Well, it's been an interesting, frustrating couple of days! Long days! So this is a long post, sorry. But keep reading - there are wild horses at the end. :)
We left our campsite at McPhee at 8:00 am on Thursday - was that only yesterday???
I finally got a photo of a rabbit at McPhee - I doctored it in one of my programs to look like an oil painting and liked the way it looked.
We stopped to get water and empty tanks and then took off. I was told gas prices in Colorado were a lot higher than New Mexico - my destination, Navajo Lake State Park - so I decided to get my gas and propane tanks filled after we crossed the border.
We had a nice drive, enjoying the countryside. We drove past the fire area that we saw on our way into Delores. At that time it was behind the hills, but later the fire came over the hills, right to the highway. Everything was burned and the ground was covered with ash. This looks like an oil painting, too, but it's not.
Beautiful sunflowers along the highway.
We stopped at the Walmart in Durango, and on the way into the parking lot, I saw these Prairie Dogs. I've heard about them and seen them running across the road, but I've never seen them up close where they live. There were LOTS of these little guys, having a good time running around, playing, in and out of their holes. Someone told me about a park that has lots of Prairie Dogs right in the campsites but I forget where it is. Anyone else know?
So.... we drove and drove. Finally we crossed the border into New Mexico, and there wasn't a good place for gas - just one tiny town with expensive gas, and I thought I'd wait until I got to a bigger town with cheaper gas. After that, no towns, no gas stations. We finally got to the sign, "Navajo Lake - 1 mile" and I had to keep going. I had to have enough gas to run my generator, and enough propane for the gas stove and fridge and to heat the hot water tank.
There is a small town down the mountain, not too far, but still - far enough. When I got there, I filled my gas tank, paying more than I would have paid in Colorado! That was not a good plan. And they didn't have propane, which I needed to get before I reached camp. I was tired and ready to quit driving for the day.
Thus began a wild goose chase that lasted all day, starting with the owner of the station where I got my gas. That was the first of the wrong directions. From town to town, following directions from gas station attendants 15 miles to one town, actually it was more like 20 and the manager was gone, no one to fill the propane tank. They said go to another town, not far away - Right! Got there, no one knew of anywhere in town that had propane. But they directed me to the next town. Went into a Giant gas station where the counter person and a customer agreed the only place in town was an RV park right down the road. Drove down there - the big propane tank out front had a big sign, "NO PROPANE." I really couldn't believe it.
Now I'm thinking, maybe someone is trying to tell me something. I checked my GPS and it was 50 miles to Navajo Lake, and 20 miles more to Bluewater Lake in the other direction. Something like that. I decided to continue on to Bluewater Lake. Funny thing is, when I drove through Thoreau, less than 10 miles from the lake, I got gas and propane easily.
I arrived at Bluewater Lake State Park in the late afternoon. My friends Hazel and Cari had been staying at Bluewater, but I wasn't sure if they were still here. I drove to the electric loop where I knew there would be, and there they were! I met Hazel and Cari at Quartzsite last year and have been in contact with Hazel since then.
I settled The Palms into the only available electric site for the night. It was reserved the next day, and I wanted to find a non-hook-up site. I went to my old site in the morning that I liked so much when I was here in June and got settled in there. As I was looking out the window, I thought, that site across the street - if someone comes in they will ruin my view, so I checked on line to see if it was reserved. It was taken most of the next two weeks. Bummer.
The site next to it, though, was a non-reserveable site and right on the ridge over the water, so I drove The Palms down there and got settled again. I put out my chair and sat for a while enjoying the view of the water, the beautiful pines overhead.
Really nice. But I couldn't get The Palms level, and kept thinking I needed to level it more. So I got up and tried to get it level. I tried everything, even scooped up bowls full of gravel to make a little hill and put my leveling blocks on top and drove up to the middle of the pile. Still not level. Got a big flat rock and drove up on it to the middle, still not level.
I moved the picnic table to the other side of the flat BBQ/eating area and drove The Palms in the other direction, straight into the middle of the eating area. The Palms was just short enough to fit that way. Still not level. I'm not OCD about being perfectly level and The Palms is short enough that I can almost always get level enough without using my leveling blocks. This just wasn't working. Anywhere in the site, facing in any direction, the site just sloped too much. Bummer.
So I packed it up again and drove around a couple more of the loops. Didn't see anything good. There was a campsite overlooking the lake right by the road down to lakeside. It's kind of off by itself and I would have liked it, but it was taken, so I drove down the road and got set up on the lakeside. This is the "primitive camping area." I wanted to camp here in June but never did, so this time I thought I'd try it out. I got a spot and loved it. A beautiful lake surrounded by mountains out one window and a field of wild horses out the other. Smelled like the ocean, breezes coming through the windows. I was a happy camper.
I took a shower and washed/dried my hair. I felt like a million bucks and was so glad to be here! I looked out my front windshield and guess what I saw?
They were trotting along at a good clip, heading for the water. So fun to watch.
See the little white foal above? Below is that little baby right after it was born - this is a photo I took on June 6. It's really grown and filled out since then. There were three new foals in June, and now they are all so much bigger.
Running and kicking up dust:
That was a really neat experience, seeing them all so close. There were around 24 horses, 3 foals, and some yearlings and the rest mares and stallions. Watching a horse run is pretty cool, watching 24 horses running together in a herd is awesome!
It gets really busy around the lake on the weekends. Little by little the rigs and boats came in. Hazel and Cari came to visit, and Hazel said if I didn't get some rocks to block off my "area," someone might drive in between me and the lake. That would have defeated the purpose of being here, so we set up some rock lines from the rig to the water. Good thing, too!
Soon I had a truck right on the rock line on one side and a big rig on the other rock line. I was starting to feel kind of hemmed in at that point. I looked up the hill, and the site I wanted was empty!!! I grabbed Katie and her leash and fast-walked up the hill to make sure the site was empty and they were gone. Yes!! Hurried back down the hill, packed up The Palms - AGAIN - and drove up the hill - into the site.
This is the fourth site we've been in today - fifth counting the electric one we woke up in. As I told Hazel and Cari this afternoon (before the move back up the hill to this site), I'm getting pretty hard to please. But I have to admit, I like the challenge of finding the perfect site. I hope this works for the next three weeks.
I'll post photos of my new site next time. I'm hoping, since I have a good close view of the lake, that I'll see some water birds. When Hazel and I drove around the campground yesterday afternoon, we saw a Great Blue Heron, then he took off and flew over the lake. I 'd love to see him again.
And now I'm off to bed - I'm pooped! You probably are, too. Congratulations on making it to the end of the post!
From me and Katie, who is already sound asleep, have a good night, everyone! :)