Seven days, 4 campsites in 3 campgrounds, so it’s been a busy week.
Last Thursday found me enjoying the peace and quiet of Rockhound State Park, including a bit of hiking around. There were some windy days during my stay but after it all settled down, the sunsets were fantastic, and the light was beautiful.
I was sad to see Rockhound in my rear-view mirror but there is a lot of New Mexico to see, so I hit the road on Friday for my next destination: Leasburg Dam State Park, a bit north of Las Cruces.
I could have jumped on the interstate, but I like the back roads better. Mostly slower speed limits and less trucks, both of which are good things when I’m towing Breeze. And I get more time to look around and actually see the country I’m driving through.
Got to Leasburg State Park and realized within an hour that this wasn’t going to be my favorite place by far. Windy, flat, and not much to see or do. The reviews had it right: it’s a good stopover place but it’s not a destination park. So I changed plans to stay only 2 nights here and added one night to my next stop.
It wasn’t a total loss. I enjoyed a nice hike to the tiny Leasburg Dam, learned that Radium Springs really is springs that have radium in the water (uh, no thanks!), and got a few restaurant tips from the camp host at the visitor center.
Sunday morning saw me up early, hoping to get to my next stop, Oliver Lee State Park, about 90 miles away, before the predicted “big rainstorm” hit. Saw a bit of Las Cruces from the interstate and climbed San Augustin Pass (over 7000 feet) before sliding down into the big, wide basin that hosts White Sands Missile Range and White Sands National Monument. And along the way was a Border Patrol stop, my third in three days. I asked the guy if it was always this dusty and windy and he laughed and said mostly it was. (The cover photo for this post is me on Route 74 on Sunday).
It was definitely windy the whole way, but that turned out to be nothing compared to the shaking going on all night at Lee. Winds of 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph coming down off those beautiful mountains behind me. But guess what? I’ve been in so many windstorms now that I fell right to sleep, no worries!
Next day was Monday if you’re still counting. Had to move around the corner, but didn’t mind because it meant I had power and water, whee! The only downside was the drizzle and cold. The temperature never managed to rise above 42F and my strolls around the campground involved fleece hat and gloves. So I will confess I was a dedicated couch potato, reading and writing and staring out the windows at the rain.
Tuesday looked about the same, except that over to the west, I could see some blue underneath the cloud layers. I got my camera gear, warm jacket, and headed out towards White Sands National Monument. Oh, my. I would say it might be the most amazing place ever, but I seem to say that every week or so! It’s beautiful and today’s mix of clouds and blue skies against the sand dunes meant I had a field day with my photography. Here’s one, you’ll see more in the Friday blog post, I promise.
That brings us to today, and who knows what Wednesday holds for me? I am going to see if the mountain road is open, for starters, so I can find out what’s been hiding behind me all week.
This time next week, I’ll be sliding into Big Bend National Park. It’s been my aim for several months, my wanderings leading me inexorably there, and it’s kind of surreal that I’m only a week away from it now.
I’ll end this week with my favorite photo edit. While I was spending 98% of Monday in my tiny trailer waiting out the rain, I played with some serious filters in Lightroom. This is the one I like the best.
The French word for wanderlust or wandering is ‘errance.’ The etymology is the same as ‘error.’ So to wander is to make mistakes. In other words, to make mistakes, to make errors is sort of the idea of learning through trial and error, allowing the mistakes to be part of the process.