New Mexico!

It’s been eight days since my last blog on December 8th from Pecan Valley RV Park, Junction, TX. We can’t believe how much we’ve packed into the last eight days; it’s no wonder I’ve fallen behind on the blog. There’s a lot of catching up to do, so here’s a quick update starting with our current location. I plan to expand on the below destinations, if time permits.

Tuesday, December 14 – Rio Grande Riverside Campground at Caballo Lake State Park, Caballo, New Mexico (4 nights); departing Saturday, December 18; Sunday, December 12 – Hacienda RV Resort, Las Cruces, NM (2 nights). Historic Old Mesilla Village and Las Cruces; Saturday, December 11 – Tumble In RV Park, Marfa, TX (1 nights):  Marfa Lights & Sites; Wednesday, December 8 – RoadRunner Travelers RV Park, Terlingua, TX (3 nights):  Visited both Big Bend National and Big Bend State Parks: Tuesday, December 7 – Lost Alaskan RV Park in Alpine, TX (1 night): On our way to Big Bend National and State Parks.

Present Day: Thursday, December 16 – Rio Grande Riverview Campground: This will be our third night at this campground, and we’re really enjoying ourselves. It’s nice to be out of the city and back to nature again.  We have a nice view of the Rio Grande from our picnic table and can walk a short distance to the riverbank.  While we have a stunning mountain view from our dining area, Zephyr is facing the wrong direction, so we have a boring view from the front windows… except at night and early morning – the night sky is breathtaking.

Right now, I’m sitting at the picnic table watching Fester fly his drone. I’m impressed with his skills, as it’s pretty windy today and I’m surprised he decided to fly.  Sadie’s laying on the patio, soaking up the sun and I’m working on the blog in-between distractions.  I’m cooking a batch of Instant Pot baked beans on the picnic table where I’m working, and they smell delicious.  Once I release the steam/pressure, I can focus on other things…like the blog. We try to do as much cooking as possible outdoors, to avoid lingering aromas in the coach.  And who’s complaining?  Except for the wind, it is an absolutely gorgeous day, in the low 60’s.  I think every day has been clear and sunny since we left Livingston, TX.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of our trip has been the people we’ve met along the way, especially the memorable characters who validate this way of life.  We were soon to meet another gem.  After setting up camp, we took Sadie for a walk around the park, with the specific intention of figuring out what was making all the noise at the far end of the park.  We could hear a guttural, gurgling noise, that sounded like birds, but maybe the wind? While standing near the road, up rolls a guy on an electric motorcycle. As he drove by, he yelled vroom, vroom (since the bike made no noise).  Ha! Once he caught our attention (which it certainly did), he introduced himself as Bill and explained he’s in the RV next to us.  Bill’s been here a few days and camped here on previous occasions, so he was familiar with the birds, which turn out to be Sand Cranes on their yearly migration. They are not merely a flock, but hundreds of birds, feeding on a recently plowed cornfield.  I had recently read an article about them, so I was familiar, but this was a wonderful surprise and I couldn’t wait to tell my brother, Steve, who is an avid birder.   

After viewing the cornfield, I did a bit of research and learned that sandhill cranes are among the oldest bird species on Earth.  Typically gray, sandhill cranes have heavy bodies and long necks and legs and can weigh up to 16 pounds.  The greater sandhill crane stands up to 3.9 feet with a wing span of 6.6 feet. Apparently the birds are wintering nearby and make daily commutes to this park, where they spend the night.

I digress… back to Bill. After filling us in on the sandhill cranes, Fester and Bill start chatting about Bill’s electric motorcycle, which is manufactured by Zero. After learning that both Fester and I have our own bikes, Bill insisted that Fester take the bike for a spin around the campground (which he did and he loved).  When he returned, Bill insisted that I go next.  After a bit of hesitation (I’ve never ridden a motorcycle without a clutch), I climbed aboard and took the bike for ride down the road.  Although I was a little nervous, being on someone’s bike, it was a blast.  I was gone so long that the guys started down the road looking for me.  Tell me, who lets complete strangers ride their new, expensive, electric motorcycle?  Bill just enjoys spending time with people and sharing stories and information about the places he’s been. It turns out that Bill plans to return to this campground in January to spend the winter months. 

Geez… I’ve been rambling on and on. While I still have so much to write, I have to sign off for now. Tomorrow morning is a road trip to Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway.  According to the brochure, it passes through many scenic locales and offers sweeping panoramas.  We’ll visit the Gila National Forest with 3 million acres of wild nature and drive through several “living” ghost towns.  Fester is excited because there are some opportunities to take the Jeep off road (of course we just washed off the sand and dirt from our Big Bend adventures).