Campground: Storrie Lake St Park. $14.00 water/electric. Dump station not working during my visit. 10 over air tv stations. Good Verizon cell service. Walmart a couple miles away.
I had a great talk with one of the rangers here at Clayton Lake State Park. As you know from last weeks report, there are dinosaur tracks here, but the ranger has seen tracks throughout this NE corner of New Mexico. How cool would that be to go hiking and find dino tracks along the way.
Bear proof trash cans are used in the park since bears have been seen in the state park and occasionally mountain lions (cougars).
Another very interesting thing he was involved in was the building of their welcome center here. It’s a hay bale construction. Using used steel framing, the bales of hay were pinned into place using rebar, then the hay was covered with a stucco type material. The walls are two feet thick and insulate the building both summer and winter. They rarely ever turn on the a/c in the summer and only turn on the heat after about a month of really cold weather. The ceilings were insulated using a shredded newspaper insulation which is very thick. He told me he was one of the builders and it’s been so successful that they have built others at many of the other state parks in New Mexico as needed. The roof tiles which look like slate are in fact recycled tires and plastic bottles.
Distance traveled: 157 miles
|I-25 rest stop|
My drive today along NM-412 and Interstate 25 was a dream. The high desert landscape opened up all that grazing land looked stunning with mesas and buttes and mountains off in the distance. Prong Horn were visible romping along through many of the fields of golden colored grass lands. Along hwy 412 I noticed many abandoned homesteads. The owners preferring to live closer to town or perhaps the areas wells had run dry. Still the expansive skies and landscape that seemed to go on forever kept a smile on my face the entire way. Both highways were in good condition with I-25 having been paved recently felt like I was driving on the smoothest pavement I’d been on in years. Very little traffic also added to a super pleasant drive.
|covered ramadas at Storrie Lake|
A few days later, my good friends Kathy and Randy (from Iowa) were traveling through Colorado and headed into New Mexico and we’ve met up again for a few days. Decided on a day trip to Taos NM. We of course took all the country/forest roads leading up there and stopped at another state park called Morphy Lake State Park. It’s outside of the small community of Mora. An adventure for sure.
|Randy and Kathy|
Old adobe buildings along the way, the park is located off of a narrow one lane road up a hill and there it was, among all the pine trees and a small mountain lake. The campsites were small and not suitable for our larger Rv’s. I think the trailer limit was 18 feet. No elect or water at the sites, but wonderful rugged campsites.
|view before entering Taos NM|
|remains of the first missionary church|
|first glimpse of the Pueblo|
- 150 Indians live in the north and south Pueblo fulltime
- Other families that own homes in the pueblo buildings live in summer homes near their crops or in modern homes on pueblo lands only using the pueblo during special tribal ceremonies
- 1900 Taos Indians live on Taos Pueblo lands.
- The pueblo is 5 stories at it’s highest point
|there are two large Pueblo's, a North and a South pueblo|
|the South Pueblo|
|the South Pueblo|
|the North Pueblo|
|mud, straw and water|
Well, that was worthy of the drive up through the San De Cresto Mountains and a couple of National Forests. We drove over to Angel Fire and then south on what was expected to be a straighter road leading back to Mora and Las Vegas. Ha. Were we fooled. The road became very narrow, twisting and looked to be at least a hundred years old, as we traveled through rugged forested mountains, country streams flowing along side the road, with Kathy asking every couple miles, “are you sure we’re on the right road?” Even had to pull off the roadway to permit a few vehicles to pass coming in the opposite direction. It turned out to be quite an adventure and we all commented that we were glad we were NOT towing our campers.
|large fields of wild aster|
The adventure will continue in this area for a few more days before moving over the Cochiti Lake south of Santa Fe. All areas I’ve visited a number of times in the past.
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