Thursday, March 8, 2018

Without a Fuss We’re Gone! Bottomless Lake State Park Arrival - Today's Travelogue

I slept in a bit on Thursday, Mar. 8th which is so typical when you want to move! I went to bed really early last night, at 9 pm, because I couldn’t keep my eyes open to read. Figured I would be up at 6 at the latest. Nope, I slept until 6:55 surprising myself. I had missed the sunrise but that’s okay, I’ve caught most every one since we’ve been here. I opened the blinds and found a beautiful sunny morning out there.

Last morning overlooking Elephant Butte Lake
What surprised me the most was the 47F. That is 15 degrees warmer than yesterday so I layered one item less and out I went. It was beautiful! I walked a mile and a half and headed home. Coming up from the beach area was Bill and Clemson so that is good that we are all up before 7:30. We made our tea and coffee and sat at the blogs for half hour. Not all of your posts got read so I might have a catch up read later.

Mrs. Elephant Butte?
I heated up some of my steel cut oats for me and Bill had cereal for breakfast. We took turns taking care of our physical and dental hygiene and by 8:30 we were ready to start closing things up. Clemson and I walked down to the dumpsters and made a deposit in the garbage and recycle bins. It gave Clem the opportunity to take care of business too, which he did.

Playing with selfies some more

Bill and Clemson come to meet me
At 8:50 we were pulling out of our wonderful spot and turned into the Desert Cove dump station. The one in Lion’s Beach was out of order. I hopped out of the truck so I could pay close attention to Bill’s process. I ‘need’ to know how to do this. It needs to be second nature for me, just in case. Eventually, he will ‘test’ me. 😊 I may not be able to hook up and tow the Suite but I should at least be able to look after the rest.

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.

Picture overload

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’ve traveled about 20 miles on this highway and met 4 vehicles. It is nice to have a highway almost all to ourselves. The speed limit is 65mph and we easily ride along at our comfortable 60 getting pretty good fuel mileage. We’ve seen a few black cattle across the open plains which when you see no barn or ranch in sight makes you wonder who they belong to. Bill says the ranchers probably ride out on their horses to round them up or at the very least count them. There is lots to eat and they have water stations in the fields.

Moo! Where is my ranch?
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.

Look at this cute truck!

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!
Parts of the highway along this stretch are a little rough but just slow down and enjoy the views. The history of Lincoln can be read on this memorial placard in the rest area we stopped at for lunch. It was 12:30. Bill made a peanut butter and cheese sandwich while I made a chicken salad wrap. That hit the spot and we brushed up on our history at the same time!

Interesting read

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.

Bridgette, did you write this??

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.
Funny little town names

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
I’ve written enough today and I mainly do these ‘travelogues’ for us. We like to be able to look back on our posts to see what interesting stuff we couldn’t stop at with the trailer. Maybe not this year, but another one for sure, we'll visit these attractions. 

Another angle of our site from the east

One of the bottomless lakes near us?
Anyway, that is why I’ll end my post here and get down to checking out this area. It was a good driving day, 6 hours in total including our two stops.

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.


  1. Sounds like a good travel day :-) We have never had any luck getting sites at state parks in New Mexico, next time we head that way we may have to make reservations.

    1. It was indeed! We had better luck on the way down in November. I guess everyone is headed home at the same time. Most people here look like they are only here for a short stay.

  2. Thanks for all the travel sights that we haven't seen before.
    Will you have a parking spot with hook ups in 3 days?
    Was also wondering if you had solar? Easy to boon dock with solar.
    I'm enjoying all your daily events!

    1. We do have solar so for 2 more nights here and 1 night in Amarillo (maybe) and then hookups for 2 nights etc. We are heading for Grove, Ok and will have hookups for two weeks. :)

  3. That is a wonderful drive we enjoyed last fall going the other way. Enjoy the area all the bottomless lakes and the Alien hype in Roswell, very interesting. Lincoln and Valley of forehand a few other places would be nice to check out at some point at some point.As spring break is at different times in different places it can be hard to get into certain places, most state parks have an overflow where you can dry camp and that is a good thing.

    1. We loved this drive. A variety of every different kind of sights. I love the small towns and would love to stop and snoop. :)

  4. What cool little towns. Black cattle = Angus beef. Nowadays everyone uses ATV's instead of horses, I'm sorry to say. Much faster on the run!!

  5. Looks like a beautiful drive you had..that little town of Lincoln is adorable! We sit here in your spot at EBLSP and know why you loved it! We didn't actually make the decision to come this way (or LasCruces) until yesterday morning so we couldn't catch ya..Have a great time at Bottomless Lakes, we've never been to that one. Are you planning on going (or have you been) to Carlsbad Caverns? Definitely something to see if you have time!!

  6. I must bookmark this post of yours for future reference and to come back to when we plan our trip there. Thanks for your effort and all the nice pictures.

  7. We travelled that route last fall on our way out. We even managed a quick pull over in Lincoln but like you folks I want to go back for a more in depth visit. It was a beautiful route, and like you mentioned a bit rough but not for too long. Loved all the pictures.

    You really should learn to hook, unhook and tow the Suite. Those things are important too. A just in case but always a good idea to be able to do those things on your own. I have no doubt with Bill's guiding hand you will be a pro in no time. Those things aren't labour intensive as it's a matter of positioning, not heavy lifting, etc. That of course is just my humble opinion but speaking as the person responsible for all of that in our travels, it wouldn't hurt to have a fall back plan.

    Posts are written for ourselves, long, short or not they have a purpose to us, which is what writing these blogs is all about. Again just my humble opinion.

    Safe travels!!! Enjoy the area, it's a fun one.

  8. Sound like a good travel day...I am making notes...:)
    Great picture of the Loop-d-Loop Mountains and you and Bill have a very nice highway.
    Don't you love it when you think you missed a photo then looking at your pictures there it is...I have had that happen more than once...LOL
    One question about the park: Do they have a dump station with water you can use if you end up in the non-sites?