Thursday, March 1, 2018

Moving to Another State, Gorgeous Day, One Last Goodbye, Elephant Butte

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.

The blimp
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!

thank you!
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. 
Cool graffiti

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 coming

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

Thank you for reading today. I love it when you leave me a comment.


  1. Glad you made it there safely and got another nice site, We love that park too.
    Always a nice drive along there through Hatch and T or C.

    1. Such a beautiful park and here at a busier time of year.
      Very interesting drive along there for sure!

  2. Sounds like a nice park. I'm glad you were able to grab a site, and at a great price. Love those moon over water pics! You get some great shots. How nice the weather is warming for you!!

    1. The sites here are gravel but cement patios with nice tables and shelters over them. I wasn't expecting such a beautiful moon so was surprised.
      The weather should be good for a while now until we get closer to home. :)

  3. Love the pictures. Amazing how they turn out so well with no 'help' of any kind.

    Glad you found a spot you like. We liked that park as well. Although we didn't stay in the loops over there. We did walk over there and found it to be a place we would look perhaps the next time we visit.

    Glad the weather is warming up. Enjoy your time there!!!!!

    1. Such a nice park with great views over the lake. I was surprised and very pleased with my pictures of the moon.
      We were in Quail Run last time we were here so happy to be 'over the lake although it means closer to others too.
      Thanks Deb! Beautiful weather coming now again. Yay!

  4. Great pictures...... Love the southwest.
    New Mexico has some great places to visit. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you Linda. It isn't really any credit to the photographer when the southwest has such great picture offerings! :)
      We enjoy New Mexico and will explore a bit while we are here.

  5. I love the boulders in New Mexico. What a beautiful view out your back window, it would be hard to leave that location. I sure hope you get some warmer weather in New Mexico!

    1. Me too! It just amazes me how it goes from those boulders to flat desert plains and grasslands.
      I think it is warming up all over for a bit until we get close to home. :)

  6. I always think about the early settlers riding horses and wagons across this country. They didn't get very far in a day and it must have been really tough. They would be amazed at the speeds we travel.

    1. We think about it too but can't really even imagine what that would be like. Thank goodness. A shopping trip would take months!!

  7. This must be the nicest spot you had this season. Imagine if you could make this your home year round. Looking forward to more of your excellent pictures of the area. Enjoy your stay.

    1. Yes, it is a tough site to beat! This would be a lovely spot year round. Thank you Marlene. Bill says thank you for the update on the hour meter.

  8. I love where your home is parked, what awesome views! The moon pictures are beautiful, but your favorite is ours too! Love Elephant Butte, we were there several years ago. Enjoy your stay and hope it warms for you!

  9. Looks like you had a nice drive day. That's great. I'm sure that area is my next destination too; but it won't be for at least a week. The moon shimmering on the lake is just so beautiful and romantic. You two enjoy your stay.

  10. What a nice travel day and great pictures Patsy. it is 68 right now and wonderful. I think we saw the same full moon as you did! Looking forward to your Elephant Butte pictures. Randy played poker last night and came back 1.65 lighter in pocket :)

  11. Nice to hear that you are getting warmer temperatures now. It has been really mild here in Ontario, (Canada). On Tuesday it was +13C! We have sun predicted every day and + 4 average for the highs. The snow is gone for now at least and it's nice not to worry about boots! Enjoy your stay, it looks like a beautiful spot.

  12. Nice to hear that you are getting warmer temperatures now. It has been really mild here in Ontario, (Canada). On Tuesday it was +13C! We have sun predicted every day and + 4 average for the highs. The snow is gone for now at least and it's nice not to worry about boots! Enjoy your stay, it looks like a beautiful spot.

  13. I will admit to being a lurker at your site. I have been following your blog through the Bayfield Bunch site this winter. The bird you thought might be a Cardinal is actually a male Vermilion Flycatcher. The female is much more muted. They are quite prevalent in the Sierra Vista/Huachuca City area.