Saturday, May 11, 2013

2013-11 Santa Rosa New Mexico, week 2


Santa Rosa New Mexico  week 2

Now though I am staying in the area for two weeks, I would not necessarily recommend that length of stay to my fellow travelers. Not a lot to do in the area, but great if you like solitude and a peaceful setting.

wild flowers on the side of the road

Last week I told you about the earthen dam that I cross over to get to the campground.  Well, I found out it’s only 212 feet high, which is equivalent to a 20 story building in height. Still an awesome sight as I cross over it each day.  

The Army Corp has a couple really nice ¾ mile and mile long paved scenic walking loops.  Great for the physically impaired.  My very good friends Debbie and Eddie would really enjoy these paths.  I went along another one of them today and came across what I believe is a Native Indian pit house.  The Army Corp visitor center was closed so I drove over to the State Park visitor center where I asked a young park ranger about the site as well as wanting information on the rock formations in the area.  He hadn’t a clue about either question I asked.  Said he was more of a nature guy, interested in the animals.  Told me about the mule deer in the area and their normal routes down to the lake.  I’ll let you know what I find out tomorrow.

one of the paved hiking loops, Santa Rosa Dam

limestone and sandstone falling into the canyon

Pecos River, drains the entire eastern side of New Mexico
The next day I dropped into the Army Corp office and got a bit of information.  Those big slabs of stone that have broken off and have slid down the sides of the canyon are either sandstone or limestone, both prevalent in the area.  The formations on the first hike I went on are likely shale.  Being thin layers of stone that easily break off into sheets of thin stone formations.  No archeological studies have been done on the circular stone pebble formation overlooking the canyon so it is not known if the site was once a Paleolithic site or a more recent Spanish site.

Paleo Indians hunted mammoth (questionable) and bison in this area over 5,000 years ago.  They were mobile hunters and gatherers of the Archaic Period.  Eventually becoming less mobile and started planting crops.  

Although the restaurants are all pretty much of the same quality, one of them has stood out for me anyway.  It’s the Comet II Drive Inn Cafe.  The owner walks around and greets all of the patrons and if you're in the area on a Sunday, they have some really great lunch specials.  I had a full turkey dinner with sage dressing.  Although the outside doesn’t look all that great on first glance due to an aging shade cover for the autos, the interior is light and airy and all of the tables and booths are in pristine condition.

On another day I stopped into the Route 66 Cafe where I enjoyed Taco Tuesdays.  Many of the restaurants out west have Taco Tuesdays where you can get great authentic tacos for only $1.  This place has been around since the Route 66 era and has a homey atmosphere with lace curtains on the windows and big bouquets of silk flowers on each table. Red vinyl stools at the low counter with the words R-O-U-T-E 66 Cafe spelled out on the back of each stool.

route 66 cafe

nice homey atmosphere
Back at the campground Rv-ers come in usually around mid-day set up and many leave the following morning.  Not realizing what a great little campground this is.  About a half dozen of us have been here for a week or more.  Later in the day, a large 5th wheel camper circled the loop, stopped at a site, backed in and a short while later pulled out.  Circling this time both loops, each time coming back to the same site. With each turn around the loop, he appeared to be speeding up and become more frustrated each time. Looked like the guy was backing in ok, but would then pull back out again, each time getting more agitated.  And the last loop around, I noticed that he’d ripped off one of the side awnings and it was dangling over the side of the camper.  Once again he tried getting in the same back-in campsite.  Finally backing in to his satisfaction, stopping and putting down the stabilizer legs.  His wife, meekly watching this unfold each time.  Why he didn’t stay in the spot the first time is anyones guess.     

Little things.

I’ve been using my California Duster on the truck almost every day.  Great way to get the dust off the truck and save the need to have it washed.  the other day we had a light rain that spotted the truck heavily.  After the truck was completely dry a quick swipe with the duster and the truck looked like it had just been washed and polished.

I had about a half dozen hard cover books and donated them to the local library here.  Nice little library serving the community.  Feels good to be able to support a small local library with books I’ve read.  They re-sell donated books and it helps pay for supplies.

A couple more short hikes to the lake and before one knows it, it's the end of another week.

views from my campsite

Next stop, Las Vega New Mexico

more photos on PICASA 

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