We don't always stay in campgrounds, but we are finding that the NM State Park system to be cheap, clean and easy to maneuver with a big rig and toad. Though we are set up for boondocking with five 100 watt solar panels, four 6V batteries in an array and large holding tanks, this is kinda "pampering" ourselves when the rates are only $14 for a site with elect and water. Some sites even have sewer hookups for a few dollars more.
The views out of our motorhome windows were astounding at this park. This is out the bedroom window on the driver's side
Once we got set up on our site, we whipped up some chicken tacos, guacamole and chips, and relaxed in our lawn chairs with a few beverages of choice!
Steve took out his Flame Genie pellet campfire unit (a present from Santa Claus) and within just a few minutes we had a nice campfire going. No smoke and easy to burn.
No digging for newspaper, buying firewood or chopping kindling. We hauled along three 40 lb bags of pellets because we were not sure of the availability in the southwest. Just a few scoops produces a nice fire for a few hours.
It was time to turn in, with our hearts aglow and our bellies warm with good food, drink and conversation.
Our campsite is right along the edge of the high cliffs to the east... so we eagerly awaited the sun peeking up over the edge this morning.
Ahhhhhh and there it was! I leaned out the bedroom window and snapped these pics!
We had a leisurely breakfast time, but turned on the local news to watch the weather. Rut Roh... high winds coming this afternoon, in the 20-30mph range! Ahhh that means if we are going to travel at all, we better get it in gear and move on out. We were hoping to get over the San Augustin pass and over to Las Cruces NM and maybe north a bit to one of the state parks along the Rio Grande.
It's pretty easy to get road worthy and get a move on out ... we headed north up to Alamogordo and then SW on hwy 70 past White Sands National Monument (we saw that last time) and the Fort Bliss and missile base area... then up up up over the pass.. and down down down again on the other side. Whew! it's great to have the Pac Brake working correctly again. (it's an engine exhaust brake that uses the engine to help slow down the motorhome instead of burning up the brake pads on long descents)
We headed north out of Las Cruces about noon, and pulled into the Leasburg Dam State Park to see if they had any open campsites. It turns out they did have one with electric and a few without. We snapped up the last electric one (for only $14) and the winds were kicking up as we settled into our campsite. What a pretty blue sky puffy cloud day!! Here is the view from our palapa in our site.
After we got settled in, the winds kicked up full force. My oh my, am I glad we were off the roads! Being in a high profile vehicle like a semi or a motorhome is not good in such blasting gusts. We saw a few more rigs pull into the park, and some had to take the smaller non-electric sites. But hey, any port in a storm!
Each trail has been carefully lined with rocks, each one appears to be hand placed by volunteers or workers. We put on a mile of desert walking with the dogs on the trails, and they earned their water dish lapping when we got back.
We only sat out in our chairs for a little while. The blasting winds were driving the sand in our eyes, and we had a hard time seeing. The temps were still in mid 70's and pleasant, but the winds drove us inside for our dinner. We did capture the sunset from the windows of our rig.
We were sitting here while I was typing my blog and Steve was perusing the local Craigslist ads, outside of our rig, we heard a loud dog YELP!
The neighbors in the next RV had their dog catch it's toenail on the trailer step, and it jumped free and ran off into the night in pain... alone... no leash.... it was gone! We grabbed extra leashes, dog treats, our flashlights and put our dogs on our leashes to go help look. Hoping maybe having our dogs along would help attract their dog to us.
As we were walking the campground and the rugged wash behind it, calling, whistling, and using flashlights to find Lily.... nope.. nothing... up and down we went, with other campers joining in the search. Finding a lost dog is pretty hard when you are camping, because the dog doesn't yet have it's bearings as to where "home" is. Plus, being injured and scared is added tension. Being in an area ripe with coyotes is not a pleasant thought! The owners said she was wearing a reflective collar which we kept hoping our flashlights would reflect in the darkness.
We called and whistled till our throats were hoarse and my lips couldn't pucker any more. Steve went down a long gravel road while I waited at the top near the campsite in case she came back. She had been gone almost two hours and the owners were getting ready to start an ever-widening circle to look with a car. More people came and went the other way again around the end loop. Suddenly one of the owners shouted.... "WE FOUND HER!" and she was rolling on her back with all four paws in the air asking for a belly rub!!!
Lily was happily reunited with her owners!!!!
We all got in a friendly pat on the head
of Elusive Lily and the world was right again.
Happily ever after.
The Elusive Lily is comfortably resting in her lawn chair,
licking her toe and seems to be none worse for the wear
of her night time adventure!