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.
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.
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.
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.
The last time I came through TorC I did not have time to hang out and get the feel of this quirky little town that my grandmother called home for awhile.
Still toadless I found a campground half way between downtown and the cemetary where my grandmother and older baby brother are buried.
Mountain Creek is being updated by it’s owner and his plans are going to make this a great park. They also own the Laundramat and UPS store next door across the street is a convience store and propane next door.
I have to say I was a little overwhelmed at first so I just went straight to the main entrance. There are 173 developed campsites. 144 with w/e. 8 w/s/e. Primitive, boat in and beach camping.
My site was level and a picturesque.
I woke the first day to the sounds of Gambel Quail covey moving from one level to the next. They sound more like a prairie dog than a bird and I enjoyed their morning wake up calls daily since they don’t start till way after sun up.
I was also fortunate to be there during a full moon.
Cochiti Lake COE is another great place to spend a few days absorbing the views. Two large camping areas with electric and water within 15-50ft. water is shared by two campsites. Sites are level and have picnic tables.
Less than a 1/2 mile to a well stocked Convenience store with gas and a laundromat.
It’s time to fill prescriptions and do some sightseeing.
My usual rental car choice Enterprise didn’t have any cars available, my fault for not reserving earlier, so I gave Budget a try. At check in, the radar went off when the agent didn’t want to do an inspection with me, said they already had and it was standard procedure to allow the customer to make note of any damage, I did with pictures, which turned out to be a good thing. Not long after I returned the car I get a call wanting to know how I plan to take care of the damage, I told them with the pictures I have on my phone, time and date stamped. That was the last I heard. Don’t mess with old ladies, we have more experience.
Anyway, on to Taos.
The drive up Rt.68 is breathtaking. Even though I was in a car I would not hesitate to bring Matilda up rt.68. i skipped the Gorge, its just not my kind of bridge. This pic is the closest I got.
The square is picturesque and the Alley Cantina located in the oldest house in Taos makes really good Green Chili burgers and home made onion rings.
Which made me late to enter the Taos Pueblo so this is what is looks like from outside. I definatly have reason to go back.
I took another route back to Santa Fe through Carson National Forest and happend upon San Jose de Garcia mission church having some restoration work.
I stayed at the KOA which is about 20 miles from Santa Fe and I used UBER to get and return my rental. This was the first time I had the opportunity to be in Santa Fe for more than and overnight stay and it is a good spot to make a base camp and explore.