Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Monday, February 28, 2011

VACATION - Just Blow Me Away! - to Brantley State Park, NM

(This post is about Sunday travels, but being posted today)

We woke up in the Walmart at Hobbs NM at 4 am on our body clocks (which is really 3 am NM time) and all was calm out yet.... the impending high wind warnings were scrolling across all the tv stations.  Any high vehicles were warned to stay off the roads.  Seeing as we couldn't go back to sleep, instead we perked up some coffee.  We decided to hit the road the last 90 miles or so to Brantley State Park near Carlsbad.  This way we wouldn't be fighting the winds.   We really don't like driving in the dark, but did it anyhow...

We found our way along the darkened highway, with barely any other traffic anywhere.  I was able to finish my blog post from the day before.   We got to the front gate of the park and it was still dark.  Steve got out and read the signs with his flashlight which said the campground is 2 miles in and to just drive in and take a campsite.  But knowing how awful it would be to enter a quiet sleeping park with a big noisy diesel, we decided to wait at the gate till daylight.  So we went back to sleep!     It was only for a bit and was light about 630 am.

Here is my first desert sunrise photo, taken out of the window of the motorhome as the sun rose in the spaces of this interesting bush.  I thought it was kinda pretty!

We had some more coffee and then unhooked the Tracker and drove into the campground to check it out....    Half the campground is reservable, and if you do take an empty site there it can only be for one day at a time, and you might have to move, depending on the reservation schedule.   On the other loop were all first come first serve type sites and there were about 10 empty sites ... so we nabbed one, paid for it at the selfpay station and went back to the rig.  We waited till 7:30 to bring the rig into the campground, backed in it quickly and made as little noise as possible.  There were some folks up and about.  

The shrubbery and trees are not really native to the area, we even see white pines!   But we did notice all over are underground watering systems and spigots like the one in the bottom right corner in this pic, just to water the shrubs around the sign way back at the entrance to the park.

The sites are lovely and spaced apart enough to give some space.  Some trees are planted here and there for shelter from the winds, as is a big stone wall alongside the picnic table and pavilion.

We are happy with the price too... $10 a night for the site and $4 for electric... some of the sites on the other side also have sewer available for another $4.  The toad does not require an extra car entrance fee either.  Some state parks nail you left and right with fees, especially higher rates when you are from another state.  New Mexico rates seem to like having tourists and set fees accordingly. 

Our view from our campsite is spectacular!

Our neighbor looks like he has a bit of trouble, both tires are off his tag axle and the back compartment door appears to be ripped off from either a tire blowout or an accident.  OUCH....   We see a destroyed tire laying on the other side of his windblock.

We took a nice walk around with the dogs after breakfast, and had just gotten back to the motorhome when WHAM the winds hit full force!  it was like a matter of 60 seconds from calm to gale force winds!

There is a fire to the north of the park, about 10 miles away, and we see the plumes of smoke from time to time but its not coming this way....  I can imagine the dry tinder of the brush and weeds are making a heck of a time battling the fire against these winds.

We were blasted all day long...  we watched from inside the rig all of the dust storms and whirling dervishes are so thick at times everything is brown..... . guess we arent going to grill out salmon today, huh?  Here is a shot where the blue sky is all brown. We had to close up the rig as we could taste the dust, see the dust and breathe in the dust.  Not Good.

We had sustained winds of 50mph and gusts up to 90mph here.  WHEW! 

Once the winds abated a bit around 6pm, we took a ride in the Tracker to check out the park, which is huge.  We saw the Pecos River which is dammed up near the park, making the big Lake Brantley.  On the low side of the dam, this is all that there is to the Pecos River at this time of year.

And here is a shadow of our teeny tiny Tracker! 

Even throughout the park and landscape we could see some more oil pumping stations.  
They are everywhere!   Wish they were pumping crude to help bring down the price of diesel!~ 

OK... now it's morning here and we are up and at em, going to head to Carlsbad Caverns today...  we have clear blue skies and it is drop dead gorgeous here this morning. It was down to about 36 overnight but will warm up fast this morning... supposed to be in the high 70s! 

Steve is out walking the dogs and I am getting ready for a day trip in the Tracker.  We are leaving the dogs here in the rig with the shades pulled, the tv on to distract them from any outside noises and the AC unit set to be on if it gets too hot.... 

88 miles today
1609 total miles traveled so far


  1. Love your pictures and am enjoying following your travels. Have a great time and be careful.

  2. Glad you made it safely there... We loved Brantley State Park. While there go check out Sitting Bull Falls & take a day trip up to Roswell to see the aliens. You can go to our blog and click on 2010/Mar and you'll see our pictires from our stay there. There are 3 post!


    Have fun & travel safe

  3. Really enjoy following you on this trip. We grilled salmon for you last night here in Gulf Shores, AL. It was really good :) Have fun at the Caverns today. Hope the winds have blown themselves out for now.

  4. That looks like a great State Park, we have always had good luck with the State Parks we have been to, We had a vicious storm last night with lots of rain and high winds and the tornado siren went off twice. Didn't see any damage when I got up except for the loose tree limbs here and there but that is normal after any winds.We'll be riding in the back with you and enjoying the trip. Be safe out there, Sam & Donna...

  5. Glad to see you guys are finally able to slow down now and really enjoy yourselves. I think it is really great that you waited at the entrance before going in so early, if everyone were that thoughtful it sure would make rving more enjoyable.

  6. Lovely pictures and description of your travels.
    So you traded 'white dust' for brown dust!
    Happy Tails, and Trails, Penny, TX

  7. Looks like it's time to enjoy yourself for a while. I hear the caverns are fantastic. I love caves.

  8. what a great state park!!..nice site you have!..sorry to hear about the wind and the fire!..enjoy!

  9. Looks like the site you are in may have been the very site we were in back in 06. Enjoy the Carlsbad Caverns, we sure did. Don't know what your route plans are but I would suggest you slide up to Roswell (you may be disappointed in Roswell) & hang a left on 380. Nice easy & scenic drive up & over the mountains through the Apache Pass which is the route we often use coming & going. You can overnight in the big paved fairgrounds in Alamogordo. Advantage of coming this way is that it will take you right past the White Sands National Monument on your way west. There is also an interesting Missle Museum in Alamagordo. By using the Apache Pass route you can totally avoid El Paso which is nothing more than another big traffic infested city.

  10. Sounds like you did the right thing by getting up early and driving to your destination in the dark to avoid those high winds. Kevin hates driving in windy weather, just not enjoyable.

    You are so condsiderate of fellow campers, wish everyone was like that.

    Kevin and Ruth


Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog! I moderate all comments so it may take a little while for your comment to appear.