Although we had a beautiful campsite at Navajo Lake, I decided to move on the next morning.
1. Really hot - why does The Palms have wheels if we can't move to a comfortable area?
2. I couldn't seem to find a site where I'd fit and still face west. That helps get the maximum from the solar panels, and puts us with our nose facing the hottest part of the day. We've been getting the sun beating down on us in the dinette window in the early part of the day, and then in the window over the couch in the hot afternoons. It really helps to have the sun start in the kitchen window, go overhead, and end up coming in the windshield. I can control the heat better that way.
3. This is a super dusty park. Not a lot of gravel or small rocks, just dry dirt that is really dusty. But I probably would have stayed with those things, at least for a few days, #4 is what did us in.
4. I woke up Friday morning and stepped into the most ants I've ever seen. They were everywhere! BIG black ants and little black ants. They were inside my (fake but fabulous Walmart) Crocs in seconds and I was really worried about them getting into The Palms.
I've never packed up so fast. That was early Friday, and it's now Sunday morning, and I haven't seen any ants inside The Palms, so I think we're okay.
Heron Lake State Park was next on our list, so we headed that way. It was a beautiful drive. From the Visitor's Center, they have a telescope to use to see an Osprey nest. There are three babies. When I was with a camp host looking for a site (she was so nice, and went way beyond her duties to help me out) we drove right by it and saw two babies peeking out before mom tucked them under her again.
It was a little cooler there, and even though it was a weekend, there were some nice campsites I could get while facing West that were right near the water. I even drove down to the Primitive Camping area at the far end of the Heron Lake State Park road. The road was rough, and the turn down to the water was sharp and had large ruts. I took a chance - wow, what ride! - but we made it.
It was quiet and beautiful, with two other campers within eyesight. Katie and I walked down to the water, and in the dried mud there were large bird tracks, so I was thinking this would be a great place for bird watching.
I got my phone to check West and the level bubble app, and saw there were NO VERIZON BARS. Rats! I couldn't stay there with no phone, so we drove out back to the main camping area.
I was in an Extended Network area, and even if I was lucky to get any bars to allow calls in and out, this extended network didn't allow access to the Internet through my phone, at least I couldn't get it. Other people told me they used their computers, but I was on the phone with Verizon in the Visitor Center for 40 minutes, and we just couldn't get me on-line.
Anyway, I figured I could stay a few nights without Internet access. We found a great campsite with a beautiful view and also with an easy walk to the lake.
I got The Palms set up and we sat outside for a little while enjoying the view. Then Katie and I walked down to the lake, and I lifted her up and carefully put her back feet into the water. She didn't fight me, so I put her front feet in, just a few inches - I was still holding her - and she started doing the dog paddle! It really is instinct, because I don't think she's ever been in a lake before. We walked more along the lake water line, and then walked back and I waded in the cool water and SO DID KATIE with no prompting from me! Up to her knees. I was really surprised.
So we walked back to The Palms and Katie sat down and started licking her stomach. I laid her down on her back to see what was going on, and she had red bites/welts all over her underside. Under her armpits, all over her chest and stomach, and down the inside of her back legs. GEEZ. I found some black bugs on her and picked them off, then put her in the sink and gave her a bath, thinking it would be soothing and might get any other bugs off her. I put the 3 in 1 antiseptic ointment that the vet recommended for her nose all over her. Surprisingly, she didn't seem to be bothered too much.
In the morning her bites looked a little better, and I found some Neosporin cream to put on her. I decided to move to another site out of the grasses near the lakeside. The new site overlooked the lake and was also an easy walk, but we stayed away from the lake on Saturday and only walked on the gravel roads.
The camp host in that area said all the little dogs get bit like that. We had clouds coming in and a storm expected. After the rain, the bugs aren't bad, she said. Unfortunately, we didn't get any rain and this morning, the sky didn't have a cloud to be seen. It was going to be hot again and I decided to leave and head north and see if we could find an area with cooler weather and Internet access.
We are now sitting outside the Pagosa Ranger Station in the San Juan National Forest. It's in the middle of the small town of Pagosa. This is a nice town, clean and rustic and lots of little shops.
When I post this, I'm going to do some research on where to go next. But first I am going to call my son, Tom. His 45th birthday was yesterday and for the first time ever, I didn't wish him a Happy Birthday. I walked around the campground with my phone looking for bars, and finally was able to get a call though. I had to leave a message, so at least he knew I didn't forget about his birthday.
I have no idea where we'll be posting from next, your guess is as good as mine.
From Me and My Dog, have a great Sunday, everyone! :)