Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rockhound State Park --- Deming New Mexico

Sunrise view from our motor home

Roger here.... Rockhound State Park outside of Deming, New Mexico --- the definition of tranquility.  This was the perfect place to unwind and relax.  It is currently late afternoon after a visit to a winery and I am feeling kind of mellow right now.  But, let's flash back a couple of days ago.

We have driven past this state park several times on the way to somewhere else.  Every time we did so, we said that we should spend some time there.  Three months ago I attempted to reserve a spot on-line.  It was already full.  Bummer, however, I did figure out that there were several non-reservable sites.  Hmm?  If we spent the previous night an hour away (Las Cruces), we could arrive early and snag one of those sites.  I am so smart :-).  It worked.  Since we arrived early, we essentially enjoyed an extra day here.

Our campsite (with water and electric service for $14) was huge.  A covered picnic table allowed us to lounge in the shade for entire days escaping the blazing sun.  The temperatures in the mid 70s were perfect --- no air conditioning needed.  We were situated so that the motor home protected us from some pretty impressive winds. The picture below shows Dianne demonstrating how we spent much of our time here.

We had neighbors, but they were not crammed in right next to us.  The adjacent space in the photo below was vacant throughout our stay.

This view of our site gives some perspective of how the campground was literally built into the side of the mountain.  Actually, just one of the mountains.  We had mountain views from our site in every direction.

The pictures below were all taken from our site.

The view from the grill master's kitchen

The valley below

Ocotillo framed by mountains and sky

Bright blue sky

The adobe shower house at sunrise

Dianne took lots of pictures of the colorful flowers around the campground.

"Cow's Tongue" Prickly Pear Cactus in full bloom

Were we just couch potatoes during our three-day visit?  Mostly!  However, we did get off our derrieres a couple of times.

During our second day we rose early, avoiding the scorching 68 degree heat, so that we could hike up the side of the mountain in search of rocks.  Visitors are allowed to keep a few souvenir rocks from the rock hounding areas along the trail.  

The first step in the process was to don our appropriate rock gathering gear:  hiking belt with water and apples, check; sunglasses, check; hiking shoes, check;  camera, check;  dog water dish, check....

Dog pack for carrying rock samples, check!

Not so sure about this idea....

Bandido and I are ready to go.

Pretty views and large boulders along the way

An offshoot of the main trail took us to a rock collection area.  The small dark figure (head down) in the center of the picture is me as I searched for valuable gemstones.

We did not find anything of value, unless you count the spectacular views.

On the other hand, we did find a few sparkly rocks --- none of the semi-precious stuff  But,  they will look good in our back yard.

After our morning hike we took the dogs back to the motor home to rest while we walked to the visitors' center to see the displays and take another short hike.

Our vigorous exercise on our third day involved taking the dogs and cat inside, getting in the car, and driving 11 minutes to the St. Clair Winery --- the largest in New Mexico.

Our friend, Sue, asked us if we had been to the winery yet.  When we discovered that it was literally right down the road, we dragged ourselves out of our lawn chairs and hopped in the car.  Thanks Sue!  The low-key tranquility of this winery matched the atmosphere of the area --- and the wine was good, as well.

We shared a tasting of six wines --- reds and bubblies --- and then enjoyed a glass of wine outside while we decided which bottles we would bring along with us.  Now you know why I am feeling so mellow :-).

I will wrap this post up with a couple of pictures of the jaw-dropping sunsets taken from our motor home here in the mountains of New Mexico.

Tomorrow we hit the road again for a week in the desert just outside of Tucson and a visit with our friends Barb, Greg, and Izzy (the dog).

The pet picture of the day shows Bandido and Charlie following our "couch potato" lead.  (Tequila was too busy looking for lizards to relax).


Nancy and Bill said...

What a beautiful place to just take it all in!!! Amazing views from your campsite:o)

heyduke50 said...

Bandido deserves a break after carrying all those rocks ;)