Monday, April 30, 2012

City Of Rocks State Park, New Mexico



City of Rocks State Park is an easy 43 mile drive from Rockhound, on the way to Silver City. There is an electric and water area just past the visitor center, but we stayed there a few days last year during a bad wind storm, and this time we really wanted to camp among the rocks. We were lucky to find a couple fairly level sites in the Pegasus campground, and we are the only ones here. Plus it is free, with our New Mexico Park Pass. Can’t beat that!


There is not much to do here except hike around the rocks, which we did yesterday, or walk the 3.5 mile trail around the perimeter of the park, which we did this morning. You can add an extra mile to the trail by going up to Observation Point. It is just a lovely quiet place to relax if you like big rocks!




Saw lots of lizards, horned toads, and one friendly snake on our hike today.


This is the first time we’ve been without hookups in a very long time, and we are happy to see our solar is working like it should. Debbie is happy, too, since she only did a couple days of boondocking after Jim helped her install a second panel back in December 2010. We’re planning on doing a lot of Forest Service and BLM camping this summer, so it will be nice to have. 

Time to climb some more rocks!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tale Of The Giant Asparagus



There is a giant asparagus growing in Rockhound State Park. The stalk is at least 10 feet tall, and over the couple of weeks we’ve been here we’ve noticed something emerging from the leaves along the stalk. This was taken yesterday.


Quite a bit of growth in 24 hours..



This is the Agave Americana, or century plant. What I didn’t realize is that it is monocarpic, which means after it flowers, at anywhere from 10-50 years of age, the entire plant dies. Luckily it produces off shoots at the base so it propagates itself, and this one had several. Nature is so amazing!

Had my tooth decision made easier yesterday while talking on the phone with the dentist’s office. He had a change in schedule and would not be able to see me until Friday the 4th. Since we plan to be in Silver City then for the Tour of the Gila bike race, I figured that was my sign that I should just wait. Also it has been feeling better the last several days. If I continue having problems I will just deal with it somewhere down the road. There will always be a dentist willing to take my money anywhere we go and Jim is living proof of that!

Tomorrow we’ll be stopping at City of Rocks State Park for a couple nights.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Still At Rockhound



We are still here in Deming, NM at Rockhound State Park, although we did move to a different site farther down the hill. Strong winds were predicted and arrived this afternoon, so we are sitting at a better angle to take the 40+ mph gusts.

It has been a most enjoyable time here, as we have had many calm days and warm weather, so we’ve been able to hike, bike, and even sit outside in the evenings and be comfortable.

Jim and Elliot have really bonded. Nice to have a dog we can give back to Debbie.


We discovered there is a microbrewery in downtown Deming, Mimbres Valley Brewing Co. The food wasn’t great, but all the beer we tried was much better than average, a pleasant surprise.

Ever since the first time we came here in 2009, we always make an attempt to climb up the mountain behind the campgrounds. Someone we met that first time told us they did it, but we’ve never been able to find a way up that we were comfortable with. There is only about a mile of formal trails in the park, but with people coming here looking for rocks, there are worn paths all up the mountain. We’ve now tried three different times, and yesterday got higher than ever before. It was quite a view.


I nearly had to be rescued, though, since I had a panic attack when my foot slid on some loose rock and I had to sit down, unable to go up or down at that point. Jim had gone on ahead and had to come down and help me. I finally gained my composure, but that was it for me. I had no intention of sliding down this.


Jim continued his way up, but came to an area he wasn’t comfortable with, so he gave up, too. Here he is contemplating the way. (Don’t worry, Pat, your daughter did not join us!).


While we’ve been here we sent our Nikon S9100 off for repair. It is only 6 months old but it was refurbished, and Cameta Camera gives a one year warranty. Lately it had been freezing and would only function by removing and reinserting the battery. Also the autofocus was not focusing properly. We had been using Debbie’s camera but decided to order a cheap ($75) Canon A1200 as a backup. It arrived this morning so we went to adjacent Spring Canyon State Park for a hike and photo op. It seems to do a decent job, and with our bad camera luck, we won’t feel so bad if we drop it. And now we will have a spare after we get the Nikon back.

It was a great morning for a hike before the winds began.








I am still undecided about whether to go back to Mexico for my dental surgery on Monday, although I do have an appointment. I will probably go, but I just keep hoping the problem will go away. Wishful thinking! Either way, we will be going to Silver City sometime next week.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rockhound State Park, Deming, NM



We are back at Rockhound State Park, a very familiar place for us as I think this is at least the 4th time we’ve stayed here. We knew our friend and fellow Lazy Daze owner Andy Baird was here, but we were surprised to see another Lazy Daze across from Andy. Turned out it was Andrea, another fulltimer. We all had a nice visit for a couple hours yesterday.

Our backyard.


Three red Lazy Daze! Ours is out of sight.


We always forget how pretty it is here, especially when the wind isn’t blowing. Took a walk on the trail behind the campground, where the real rockhounds venture off in search of geodes. You can take up to 15 pounds of rock from the park if you’re so inclined.




Today Debbie and I took a little trip 30 miles south into Palomas, Mexico. She was getting a crown finished and I am still having a little discomfort after the root canal I had done in February. The dentist took an x-ray and said it looks like a beautiful job was done on the root canal but I still have some infection at the tip of the root. He said a redo of the root canal probably would not help, and antibiotics may give me some relief but would not completely get rid of the infection. So I have to make a decision on what I want to do. The oral surgeon can do the procedure on April 30, although we were not planning to hang around here that long but can always change our plans if I decide to go ahead with it. After talking to my friend Candy in Pensacola who works for a dentist, I suspected that was going to be my best option anyway. That or have the tooth pulled, which since it’s a front tooth is not really high on my list of options!

Jim spent the day picking up our mail at the post office and setting up our new Millenicom air card. He finally had enough of Verizon, so we’ll see how this new plan works out. He’s also been working on our tow brake light issue, which he still hasn’t resolved even with a little help from Andy. Speaking of Andy, I wanted to plug his website, Eureka! Live. It is full of lots of useful information about RVing and living in a small space, whether you own a Lazy Daze or not.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Aguirre Springs Recreation Area, Las Cruces, NM



We decided to spend another night at Leasburg Dam so we could do a hike at Aguirre Springs. This is a beautiful BLM campground about 15 miles east of Las Cruces, on the east side of the Organ Mountains. Jim and I hiked the Pine Tree Loop in 2009 but didn’t remember much about it. There are quite a few campsites that would fit our 30’ Lazy Daze, but the sign going up the 3 mile steep twisty road says the trailer length limit is 21’. We did see a class C motorhome that had to be at least 26’ long, though.


Starting at 5700’, the 4.5 mile loop trail climbs to 6800’ at the halfway point. Not having been at higher elevations for almost a year, it was a tough climb up and we almost turned around after an hour, but we persevered and had a much easier time going down the last 2 miles where we could appreciate the scenery a little more. It took us 2 1/2 hours to complete the hike.

January 2009



We could see the White Sands Missile Base and at one point even had a view of the sand at the White Sands National Monument.


We were tired and hungry so we stopped at Pizzeria Uno again for a pizza and a beer on our way home. Now that’s a great way to end a hike!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dust in the Wind


After a few days of threats of strong winds, they finally arrived late yesterday morning. We had sustained winds in the 30’s, with stronger gusts. After several years of spending time out west, we have gotten a bit more used to this kind of weather. Jim taped up the weep holes on our windows with painters tape, which does help keep some of the dust out, and we used our day indoors to do some chores we’ve been putting off.

At one point our view of the mountains was completely gone due to all the blowing dust in the air.


We decided yesterday after seeing other parts of the country getting sleet and snow or severe thunderstorms and tornados, a little dust storm isn’t too bad.

It’s been a good week in Las Cruces otherwise. Debbie and I spent 6 hours one day shopping at thrift stores, doing laundry, and buying some groceries, which gave Jim a nice break from me! We also went back to town for a late lunch at Pecan Grill and Brewery, where we had a good black bean burger with some of the best sweet potato fries we’ve ever eaten, and made it home before our 7:30 curfew.

And of course we’ve walked the trails here at Leasburg Dam several times. There are a couple miles of trails which connect the two camping areas and also take you down to the Rio Grande and the dam, which is the day use area of the park.  It’s a pretty walk along the river and through the tamarisk trees.




It’s a shame there is no camping by the river, but it’s a lovely spot for a picnic.


And Debbie’s cute little dog, Elliot, loves taking walks with us.


Next stop, back to Rockhound State Park in Deming.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dripping Spring Hike, Las Cruces, NM



Yesterday we went for a nice 3.5 mile hike in the Dripping Springs Natural Area, BLM land 10 miles east of downtown Las Cruces on the western edge of the Organ Mountains.

It was breezy and not quite as hot as it was in town, since we were at an elevation over 5000’.  There were lots of wildflowers.


And nice views of town as we made the gentle climb up to a small waterfall. Also some interesting rock formations.



This area was a former silver and lead mine during the mid 1800s to early 1900s.


There is also another 1.5 mile trail to the dripping springs, that still has remains of a late 1800s resort turned sanatorium. Jim and I hiked that trail when we were here before so we wanted to do a different one this time. In fact it was on that trail on New Years Eve 2008 that we got a call from our realtor telling us the closing was finished and we were homeless!

Plus we always like waterfalls, even when they are just a small trickle.


It was a good day. This is for you, Pat (Debbie’s mom), a picture of Debbie and me at our shady lunch spot by the falls.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Leasburg Dam State Park, Las Cruces, NM


Leasburg Dam Site 2 April 2012

Since the dump station at Oliver Lee State Park was out of order indefinitely, we decided to move on to Leasburg Dam State Park, about 13 miles north of Las Cruces. We also wanted to see Debbie, our good friend whom we’ve traveled with quite a bit in the past. It was great to see her again after a year, and  it was nice to drive in and see another Lazy Daze. We plan on traveling together over the summer, or until she gets sick of us!


We stayed here over Christmas and New Years our first year of fulltiming, and enjoyed our time here. Las Cruces is a nice city and there are lots of hiking opportunities nearby.

We got a site with a great view, but there is a lot of dirt here and strong winds are predicted for the next few days, so I’m sure we’ll have a lot of blowing dust. But that’s just the way it is here.


The camp host told Debbie the gates are locked at 7:30, and she did have a key if we really needed to be out past then. That’s an early curfew even for us old folks! So we did the early bird thing and went into town at 5 for an excellent pizza at Pizzeria Uno. Sam’s Club was just down the road and Debbie has a membership, so after dinner we stopped there to pick up a few things. Got back to the park at 7:29 and the camp host was standing at the gate getting ready to lock it. Had we missed curfew it would have meant leaving the car and walking to their site to get a key. Guess we’ll just do lunch if we want to go out to eat again.

I forgot to mention we are only paying $4/night for sites with water and electric. With the annual pass, New Mexico State Parks are still the best deal going. And New Mexico has the most beautiful sunsets!