We drove about an hour and a half, a very short drive for us, and arrived at Leasburg Dam State Park. I was a little confused when we got there because the Visitor's Center was closed and I couldn't get a map of the park. It's a small park with two loops, and after driving around both I didn't see any dry-camping sites. I finally talked to a camper who said the VC had been closed all week, and he thought all the sites were electric.
I headed back down the road and on my way out I saw a Ranger fixing the entry gate. He said there were five dry camping sites and gave me the numbers. I went back into the park and found the sites, but most were already occupied and I didn't like the ones that were left. It was still so early in the day, I decided to move on and go to the next State Park, which was only a half hour away.
The next park was Percha Dam State Park. It, too, is a very small park and was right along the Rio Grande. I can see this being a great park once the water is let out of the dam, but so far this year the Rio Grande was dry. I was in the dry camping area right next to the river, and it was all dusty ground and dry grass but there were nice trees. If they could put some gravel on the dust covered ground, it would be a great improvement, but in this economy that's not going to happen. I decided to stay for the night and leave in the morning.
Katie and I took a walk at dusk, and Katie just stopped walking. She didn't like the ground, either, and I had to carry her a little way before she would walk again.
|Our campsite at Percha Dam State Park.|
|Look at the tire tracks in the dust. It would be bad if the wind picked up. The dam and Rio Grand beyond.|
|We took a walk around the park, the water in the foreground is the only water I saw in the river along the park's edge.|
|There are some pretty trees in the park, lots of cottonwoods with pieces of cotton blowing all over the place.|
Percha Dam State Park is one of the best birding parks in the state, and I could hear birds chirping and calling and singing all day long. At dusk it was like a symphony, really beautiful sounds coming from the trees. I think I'd love this park if they got a little water in the river and a little rain to hold down the dust. I'd definitely try it again at another time.
|There was a beautiful full moon rising and lots and lots of bird calls at dusk.|
This morning we were up and gone, heading to the next state park, which was very close by. After two parks that I didn't much like, I was hoping this third park would be a winner.
On the way out of the park, I saw a flock of birds in a nearby field. I've never seen these birds before.
|Flock of Ibis in a field outside Percha Dam State Park|
Onward to Caballo Lake State Park!
And it's a winner! I couldn't believe it when I saw all the water in the lake. I talked to a volunteer, Paul, this afternoon and he told me about the other dry camping areas, and Katie and I will take some walks tomorrow to check them out. But for now, and maybe for the next two weeks, I'm as happy as a clam right here, parked above the lake with the mountains beyond.
|Here we are right above the lake. There are many areas to dry camp, some overlooking the lake, some right on the sand.|
|Caballa Lake - there is a boat ramp with two boardwalks out to the water on either side.|
|Great Blue Heron fishing in the lake right below us.|
So, we're here at Caballo Lake and very happy to be settled again. It's still windy; according to Paul March and April are just windy months in New Mexico, but the ground here is more rocky than dusty, so I don't think we'll see dust storms. He said they should soon be letting more water into the lake, coming from the snow in the northern mountains. If so, this lake will rise and some water will flow into the Rio Grande at Percha Lake State Park. I'd love to be here when that happens.
From Me and Katie, have a great Thursday evening, everyone! :)