Leasburg Dam and Percha Dam State Parks

Leasburg Dam State Park just north of Las Cruces NM sits above the Rio Grande with great views of the Organ Mts. and surrounding hills.

The trails are easy and plentiful through the whole park.

A word of advice e/w spaces 25-29 is right next to a railroad track that is busy. As in 4:00 AM busy. It doesn’t show on the map of the park.

Percha Dam State Park

Another nice park on the Rio Grande River with easy access.

Rio Grande River

Right after taking this photo a huge Bass jumped, I sat with camera ready till it got dark but he must have been camera shy, never jumped again.

Both parks have a lot of Humming birds.

Hummer nest in Mulberry Tree.

The Rio Grande River Trail goes from north of Elephant Butte to Las Cruces and beyond. I took the picture of the nest along the trail north of the dam, I would probably not have seen it if I hadn’t been noshing on Mulberries, took me back to my childhood. The trail was blocked by debris just north of the area.

I spent 10 days at Percha Dam and except for the weekend, the park is quiet with a really nice bird alarm clock in the morning.

Columbus, New Mexico & Palomas, Old Mexico

Pancho Villa State Park has a great museum on the history of the area and 63 camping sites. 30 and 50 amp, E/W and water only and tent sites are available.

If you plan on spending time in New Mexico the state park pass is a bargain, out of state visitors pay $225 for a year and only $4 for e/w, $8 for full hook ups and $0 for boon-docking sites. You can stay up to 14 days. I have stayed at 2 parks so far this year and my pass is half paid for.

Campground

Coote’s Hill looking towards Columbus

The pioneer museum in the old depot admission is by donation and worth it.

Make sure you stop by the Patio Cafe for breakfast or lunch homemade food at its best.

This is what I found exploring.

highway art

forgotten shrine

I was anxious about going into Mexico by myself , so I reread a book that everyone, woman or man, who travels alone should read.

Fear Less vs Fearless The Journey of a Lifetime by Malia Miles Lane. Available on Amazon.

Palomas Mexico is 3 miles south of Columbus and the only 24hr border crossing in New Mexico. If you don’t want to drive in to Mexico there is a pay lot $5 or you can park at the Family Dollar like the locals do for free, a purchase would be a nice thing to do.

Pancho Villa
behind the Pink Store
more behind the Pink Store
in front of the Pink Store

I got a free eye exam and got new glasses ( no line Varilux) for under$150.

I walked around town and had lunch at the Pink Store and 2 hours later picked up my glasses.

a beautiful park
colorful stores

art in Dr.Garcia’s office.

I had a wonderful day in Mexico and plan on returning to Columbus.

Sunrise through my windsheild
Palomas from the campground at night.

Rockin and Rollin at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

I stayed during the “Bomb Cyclone”, don’t you just love all the new words for bad weather.

I bought an Annual Camping Pass $225 for out of state which allows me to stay for free if I don’t want hook ups or $4 for w/e and $8 for full h/u where available. So this 10 day stay was free.

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park is 12 miles south of Alamogordo NM and is a beautiful place on the edge of Dog Canyon. Plenty of hiking and history.

Dog Canyon

The story of Oliver Lee depends on who is telling it. He was a rancher and maybe a bit of an outlaw. He did have a really cool ranch house, which you can tour. The restored home is full of period pieces from the area and the self-guided tour of the grounds will show you ranch life in the desert.

All of the campsites are on the hillside and mostly level with picnic tables and fire rings. Every site has a great view.

Out of the 10 days, most were windy and overcast. The day of the bomb produced a full 24hrs of wind and a little hail.

It is almost always windy in the valley so keep that in mind when parking on a hillside, orient your rig facing north or south, out of 10 days I only had 1 day of winds from the west that really rocked me.

This was also my first time using my solar more than just a day or two, everything worked perfectly and considering the amount of time it was overcast I had no problems.

Yucca almost ready to bloom.

Safe Travels

Quartzsite part 2

So I did all my complaining in part 1.

Quartzsite is as unique as I had heard, something for everyone and a place every RV’er should experience.

Rocks, Rocks and more Rocks.

Amethyst Column

And a very large fishing pole.



HI Jolly

Hi Jolly burial site.

The old Jail sits in the back yard of Solar Bill’s

Old Jail

The fun starts in October and goes through March.

Rock Shops and swap meets abound.

If you like crowds go in January for the big RV Show.

Quartzsite part 1

I finally made it to Quartzsite and it was just as I had imagined it would be, it is a Rockhounds paradise.

I got there in the middle of January before the big RV show. So I headed straight to Discount Solar to get an appointment. It was busy but I didn’t expect the rude exasperation I was given because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. I wanted solar for my RV and I wanted an expert (because I was told they were experts) to guide my purchase and a company that would work with me and the cats. I made an appointment for a month out, cats in the unit ok.

I arrived back for my appointment and went in a day early to verify and remind them about the cats, no problem I was told by the man behind the counter. The next day the installer pitched a baby fit and refused to work on the unit.

So down the road I go to Solar Bill’s and as busy as they were they took the time to talk to me about my needs and my unit and I left there a satisfied customer with an awesome solar system.

Lesson learned, listen to your friends recommendation but shop around and if you are not treated right it is not worth the nickel you will save to give them your business.

Edgar and Eleonora

Edgar?
Elenora?

The Crows of White Sands National Monument are a joy to interact with on the dunes.

Of course, it is impossible to look at them and not think of Edgar Allen Poe and quote the Raven “Nevermore” but these birds love to mess with the maintenance volunteers.

They sit on top of the picnic tables and wait for people to put there trash in the bins.

eagle eye

Soon as no one is around they double team the trash cans, one holds the swinging flap open and the other picks out the trash.

dumpster diver

And when they are done they just leave it, you can’t teach crows to pack it in and pack it out.

Seriously though these guys are part of the White Sands experience and should be treasured.

Volunteering

and healing.

November-December 2018

Leading up to my first gig volunteering I was excited as a kid in a candy store. It turned out to be everything I expected and more.

The six weeks that I spent at White Sands National Monument was the 1 year anniversary of the hardest six weeks of my entire life. The time that my husband spent in CCU before passing away.

After orientation, my maintenance duties on the sands became my healing tool. All by myself cruising the park picking up trash I cried, re lived and cherished the twenty years I had with my husband. And came away in a much better frame of mind.

If you have never visited White Sands you must add it to your list and you have to experience it early in the morning when the Sands look like diamonds, as the day warms the sparkle is harder to see but it’s still there.

My view Mount Sierra Blanca.

The drive into the dunes.

A Cold Front and a total whiteout.

Mid day.
Dunes

Leroy Brown

I met the owners and restorers of this VW van named Leroy Brown on their maiden trip from Colorado. They did a great job restoring this beauty.

Thinking about Volunteering? Do it. It is rewarding to help and what a great way to get to know our National Treasures.

Lake Valley Ghost Town

October 2018

The scenic drive from Caballo to Hatch on nm27 will take you through Hillsboro and then to Lake Valley the ghost town is operated by the state of NM. Lake Valley was a silver mining town whose heydey was from 1881-1893. The last resident departed in 1994.

a little mud rearranging.

Lake Valley School


then off to Hatch for a green chili milkshake.

on the way to VLA

October 2018

Between TorC and the VLA there is a lot to see.

El Camino Real Monument off I25NB

I picked the wrong time to see wildlife but the drive through Bosque Del Apache NWR is worth the side trip off I25 regardless of the time of year.

Visitor Center

The VLA has been on my list forever and the Plains of San Agustin are breathtaking.

Entrance
Sun Dial

Up close
Art

The gift shop is loaded with books and information.

Caballo Lake and Percha Dam State Park

October 2018

Located just south of Truth or Consequenses New Mexico these parks offer water and a view.

New Mexico state parks are a great value $14 with elec/water. Stay up to 14 days. They offer in and out of state annual camping passes which reduce the rate to $4. Caballo Lake also has full hook ups for $18.

Percha Dam is right on the Rio Grande River so it does not have a dump station you will have to use Caballo Lake. The hiking here is along the river.

from my campsite Caballo Lake