesilla, a restaurant and hotel where Gordon Ramsey just finished filming on June 22.  It will be featured on “Hotel Hell” in the fall.

We found three Geocaches today.  

We decided to get one last beer at High Desert Brewing before leaving tomorrow and then I went to the grocery store for veggies for stir fry tonight.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

6/26/13 - Las Cruces, NM

We left the RV park in Segovia and headed for Las Cruces, New Mexico.  It took us all day to get there.  We crossed into the Mountain Time Zone so we gained an hour. We got a nice space at a Passport America park that is much better than last night's.  Jim hooked up the satellite dish and then we went to one of his favorite places to eat.  High Desert Brewing has a great Green Chili Chicken Stew.  The stew is served with two cornbread muffins. Jim ordered that and I got a Green Chili Cheeseburger with fries. We had an IPA, Imperial Stout and a Porter.

When we got here we noticed the normally beautiful Organ Mountains were obscured by a thick haze.  The couple at the table next to us at High Desert Brewing told us there is a wild fire in the Gila National Forest.  We plan on going to Silver City which is near there.

We drove 854 miles to get to Las Cruces, it is 691 miles from here to San Diego, California. We are over half way to California in two days. We will be visiting some sites in New Mexico and Arizona that we haven’t been to before.  

6/25/13 - Off we go!

We left the house and went to get the Casita from mom’s house where we store it.  Then stopped off to visit her before leaving.  We drove to Segovia, Texas, just a few miles on the east side of Junction.  We got a space at a Passport America RV park that we have stayed at a few times before.  Every time we stop here it seems to get a little worse.  We won’t be staying here again.  It was ok to stay here to sleep because it had electricity for our air conditioner and the temperature was 105 degrees today.  We hooked up the TV, I cooked dinner and we chilled out.