Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bosque del Apache to Elephant Butte via El Camino Real

We started our day off touring the Bosque (boskee) del Apache wildlife refuge.  This is a place along the Rig Grande south of Albuquerque along New Mexico's highway 1 or the El Camino Real.  This is not related to the El Camino Real in California.

The official map and guide says "El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro is the earliest Euro-American trade route in the United States.  Tying Spain's colonial capital at Mexico City to its northern frontier in distant New Mexico, the route spans three centuries, two countries, and 1600 miles.  El Camino Real was blazed atop a network of footpaths that connected Mexico's ancient cultures with the equally ancient cultures of the interior West."

So basically this is an old road and it doesn't get much use.  It's narrow and in need of repaving but it is cool too for those very reasons.
Not many cars today.
Ok, back to Bosque del Apache which is a big time birding area.  This time of year isn't the best time of year to see lots of birds although the man at the visitors center said that there is no bad time to come.  But right now not to many birds but we did see a lot of Swallows, ducks and Canadian Geese. 

Here we go.  The home of the Sandhill Crane Festival

You can't see them but there were about 40 Swallows flying around here
and that looks like a couple of Coots out on the water.

Mother Canadian Goose with the little family.  Look closely, there are five goslings.
 Dad was there too just outside of picture.


New Mexico Locust note the thorns.

I couldn't fine this in our book.

Now here you get two for one. 
First off you get a blooming prickly pear which are in bloom at this lower elevation
 and you also get a blooming Velvet Mesquite.
Close-up of prickly pear.  Look at those spines  Yikes but beautiful flowers.
Close-up of Velvet Mesquite

Elephant Butte Lake looking very low.  Mom use to come here as a kid.
You can see in the lake picture just how hazy it is here in southern New Mexico.  They call this haze where I would call this dust.  The wind has died down but in its wake there is dust everywhere.
Thank you for stopping by.

Just one last picture.  Mom and I travel with two cats, one is Rose who goes out with a harness and leash and gets in a lot of pictures and then there is Tootsie who doesn't go out at all.  Here is Tootsie after she had lunch and had just finished washing her face.  Isn't she pretty?  Both kitties are 17 years old.

Leaving Ruidoso headed to Bosque del Apache Nitional Wildlife Refuge

Thankfully the winds have died down somewhat so we are able to leave Ruidoso this morning, April 29.  We did a little back tracking so we could go down the mountian that we had gone up the other day.  Because, going down you can see all across the Tulerosa valley where White Sands Missle Range and national park are.  It is really a beautiful sight but not today as all the wind has kicked up a ton of dust and we couldn't even see all the white sand that we know is out there.  Oh well.  But by going that way we were able to travel on highway 54 from Tulerosa to Corrizozo, which is a cute old town on the southern Pacific train line.  My mom worked for the SP when she was much younger and she rembers when Corrizozo was a booming train town.  But alas not now.  We did find a nice place to eat lunch though.  Then it was on towards the Valley of Fire.  Very cool.
The Valley of Fires is a National Recreation Area.
You can see the lava flow out in the valley.

In this picture what looks like a cloud shadow out in the valley really is the lava flow.


The lava flow up close.

I was able to get up close to some pretty cactus.
  This member of the Prickly Pear is getting ready to bloom.

 Another Prickly Pear

I love the yellow halo on this one.

Hedgehog flower close-up

Small herd of horses.

Here we are near Bosque (boskee) del Apache and look we are the second rv here, in a huge rv park and we parked by this great tree.  Within 2 hours there were three other  rvers here too and they all parked right next to us.  What is it with people?  All this wide open space and they need to park next to us.  We had to close our curtins so no looking at stars through the windows.
Bye for now from Bosque del Apache, 45 degrees 8:15am, mountian time zone

Sunday, April 27, 2014

From Globe, AZ. to Silver City, NM

We left Mesa, AZ around 12 noon April 21 after seeing a chiropractor.  Wow, that was nice. We headed towards Globe, AZ where we spent a very bright and noisy night in a casino RV park.  Just a parking lot with electric hook ups.  Oh well, every night can't be spent in paradise.  From there we headed up highway 60 to Show Low.  That took us up through the Salt River Canyon.  Wow!  We like that canyon better than the Grand Canyon because you can drive to the bottom and up out the other side again and it was spectacular.



 The lovely Salt River

And up the other side.
Heading into Globe we were treated to a beautiful display of California Poppies. Blurry picture alert. Driving and taking pics is hard.

 We even manage to see some wildlife along the way. Here is a slow moving snake.
  And a fast moving lizard who stopped and turned around to look at me.


Show Low

After doing laundry in Show Low we found a nice RV park to stay in for two nights.  We spent our day off cleaning our little cabin on wheels. And let's not forget about the naps too.

We left Show Low and took highway 260 to Springerville and just kept on going on into New Mexico on highway 180 down to Glenwood where we stayed the night in a US Forestry campground for free(our tax dollars at work).  While driving into the Big Horn cg a camper came over to tell me that one of my break lights was not working.  It just so happens that I have an extra one of those little guys, 1157's.  So went about replacing the burned out bulb.

 Funny thing the old bulb sort of exploded.

For those of you that don't know, forestry campgrounds for the most part don't offer any hookups such as electricity. That is called dry camping or boondocking. So we merrily set up camp not thinking that we were at 6000' and just how cold it was going to get during the night. Well sports fans it was 30 degrees this morning and mom was so cold that she didn't sleep a wink all night.  Me on the other hand only had one extra blanket on not the two that I carry, and I was fine.  Poor mom.

Our dry camp with Rose wondering why she can't be with me.

This is what Rose does after a walk-about.

A variety of Blanketflower

Silver City here we come

So when we got to Silver City at around 10am we got gas @ $3.57 a gal., filled our propane tank @ $17 for 4+ lbs. and eat breakfast.  We then found an RV park across the street and down a ways from the gas station.  We are now in the Rose Valley RV Ranch(without enough internet to do anything) which is right next door to the Silver City Cemetery.  It is very quiet here. Rose and I took a nice walk-around.

Nice old Juniper tree

 Interesting grass seeds

A nice display of Bliss rock (white) behind our parking spot

Ocotillo in bloom

Tomorrow we are going to do a little interstate driving on I 10 from Deming to Las Cruses where we most likely will spend the night.  But as we know, plans can change at a moments notice.


That above part of the blog was written days ago (April 25) when I didn't have any Internet.  I can write it but I can't add the pictures until today April 27th.  So here is an update.

We left Silver City around 9:30am, and there wasn't much wind.  By 10:30am the wind had come up but not to worry as it was a tail wind and it was pushing us down the road.  By 11:15 our awning had blown half-way off and was making a terrible noise.  I pull to the side of the 2 lane road and looked the situation over.  Not a damn thing that I can do.  We sit there for a minute and try to think of something to do.  Nothing but to keep going (real slow).  After about 500 feet down the road there is a sign for an RV park out here in the middle of no-where.
So we turn into their 1.8 mile dirt driveway and hope for the best.  Now the wind is hitting us broadside, not the most fun but at least the awning is on the leeward side of the rig and not flapping so bad.  We pull into the RV park and by now the wind is almost out of control. The lady, Vicky, comes out to meet us in the driveway and I tell her my problem.  She says to pull over there beside the barn and lets have a look.  She and I get it all fixed up in about 3 minutes.  Girl power!!!  But now the wind is so bad I don't want to drive anymore so we stay in her RV place.  Our spot is facing into the wind, we didn't put out the slide and we hung on for dear life.  There were gusts of over 50mph.  They had closed down highway      I 10 because of blowing sand and dust.  I never want to go through that ever again.  Our windshield is pitted and there is sand everywhere.  Here are a couple of pictures of it.

There are hills not 1/2 mile away.


That stop sign was dancing all day long.


30% Humidity yikes, good thing we brought along a humidifier and
we ran it all day long, and it got up to 85 degrees inside.  This thermometer and humidity gage is on the outside of the window

So on that day we drove 40 miles before stopping and it is a miracle that there was an RV park right there for us to use and get off the road.

From outside Deming to Ruidoso

This morning April 27, we left Vicky's place at 6:30am(before the wind came up as it is going to be worse today) and drove for 6 hours to get away from the wind storm that is still ragging down in the desert.  We are now in Ruidoso, NM which is up in the mountains.  Nice and cool and not so windy.  It is a bit breezy here but not nearly like it is down below.  To get to Ruidoso we came through White Sands, NM and here are a few picts of that.

 My grand father worked here as a road surveyor and crew supervisor. 
 One of my uncles was a scientist working on the rockets here as well.

There were these signs along the road, kind of makes you wonder what they mean.


And into White Sands National Monument we go.


Even Rose got to roll in the sand.

And mom too.

Here is White on White.
For those of you that don't know White Sand is not sand at all but dunes of gypsum.  It feels like sand though.
That's all for today, sorry for such a long winded,hahaha, blog.  We will spend a couple of days here in Ruidoso to visit cousin Dave then on to Albuquerque.

Apache Plumes