|Last morning overlooking Elephant Butte Lake|
|Mrs. Elephant Butte?|
|Bill and Clemson come to meet me|
At 9:20 we pulled onto NM-195 headed north. It was a warm 60F under semi-cloudy skies. A great driving day. We caught I-25N at 9:30 heading in the San Antonio direction. I texted Donna so she knows that we are on the road and where we’re headed. They have a nice enough day back in Ontario, although cloudy and only -3C, at least it isn’t snowing and it isn’t windy which would make it feel much colder.
By 10:20 we were taking Exit 139 onto US-380E and driving through the burb of San Antonio. The highway through town was bouncy to say the least but after crossing the Rio Grande, it improved. This is a two-lane highway. We are getting more sun here than back at E.B.L.S.P. so the temperature has risen to 63F. The views along this highway are quite beautiful. The mountain ranges change colour every so often. We’ve seen greens, browns, naturally, but also yellows, blacks and reds.
|A different Saddle Mountain?|
or Loop-d-Loop Mountain
|the Bill and Patsy Highway|
|And all of a sudden we were surrounded by this black rock|
The fields were full of them
No cattle here for obvious reasons
Before we knew it we were passing the Trinity Site entrance, where the first atomic bomb was tested. Our friend, Jill, from Lake Havasu blm last year told us about it. Without knowing how easy it is to get into with our Suite, we didn’t stop. We didn’t realize that we would be that close to be honest. The down side on this route is that our AT&T signal is no good here for about a 40-mile section. Not sure why, the land is pretty flat. No towers near enough, I guess.
|Lincoln National Forest|
We pulled off into a Rest Area on the north side of the highway at 11 am. No accommodations but room enough for 5 or 6 rv’s, trucks, etc so we could open our slide to use our own facilities. More gorgeous views as we left, rising to 6480’ in elevation before descending once more. We passed the Valley of Fires, all things we need to Google. We didn’t stop, we have a long enough day as it is.
Entering “Billy, the Kid Country” we saw more residential properties and snow capped mountains off in the distance. Driving through these small towns always puts things into perspective for me. They are nothing to brag about and yet people live here and I’m sure are proud of their homes etc. Carrizozo is no exception. The Capitan and Vera Cruz Mountains were on either side of us as we crossed US-54 and into the Lincoln National Forest.
Okay, my favourite town of the day is Lincoln. I first thought Capitan but Lincoln has it beat by a hair. If you don’t mind slowing the ride down to travel the ups and downs of the speed limit from 65 to 55 to 45 to 30 on occasion, this is a very cool drive to take. If it was just us with the truck, we would definitely have had to stop. I would have loved a picture of the sign that said “The last escape of Billy the Kid” but at least we saw it! A true unchanged western town.
|Wait a minute! I DID get the sign about Billy the Kid!|
We were back on the road at 12:50 after a walk around and leg stretch. I just set my camera down and I see more and more things so if you do come this way, keep your camera handy. Don’t blink when you drive through Picacho. The buildings and homes mostly seem to be original and then you see a newer more modern home being built.
At one point, Bill said ‘to think at one time, this was all Mexico’. Yes, we just read about the Mexican-American War, didn’t we? That makes me grateful that the U.S. won so we can easily enjoy these sights. Once we joined US-70E we were then driving on a four-lane highway again. Still hardly any traffic at all which is wonderful! The state of New Mexico cares for its travelers on these non-Interstate roads and has created pull off spots with picnic tables and shelters. That is a great and considerate idea.
At 1:30 we were making our way through the main section of Roswell. We’ll do some touring tomorrow so just headed to our destination. So far, it looks like just any other town. No reference to Aliens yet. In the centre of town, US-70 exited to the left and we remained on US-380E towards Bottomless Lake State Park. Traffic has increased but still very sporadic. After turning onto NM 409/Bottomless Lakes Rd, we arrived at the park gates at 2:20. The bad news is that they didn’t have a free spot for us to park on for 3 nights.
Any open sites said ‘occupied’ so we spoke to the On Duty host and he offered us Site #7 for tonight only. Well, it is better than the alternative! We got unhooked, opened up and set up for an overnight stay. At least we can put water in our fresh water tank before moving out in the morning. We were all set up by 2:45.
There is a primitive area at Lower Ridge that he suggested we move to in the morning. We took a drive to check them out and found 2 ‘non-sites’ with no shelter, no table and no hookups that suited us just dandy! We checked with a Ranger and he said we are welcome to stay there. Cool!
|Site #7 for the night|
|Another angle of our site from the east|
|One of the bottomless lakes near us?|
|Goodnight, more tomorrow from this area|
Unless the aliens get to us first!
|How are we going to tell this little guy that we have to move in the morning?|
I hope your day went as planned also. Thank you for stopping for a read. If you wish to leave a comment, I would be happy to read it.