Walter and Sara on the road to who knows where
Sunday October 27th, we packed up at Santa Fe Skies RV Park and took I-25 south along the Rio Grande Valley. We were headed to Socorro Rodeo and Sports Complex in Socorro, New Mexico where we had a reservation to camp for a couple of nights.

When I made the reservation back in January I checked to see if there was a rodeo scheduled and there wasn’t anything. But in the meantime, one had been scheduled. So when we arrived there were horses and horse trailers all over the place and a rodeo in progress. Okaaaay. We had an assigned spot reserved and we pulled into the RV section and found that a very large horse trailer/travel trailer combo was parked in our spot. We drove around a couple more times and I wasn’t thrilled with the situation. The wind was blowing so there was dust everywhere. It smelled to high heaven of horse. The rodeo grounds were RIGHT next door so you got to listen to the whole thing moderated by an announcer over the PA system. We stopped at the check-in kiosk and the door was unlocked but there was no one there. We called the number on the side of the building and no one answered and when it went to Voice Mail the box was full.

I hadn’t had to make a deposit when I made the reservation so there was nothing to keep us there. While there were lots of empty spaces there was no way to tell if any of them were reserved or not. We looked at each other and decided to do something we’ve never done before. We left and headed on down the road. I sighed a huge sigh of relief as we pointed ourselves towards Elephant Butte Lake State Park just outside of Truth or Consequences, NM.

Elephant Butte has a row of really nice first come first served spots in their main campground. They are up on a ridge with a great view of the lake. When we arrived we had a whole raft of them to pick from and we happily set up camp and then went up to the entrance and paid our $14 a night for water and electricity. Such a deal. And here was our view.

Elephant Butte Lake SP

It was super windy (as it had been for the whole drive) so we just battened the hatches and enjoyed the rest of our afternoon. There was even free WiFi that worked pretty darned well the whole time we were there. Whoo hoo.

It was still really windy the next morning when we drove into town and got gas—you know it’s windy when you have trouble getting the truck door open and then the wind rips it out of your hands and makes it nearly impossible to get it shut gain. Whew.

Having done our one errand for the day, we took a drive north along the lake to Monticello Point where there is yet another campground with views and hook ups.

Monticello Point

We stopped in one of the reservation sites (all of which were marked reserved) and I took a panorama shot of the entire view. Do those bushes look familiar? They should; they’re creosote bushes which you see all over the desert SW.

Monticello Point

We had trees in front of our campsite but they were just down the hill so we had a view of their tops. They provided lots of cover for birds who would then come up to our level to explore.

We had Gambel’s Quail.

Gambel’s Quail

Singles sometimes, and at others a whole flock would arrive. The males are pretty fancy.

Gambel’s Quail

The wind was ruffling his feathers so here’s a shot where they aren’t messed up.

Gambel’s Quail

I was busy processing photos when this big bird hopped over the wall and caught my attention. It was a roadrunner.


Meanwhile out on the lake (even though there was a small craft advisory up) there was a sail boat out making time up lake.

Sailboat on lake

Here’s a close up shot of the boat.

Saliboat on lake  

They had to work really really hard and were heeled WAY over on their way back down lake into the wind.

Late in the afternoon an entire flock of doves came and perched on the top branches of the trees below.


The temperatures here were in the 70’s and our lows were only in the high 40’s which was a major change for the better after many nights with lows in the 20’s. But the forecast was for serious cold up north and we were ever so glad that we’d headed down out of the mountains when we did. Albuquerque had a forecast for a high of 35 on Wednesday Oct 30th. But we were heading for Lordsburg where it would be in the 60’s instead. Way better.

We packed up on Tuesday October 29th and drove south on I-25 until we reached Hatch, NM where we turned southwest on Hwy 26. We stopped in Hatch at a farm stand and I bought two nice long ristras to hang from our patio when we got home. I was amazed that I could buy 2 nearly 3-foot long ristras for only $40. That’s what you get when you buy them directly from the folks who grow and make them. Farm to Patio?

Ristras on patio

From Hatch, we continued on down Hwy 26 to Deming where we picked up I-10 west to Lordsburg. There is nothing of any note in Lordsburg but there is a nice inexpensive KOA where we’d stayed in 2017 so that’s where we headed. We got a pull through water and electric site for 2 nights and settled in to rest.

Wednesday October 30th, we took a drive south out of Lordsburg after we topped off our gas tank. We followed the main drag past the Veterans Park and the cemetery and then up and down through the hills until the road ended at a gate to an old mine. We got a nice view west to the mountains. You can see I-10 in the middle distance so I think these might be the Peloncillo Mountains just over the Arizona border.

Lordsburg NM view

We turned around here and on our way back as we came to a rise in the road, I took a shot of the mountains to the north of Lordsburg.

Lordsburg NM view

From here we motored on back to the KOA and I did laundry while Walter surfed the web and had a nap.

That evening we had a 360 degree sunset with pink to the north.


Orange to the west


And off to the south it was pinkish way up into the sky.


Thursday October 31st (Happy Halloween), we packed up and headed west on I-10 back to Green Valley RV Park where we started out back on May 1st. Just as we crossed the border into Arizona (and gained an hour since they don’t have Daylight Savings Time) I shot a couple of photos of the Peloncillo Mountains. Here’s the whole range as we sped by.

Peloncillo Mts

And here’s a close up of part of the range.

Peloncillo Mts

We had a bit of a time getting backed into our spot at Green Valley but with a couple of tries we eventually made it. We set up camp, had lunch and then drove over to our house in Sahuarita and ‘woke it back up’ after its 6-month summer slumber. To start with I took a photo of the house without our weeping acacia (it fell over in a storm Labor Day weekend and had to be removed). At least we don’t look naked. Our neighbor across the street who had just arrived back the day before hadn’t even noticed that the tree was missing—which says something either about things looking good anyway or perhaps him not being real observant.

Home in Rancho Resort

After talking with our neighbor we went about waking the house up which entails turning the water back on, turning the refrigerator and water heater back on, reconnecting the garage door opener and airing the place out and moving the patio furniture back out of the garage. It doesn’t take long and it sure was nice to find that everything was just hunky dory and all the plants I planted last spring had made it through the hot summer.

Friday November 1st, we packed up one more time and motored over to our house in Sahuarita and spent the morning and early afternoon unloading everything from the trailer and putting it away. Wow, can you get a lot of stuff in that trailer. Then we took it over to the storage yard to put it away. We had a little hitch there—they’d changed the combination to the lock and when I called to get it, the managers were up in the the mountains with a bad cell signal. But after about 6 tries I finally got it (and in the end they sent a text with it too). So we got parked okay and went home and collapsed.

And so another winter in Sahuarita has begun—though it hardly feels like winter since it is 85 degrees and sunny.