Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Boondockers Paradise !!!

City of Rocks State Park
City of Rocks State Park is small by most state parks around the country.  There isn''t even much information about it online.  It is 3 miles east of US 180, 30 miles north of Deming and 33 miles south of Silver City on State Road 61. 
As you come down the hill to the pay station, there is a dirt road off to your right going up a steep hill. From this hill, you can see up to 30 and more miles away!  Looking down on the Water&Electric campground it doesn't seem like much! Looks like a bunch of tossed pebbles. Those are huge boulders, not pebbles!
There are only 10 sites with water and electric and over 40 boondocking sites with no hook-ups but lots of privacy!
This is the first boondocking site, near the Water and Electric campground. As you can see, it's some distance from the road and a pull thru as well! All sites come with a picnic table and a fire ring. Sadly, there is no dump station here at this park, so plan your stay accordingly! 
Verizon MiFi is giving us 5 bars for wifi reception and 3 bars for cell phone reception!  We really love our MiFi !!!
 Even the view from my rear view mirror is worth looking at twice!
There are balancing rocks all around the park!
The next few photos will show you some of the boondocking sites.
 Most of the sites are for smaller rigs. However this one could easily fit The MotherShip and it is a great pull thru site.
 This site you would park below the picnic area or tent above near the table.
 Here, a raven watches over some campers.
 At the Pegasus Campground, you can stay only one night without a reservation. A green sign means site is available, the red sign means it has been reserved.
 There are 3+ miles of hiking trails for them that have the itch to take a walk.
 This is one of my favorite pull-thru sites! Any sized rig would/could fit here! You have the open mesa in front of you facing distant mountains and the monumental rocks behind you and a restroom nearby!
 Some of the rocks even have a Stonehedge quality to them!
Gambel's Quail run in the road ahead of me!



I was lucky that one of them came so I could take a shot out the window. Unlucky part was I had on my wide angle lens and not time to change lenses. So this is as close as I could get him and I cropped it pretty tight in PhotoShop to get this image. The quail is almost camouflaged.
As you can see, some pretty big rigs fit into the boondocking sites!
You can see and hear ravens all over the park!
They carry on lengthy conversations sometimes!
 Plenty of room to tuck in and camp!
You can barely see him, but if you look to the left center of the page you will see a rock climber! Right after I took this shot, he jumped from one rock to another and scared the $!!##! out of me! There were two of them!
Rocks glowing in the late afternoon sun!
Sunset !

Full moon rising!  Wish I had Al's lens for this one!
Again, using my wide angle lens! My tripod was buried in the back of my car... so no sense changing lenses! 
Tomorrow I go to the dentist in Deming to finish up some dental work. We found the best dentist ever, Dr. Gordon, in Deming! As a rule I hate the dentist, but I can certainly recommend him!
We leave here Saturday morning. Headed to another campground on the way home. Home is only about 80 miles away, but we are just taking our time and enjoying the New Mexico weather!
Glad you came along to explore City of Rocks with us!  Keep in touch when you can!  We want to wish Pete Marks a quick recovery! He had a bike accident and is now in the hospital waiting for surgery to repair his broken leg!  Please say a good prayer for our special friend. Many of you may remember he played the flute at our wedding! We love you Pete!
Geri, Chuck and our HoundHerd, Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mimbres Valley NM

The Mimbres Valley is beautiful!  Right now we have golden cottonwood trees and willows along the Mimbres River. Or what is left of it thanks to the severe drought conditions in this area.  The word "Mimbres" means willows.  Willows must dig deep to find moisture for their survival because they seem to be surviving a the cottonwoods are dying. Maybe such a thing happened here years ago, when the Mimbres culture disappeared over 1,000 years ago leaving behind their beautiful black and white pottery. This pottery was discovered as their burial sites were ravaged and destroyed for the prized painted bowls.

This link will help you to understand the people who used to live in this area.

 Mimbres Valley is surrounded by beautiful mountains and impossible blue skies!

The cottonwood trees down by the Mimbres River are dressing up for autumn!

The Mimbres Valley is now populated by many large ranches, small hippie communes, organic gardens and a diverse variety of cultures, mostly Hispanic families that have lived here for many generations.

One day, Steve Benson pulled up on his propane run 1957 450 International tractor to get a fill up!  We sell propane here and it was a huge surprise to see this antique tractor come in!

We saw a lot of the local folks at the Harvest Festival 2 weeks ago!

Chuck bought the bracelet she is holding!

This lady is tending the booth for her husband who actually makes this fused glass, John Reeves. This was a great Harvest Festival with a variety of arts, crafts, organic garden offerings, story tellings and local honey!

 Wildfires are always a threat! This one started up early one morning a few weeks ago right across from us in San Lorenzo. Fortunately, there was no wind and a fast response from the volunteer fire department and the fire was quickly put out!


Adobe is the most beautiful and sensual building material and it is abundant all over the southwest. Adobe defines all that exists here. Each adobe builder has his own way of expressing beauty with his fences, his homes, his gates.

 Adobe reaches for the distant mountains, adding beauty to the landscape.  The adobe in these photographs come from a local restaurant, The Mimbres Cafe.

The use of Yucca stalks make decorative bars in the "windows". Out here, what grows in the landscape is much used.  With all the willows growing here, I am surprised there are not more basket weavers!

This courtyard, holds an unexpected surprise.
A Koi pond!

Cloth, hung from the handhewn beams, protects outside diners from the intensity of the sun.

This gate and arch are purely decorative, not functional but soooo beautiful.

The adobe bricks used are huge! These were left over after the restaurant was built!That is my hand on a brick about 12"x12"x3" !!!


 Chilies are a big part of the southwest food!  Nearby Hatch NM grows the best and people flock here to stock up on their supply of chilies. We have found when encountering the choice of Hot, Medium or Mild in most Mexican Restaurants.... there is no Mild! But green chili sauce seems to be the milder choice. Red is always hot in New Mexico!


I had to share this street sign! Only in the town of Mimbres would you see a street named Turn Here Road!

For more interesting history on this wonderful corner of the world, check out these links:

 Harris Site Archaeological Field School, Mimbres Valley, New Mexico

Mogollon Bowl (Mimbres Valley, New Mexico)

We are enjoying our time here, exploring new roads and new cultures.  This is one of the easiest workamping jobs we have had so far. It is wonderful working 3 days and being off for 4 days. If any of you reader out there are interested in workamping, it is only a 3 month gig, something that appeals to us!
You can contact:
 Mountain Spirits RV Park
HC68 BOX 2539
Mimbres NM 88049

One word to the wise.... you are 20+ miles from the nearest loaf of bread or gallon of milk!

Or veterinarian! We have to find one tomorrow for Radar! He is so roly poly that he rolled off the bed landing on his back and now he hurts! We are giving him baby asprin until vet visit tomorrow.

This area is very beautiful but also isolated. You are also 20+ miles from the amazing Gila Cliff Dwellings, Gila Hot Springs and Faywood Hot Springs, and City of Rocks State Park. Silver City is the closest place to shop although we do have a gas station within 2 miles and an airport next door! We like it here!  We are located on Highway 35 also known as Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway!

Hope you enjoyed visiting this corner of New Mexico.

Happy Trails from the MotherShip and her Crew,
Chuck and Geri and our HoundHerd Scotty, Radar and DoogieBowser.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Migrating Birds in NM

I was ambitious this morning!  We are back home in Truth or Consequences NM for the weekend.  It's only 90 miles from where we are workamping in Mimbres NM until end of Nov.  I was out hanging just washed sheets on the clothes line when I heard  a loud ruckus in the early morning sky!  Looked up and saw ribbons of sand hill cranes flying south!  Several dozen "V" formations... hundreds of birds in early morning flight!  What a treat!  It reminded me of my visit to Bosque del Apache, a wildlife refuge just north of here near Socorro.

I thought I would share those two links with you in case you missed them last year!     


I am trying to put together a blog about the beautiful Mimbres Valley where we are workamping!  I should have it ready in about a week!  I am not as ambitious as most of my blogging friends who blog daily or weekly! I am lucky if I can get one blog a month posted!  But I hope you enjoy visiting the 2 blogs above, Bosquw del Apache is a beautiful refuge!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Canyon de Chelly Arizona

(we hold copyrite to ALL photographs!) 
After spending 3 days exploring around Bluff Utah, Chuck and I headed to Chinle AZ and
Canyon de Chelly National Monument! (Pronounced Canyon de Shay)
We left Bluff almost a month ago! WoW!  Where did all that time go?  We followed Highway 191 from Bluff to Chinle and why this isn't marked as a scenic highway, I will never know!  Beautiful rock monuments and red stone cliffs, beautiful valleys and a wonderful road with NO TRAFFIC! I mean if we met 20 vehicles between Bluff and Chinle, I would be surprised!  Now for the spoiler....   be sure your gas tank is full before exploring this highway. You will be driving the backroads of the Navajo/Dineh reservation!  Going through settlements named Mexican Water, Rock Point, Round Rock and Many Farms before arriving at Chinle! It was a leisurely 3 or so hour drive from Bluff to Cottonwood Campground at Canyon de Chelly .
Cottonwood Campground is a well maintained campground full of the cottonwood trees for which it was named providing nice shady sites. NO HOOK-UPS
You will be dry camping here. The sites are all paved and level with some pull through's but mostly back in. It's only $10 per night.

The campground was almost empty! We got there on a Friday night... August 17th!  The little Casita belongs to the workamper. There are handicapped sites available right next to the restrooms.


There were Navajo artists at several of the overlooks with quality work, not the usual cedar beads you find.

This man had beautiful pottery, he was carving very intricate designs into this pot with an exacto knife! He had several pieces I really liked! We stopped by on our way back to buy one but he was gone!

 This lady has created a beautiful necklace using coral and silver!  I was really tempted because it was so nice! Not the traditional work you usually see but very interesting.

Archaeological evidence shows that people have lived in the canyons of Canyon de Chelly for nearly 5,000 years, longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted anywhere on the Colorado Plateau.
 I love this photograph that Chuck took...  looks like canyon spirits in the shadows headed down the stairs!  Several look like Kokopelli !  Chuck will be taking the rest of the photos...  I just can't do the cliff edge heights anymore! The 26 miles of canyon cliff walls, some rising up to 1,000 feet from the canyon floor! 
I couldn't believe this couple, casually perched on the edge of the canyon with nothing but air between them and the canyon floor far below!
The rains flow into the canyon floor providing farming for the families who live in these canyon walls.

Everything looked pretty dry when we were there in August!

 There are huge monuments on the canyon floor

 People we call Basketmakers built homes,storage facilities and social/ceremonial complexes high on ledges in the walls of the canyon cliffs. The alcoves in the cliff wall above and cropped in closer below were used for storage. Usually food would be stored here.

 In the close up and cropped photo, you can see the rock structures built within each alcove.  But look how high it is from the canyon floor and how treacherous it would be to descend to the grainery from above!
The camera lens we were using wasn't able to capture these cliff dwellings circled above! How did they ever get to them???
About 700 years ago the Anasazi (ancient ones) culture, who built these homes within the canyon walls, disappeared. Later, migrating Hopi Indians and other tribes spent summers hunting and farming here. You can enlarge the image somewhat by clicking on it.

 This is known as "Slide Ruins"

The more famous of the cliff dwellings is the White House Ruins. A fairly easy 1.5 mile hike down to the ruins gets you up close and personal with them.

The most recognisable feature of Canyon de Chelly is Spider Rock. Here, you can see the river far below that makes farming here possible.

A wide angle view of Spider Rock shows the awe inspiring beauty that is Canyon de Chelly!
There is a second campground near Spider Rock. This is a campground I would never recommend to anyone except bravehearted tent campers!  Certainly no RV's of any size, style or type could ever find a spot level enough or big enough to accomodate you. Extremely twisty interior dirt roads made navigating my Chevy TrailBlazer a challenge! Even trying to find our way out of this campground maze was a challenge!  Avoid this one for sure, the campground at the entrance known as Cottonwood is wonderful!
We loved our 2 days here, wish we could have stayed longer.  But we were rushing to get here Mimbres NM to our new workamping job.  This area of New Mexico is beautiful! Cool weather too! The cottonwood trees down by the river are turning golden we are looking forward to Autumn!
Happy Trails until we meet again!  Geri, Chuck and the HoundHerd Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar!


 Loved the back window of an RV we saw in South Dakota!