Arizona – Utah RV Trip Part 1 Bluewater Lake State Park

Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, and Hovenweep National Monument. That’s where my friend wanted us to go. I got the map out and found several more places to go in northeast Arizona and southeast Utah. Then the friend couldn’t go. But I was excited and decided to go on my own. Well, with Cassie, my canine friend, who always wants to go. So began my longest, most adventurous, and best RV trip.

I left in mid-April and the first stop was Bluewater Lake State Park (off I-40 between Grants and Gallup). This is one of my favorite stops – convenient, pretty, good walks and hiking, a lake, and it’s reasonably quiet. From home (Truth or Consequences, NM) it was 234 miles, a 5-hour drive. The only part of the drive I don’t like is a short stretch on I-40. I take I-25 north from T or C to Las Lunas, take Highway 6 to the northwest to I-40. I’m on the interstate for about 8 miles to the first exit where I gladly join old highway 66. This is a scenic frontage road, a slower drive. And few big trucks. At Prewitt, NM, I turn off for the 7-mile drive to the park.

View of I-40 from Old 66.

I chose a dry camping site (free with the New Mexico state park pass). I like to park on the ridge overlooking the canyon, but there are also many spots with a lake view.

This site was being refurbished. When it’s complete, it will be a handicap spot – concrete pad, new shelter, and new table.

Cassie checking out the new campsite.

The first morning I sat outside with my cup of tea and saw the neighbor’s dog sitting patiently, backlit in the morning light. Grabbed the camera! It made me happy to start my day ‘seeing’ well, visualizing photos.

I camped here last May and had found a hawk’s nest in a tall tree in the canyon. From the opposite rim I could look down into the nest. It was a long way away, but I could get some decent photos.  I wanted to check the nest for activity this time. To my amazement it was occupied by bald eagles – including two chicks! Big chicks, but not feathered. And kind of ugly.

I spent a lot of time sitting on sharp, rough rocks, with a fully-extended zoom lens to get shots of them. And I still cropped a lot out of the photos. I did not realize that there were chicks until I got back and could look closely! Now I know why bird photographers have cameras with gigantic zoom lenses. Oh well, I’m pretty happy with what I captured.

I stayed only two nights – this was just a stopover on the way to Canyon de Chelly. The morning I left it was raining with a bit of snow – in the 30s so the snow didn’t stick. The elevation here is 7480’ and near the continental divide.

I drove toward Gallup – mostly on old 66, but there was an eleven-mile stretch of I-40 I had to take. My last interstate driving until Day 21. Yay!


3 thoughts on “Arizona – Utah RV Trip Part 1 Bluewater Lake State Park

  1. Pingback: Arizona – Utah RV Trip Part 2 Canyon de Chelly – About 70 Years

  2. Pingback: Arizona – Utah RV Trip Part 5 Bisti Bluewater & El Morro – About 70 Years

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