Monday, October 15, 2012

Scenes From Elephant Butte and Chloride, NM



We’ve had a very pleasant week here, and with the lake level being so low we’ve been able to actually hike “in” it. Along with the grazing cattle.


This one didn’t fare so well.


No danger of any swimming or fishing here.



Late one afternoon a flock of American white pelicans came to spend the night by the water. There were so many of them it looked like a flowing kite tail in the air.


By the way, we understand those mountains across the lake are part of Ted Turner’s Armendaris Ranch.

We discovered a dirt road not far from the campground leading to North Monticello Point, where you can dry camp. Found a lovely spot where there was still some water. Had we found it sooner we would have moved there.


One day we took a ride to Chloride, a former silver mining town, now an “almost” ghost town with 11 current residents and an interesting museum. Most of the contents were found in the original buildings. Fellow bloggers at Happy Trails did an excellent post about it if you care to read more. We were fascinated by the story of former resident Cassie Hobbs. This true frontier woman designed and sewed all her family’s clothes and built all the furniture in her house.


Since it is adjacent to the Gila National Forest, we had to go off-road on an unmaintained Forest Service road into Chloride Canyon for for a couple miles to try out the Subaru again. We are amazed at how well it handles rough, rocky roads. Of course we had to hike the road a few miles, too. Found an old cabin and some nice rocks.



Our plan is to leave tomorrow for a couple days in Las Cruces for some shopping before making a beeline to Big Bend. We stalled a bit in hopes that it cools down a little by the time we get there.


  1. The lake is sure way down...poor cows. Chloride sounds interesting - thanks for posting the link. Travel safe.

  2. Gorgeous photos. We loved that area. Even though the water was even low two years ago when we were there, that area seems so clean and fresh. Glad you are having a wonderful time.

  3. Found a video link about tours of the Amendaris ranch that was interesting when I did a search. Thanks for introducing me to something new today!

  4. Pam and Wayne, thanks for the link about the tour of Armendaris Ranch. The Geronimo Springs Museum in T or C offers the tours just a couple times a year as a fundraiser for the museum. Cost: $150!

  5. Nice to be able to "Stall," eh? You guys are turning into real "desert rats." Nice that someone with eastern roots can appreciate the sparse and un-green, but beautiful, high deserts. Big Bend has it all... desert to pined mountains. Look forward to your photos.
    Box Canyon Mark

  6. It sounds like you are having fun with the new toad, plus going places where you may not have been able to go before.

  7. We're hoping to make it to BBNP later this winter. We look fwd to your photos! BTW thanks for stopping by. We did sign up on the LD yahoo forum lots of good info there. Safe travels. M & E

  8. That cow looked like it was "down in the dumps", or "outstanding in its field" or more likely, "just toasted".

  9. Glad to catch up on your blog. You sure have some great photos on this post! That water level is certainly down from what I've seen before there. Glad things are going well. Happy to hear the new toad is working well for you. Our new brake was life the one you have, and we love it. So much better for us than what we had to do before.