Friday, March 16, 2018

Another do nothing day...

Our Location: 

BLM on US 62 East, near Carlsbad, NM
A do nothing day again but we've made a decision to bypass the tour of the caverns for a number of reasons. So I've spent the day figuring out our route all the way home to Ontario which will have us stopping in Tennessee for a while. We will be heading out on Sunday morning from here and so tomorrow will also be a do nothing day except for fuel and to find a place to dump the garbage.

Looking around out the door.
The wind died down last night around 3 am, but picked up again off and on through the day but not nearly as bad as yesterday. We heard voices of children this afternoon so we know folks are around but we can't see them. They must be in tents as I see no rigs of any kind unless they are very small in among the bushes closer to the roadway. Otherwise it's just us here that I can see. Didn't even have a visit from the cows today.

I finished a book by Rick Mofina, it was okay but not the best book ever read. I started a Robert Ludlum book, The Bourne Supremecy today as well.  I've been reading Ludlum for many years and always enjoy his books. I read this trilogy long, long before the movies came around.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Until next time... take care, be safe, 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

NO post, windy, windy, windy, windy day.....

Our Location: 

BLM on US 62 East, near Carlsbad, NM
No post today, we didn't do anything. The wind blew, and blew and then it blew again and blew again all day long, it made us rock 'n roll' and sway and dance but we managed to stay anchored after I ran outside to fasten us down with some steel cables to hold us in place and not blow us any further across the flat lands.  We stayed shut up inside doing a little cabinet cleaning, reading and such. Other than a couple of cows either trying to eat the step or knock on the door, not one thing happened today. 

Riley chasing the step eaters or door knockers....
At least one of them is afraid of her....

We can't see much at times and the low level mountains you noticed in yesterday's picture I assume are still there but I can't verify that yet.

We were smart enough not to bother them so they won't be chasing us....

Such a beautiful sight....

I hope you have had a calmer day than we here in the BLM near Carlsbad, NM. 

She can't see me here so she won't chase me......
Until next time... take care, be safe, 

Now this is the west I've been expecting.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Reference post, do nothing day......

Our Location: 
BLM on US 62 East, near Carlsbad, NM
Tonight's post is more of an information or reference post for those interested in this particular BLM land or for my own future need to remember. So if you have no interest in using this location than you will probably not enjoy the post. 
I believe some bunnies have been having lunch....

Most of these prickly pear cactus are pinky purple in colour and in among grass or branches...hard to get a good picture.
Our night here was very quiet, the peace was very much like our Saddle Mountain area with no noise of any kind. A quiet that was eerie in it's silence but wonderful in it's own way!! We both slept long and without a hint of disturbance. I will admit I was late waking up, almost 7:30 am MDST and I just listened to the quiet. 
Some buds and blooms......

I wasn't fast enough to catch all of him, just his head and ears... I thought of you Patsy and had to laugh at myself...
We did nothing today except rest. We both spent time in our recliners doing some reading, surfing, etc. I went for a walk, not far only a mile or so before coming back and just crashing for a 2 hour nap. I started off reading but of course that didn't last long. 
Notice some of them appear dead, some a bit droopy, but not others...
Various pieces of oil equipment. You can turn around in this yard, a big spot to make a circle if needed.
I thought I would give my impression of this place for future reference and for others as well. 

An indication of the road, the top right picture is taken past the oil pipeline and shows the high raised center of the road, the top middle picture is also taken past the pipeline and shows the bigger stones becoming more evident with use. The rest were taken between our location and US 62. The bottom picture shows you that a large motor home made it back with no issues and also gives you a bit of an idea about the size of his site.

These pictures give you an idea of what the sights look like, some are great for tents, small motor homes, truck campers, etc. while others are better for bigger rigs. The one with the truck camper on the trailer was the site we had originally chosen but when we walked back to the Dogsled and pulled forward with the Igloo behind us these folks had moved from their previous site further down the road into this one. It is one of my pet peeves when little rigs like this take up big spots that bigger units need.

The new place is very similar to Saddle Mountain. We can see the roadway but can't hear it. It's low scrub type foliage but with the odd semi type tree and you can see for a long distance. The road way is better with no big ruts or boulders in them so far as I've looked. Not nearly as many spots to park though, from what I've seen less than 20 BEFORE the pipeline. The spots seem in some cases less defined but would probably make wonderful tent locations. Most spots look pretty level but a little boost may be needed here and there. 
Difference here is cows roam freely and there are droppings around (just like being back at our summer location). There are places where you can see a yellowish type long grass but in other places you wonder how anything survives, it's dusty, dry and crisp, with little or brown, perhaps dying vegetation. The Yucca/Immature Joshua Tree growths are green topped with weathered bottoms, and some form of green tree be it a type of cedar or perhaps a desert oak, also offers some green tones. In the distance some vegetation looks very dark but not sure what it is. Almost all cactus growth is around small bunches of grass like stalks so not readily seen in some photos. The spines are also very long on the prickly pear but that hasn't stopped the rabbits from having a lunch from time to time. Eating a few of them right down to the base root. Some of the taller looking cacti seems to be drooping whether from natural growth or lack of moisture I don't know.
Love this pretty purple cactus, no idea what it is but is sure is a big bunch and the only one I've seen here so far.

Some form of Yucca or an immature Joshua Tree, it's hard for me to tell the difference as this is what I noticed at various heights in Joshua Tree National Park as well. 

The low level mountains are to the west and north of us but with no peaks of interest, pretty level tops except in a few places and those aren't very visible.  We can see a few places where access to the tops may be permitted but from this distance I have no idea if it's off road only or not. I see what looks like a town to the north of us, I believe it may be Whites City but I can't be certain, we haven't been there yet. 
Not sure what to make of the signs but they are pretty numerous just before you enter the oil storage tank area.

I would say they've had a leak at some point.
The roads here are pretty good, As I said similar to Saddle Mountain but with less big ruts, dips, holes and boulders. These ones are very dusty. Past the oil pipe line which is buried under a bit of gravel and leaves a hump that might cause a lower clearance vehicles some headaches (although a large motor home crossed it today without any issues), I did notice in the short distance I walked there that the more prominent stones are getting bigger and the area between the tire tracks is more raised, so that may also cause some issues with lower clearance rigs. However before the pipeline is fine for all types of rigs I think. Just slow down and proceed with some sense you should be fine. If you do get back to the fork in the road and don't wish to continue on past the pipe line, the spot is big enough to turn around if you're small or very good at backing up but you can also go to the left toward the oil tanks as there is a pretty big space there that you can turn around in, although it says authorized personnel only I doubt anyone would say much, just don't run over anything vital. We are further back than I wanted to go and parked to the left at the fork in the road, it's not much different than any of the other sites, but it does seem pretty dusty here in this location. The dust is fine and seeps in the tiniest opening so be prepared for dust. 
The view from out the yard, low level hills with no visible peak to catch one's attention.
Amazing what you can see out there, isn't it?

As you will see in the pictures tonight I've tried to document a few sites and give you an idea of what you could expect, also what the road looks like as I don't recall ever seeing this particular location on a blog but of course I could be wrong.  As near as I can figure it, we are located on Dillahunty Road, which looks like it may connect a number of oil holding tanks, pipelines, etc in this Eddie County. According to Google these are the co-ordinates: 32.067196, -104.392226 to our spot. 
They just kind of fold along into each other maybe, it's hard to tell from back here....
Can see the road up there? That white camper is the spot we originally were going to park in.

So there you have it, my information post I guess you can call it. Nothing of great interest but for future reference it's good. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to leave a comment if you like, I promise to read and answer them all. 
Looks like small town or settlement off in the distance. I wonder if it's Whites City?
I took this picture to give you an idea of how far back we went past our original choice, just so you have some idea about the distance to the pipeline. Our first choice was about a mile from the roadway and you can see us tucked in about the middle of the picture.
Until next time... take care, be safe, 
A peaceful view from here, good night.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

We traveled into the future and then back into the past today....

Our Location: 
BLM on US 62 East, near Carlsbad, NM
(the pictures with the odd colour of blue or fog like appearance is due to the blue tint on the window of the Dogsled)
A cool morning when we woke in Deming, about 49F/9C but we moved right along and didn't bother with the heater. In fact we didn't take long to get ready to roll out, we had chores to do before we hit the road. We left the empty lot, which still had at least a half dozen or 8 rigs still there, and I'm sure over half of the overnights had already left. The lot seemed pretty full when I last looked outside last night, rigs, trucks, cars, MH, 5'ers, etc. I was a bit worried that the Valaro 5R gas bar would have a busy dump station but not a single soul was there when we arrived, nor did I see anyone there while we were in the lot. It took us about a half hour to dump and fill with water before we moved out to the pumps to give the Big Dog a drink. He was getting low, right about the 1/4 mark which is low for me, I'm always looking to fill around a half. However I knew we'd be getting fuel first thing so I didn't worry about it. 
Looking out at the view from the rest stop at Las Cruces, NM on I-10 East.

Historic Marker for Las Cruces, NM.
We were on the road after all chores were complete around 9:15 am. Pretty good timing I think as we had about the same number of miles to put in today as we did yesterday, about 245 miles/394 km. According to Phoebe (RV GPS) it would take us about 5 hours. She was pretty close to being right on the money although she did get us to make a wrong turn which I had to correct by pulling a U turn at one of the cross overs. More later.
He's an ugly looking bird, isn't he?
A recycling project to show the world....
We pulled into the Las Cruces, NM rest area to see the big Road Runner in all his splendor and I wasn't disappointed. The views of Las Cruces are wonderful and I wish I could have seen them at night but perhaps another time. A wonderful sight even in the day light. After a short 15 minute break we climbed back in to continue on our drive, checking out the time it was 10:30 am when we were taking the on ramp back to I-10 East. It wasn't long before we left Las Cruces, NM in the review mirror or in our case, our out side mirrors and entered the state of Texas. We didn't know but Texas isn't in the same time zone as NM or at least our phones didn't think it was, and moved us an hour ahead AGAIN. 

The drive through Texas was long and uneventful and we like those uneventful kind. The scenery passed from mundane, dingy, dirty to mountainous, beautiful, breathtaking, rugged, inclines, declines, sharp corners, and flat scrub land that went on for miles out the window. At times we didn't see a single person, living creature or vehicle, just us. The land looked great for cattle but nada, not one for a long time, eventually a couple turned up but it wasn't until we were almost out of Texas. The mountain regions, like I said were stunning with captivating views and picturesque vistas. The mountains ranged from rugged, cold, unyielding stone to softer, greener, layers, and once again to hard edged, angled white shale/limestone like appearance. The colours also varied on the same mountain as stark white lines showed in various places, indicating water ways that were bordered by darker, denser looking areas. Sand, gravel, and shale also seemed to make appearances. The vegetation is now grass, stunted Yucca's, bushes, and other larger leafless trees. The flat lands showed off seas of dark green,almost black vegetation in some places and yellowish grass showed in many places. 
I was worried we'd be taking THAT road, but we didn't. Phew.....

A quick jaunt to the top to take some pictures shouldn't take too long huh? Riley wouldn't go for it.
We followed this route back into New Mexico where the time once again dropped back ONE hour to what we had been this morning in Deming, so we drove into the future only to drive back into the past. We've been time traveling. 
Long straight road, can you see it way off in the blue mountains, that's where we're going.
Various views today including the city of El Paso Texas as seen from the 375 Loop.
The route we followed was 1-10 East to 375 Loop, to US 62 E/US 180. That was it for the roads we travelled today. Our Phoebe's got us royally confused when we left the 375 Loop, I was certain we should go left but she insisted it was right, of course once I was committed in the lane to go right, she changed her mind to 'turn left at the light'. I was tempted to drop her out the window, and do her some serious harm with a number of tires. However, I managed a quick U turn and we were once again going the proper direction. That was our only issue for the day, how nice was that? 
Looks like cattle would do well here if you added a water tank.

These things look like Joshua Trees but I think are Yucca's of some sort, but they've grown oddly and look very similar to an immature Joshua Tree.
I found this campsite on a free site, actually I found two of them but this one came first so we tried it first. After crossing back into New Mexico on US 62 go to Mile Marker(MM) 10, and immediately turn right (coming from the direction we did) it is BLM land, you cross a cattle guard and the road isn't great but not nearly as bad as some we've taken. It's a bit rough so slow down and take your time. About a mile back from the roadway you begin to see some boon docking sites. Some are bigger than others, some are more geared to bigger rigs (although the tenters seem to like these ones best), some are back in, some are probably pull thru. We parked just off the roadway and continued on foot for about a mile. Found a great spot and walked back to the Dogsled, climbed in and headed to what we figured would make an excellent place for us to spend the next number of days. We arrived to find someone from further back off the road had come forward to claim our spot before we could get to it. Next time Riley will stay until I come back with the Dogsled to ensure that doesn't happen again. 
White sand like dust, wonder if this is alkaline dust?

I love this majestic mountain, it almost looks alive and ready to tell stories...
We continued further on and came to a big spot at the fork in the road. We decided this would be the place to call home for a while. It's a big spot, wasn't hard to get level and although it's pretty windy here I don't know if it would have made a difference in the other spot or not. There are no trees, only low growing shrubs, yucca's and some grass. We have a fire ring that was still smoldering from the folks that had left here and pulled into the spot we wanted. That's how quickly they had left here. There are plenty of people around, and I'm sure it will prove to be interesting as the week continues. 
Taken through the windshield so the blue is abit off due to the tint on the glass.
We were completely set up and Riley had started some lunch ( I was outside doing a few things) by 4 pm MDST. I called my dad to let him know we'd arrived, we chatted for about 25 minutes, about the freezing mark at his house, snowy and blustery but not really accumulating on the ground. 
Imagine being a cowboy on a horse crossing this land...

Sand dunes, this is what I expected the desert to look like....
Lunch was a chicken stir fry, Riley did a fantastic job. Thanks Riley. You've been cooking quite a bit lately, and I appreciate it very much. 
Hard to beat this kind of view....
Can you see the heart on top of the mountain? Looks like it has veins too... (again taken thru the tint on the window)
After that we both settled down, me to edit pictures and Riley to play her game. Don't ask me what game but she plays it a fair amount, I know this because she talks to it and I'm pretty certain like a child it doesn't listen very well. She continues to talk and of course, it continues to ignore her. So I'm not sure why she enjoys it but she seems to. 
Some view isn't it? We drove that road in the middle of the picture just a few minutes before this was taken.

It's hard to describe these kinds of views, don't you think?
So there you have it, our last travel day for a few days. A few fun facts for those that care, and for me to remember some day. The highest elevation we reached was just under 6000 feet, we passed through the Gaudalope Mountain Range today, the temps on our drive ranged from 50F/10C to 65F/18C today. We are currently sitting at about 3200 feet and are approx 10 miles/16 km from the Texas state line, and approx the same distance from the Carlsbad Caverns National Park near Whites City. We are approx 40 miles southwest of Carlsbad, NM. NOTE TO SELF ABOUT ROADS: The roads today were poor to good to very good. Some of the interstate needs some attention, while I didn't find any holes I did find lots of worn pavement that has worn down to the previous pavement. Other places were good, but you can tell where the construction has been as they didn't fill the rumble strips very well and it makes you wonder about the tires for the first little while. The mountain incline roads were pretty steep for the most part, the declines were also pretty steep in places and more gradual in other places. Again picnic and scenic views were part way up and one would have to start uphill from a full stop. Overall, a road I would take again, a route I would take again. 
Isn't it amazing how such very different rock forms can be found so close together? 

Wonder how old some of these are, and what stories they have to tell.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit and I appreciate the time you spent with us today. Feel free to leave a line if you feel so inclined. I will answer each one. I hope you've had a good day doing whatever it is that kept you busy. 
Imagine looking for cattle in those thickets...
Until next time... take care, be safe, 
Goodnight from A long and lonesome highway.....