Rockhound State Park

Here it is nearly the end of the year and I haven’t written about my short trip in the RV in November.  I’d better get these thoughts down before the next trip.  Try to learn from one before embarking on the next.  And I do learn – about the RV and about myself.

I had decided I wanted to head towards Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, New Mexico, near the Mexican border.  And I thought I’d stay only a night and go somewhere towards Arizona for a night and then take a couple of days to get back home.
rh pecans
It had been six weeks since my first trip – I’d forgotten some of the basics.  Forgot to secure the big water jug and it hit the floor.  Water everywhere.  I wasn’t far from home so I went back.  Needed dry towels, a different rug and more drinking water.  My attitude was slipping.  I like early starts, but realized they are not required.  Just go when I’m ready.  Avoiding the interstate, I took Highway 185 south going through Palomas, Caballo, Arrey, and Garfield to Hatch.
rh cotton
I was grumpy.  I wondered if, after all the money I’d spent, if this was the right vehicle.  It sure isn’t as agile as my Xterra – much harder to find places to stop or to turn around to go back for a photo.  And I do that a lot.  Why did I want to do this?  But then I did stop to take photos.  There, that’s better.  I’m happy when I’m taking pictures.  And I enjoy the leisurely driving.  Just push those awkward questions away and enjoy looking at the scenery.  It was harvest time for red chiles and for cotton along the Rio Grande.  Pecans were just ripening, to be picked in December.
rh chiles
This was Cassie’s longest drive – about three hours.  She was okay with it.  I was a little tired – what with the two starts, the water clean-up, and the bad attitude.  Bad attitudes are exhausting.  So I decided I would go to Rockhound State Park near Deming – it is a little closer.  As soon as I turned onto a road that was new to me, I perked up.
rh slope view
Found a nice spot in the non-electric section (dry camping).  I still wasn’t ready to do hook-ups.  I had ordered a surge protector, but it hadn’t arrived.  I was mainly testing the propane system on this trip.  I mean, it had been tested and was fine, but I needed to learn how to use it.
rh camp view
Rockhound camp sites are on a slope with a great view to the west.  Not many folks in my section.  The hook-up section was nearly full.  Nice showers and toilets.  And trails with rocks to gather.
I turned on the propane.  The fridge started right up.  Cassie and I went for a walk.  The walks are important after hours in the RV.  I chucked the plan of staying only one night.  I don’t want to drive every day (note to self: remember that).  It takes some time to relax.

rh thrasherAfter finding a camp site and talking a walk, the questions about this being the right vehicle just evaporated.  I thought just give this RV a year or 15 trips.  Something substantial.  And then ask the questions.  Give it a chance.   I felt good.  Slept well.  In the morning we hiked the longer trail.  Didn’t see anyone else out.  There are benches on the trails – nice to sit and watch the view.  Lots of birds here – a couple of red tail hawks, cactus wrens, and thrashers.

In the afternoon we hiked the shorter trail down to the visitor center.  Met another camper, Frank.  He told me a lot about the electrical system – he’s quite knowlegeable and shares his information nicely.  He camps here and at Pancho Villa a lot.  We talked about Spring Canyon – nearby, but day use only.  The next day he and I hiked Spring Canyon – it’s a beautiful place  We found the spring easily but couldn’t find the trail much beyond it.  Something to go back for.

Sentinels at Spring Canyon.

Sentinels at Spring Canyon.

Frank has a van that is nicely kitted out – many appliances and TV.  He’s full-timer and seems to have the lifestyle down pat.  I hope to see him again in travels in the area.

I’m happy when I’m taking photos and when I’m writing.  Although as I wrote about the day’s events, I started to write about leveling the RV – something I haven’t attempted yet, but need to learn – and slowly my mood started to sink.  I love being in these places and this mindset where I can notice slight changes in mood before they take over!  After writing for a while I realized that I was overwhelmed by all the things I had to learn.  And I was expecting myself to ‘just know’ everything.  I wasn’t letting myself try things, practice, and eventually learn.

Oh, this is a familiar pattern.  I expect myself to ‘get’ PhotoShop lessons right away when it’s obvious I need to practice, practice, practice.  I think when I was younger, things came to me so easily that I didn’t develop the discipline to stick with something difficult.  And now I’m older and have less energy.  I need that discipline.  And with this realization, the tension about the leveling of the RV fades away.  It’s not rocket science.  The way for me to figure things out is to write.

I have the feeling I’ve learned this before.  And will probably have to learn it a few more times.
rv dinetteA quiet evening with a small meal, chamomile tea.  I was sitting inside because of the wind and finding it very cozy.  I encouraged Cassie to sit on the dinette benches at first just to make her as at ease as possible.  So now when I sit there, she was right beside me.  I was very content.

I am happy with my meals – some I made ahead and froze (marinara and a beef stew) with fresh veggies to add.  Eggs in the morning.  Yogurt for dinner.  That part is working well.  Cassie seems to enjoy traveling.  She saw deer and cottontails from her passenger seat – very exciting.

I found a Jonathan Winters quote that fit this trip.  “I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.”


5 thoughts on “Rockhound State Park

  1. I love reading your travel posts (and your others as well). I did a fair bit of backpacking when I was single (in my forties), and I loved being able to delve into my own psyche (often by writing) in beautiful places as you are doing. Somehow it was very comforting to sit on a 2-billion-year-old hunk of rock while watching the ever-changing clouds, sky, and water of Lake Superior. And sometimes I questioned my sanity regarding my chosen mode of travel: everything I needed to survive for one week contained in a backpack the size of a paper grocery sack, plus the tent lashed to the bottom and sleeping bag lashed to the top, the entire get up including all clothes and boots weighing 47 pounds. And transportation “out” (not to mention the steak dinner) being 40 miles away. Lunacy, and yet…the spring wildflowers, the ever-present sound of waves (sometimes gentle, sometimes angry), the incredible birds, the interesting people, the absolute silence upon occasion. And the absolutely black twinkly sky.

    So life is full of trade-offs.

    We have never leveled our camper. We have several levels, some stick-on, one in the drawer, but if it’s level enough not to fall out of bed, it’s good enough (for our camper, anyway).


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