Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Land of Enchantment - Finally

After a grueling drive through the wilds of Oklahoma, I made it to the “Land of Enchantment” - New Mexico. Northeastern New Mexico looks a lot like Oklahoma except the roads are a thousand times better and every now and then a volcano pops up in the landscape. It also seems to have many more miles of fences. Can we all sing "Don't Fence Me In"? 

I made it to Clayton Lake State Park – known for it's world renowned dinosaur tracks. I came down a steep hill and managed to score a prime spot on a cliff overlooking the lake. There has been a drought in New Mexico and the lake is down to a 19 foot level where normally it is 25-30 feet or so. The ranger told me I was very lucky to get into the campground because they are always really full. I felt sort of bad for him because for the two nights I was there, there were only a couple of other campers besides myself. Wishful thinking on his part?

First off, Miko and I head over to see the dinosaur tracks. I was seriously under impressed until I watched the little short film about them in the visitor center. I guess it is true that the more you know, the more you can understand and appreciate whatever the subject is. Now I'm thinking these tracks are amazing. One of the reasons that they consider these tracks special is because there are actual tail prints where some dinosaur walked and swished it's tail back and forth.  It was sort of awe-inspiring actually to walk on the same ground and imagine these creatures here.

I thought these were just eroded depressions but no - dinosaur tracks!!!!

This was made by a large plant eating dinosaur

We decided that we should walk around Clayton Lake. I asked the Ranger and he told me that when I get down to the far end of the lake, I will see a small game trail that I should follow to get back going down the other side of the lake. They hadn't made an official trail down the other side of the lake so I should follow this game trail. Mr. Ranger figured it was about a two mile trip. Ha!   I, of course, did not find the game trail, I could not find a way to cross the creek that fed into the lake, we were getting farther and farther away from the campground  – Miko and I finally jumped the creek and started bushwhacking our way back on the other side of the lake. The Gilligan's Island theme song kept going thru my head. According to my Fitbit, we completed a six mile jaunt. I was rather impressed with myself – this was my first hike after hibernating all winter up north and there was no way that I thought I could do that in my current out-of-shape self.

My next door neighbor, who calls himself the Traveling Texan(aka Richard), made a huge pot of potato soup and invited me over.  Nice guy, excellent cook.  I thoroughly enjoyed dinner on the picnic table overlooking the lake. 

View Out My Front Window

My RV site - cool, eh?

There is no cell service at this park which means I have no online access. It really disgusts me how tied I am to my electronic devices. I actually was getting a little bit of the heebie jeebies not being able to connect.

We are in for a few really windy days – I decided to make a run for Las Vegas (New Mexico, not Nevada). I desperately need a dump station and Storrie Lake State Park had one. Of course when I got here, I found out that the dump station was closed and they don't turn on the water until May 15. I'm sort of stuck here for a couple of days because of the wind which is now supposed to gust up to 50 miles per hour. No way am I going to drive in that. Did I mention that Storrie Lake is know for windsurfing and other windsports? The wind comes swooping off the mountains in the west and makes the lake perfect for these sports. Excellent spot for someone as wind adverse as I am.

It is all ok – I have internet, I have shopping close by to replenish my supplies and I heard a rumor that there is a laundry in town. I also have a little picnic shelter that is all mine where I can hunker down out of the wind and look at the mountains.

See the mountains?  See Storrie Lake?  See Miko hiding in our shelter?

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