We came through the Park Office/Entry Gate and drove a little way to the dry camping developed spots, but they were up high over the lake and I wanted to be closer to the water. So, using the camping area map the Ranger gave me, we drove back out and turned right - heading toward North and South Monticello Points. I didn't know the area and kept thinking I had passed them. I finally just took a road toward the lake to one of the posted coves. I talked to a man there who told me exactly how to get where I wanted to go.
I ended up at South Monticello Point, but it appeared to be electric only sites. From the end of the sites, though, I could look down and see tons of water birds next to the dry boat launch, and I wanted to get there. After a couple of wrong turns, I finally made it. I hadn't even had my coffee at that point and I was starved, so we parked next to the boat ramp and I made a turkey and cheese sandwich with Ruffles on the side and drank tons of water. When I was done, I didn't feel like walking out closer to the birds, so just snapped what I could of the birds that were closest. They looked like Great Blue Herons, Pelicans, Coots, Ducks, and some birds that looked like really big white ducks.
|Unless these are juvenile Great Blue Herons in front, the white birds must be huge. Some kind of duck or goose? (Ross Goose - white phase juvenile and Little Blue Herons, thank you, Hazel!)|
|There were many Great Blue Herons - this was the closest.|
|Are these Pelicans? (White Pelicans, per Hazel)|
|And this little lizard (Zebratail lizard per Hazel) was on the rocks by The Palms|
There was a birder with a tri-pod and camera down by the water taking photos, and as he was driving to another area I walked down to ask him if he knew of a good place to dry camp that had water nearby. He suggested Paseo Del Rio Campground, which was the other way, a little past the main Park Office/Visitor Center. So we took off and ended up in a little campground along the Rio Grande, which was very picturesque.
|The Rio Grand along the Paseo Del Rio Campground|
This was a beautiful place to camp, but unfortunately there was very slight cell and Internet, nowhere near enough for me to enjoy my stay. So, Katie and I had a nice quiet night and left first thing this morning.
We came back to the main campground, went through the Park Office/Visitor Center entrance again, and drove down the road to see which dry camping sites were still available. I picked one out, got settled, made coffee and cereal with fresh strawberries and looked out the window to see a Roadrunner actually crossing the road. It felt like a sign - this is where we are supposed to be.
It was very hot yesterday, really hot - up to 96 degrees in The Palms, but today, since we are up higher and above the lake, we are getting the benefit of the breezes and low winds blowing through our open windows. Also, good wi-fi and cell reception and TV antenna reception here. Elephant Butte State Park is supposed to have free wi-fi, but it is not very strong where I am, and I ended up using my own. It's not speeding fast here, but more than adequate.
|This is the view out my dinette window - Elephant Butte Lake with the Marina on the right.|
When we were driving over here from Paseo Del Rio Campground, we passed a large pond full of birds roosting. There was a place to pull off the road, so I parked and walked over with my camera. These are some of the birds I saw there - I think lots of Cormorants and maybe a Green Heron.
|Double Crested Cormorant per Hazel|
It's days like this when I want a new camera with a better zoom lens. My 16x zoom is really good, much better than my older camera, but now that I'm into getting good clear closeups of birds, sometimes it just isn't good enough. If you know what these birds are, help me out? ( Hazel sent me an e-mail with the names of the birds - I didn't know there was a Little Blue Heron - but there he was in my guide. Thanks for all the information, Hazel! :) )
Today I did a lot of moving things around from one cupboard to another. Now that the weather is getting so hot, it was time. While doing that I found things I haven't ever used, but don't want to get rid of, so I put them in the back of cupboards which freed up space in some other cupboards. While moving the vacuum to a more available space, I vacuumed, too. I'm feeling pretty organized and rested again. I never did make coffee yesterday and had a bad headache last night. Too late to have a cup of coffee for a fix, so a couple of Ibuprofen helped a bit. First thing this morning - coffee!
At this point, I'm planning to spend the whole 14 days here. The weather will be 80's and low 90s until then - on the four days after we leave, the forecast is 97, 99, 101 and 100 degrees, so I'm heading north at a good time.
From Me and Dog, have a great Tuesday night, everyone! :)