Friday, March 22, 2013

2012-4 City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico


New Mexico
City of Rocks State Park

Arizona to New Mexico map

Campground:  City of Rocks.  Cost, paid $225 to camp for a full year in New Mexico state parks.  With an additional cost of $4 per night for electric sites.   Primitive sites and water/electric sites.  I plan on staying about 40 days at the state parks, making the daily camping fee round out to about $5.65 a night.

Bowie AZ
I’m back on the road with a smile so wide it reaches from the drivers side to the passenger side of the truck.  I had planned to stay at a small campground in Bowie AZ just before crossing into New Mexico.  Limiting my driving the first day out on the road to less than a couple of hours.  I was ready to fill up truck and pulled off the exit ramp, drove past the campground I’d picked out (cheap) but continued on through town.  Well, it wasn’t much of town, actually there was no town remaining in this sparsely populated corner of Arizona.  I stopped to take a picture, check out the gas station, diesel was $5 a gallon so I decided, what the heck, continue on into New Mexico.

not to worry, it'll be fixed before you know it.
Traffic along interstate 10 was moderate with lots and lots of semi-trucks but with everyone pretty much going just a tad over 65 even with posted signs of 75 mph, it was smooth sailing.  The occasional vehicle doing 75 or better.  At Deming I headed north to my stop at the City of Rocks State Park.  Upon entering the park, they had the right lane closed to force one onto a dirt loop for a pay station.  I pulled off, but realized just ahead the rangers office/visitor center was open and why use the pay station.  Crunch, scrape, opps.  Well that protruding fence didn’t have a chance.   Soooo, after 9 years on the road, this is the first time I’ve done something like this.  Minor damage to the slide out trim work and skirting.  I’ve got a call into a shop in Alb. To have it fixed.  Not upset particularly, after all, life is not perfect and it can be fixed easily.  I could even bend back the trim and patch it a bit, but will instead have it repaired professionally.

Here at City of Rocks, I’ve signed up for the yearly camping sticker ($225 out of state res.)  Since I’ll be spending at least 2 months in the state, I should save quite a bit on camping fees and have the opportunity to visit many of New Mexico’s great state parks.  $4 extra each night for elect sites.

My campsite

Somehow I lucked out getting the only electric site remaining.  I’m at the end of the row and have an expansive view of the New Mexico desert landscape.  Low mesas and a ridge of mountain ranges off in the distance provide a sweeping arid scene.  Imagine, views from all three sides and not another camper in sight.

City of Rocks, New Mexico 
one of the awesome dry camping sites

view from my picture window... wow

The setting is typical of many state parks.  A Couple miles off of the lonely county road, meaning it’s quiet, serene country living.  City of Rocks is a natural occurring rock formation that was created oh about 30-35 million years ago with the dramatic event of  volcanic eruptions that they say were 1,000 times more powerful than when Mt St Helen erupted in 1980. The various layers of lava eventually cooling and forming harder pillars and stone.  Over those 30+ million years later with erosion from wind sand and rain what remains is this city of rocks.  Many are concentrated in one area creating avenues between the large boulders much like a city.  From my campsite, I look out on the expansive desert landscape and see individual boulders the size of a house resting in solitude as if waiting for a giant to come along and roll them like marbles across the landscape.

Indian grinding holes 

Not a bad way to start out my adventures for the season ahead.

What am I reading on my Kindle Fire?  Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, by Willie Nelson.  Willie is one of my favorite country singers and it was quite a rambling story he tells of his 3 families, actually 4 if you count a daughter he recently found out about.  I think the thing that I got most out of the book is what an awesome family man and father he is.  Having been married three times, he’s been able to blend all the families together and remain close to all of his children.  He’s a great song writer, singer and has written a number of books along the way.  He still performs live concerts all over the country and world and hasn’t slowed down hardly at all.  Did I mention he’s in his 70’s.

Silver City Museum 
Spring is blooming

Silver City NM 

I did take a day trip to Silver City, about a 40 minute drive from City of Rocks.  It’s still a mining town but is also a university town as well.  Though I didn’t see much of that evidence while driving around the downtown.  I won’t say there were homeless around town, as I think they were just a lot of scruffy looking dudes with scraggly beards and old clothes.  Maybe they were wanabee hippies but I think they missed the mark.  The town is considered a great place to retire too due to cheap living and mild winter temps.

I visited the main museum in a Victorian house that was also at one time a boarding house, health resort, City Hall and Fire Station.   The attendant let us know that none of the rooms had any original wall paper, flooring, or furnishings and yet there were no photos permitted anywhere.  Not sure what they were trying to protect.  Maybe some of the exhibits or poster displays.

There are many great places in the area to visit including the Gila Cliff dwellings, but since I’d seen many of the regional attractions, I just walked and drove around town to get a better feel of the area.

I’ll spend another day here at City of Rocks and then head on up to Truth or Consequences and Elephant Butte State Park.  Feels great to be back out on the road exploring the country once again.

Full picture albums on PICASA.


Christine Trochesset said...

Doug, sorry to hear about the oops. We are heading towards City of Rocks tomorrow, so thanks for the warning. The pictures are beautiful, as always, and makes us giddy to get there. Safe travels.

LeRoy said...

our favorite hot spring in TorC is River bend right on the Rio Grande
Have a safe and fun filled summer. I am currently sitting at Global Industrial Automatic an Allison Tranmission shopin Tucson over by La Mesa & Lazydays. We stopped in to set up a service and when the pan wa pulled we had parts nad pieces swimming in the fluid. As a fellow bus nut told me once he was going to have session one night at a Rally. He said it youd be a Quaker meeting. Now Anne and I are in the Fiends Church so my interest was Peaked. He said he would start the meeting with the statement of 'tell us what went right on this trip'. Then total silenc would happen as there is always something happening to us. Sorry to see your battle scars from a fight with a giant post.
Enjoy NM we had a great time there last April.
LeRoy Willis

Linda said...

It was a pleasure meeting you today and I enjoyed witnessing your interaction with Don Edmund and knowing you enjoyed your visit to Chloride!
Thank you for allowing me to visit your blog. I think it's well done and so interesting; great pictures!
As much as we enjoy it here, my "wander-lust" is stimulated...there is so much to see and do in our wonderful country!
God bless you as you travel, hope our paths cross again one day.
Linda Jones