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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,579

    Default Nice trip!

    Very nice photos. Thanks for sharing!

    Mark

  2. #12

    Default

    Thanks for your help in uploading them. Always hoping they add to the trip report.
    Pat

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Very nice photos. Thanks for sharing!

    Mark

  3. #13

    Default Day 5 - 4/19/18 Carrizozo - Las Cruces, NM

    What a night! The shifting wind broadsided the van - all night long! No cooking in camp this morning, not with Carrizozo only a few miles away. We had a yummy breakfast burrito at Raylee’s. Nearby is the town of White Oaks, a semi-ghost town from the 1880s, that we have meant to visit on previous trips in the area. For a windy day this was a good option, only a short drive away. The area includes a well-maintained cemetery, and several substantial buildings.
    https://www.legendsofamerica.com/nm-whiteoaks/


    White Oaks school

    As we continued south on US 54, towards Alamogordo, we came back to Rick’s book, as part of SST #1 (p. 22). The side trip to Three Rivers Petroglyph Site (BLM), on page 35, is a MUST! On site is a small visitor center, picnic area and campsites. A short trail winds through some amazing petroglyphs, luckily the wind here was tolerable to be able to enjoy this walk.
    https://www.blm.gov/visit/three-rivers-petroglyph-site


    Picnic/camping area


    Petroglyph


    Petroglyph


    Petroglyph

    In Alamogordo we drove up to the New Mexico Museum of Space History, not to visit the museum, but to hike a short trail we had recently been told about, Indian Wells Trail. The trail starts from the east side of the museum’s parking lot and was an enjoyable walk. For those who are space enthusiasts, a visit to the museum would be worthwhile.
    http://www.nmspacemuseum.org


    Trailhead


    Ocotillo bloom

    As we headed east on US 70, and along SST #1, the wind returned! This made for a very quick visit to White Sands National Monument (NPS), page 35, basically to get the NPS passport stamp. However, some visitors were planning to rent the boards and go sledding on the gypsum dunes - not for me!
    www.nps.gov/whsa/index.html

    Continuing on US 70, towards Las Cruces, we took a side trip into the Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks National Monument (BLM). We had hoped to camp at Aquirre Springs Campground, within the monument, but the wind was continuing, so we chose to stay at Quality Inn & Suites. We did visit the Dripping Springs area which has a nice visitor center, picnic area and several trails. However, the wind also kept this visit short. The views in the area are beautiful.

    https://www.blm.gov/programs/nationa...ional-monument




    Drippings Springs

    On our way into Las Cruces we made a quick stop at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum for the El Camino Real del Tierra Adento National Historic Trail (NHT) passport stamp. As on previous visits a Great Horned Owl roosts over the entrance to the museum. He appears to be sleeping on the job as their ‘doorman’.




    Great Horned Owl

    Before checking into our motel we went out to the rest area, off I-10 eastbound, to check out the giant roadrunner sculpture. We recently learned that the sculpture was made from recycled materials, initially constructed at the city landfill. It was eventually moved to the rest area and even has its own website. We have stopped at this rest area many times, noticed the sculpture, but never got close enough to realize from what it is constructed. Very cool!
    http://olincalk.com/Olin_Calk.com/Th...r_Project.html




    Yep, those are crutches!

    Recycled Roadrunner

    After a quick stop at a grocery store where we picked a roasted chicken and side dishes we retreated inside, out of the wind.

    Wildlife Sightings
    Desert Cottontail
    Zebra-tailed lizard
    Whiptail lizard

    Barn Swallow
    Western Meadowlark
    House Finch
    Western Bluebird
    Common Raven
    Great tailed grackle
    Gamble’s Quail
    Red tailed hawk
    Swainson’s Hawk
    American Crow
    Western Kingbird
    Mourning Dove
    White-winged Dove
    Great-horned Owl
    Rock Pigeon
    Last edited by Pmount; 05-02-2018 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Adding owl

  4. #14

    Default Day 6 - 4/20/18 Las Cruces - City of Rocks SP/Faywood, NM

    Even stronger winds and cooler temperatures were predicted for today. We had decided this would be a good day to drive up to Gila Cliff Dwellings NM (NPS), as the drive into the area might be more protected. The original plan was to end the day in Silver City, however the night before I learned that there was a pro bike race, The Tour of the Gila, in town. Motel rooms were filled or overpriced. Today’s course was an open stretch of highway south of town, I can’t imagine that was any fun!
    We decided to head west on I-10 to Deming, then north on US 180 to NM 61 to City of Rocks State Park. This put us back on a scenic side trip, SST #2, p. 37, actually on an alternate route. With it being Friday and the bike race in the area, we chose to secure a campsite early, then head up to the ruins. We were able to get a great site, on the east side of the rock features, a bit protected from the wind.

    We continued on NM 61 to Mimbres, where we picked up The Trail of Mountain Spirits, p.43, to Lake Roberts and part of SST #2. This is a delightful drive which gets prettier and prettier. While stopping to get a picture of the sign I found these tiny daisies.


    Trail sign


    Stemless Townsend Daisy

    Continuing on NM 15 we saw a few bike riders checking out the course for Sunday’s ride. Signs were along the route warning of the route coming through the area on Sunday, glad we will be out of the area. Once at the visitor center for Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument we tracked down some new NPS passport stamps before hiking the 1 mile trail to the ruins. This is a very enjoyable hike, first crossing the Gila River, then following a small stream before climbing up to the ruins.


    Artifacts in the visitor center


    Trail across the Gila River


    False Solomon Seal


    Ruins with people for scale


    Ruins


    Scarlet Hedgehog

    We drove back the way we came, stopping in Mimbres for an early dinner at Restaurant del Sol for some tasty Mexican food. I thoroughly enjoyed their Huevos Rancheros, they serve breakfast all day. Most of the day the wind did not bother us, and our campsite was well protected from the strongest wind. We enjoyed watching some wildlife in the campsite.


    Gambel’s Quail


    Desert Cottontail


    City of Rocks State Park

    Wildlife Sightings
    Mule Deer
    Desert Cottontail

    Curved billed Thrasher
    White-winged dove
    Northern Harrier
    Osprey
    Gambel’s Quail
    White-crowned sparrow
    Northern Mockingbird
    Common Raven
    American Raven
    Turkey Vulture
    Eastern Starling
    House Finch
    Red-tailed Hawk
    American Kestrel

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,579

    Default

    Love the roadrunner sculpture and the other bird photos.

    Thanks for the continuing report.

    Mark

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    654

    Default

    I'm enjoying this, following along on your trip through all that familiar territory. I love the City of Rocks; hope to do some camping there myself next time I go through the area. Sorry to hear about the wind! It was blowing like a son of a gun when we were in Albuquerque and Santa Fe the week before last. Gusts as high as 70 mph, and it was pretty relentless. Sounds like you're getting more of the same. Be careful out there!

    Rick

  7. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Quinn View Post
    Sorry to hear about the wind! It was blowing like a son of a gun when we were in Albuquerque and Santa Fe the week before last. Gusts as high as 70 mph, and it was pretty relentless. Sounds like you're getting more of the same. Be careful out there!

    Rick
    The worst of the wind was between Albuquerque and Santa Fe - down right scary!
    Thank you for all the work you did on the book. Just trying to add details about some of the places along our route for this trip report leaves me in awe of your work!
    Pat

  8. #18

    Default Day 7 - 4/21/18 City of Rocks SP - Pancho Villa SP, Columbus, NM

    Great night camping, nice sunshine warming up the van nicely and NO wind! Finally got to enjoy an extended morning in camp.


    Rock Wren

    Another day of travel not part of Rick’s book, but still exploring the backroads of New Mexico. We returned south on US 180 with a quick stop in Deming. I was surprised to run across the old Custom House, built in the mid 1800s, and off the main streets. It was the Port of Entry until 1900.


    Custom House - Deming

    We went out to Spring Canyon State Park, SE of Deming, for a short, but steep hike on Lover’s Leap trail. This is a day use park, near Rockhoud State Park which does have camping. I had hoped to see some flowers, but it has been so dry this winter that I only had views to enjoy.




    Spring Canyon SP


    Longhorn in Spring Canyon SP

    We ended the day further south in Columbus at Pancho Villa State Park, in Columbus, NM. New Mexico state parks have great campgrounds and are reasonably priced. Last night, at City of Rocks SP we paid $10 for a secluded site, with access to showers. At Pancho Villa we paid $14 for a site with water and electric and a very nice shade ramada. Besides having historical structures scattered throughout the camping area there was this colorful water tank near the group picnic area. This site interprets the invasion of the US by Mexico in 1916 as part of the Border War (1910-16).
    http://www.stateparks.com/pancho_vil...ew_mexico.html


    Judge Advocate’s Office - Camp Furlong


    Water Tank Mural

    Without wind we could enjoy a relaxing afternoon and evening in camp with some birdwatching.


    Yellow-rumped Warbler

    Wildlife Sightings
    Black tailed Jackrabbit
    Desert Cottontail

    Rock wren
    White crowned sparrow
    Curved bill thrasher
    Greater Roadrunner
    Northern Shrike
    Red-tailed Hawk
    Cactus wren
    Broadtailed hummingbird
    Black-throated sparrow
    Canyon Towhee
    White winged dove
    Turkey Vulture
    Common Raven
    Swainson’s Hawk
    Yellow-rumped warbler
    Yellow warbler
    Rufous-crowned sparrow
    Western Kingbird
    House Finch

  9. #19

    Default Day 8 & 9 - 4/22-23/18 Coulmbus, NM to Portal, AZ to Tucson, AZ

    Day 8 & 9 - 4/22 - 23/18
    We woke up, eventually, to an overcast sky. Sounds strange, but this Desert Rat appreciates a cloudy morning. We took our time in camp before heading west into Arizona. Again another day not featured in Rick’s book, and not a lot to see before leaving New Mexico. However, we love NM 9 as a great alternate to I-10, which ends on I-10 between Las Cruces and El Paso. Along the way we crossed the Continental Divide hiking trail, 3,100 miles long, reaching from Mexico to Canada. The season for this National Scenic Trail is just beginning, however we did not see any hikers crossing the highway. The trail section through southern New Mexico, crossing NM 9, is desolate, at best.
    http://continentaldividetrail.org


    CDT kiosk & trail

    We continued back into Arizona arriving in Portal, on the east side of the Chiricahua Mountains, in time for an early lunch at the Portal Peak Lodge Store and Cafe. This store, restaurant, and lodge is ‘birding central’ for one of the premier birding hotspots in the United States. This was evident when we arrived at the campgrounds and found only one site available on a Sunday. Luckily it was one we had stayed at before and found it suitable for the van and bird watching. There are three campgrounds in Cave Creek Canyon, one that is primarily for tent campers, the other two are suitable for tent camping or small RVs/Vans. We set up camp in Stewart Campground, did some exploring, then settled in for a relaxing afternoon and morning. The stream, Cave Creek, was flowing nicely (for SE Arizona), and only a few steps from our campsite. The temperature was perfect for the evening and morning, and great for sleeping.
    http://www.birdandhike.com/Bird/Favo...al/_Portal.htm



    Cave Creek Canyon


    Coues White-tailed Deer


    Hermit Thrush


    Rivoli’s (formerly Magnificient) Hummingbird


    Cave Creek


    Morning light

    We left the campsite by late Monday morning and drove north to pick up I-10 near San Simeon. From there it was a direct drive on I-10 back home.

    Note: One more installment of this Road Trip Report will be made.

    Wildlife Sightings
    Coyote
    Coues White-tailed deer

    Western Kingbird
    White-winged Dove
    Mourning Dove
    Northern Shrike
    Northern Mockingbird
    Hawk, ?
    Gambel’s Quail
    Greater Roadrunner
    Northern Cardinal
    Lesser Goldfinch
    Turkey Vulture
    Canyon Towhee
    House Sparrow
    Mexican Jay
    Black and White Warbler
    Rivoli’s Hummingbird
    Bridled Titmouse
    White-breasted Nuthatch
    Hairy Woodpecker - heard
    Hermit thrush
    Canyon Wren
    Yellow-rumped Warbler
    Bushtit
    Common Raven

  10. #20

    Default Extended Just in Time- Friday, 4/27/18, Tucson - Chiricahua National Monument

    We returned to Tucson on Monday, 4/23 from our week long New Mexico trip with plans to head back to the Chiricahua Mountains, the west side for a long weekend. I have been volunteering with Parks in Focus, a program for middle school-aged students based on photography - kids, cameras and nature. Their weekend camping trip was planned for Chiricahua National Monument. We went down a day ahead and ended up returning to Rick’s book along SST #5 ( p. 75) & 6, (p. 89).
    https://www.udall.gov/OurPrograms/Pa...WhatIsPIF.aspx

    Near Benson, on I-10, we headed south on AZ 90. Before reaching Sierra Vista we saw an unusual sight along the highway. Southern Arizona is known for its dry climate, which makes it ideal to ‘mothball’ military planes. This one appeared to be leaving Fort Huachuca and heading north on AZ 90.


    Airplane

    After grabbing lunch in Sierra Vista and several photos of buildings which had housed post offices over the years we drove east on Charleston Road (AZ 82), crossing the San Pedro River at Fairbanks Historic Townsite. This is part of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (BLM), which has trailheads leading to a number of historic buildings. From this area there is a short trail leading to some petroglyphs.
    https://www.blm.gov/visit/san-pedro

    Once in Tombstone we stopped for quick picture of the current Marshall’s Office, which we recently discovered had previously housed a post office.


    Tombstone Marshalls Office - former post office location

    In Tombstone we followed AZ 80 (old US 80) to Bisbee where we took a photo of the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, which had been an early location of a post office.


    Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum

    On our way out of Bisbee we went through Warren, one of several small communities associated with Bisbee and the local mining history.
    https://westernmininghistory.com/towns/arizona/warren/


    Warren, AZ

    We set up camp in Bonita Campground within Chiricahua National Monument, a favorite park and campground, and great birdwatching.


    Yellow-eyed Junco - the evil eye?

    Wildlife Sightings
    Coues White-tailed Deer
    Rock Squirrel
    Least Chipmunk

    Great-tailed Grackle
    Red-tailed Hawk
    Western Meadowlark
    American Robin
    Mexican Jay
    Acorn Woodpecker
    Yellow-eyed Junco
    Yellow-rumped Warbler

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