Setting off for Caballo State Park on Sunday noon, I had my first insight before I was out of town. I drive better in the RV – slower, with gentle stops and starts. I’m more relaxed and not in a hurry to get anywhere. Content. Cast of characters: me, Cassie (dog), and Dorothy (the RV).
I chose Sunday afternoon because I thought most of the weekend campers would be gone. I was looking for solitude. It worked – there were only a couple of other RVs in the dry camping area and none were close to my site. I hadn’t, however, considered day users. There were a couple of fisherman along the Rio Grande and a dozen folks at a birthday picnic two tables down. The kids were in swimming – lots of happy sounds.
I backed the RV into a nice space – thought I might get shade in the late afternoon. Turns out I was facing west – add ‘compass’ to the list. There was a fire ring and a picnic table near the river. There was also a huge pile of dog food dumped by the previous tenant. Obviously it was cheap dog food; Cassie showed no interest in it. I made a note to clean it up.
Cassie was fine on the drive down – she chose to sit on the passenger seat. At the campsite I tied her up – not a common thing for her, but she was happy to sit nearby while I wrote at the picnic table.
There was a chirpy bird in the willow – sounded almost like a ground squirrel warning. It was small and quick. It would take some patience and persistence to get a photo. The chirps echoed off the cliffs across the river to the east. A little disconcerting. Then I noticed the interstate noise. It was about a half mile away to the west and didn’t have a lot of traffic, but that noise also bounced off the cliffs. Strange.
It was warm – too warm to be in the RV, but very nice outside. I could have run the air conditioning but don’t like having the generator on – too noisy. I was happy sitting at the table. I could hear hawks, but I couldn’t see them. I watched a couple of carpenter bees – really big ones. It was a lazy time of day, could be nap time. Too warm to walk around and the light was very high – not great for photography. I was enjoying listening. Paying attention to the sounds, like the cheers and tin whistles from the birthday group.
After a few hours I asked myself if I was bored. No, but it felt a little as if I were the outside looking in. I had no desire to be anywhere else.
Went for a short walk along the river. Cassie loves being in the water – she came out smelly and gritty. Add ‘more dog towels’ to the list of things to bring next time. I got some photos of an old wood structure on the far shore – maybe the remnants of a bridge.
Sue stopped by for a few minutes. She had been to a picnic at Percha Dam just down the river. It was fun to have a visitor. Our friend Annie was camped nearby – in the electric section of this campground. Cassie and I walked over to see her while Sue was still here. Annie has a great solar set-up. I do aspire to that. The community among women in RVs is a real bonus.
Annie stopped by with her dog Jake. The dogs played in the river – Jake is better at playing than Cassie is. She gets threatened a bit and then snarly. They need more time together. Annie pointed out a crevice in the cliff where owls have nested.
The sun was down. I headed inside.
It was a nice night – it cooled off. And it was really dark – great for watching stars. Cassie was bit uneasy. She can’t get up to where I sleep. She chose to sleep on the passenger seat. Until the raccoons came. I never got around to cleaning up that kibble. There were five raccoons just outside the window – they finished off every bit. Cassie wasn’t thrilled with their smells and noises. She would have loved to chase them off, but has no idea that five raccoons would be rather formidable.
I heard an owl for a long time – great way to go back to sleep.
In the early morning there were cottontails, a blue heron, lines of cormorants overhead, and fish jumping in the river. We took a short walk to the field away from the water. I could let Cassie run loose there.
Back at the picnic table, the kingfishers were really noisy – there are at least two, maybe more. They flew swiftly just above the river making ratchety sounds – either playing or fighting. Sunrise comes late here – the cliff blocks it.
It was a little overcast. Annie stopped by to show me her fuse tester. We were trying to get the generator to talk to the air conditioner, but fuses weren’t the problem. She also said it was supposed to rain later. It looked like that – low light, low contrast for photos. The kingfishers have been around all morning.
I started fixing lunch, cooking with a camp stove outside – heated the marinara sauce I’d made at home and put water on for the pasta. It was an easy meal, just my style. And a light rain began.
I had my journal out almost all the time – on the picnic table outside or the dining table inside. I made a lot of short entries – lists of things, activities, sightings, and occasional thoughts. But questioned whether I could do a daily blog post as I traveled. I so enjoy Sue’s daily posts when she travels, but this particular post was written after I got home. So another aspiration: daily posts from the road.
It started to rain more seriously. And I thought more about the blog posts. I have to learn how to post the blog from the phone which is not too hard if I’m using photos from the iPhone camera, but it’s not my favorite camera. Some of the new cameras will link to a phone but not the ones I have (I think). So much to learn.
It was nice to sit inside and listen to the rain. There is a limit to the stimuli I can take in. I’m trying to see and hear everything. It’s exhausting. It was time to close the door – it’s raining harder. Cassie likes sitting by the open door – good sights and smells – that what she lives for.
I wrote a little while longer and read for a while. And listened to the rain. I slept well.
In the morning I knew I was leaving and slipped into my old habit of focusing on going to the next place and being eager to go. Not being here now. I’m a little like a barn-sour horse headed home. I fixed breakfast and packed up. Stopped by to say good-bye to Annie – she would be heading for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in a few days. Then I was back on the road for the short drive home.
It was good to get home. I appreciate the hot shower (I haven’t gotten that going in the RV yet). And Cassie is happy back in her usual haunts. Dorothy looks good in the yard. There are a few things to check – like the propane system. And then we will take off again.