Monday, June 18, 2018

LITERALLY forgot where I left off.

Convention dictates that I explain myself in chronological order. I was denied admission to that convention, and just milled around outside.

June Middle-ish: New Mexico got rain. I now actually blog about weather. It was glorious and miraculous and nebulous. This cactus (which sits on my stoop and I assumed was dead) says "thanks." 

I made a spontaneous trip up to Datil in-between other obligations. I went to surprise a friend camping there, and once that was no longer surprising, I stayed a while in my cabin. There were many rewarding friend-visits on this trip, and the memories still feel joyous. Thanks, Terri and Noelle! And John and Betty, who included me in their travel plans (excruciating details follow).

You can chew the cubes in your gin and tonic.
I had not heard of the Ice Cave before John and Betty invited me. It's privately owned, but not oppressively commercial. I paid the senior rate of $11.

Betty isn't shivering here, but it's a bracing 31°F where she's standing. Where I am standing taking her picture was about 60°F. The people behind me trying to pass were escaping ~95°F. 

I'm a free spirit, man, I don't read your ... AARRRGHSNAKE!!!

The road to ice is paved with good intentions. 2:43 is a happy estimate.

So, naturally, on the way home John wanted a more direct route. He and Betty asked the proprietor about a "shortcut." [If you are in remote New Mexico and hear the word "shortcut," remember to add the quotation marks in your head. The speaker may forget to offer them, or may charge extra.] The very helpful man said he had tried 42 for a few miles, and it was pretty good. So, 42 it was. John headed off in his car, and Betty took me along in hers.

It's kinda hard to see the road we took on satellite view, so here's the map:

The next four hours is a blurry spot in my memory. Dirty, angry cows, boulders in the road, Betty made me eat popcorn after I drank all my water. I can see the road ending in a prairie. Betty dead reckoning by mountains in the wrong place. No GPS, no cell service, no water, no mac and cheese. By the time we met the rancher that Betty ran off the road, we were wild-eyed and crazy-haired. I had popcorn dust up my nose, and I was looking for cow water. He directed us to 117 and we kissed the sweet earth of the motherland.

I happened to be free the day the town came to Gabriella ... New Mexico, so I bumped out the road to see what was happening. Turns out the Old West life was full of slapstick.

This road is accessible by passenger car, if your passenger car is Spud.

Jaded bystanders.

Truth or Consequences (TorC) pool art: 

I spent a little time in Socorro, NM - more than I had before - and found it charming. The Mineral Museum had something to do with that. I was so busy saying "Wow!" and other homespun ejaculations that I didn't even take pictures. Seriously. Even pictures doggone with faint praise. You have not seen rocks like these, unless you have.

Not a rock.

I told my friend that a gentleman would help me load this into the car. He helped me look around for one.
A rock. Found near the frog.

While staying at Percha Dam State Park, we enjoyed Evelyn's company while she parked nearby. Evelyn is very engaging and elusive, and I was happy to spend time with her again. 

I'm happy to report that Percha Dam has new status with me, after our last bitter encounter in 2015. I truly had some post-traumatic stress around this park, and it was good to be able to approach it from a less-vulnerable position. It is a lovely park, shady and green, and I enjoyed it very much this time.

I enjoyed Elephant Butte Lake State Park this year, while I indulged in electricity and park wifi. I was also indulging in living in a full-sized rig with a shower and refrigerator. Turns out size matters. 

Before the weather turned New Mexico balmy, we visited Three Rivers Petroglyphs for a mild hike. Although there is an RV park associated with it, we traveled the washboard road to the more primitive campsite at the end, the Lincoln National Forest Campground. The website says 25' is the maximum rig length; my friend says "pshaw" and easily parked a 36' rig.

I'm in TorC for five weeks, then I'll see what happens. 

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