Monday, November 13, 2017

An excellent travel day, some history, and beautiful views....

Our Location: Elephant Butte State Park, Elephant Butte, NM
We woke this morning to a bit of a mist or a maybe drizzle, you could almost feel it but then doubted because you couldn't see any evidence of it. Know what I mean? 
Can you see the outline of the mountain off in that haze?
A quick breakfast, unhooked utilities outside, packed up inside,  and moved the Dogsled into the harness. We were at the dump station at our regular 8:30 am departure time. Took a while to do our business of course and finally we were on the road at 8:50 am. Not in a huge hurry, not going far today. A couple of hundred miles. 
The foothills are getting closer and closer, roads are empty.
The temps were warmish this morning, a light sweater was enough to ward off the slight dampness and chill. The wheels rolling westward on US380 found us enjoying the once again flat lands giving way to rolling hills and finally to mountains. The traffic was light as we rolled along. The country side more of the same desert like scrub land with what I think might be mesquite bushes dotting the landscape. The usual ranches/farms, a few houses and a town here and there along the route kept us craning our necks to see more. We managed to put in an hour or so before we stopped for a short break. Riley was busy snapping pics as we drove along the blacktop creeping ever closer to the mountains. 
Off in the haze the mountain is starting to get bigger.
Our first sign of them was a blue haze in the distance. The outline slowly taking shape as we watched in amazement as layer after layer of hills and mountain appeared.  We've driven through the hills of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia numerous times but those mountains are nothing at all like these mountains. These mountains have an allure about them, an invitation to come closer, to explore and to learn their history and share their secrets. Almost mystical in a different way than the Smokey's. Barren and stark, the colours vibrant in feel, but the landscape muted and harsh, unforgiving perhaps would be the best way to describe it. Truly awesome. 
Very pretty drive today.
We passed through the little village of Hondo, nestled in the foothills, cute and inviting. We moved on to Lincoln County, stopping before town to see the placard about  William H. Boney, known as Billy the Kid. He was a slight  player in the Lincoln County wars. Further along we stopped in the little hamlet of Lincoln that featured numerous historical markers telling about the town, the townspeople, etc. Alex McSween a lawyer and John Tunstall opened a store to be competition to the only other one in town. Both men died due to the Lincoln County War that raged. Two sides, each pitted against the other. Murder and mayhem were rampant during this time. Rutherford Hayes, the US president called Lincoln's main street the deadliest street in the US. On another trip through this area I'll be sure to set aside plenty of time to visit a number of these museums and monuments. Today was not the day. 
Lincoln County main street. Boardwalk along the store owned by Alex McSween and John Tunstall.
The beginning of this part of the drive was interesting. The road was terrible, washboards everywhere, the herky-jerky thump thump of a badly paved road was beginning to get to both of us, so we stopped often. However we managed to get through the short span of bad road and found that it  improved greatly a bit further along. The windy, hilly, twisty road required constant concentration with little time to look around. The road was narrow with no shoulder and I will admit that is not my favourite type of road. 
Looming out Riley's window.
Climbing these hills, no matter the grade the Dogsled just slipped along without any issues of any kind. He wasn't in the least bit winded or lagging, but humming right along like he was out for a Sunday stroll. A bit of a cross wind at times made him pull a little here and there but nothing serious. The down bound was no issue either, with both tow and the engine brake engaged we rolled down pretty easily. 
Lava Rocks from the Valley of Fire
The view was inspiring. Each time we topped the next rise we marveled at the beauty before us. In no hurry we stopped often and managed to find great views with each stop. 
The haze makes them look blue.
We merged onto I-25 southbound and let the Dogsled set an easy pace while the Igloo rolled smoothly along behind us. At times it was easy to forget that the Igloo was back there. We stopped at our first interstate rest stop in New Mexico. Impressed with the facilities, as the  numerous picnic sites have big tables, extra benches and even a grill in each one. The restrooms were clean and fresh, nothing fancy but well maintained. We were both impressed with the rest stop and the views!
Almost like a postcard.
We rolled along until we arrived at Exit 83, which we took. Up and down, round and round we finally found the little town of Elephant Butte, New Mexico. We didn't have much time to sight see as we were busy watching for the state park signs which we quickly found after a short drive through the town. Pulling into the state park we marveled at the view before us, even with the low water levels it's very pretty here. 
View from the rest stop on I-25
We've set up in Quail Run at sight number #28, a nice little pull through spot. We've decided we'll stay for at least 5 days, probably more as we've finally found the temps we've been looking for, the dry air is wonderful and we're going to spend some time looking around. The sand is soft, the quail are plentiful and I think I may have seen my first roadrunner earlier but I didn't get a good look. 
On a long and lonesome highway....
We arrived around 2 pm, we were set up by 3 pm and cooking by 4 pm. Lunch was late today. It was more like dinner really. We BBQ'd and enjoyed the view. Short pants, t-s, all the windows and vents open, we are truly ready to settle down for a while now. 
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
So there you have it, our day's travel. We enjoyed it immensely. We are both looking forward to just doing nothing tomorrow. Then we'll need to find some where to do laundry, and well take a few short tours around the area to check things out. I'd like to visit Truth or Consequences while we're just touring with the Dogsled. So as you can see, we have a bit of a 'like to see' list while we're here. We will get a couple of them marked off at least. 
This is our view from our picnic table.
Sorry no pics of lunch today as we were both hungry and it was late. Lunch was bbq'd dill potatoes, orange zest mixed veggies (asparagus, beans, mushrooms, corn, peppers, celery) and some turkey dogs. Along with a green salad of course. Good stuff. 
This view from just around the corner as the sun is sinking behind me.
We took a stroll after dinner and managed to snap a few pics of the sunset here. After wards I chatted with my dad as I do every evening when it's a travel day. He likes to know we're safe and settled for the night or a few days. He's enjoying the pictures in this blog, commented on Riley's new friend in Roswell and my visit with the little fella in the two holer. ~laugh~ Glad you're enjoying this Dad!
Pretty nice sunset...
Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to leave a comment. 
Almost gone...
Until next safe, take care.  


  1. You are close behind us, and enjoying this amazing weather. Have too much fun there soaking it all up. Love it there.

  2. We are close behind you George. In fact we've followed your tire marks for a while now. We are indeed enjoying this weather and the views. It's a beautiful spot. We're going to do a bit of sight seeing over the next few days. I can see why you like it so much here.