Monday, November 18, 2019

We’re Still Here, Road Runner, Hop, Skip and Jump into New Mexico

Elephant Butte Lake State Park, New Mexico
We woke up on Monday, Nov. 18th around 5:00 and since it was very dark outside with no street lights, rolled over and dozed until the clock read 5:50. Time to move! We’d both come to bed within half hour of each other last night, 9 and 9:30. It is unusual for Bill to go before me but I wasn’t quite ready and read a couple more chapters of my book before joining him upstairs.

Good morning sunshine
We had a good overnight sleep at the rest area
We had a tea and coffee together while reading the update on George from Our AwesomeTravels. He is in our thoughts throughout our every day and we are mentally sending Suzie and the family our support across the miles. Life is so short and they have certainly made the best of theirs to this point. It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings, right George? 😊 Keep smiling, dear friend.

I snagged this picture of Bill in his new shirt
Love the colour on him
With a bowl of cold cereal under our belts and a quick wash, Bill did the few dishes up and secured cupboards. As he was closing the slides I walked out around the lot and be darned if I didn’t see a roadrunner!! He was so fast and it took me a minute to determine quail or roadrunner but the tail gave it away. I didn’t have my camera on me, naturally, and by the time I got it, he was out of sight. But, at least I saw my first one!

We climbed in elevation and the views just got better and better
Bill pulled out of the lot, btw, we recommend it for a stopover if you are coming this way, and it was a duplicate of yesterday’s departure time. 7:50 we were in the merge lane for I-10W. Nice easy access, both off and on to the interstate. The air was cool at 45F and we began climbing in elevation almost immediately. Once again, I have to say ‘the views!’ The wind gusts were strong too, up here, in between the mountains and valleys.

There was hardly any traffic this morning so we just nipped along at our regular speed of 65 mph. We don’t bother anyone when we're in the right-hand lane and they don’t bother us. Around 9 CT we changed into MT and gained an hour. Good, now I might be able to get out for my early morning walks again. Our clocks all changed inside the truck so I changed my camera time too. On time for once!

Interesting to note: I have been bouncing off and on data service while connected to AT&T between Saragosa and Sierra Blanca so switched manually over to T-Mobile. It must just be the area since it wasn’t any better. Not a big deal when we’re on the road. I switched back to AT&T. Bill has been watching our elevation and we reached over 4500’ before dropping back off. I wondered because my ears popped a couple of times.

El Paso not near as crazy as Houston or San Antonio
or maybe we're just getting used to them
At Fort Hancock, Exit 87 we pulled off at a Traveling Tiger Centre for fuel. It was almost 9 am (again) MT. It felt like déjà vu. Bill had no difficulty navigating through El Paso, it was a straight route. 

Mexico - right there as I looked out the back window
At one point we could see The Wall
At one point, I told him he could stick his left leg out and touch Mexican soil. Well, almost, it was right ‘there’.  Taking the exit at El Paso we followed I-25N. We crossed into New Mexico at 10:30 and were still amazed at the light amount of traffic.

Having once been riders and having good friends and family
who ride, these signs were meaningful

Not sure if you can read this one
It says "Now look again"
Um, Exit 0? What, did someone miscalculate?

Arriving in New Mexico - one of the prettiest state welcome signs
The temperature, by noon hour, had increased to a balmy 71F/22C (feeling in our world more like 80F). Beautiful! We didn’t pack a lunch today, just our peanut bars, as we had planned on eating out.

A rest area along the way
Got a kick out of the sign in the washroom
Hold what for 6 seconds? I've already been holding for 20 miles.
Oh! The flush handle, gotcha!
We took the exit to Hatch and pulled into a familiar truck stop where we’ve got fuel before. Last year, we stopped here with our buddies, Rob and Pat. Today, it was just to eat so went in to the Sante Fe Grill.

No name water tower
Thinking of Dad whenever we see trains
Now aren't these purty?
an inspection station along the way too
She just waved us on
It is a counter only with a very friendly ‘senor’ who looked after us with gusto. I ordered the Philly Cheesesteak with NO green chilis (when asked he told me that this season they are hotter than normal) and Bill ordered a cheeseburger & fries. We carried them out to the truck to eat. My philly was HUGE but so good that I ate the whole thing! No regrets either. Yummy.

Hatch, the Chili capital of the world?
Back on I-25N at 12:20 we were gung-ho for Elephant Butte Lake State Park. Unfortunately, when we’d gone online to check out availability, the sites we look for first were booked for the period of time we want them. Hmmm. So, with not many sites in the whole park left, I went online while Bill drove and booked us one in a different section called Quail Run. Bill and I stayed in this area our first year. Bill remembers it being busy then too so probably due to Thanksgiving weekend.

No gas today, just food
If you were reading my blog back then, it is where I saw my first kangaroo, er jack rabbit. A great memory, laughing at my misinterpretation of the wild animal. So, a little later, with 15 miles to go I checked the site again and there were sites available in the area we wanted. What gives? We decided to wait until we got here and see if the no-reserve ones in Loop B were open. The gal at the front desk happens to be the Host for Loop B and she told us there were sites available. Woohoo!

We drove up and found one easily. We like these because we can back in with a view of the lake out our back window. Once we were set up, I went online and cancelled the previous reservation. There was a fee, unfortunately – transaction fee but it is worth it to us and we have a site for $14/night full hookups for 2 weeks. I texted Jo-Anne and Bob to let them know that sites are filling up and that they might want to reserve as well. They may not arrive for a couple of days.

These guys were friendly and fast
Bill set things up outside and I opened everything inside. I’d had a mishap in the top cupboard where a jar of Moab and Death Valley sand plus some stones from Elephant Butte was stored. Had to be from that rough road the other day but the jar broke. Not completely but enough to spill sand out onto the cupboard and out the door onto the couch cushions. It meant getting the vacuum out and cleaning things up. I was sad but decided just to pour the sand outside at the back of our site. I kept a few of the little stones.

Now that's a Philly cheese steak!
Bill poured each of us a drink for Happy Hour and we chatted back and forth with Jo-Anne about their arrival. It would be nice if they got in the same Loop but you never know, there is such a turnaround in here. I took my book outside and sat in the sun between Black Beauty and the patio for a while. The rest of our site was shaded. The sun was hot and felt very good. Cancun was a long time ago! When I’d finished a couple of chapters and my drink, I moved inside.

This will be our 4th time here 
Loop B works best for our fiver
The view over our railing
We tried once more to get the satellite connection to no avail. Frustrated, we gave up for the second time since we arrived. Maybe tomorrow, we’ll try again after some adjusting. Bill went around the Suite and changed the clocks to Mountain Time. I felt tired, even though it is only 4:30, so went up to the bedroom for a lay down before supper. I haven’t even concluded what we’re having yet. Maybe this nap would help me to stay up later tonight.

Selfie time

The gamble quail are out in full force
Not a jack rabbit (but I've got hope to see one yet)
but a rabbit all the same
Around 5:30 I came down and because of our big lunch, decided on a ‘Po folks’ supper. I don’t mean New Orlean’s Po boys but instead weiners and beans. Quick, easy and filling. After dishes, we sat at our laptops writing my post for today and then hit the books. This was a good drive and I’m happy that we are going to stay put for a while. Time to clean the Suite, do some relaxing and wait for our friends to rejoin us.

Site 75 - home for 2 weeks
Good Night y'all!
Thank you for stopping in!


  1. Looks like a nice place to stay for a couple of weeks!

  2. Love all the critters there. Nice view!! Time to relax.

    1. Yes, if I can stop chasing and photographing the critters, I can relax! haha

  3. Welcome to New Mexico! Elephant Butte looks like a great spot. We'll have to put that one on our list.
    So, after battling the blacktop for a few days (hence the road warrior title) you get to rest up for a bit. I read your last blog and the reference to us (LOL!) Cheryl says 'Can we try just hang out for a couple of weeks somewhere?' Well, ok, when we get to Pilot Knob! Hope you guys will be there at some point this season. We're there for two weeks leaving on Dec 29 for San Diego.
    Enjoy your time in NM.
    BTW, if you recall we met you guys and George and Suzie at Pilot Knob two years ago. I SURE wish we would be with George and Suzie this year at PK and at Q. We think of them often as I know you guys do.

    1. You guys would love EBLSP, I'm sure and you'd find all kinds of things of interest to go see. :)
      Great! We will be in P.K. as well from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15 so we'll definitely see you there! Yay!
      I do recall that it was the first time for all of us to meet and our thoughts are exactly the same. They have been at PK every time we have so it will feel very strange. :(

  4. Beautiful travel day. Now your southwest adventure really begins. Enjoy your stay.

  5. 2 weeks at Elephant Butte! I'm so jealous...LOL..Our first State Park in NM was that one and hardly anyone was there..amazing how a few years changes things!! Love the water tanks! Bill's shirt is too cute! Love the color.

    1. We've never stayed here longer than 5 days and each time we leave we are sad to go. This place is quite popular now and I guess the price is a draw. :)

  6. This looks like a perfect spot to set up. I love that you have your own sheltered picnic area.the Lake view is really nice.

    1. Thanks sis, we will enjoy it for a couple of relaxing weeks for sure!

  7. Our first time in EBSP we stayed in Quail Run. It's where we seen our first live roadrunner. He was on the bottom step of the Igloo looking up at the door. Glad you were able to get a spot you where you wanted. Relax, enjoy.

    1. No matter where you end up in here, it is all good. We were prepared to go back to Quail Run but this is just our preference. :)

  8. Glad to hear you're parked in a beautiful spot for a couple of weeks. Nice view!