(Part 1 is here)
There are two roads from Hillsboro to City of Rocks State Park. One goes over the Black Range through Emory Pass – shorter, but a climb on mountain roads. Not my winter choice. I took the flatter way – south to Nutt and west to Highway 180. Turning off on Highway 61 (not Dylan’s) I went past Faywood Hot Springs to the park entrance. It was an easy 90 miles. There seemed to be a lot of traffic, then I remembered it was the Christmas weekend.
I found a fine campsite at #34 – Lacerta. The sites are named for constellations and Lacerta is the lizard. I liked that. I needed to level the RV and did, but I don’t like the method I have – the yellow interlocking blocks. They sank into the soft ground giving me only half the change I wanted. Research time.
Walked through the rocks, watched young folks playing. The boulders remind me of being a kid in east San Diego county. Lots of granite boulders there – a few as big as these. Caves and forts and hideouts. A great place to play.
I met Davey, a nomad who travels with three dogs in his car. He invited me back for a drink later. Nice, but not my thing: drinking or being out after dark! His parting shot, “I have TV” pretty much sealed it. I understand if you are a full-time RVer, that a TV is nice, but that’s not what I want camping.
There were no camps within several hundred yards of mine. Something in me relaxes with that. There was a raven in the oak tree, and just after sunset, an owl on top of a tall rock. And later coyotes yipping.
We walked several times a day – around and through the rocks and on the perimeter trails. There were miles of trails we didn’t get to. Cassie had to be on a leash all the time. It’s hard to tire her out that way. On one walk we met Cheryl – our nearest neighbor. She is making plans to photograph all the state parks – quite an ambitious and worthy goal.
It was a windy night – buffeted the RV. I didn’t envy the folks in tents. Woke up on Christmas morning to an inch or two of snow. And still snowing – horizontally. Beautiful. This is Christmas 61 AB – After Buck – the glorious day I got my first horse.
The wind quieted down for a while, so we walked. No one else in the rocks. The peaks to the far west (Bullard and Burro Peaks?) were covered in snow. The wind picked up and it started snowing again. We headed back for shelter. I finished my book by noon. Oh dear, never get caught without a book to read! The wind continued; the snow stopped and was soon blown away.
Monday morning was windy and cold – in the teens. The kettle was on and I could hear the owls again. Walked through the rocks after sunrise and saw a fine red tail hawk facing the sun trying to get warm. I understood. By noon I decided to head home. On this whole trip, there was no sitting-outside-in-a-chair time.
116 miles home. 251 miles for the trip.