We were both awake and up by 7 am on Thursday, Mar. 1st. Beginning of a new month and a new adventure in New Mexico. We had our first cuppa and our grapefruit together at our laptops as we read our friends’ news relatively quickly. Last night as we were going to bed, Bill heard a bunch of coyotes. Something sure had them riled up. It only lasted about 5 minutes and they were silent.
I was pleased to see last night that we did well for the month February with our Wifi hotspot usage. We still had over 4 gb left. After 2 weeks here, I wouldn’t brag about their unreliable internet here. Looking out the window, I could see that Black Beauty had a visit from Jack Frost. A long visit.
|All hooked up ready to pull out|
Bill had only one thing to put away and that was our satellite dish so he went about doing that while I got washed. We were all ready by 8 am but the office didn’t open until 9. I noticed the surveillance blimp so took my zoom lens and went for a walk while we waited. It was certainly a different day than yesterday!
|Bill went to pay for the 57 kwh we used over two weeks|
The sky was blue, the wind was low and not a snow cloud in sight. It was 31F, so just below the freezing mark of 32F when we got up. Inside it was 60 so I turned the electric fireplace on for an extra boost of heat while we got ready. We already knew that it would be 20 degrees warmer than Wednesday’s high. We have left our kitchen water tap drip for 3 of the coldest nights here just as a precaution on these frosty mornings.
|George out for his morning walk|
All three of us did a walkabout and met up with George so had one more chance to say goodbye and then we wandered over to Scott and Laurel’s trailer.
|Scott and one of the girls, Georgia? take Brownie for a walk|
A few of the children were in the bus so they opened the door and said hi.
|Bill called this one a cardinal but the bird's shape and colours|
are a little different
|Another fluffed up roadrunner|
I was happy to see one more before I left
|Peter Cottontail, one last time too|
When Scott came out we offered him the last 6 cans of the Gold Rush (?) chili that we had from Costco. The one I didn’t particularly enjoy because I found it too spicy. They accepted with grace and I think it was Ulrich who said ‘I love chili!’ and Marideth (?) agreed but ‘with rice’. Good!
|Oh-oh someone will be going crazy looking for this 'last' lost piece|
We said goodbye and offered them a place to stay if they come across Canada this summer. We certainly hope to see them again somewhere along this journey. It was just before 9 and Bill noticed the office was open so as I put Clemson in the truck and pulled the slides in, he walked over to pay for our metered electric. Wow! We think they forgot to read it the day we arrived as it only cost us $9. Yay!
|I've always loved pine cones|
I'm trying to remember if it was Patrick or one of Bridgette's boys
who were afraid of pine cones
We were on the road immediately after Bill hooked up and we checked the lights. It was 9:15 and 46F when we pulled out onto Az-90 through the Border Patrol check. No need to show passports, he saw our plate and smiled as he said “have a great day, nice to see you”. That is so welcoming, to hear that they are happy we are here.
|No snow on the mountains this morning|
There was no snow on the Cochise mountains near us but off in the distance, a peak or two was covered. We caught I-10E and settled in for the ride. What a gorgeous ride it is! We didn’t need to stop at the Rest Area at Dragoon but wow, what huge boulders! I snap snap snapped away with my dust-free Canon. 😊
|San Simon Rest Area|
|It was a busy spot|
So, our first stop was at the San Simon rest area. Nice spot with beautiful views. It was 11:08 am and 52F. I took some pictures, of course, of the snowcapped mountain range to the southwest. Once back on the road we noticed cactus again. Beavertail, brown ocotillo and barrel. We are having saguaro withdrawal. ☹ We crossed into New Mexico at 11:25 and thank you for the Welcome!
At Hurley, Grant, New Mexico we pulled off at exit 42 to get lunch. We’ve been watching trains to the north of us where two tracks meet each other. I love to see the graffiti these days.
|I wonder how many 'hobos' are on board|
It is much nicer than it was 10 years ago when it was hateful and gross. These show talent and actually spruces up the old rustic looking metal train cars. Bill and I were very surprised to see about 6 boxcars with open doors. We haven’t seen that for a long time!
|One going within minutes of each other|
on two different tracks, obviously.
(you can click on these to make them larger)
|Now we know!|
By 12:30 we were full from our toasted sandwiches and back on the road. We are in no hurry as we are going into a State park with, I’m hoping, lots of room for us. When we were there in 2016 we walked and drove around looking at other possible sites we would like. Hopefully, we’ll be able to slip into one of those, looking out over the lake.
|Looks like you could push this rock over with your hand|
|We've seen so much variety in the terrain today|
We caught Exit 82A. Looked fine until we realized that it was only a stop sign for us to get onto the busy US-180. Turning left was a bit of a challenge. Why wouldn’t they put a light here? Crazy! Finally, we got our break and turned left only to turn right a mile later onto the two-lane NM-26.
Once more the views were inspiring. The mountains remained on the horizon, sometimes far, others close but the flat plains were stunning. Not for any reason other than it put me in mind of travelling them on horseback over 100 years ago.
|I took so many pictures so took these batches on my phone|
so I could make collages
We drove through Hatch, the Chili Capital of the World. It isn’t too much to look at upon entering it from the west but the downtown is touristy and lots to stop and see besides chilies.
We made our turn onto I-25N and zigged and zagged a bit towards Truth or Consequences. I do love the name of that town!
|I mean, what else could you call this rock?|
|There it is! My sister Wendy's mountain!|
The temperature has risen to 61F at 2:00 so looking forward to arriving and setting up in a beautiful park where we can enjoy the warmth. Following the signs and our gps we turned into Elephant Butte and then into the State Park. We were a little worried talking to the ranger that there may not be a spot for us since we didn’t have a reservation. He directed us to try the ‘first come first served’ areas and we got lucky.
|The smudges are NOT my camera, but instead our dirty windshield|
In Lions Beach Loop-B we spotted a site right at the end. So, we drove the loop and then realized that there were two sites available so we made a decision and took the one straight in. It is gorgeous and for $14/night with water and electric, we are thrilled. We’ll stay put for a few nights. Bill went to the pay tube and made payment for our stay.
|Our view behind us|
|All windows have a view of the lake|
All set up by 3:45 and the ranger came around at 4:30 to follow up. What a nice fellow. Our back and side windows all display a view of Elephant Butte Lake. It was a long drive and we are tired. Tomorrow, I will get out and take pictures of the area, you can count on it! Today, you are getting some pictures of the drive, I overdid it (again).
|Our site #67|
We are settling down with our books after a quick supper of tomato soup and ice cream for dessert. I hope you have had a nice day. Ours was great! Just before I posted this, I looked out the back window and saw this. Awesome, we couldn't have a better site.
|this is my favourite|
|Blows me away how pretty it is|
As Deb says, no enhancements needed here!
|Good night from Elephant Butte State Park|