Thursday, May 3, 2012

Travels Through New Mexico

Roger here....  This post is mostly about three travel days on our way to Mesa Verde in southwest Colorado.  Most of our travels were in New Mexico (a place that we intend to spend quality time in the fall).  

The opening picture was taken by Dianne at Balmorhea State Park in West Texas the night before our journey.  (She NEVER takes sunset pictures and makes fun of me when I do, so this shot had to be documented.)

After leaving Balmorhea, we still had THREE more hours on I-10 before the city traffic in El Paso and our entry into New Mexico.  At I-25 we turned north and spent the night at Caballo State Park.  It was an easy stop, right off the interstate.  This stop was our first in a New Mexico State Park and it was a good one.  We had a nice water/electric site for $14 and enjoyed walking to the lake.


She also took a picture of an Ocotillo plant as we left the park.  This was not a surprise.  She may want to add one to our backyard at Retama.

The next driving day started well.  It was an easy drive on I-25.  In order to avoid the city traffic in Albuquerque, we took a short cut on NM 6 so we could connect with I-40 on the west side of town and avoid a construction area.  It was a good decision.  Pretty.  Quiet.  BUT....  As soon as we turned onto the road we found ourselves behind a slow-moving vehicle pulling a weaving (very low-to-the-ground) trailer.  There was no way to pass this combo on a two-lane road (the portion in the above photo was just before I-40, so it was 4 lanes).  So we turtled along at 45 mph for about 40 miles.  Please notice that I was not tailgating.

Going west on I-40 we encountered Jaba the Hut! I did not know that after the Star Wars Movies that he landed in New Mexico.

It was early in the day, so we decided to bypass a casino campground and forge on to Gallup so that the next day would be shorter.  It turned out to be a good decision except for a scary moment.  Just before we entered the Gallup area, a rogue gust of wind slammed into the side of us.  It forced us into the next lane --- really glad no one was there.  It took an eternity for me to get the motor home back under control as we weaved back-and-forth for several hundred feet.  A friend of ours asked if we needed to make an emergency laundry stop :-).

We spent the night at the USA Travel Park.  It was good to unwind.  The park had an enclosed dog run that the pups enjoyed.  Bandido had not chased a tennis ball for a long time.  We were surprised when he jumped over the cinder-block wall on our first visit, and relieved that he came back to us when we tempted him with a tennis ball.

The next day's drive on a mostly two-lane highway (US 491) was beautiful.  We passed endless mesas emerging from the flat landscape.  The highlight of the trip were the rocky spires that seemed to grow right out the flat plains.

The shiprock formation was a little too far away to get a good photo.  But, here is a somewhat hazy attempt.

Just before crossing the state line into Colorado, Dianne took this picture.

We intended to park the motor home at the Morefield Campground in Mesa Verde National Park, but it does not open for a few days.  Our excellent alternative was the A and A Mesa Verde RV Park, just across from the national park entrance. 

 We have a great site here with a great view.  (AND, we have the whole upper portion to ourselves -- D.)

As a bonus, a couple of beautiful horses graze next to our campsite, just on the other side of a barbed-wire fence.

The doggies are enjoying the horses, as well.

Dianne here...the pet photo of the day is actually a video clip I took of Bandido and Tequila playing "Who's got the ball?" inside the motor home one day while Roger was at a seminar at the recent RV Dreams rally.  Our furniture leads a hard life; hence the sheet over the couch.  They play hard, but they sure have fun! 

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