Monday, July 10, 2017

Bluewater Lake - The Beauty and The Blues


Katie and I came to Bluewater Lake State Park in NM because it seemed to be one of the coolest areas I could find.  The first week here was wonderful, and I got one of my favorite sites, overlooking Bluewater Lake:

View of the lake out the couch window:

I set up my little clothes line - this is what I do if there aren't any good trees nearby.  I can hang socks, towels, and/or tee-shirts on hangers.  We had good trees, but they were dripping pine sap, so:

Although the sunsets here are spectacular, sunset in the western sky is often pretty, too:


And then the heat rose.  I wasn't expecting it - when I've been here in the past, the weather was always nice.  Wow, it was something!  We had a dry-camping site, no electricity, and of course with the heat, there were no electric sites available.  So, what to do?   Drive all the way back to the Flagstaff area, where it seemed to be a bit cooler?  Or stay here and sweat it out?

My air conditioner, which has always worked just fine, suddenly wouldn't stay on for more than 10 minutes, then it would shut down.  The generator was still on and no breakers were tripped, but I had to wait a while before I could turn it on again - for another ten minutes!  Meanwhile it got up to 97 degrees inside The Palms.  (Note:  I've since learned a few things about the A/C units, and our altitude might have been the culprit.  I'll see when I'm lower.  I thought it was protecting itself and shutting down due to the high temps, but obviously that's when you need the cooling power, so it kind of didn't make sense.  Any thoughts?)

Then we had to leave the park after our 14 days - the 6 days out rule - before we could return.  So we drove down to the little town of Grants, 20 or so miles south, like we always have in the past.  I was still having issues with the A/C and it was SO HOT.  The first night we spent at the Grant's Wal-Mart, and in the morning, the generator wouldn't start.  At all.  It tried, but couldn't seem to catch.

Knowing how hot it was going to be, I made some phone calls and got a reservation at one of the local RV parks for that day - Wednesday.  Then I called a generator repair place in Albuquerque and made an appointment for Friday morning.  They said to come down on Thursday and I could park in their lot with their electrical hook-ups and be there in the morning in case they were ready for me earlier than scheduled. 

I needed to do laundry and couldn't leave Katie in the rig in that kind of heat while I was inside doing laundry in town.  So when we checked into our very nice RV park I found out they had washers and dryers.  Yes!  I didn't need the water or sewer hook-up in our site, but the electricity was SURE NICE, and I got all my laundry done while Katie was cooling her heels in The Palms with the A/C running.  AND they had a beautiful, spotless bathroom with a large shower.  I was in HEAVEN.

Completely 😀 and totally 😊 in heaven 😇 !

The next morning we drove down to Albuquerque, checked in at the office and got hooked up to their electricity.

Unfortunately, with THEIR electrical hookup, the A/C again wouldn't stay on for more than 10 minutes.  It was awful.

Finally it cooled down a bit as the sun set.  Katie and I were exhausted and went to bed early.  At 2:30 in the morning I woke up to gunshots out in the street.  I counted eight shots, got up and peeked out the windows, but didn't see anything.  I heard a yell and then a car slowly passing by, and that was all.  No police sirens...  apparently this isn't unusual in the area.

In the morning I talked to another RV owner who was parked next to me and asked him if he heard the shots.  He said, yes, he got up and got out his gun and slept with it next to his pillow.  He said he talked to another customer who was parked there, and that guy said he was ready with his gun power, too, just in case: a hand gun and a long gun.  Luckily there were no more disturbances.  (But when offered the opportunity to stay another night because my work started late in the day and ended around rush hour, I declined.  I'll take commuter traffic over gunshots any time!)

Katie and I started the trip back to Grants with our repaired generator (a new starter motor).  As I was driving up one of the long hills in that intense heat something in my peripheral vision caught my attention.  I looked in the driver door rear mirror and it looked like the side of the The Palms was coming unlaminated (is that a word?)  The whole side of the motor home was shaking like crazy!!!

Good Grief!  Then I realized it was the mirror itself, shaking like crazy.  I immediately checked both mirrors, slowed down, and pulled over on the side of the road.  As I was pulling over, I lowered the window and reached out to the mirror to steady it, and it came off in my hand.  WOW, I almost lost the mirror.  Another few seconds and it would have been on the freeway in a million pieces. 

I put the mirror in a safe place, got back in the driver's seat and looked left - as I always do - for oncoming traffic.  But of course, there was no mirror, and with the RV cabin coming out further than the truck cab, I had no vision of oncoming traffic.  There was no way I could pull out.

I went back and got the mirror and a roll of duct tape and went around to the driver's door, as big rigs and cars were pulling into the inside lane, thank goodness, and duct taped the mirror back into place.

Kind of "Beverly Hillbilly'ish," but what're ya gonna do?  😳

Back on the road, I realized it was slipping down under the tape, and pulled off again and duct taped the hell out if it in every direction, then got back on the road.  Luckily, it held until I was able to get something to glue it back on.

I'll tell you, being a full-time RVer takes a lot of duct tape and ingenuity.  Roll with the punches, solve the problems, and keep moving on.  LOL

I had plans to meet up again with JB, my canyon hike friend, and we were going to camp together for a while back at Bluewater, but honestly, I was so worn out from the heat, which was expected to continue for another couple of weeks, and all the issues I was having.  I checked all my weather apps and decided to leave the next morning to head back to Flagstaff.  It seemed to be the coolest place.  So unfortunately I cancelled our camping plans and in the morning, Katie and I drove back to Flagstaff.

I had some friends who were dry-camping near Flag in the Coconino National Forest, Mike and Chris were both at Lake Mary Road, and Jeanne and John were at Bellemont, moving to Willard Springs in a couple of days.  Mike texted that it was nice where he was and Jeanne texted it was nice where she was, so Katie and I first camped at Lake Mary Road for a week, and then moved to Willard Springs.  It was good to see everyone, and good to have temps a bit lower.  Still HOT, but not as bad as it was in New Mexico.


Of course, the canyon hike I took with my friend, JB, would definitely be under the Beauty category.  I've already posted photos of that day, and here are some of the cool things and critters I got photos of while at Bluewater:

I saw this cocoon, below, on a rock sitting in the sun on one of my walks and decided to bring it back to my campsite to see if anything would hatch.  Unfortunately, nothing happened, so I left it when I went to Grants.

Each evening when it started to cool down, swarms of bugs came out.  They got into The Palms twice!  I couldn't believe I let it happen twice!  I had to get out my step stool and use my adhesive lint roller to get them all off the ceiling.  Took forever to get them all.  When I was done, the ceiling was full of smashed black bugs and I had used half my lint roller's tape.  The next morning, I cleaned the ceiling of all the bug debris.  What a mess that was!  AND IT HAPPENED TWICE.  All I had to do was open the door at the wrong time and in they came. 

Pretty flowers above our site:

Lots of squirrels in the park - they are always so cute:

And of course, lizards.  First, I saw lots of the these guys:

And then I noticed this guy - there were two, this bigger one and a smaller one.  They had beautiful fluorescent blue undersides:

And finally, the sunsets!  I think Bluewater Lake State Park has the most beautiful sunsets I've seen while full-timing.  Here are some of them from this trip, with a full moon thrown in. 

And that's it for Bluewater Lake - for now.  We headed to Flagstaff for cooler temps, planning to be back soon.

From me and Katie, have a great day, everyone!  😎☹🤔💲💲💲🙄🔫😲😏


  1. Always great to read about your continuing "on the road" adventures. Duct tape...don't leave home without it! Great photos. Aloha

  2. It's hot everywhere. Up here in MT it was 102 last weekend. We're breaking records everywhere. So we are not doing any boondocking. Just not worth it to have to run the generator day in and day out. Jim can't take the heat with his health issues. Not a fun summer. But hopefully he gets to do some fishing to make up for it.

  3. Sorry you are not having the greatest summer so far. It's been hot in CO, also, even at the higher elevations. Hope things quit breaking and the rest of your summer is better!

  4. At times these rigs can give us headaches with repairs. I have had to fix a couple things up here and nothing in Alaska is cheap. I'm glad you got things fixed and are finding cooler places. I never realized how warm it can be this far north. The sun shines for 20 hours a day and keeps the temp up even at night. It has finally cooled off now but two weeks in Fairbanks were uncomfortable. Enjoy the mountains and friends near Flagstaff!

  5. Thank goodness for duck tape. Gila dye surived the heat. Nic to carry 9on and have more fun with friends.

  6. The joys of RVing are a lesson in being ready for any situation. Hope things start going he way they should and you find cooler temperatures for the summer.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  7. Fred looked it up and it's called a "blue belly lizard". Whoda thought! Great photos.

  8. Glad you are okay and in cooler temps. Duct tape and friends, two things we can't live without. Love your sunset photos, and the bugs gave me the creeps!Be safe in your travels and have fun!

  9. Oh my! What an adventure. Staying a 2nd night after hearing gunshoots wouldn't do for me either! Glad it's cooler in Flagstaff!

  10. What about a summer spent in Oregon one year?
    Alittle further to go but the coast line there is beautiful and cool.
    Wouldn't there be some boon docking available there too?
    The heat is so miserable, especially the older I get .... Lol

  11. Hot here in Michigan too. And humid. Miserable without air conditioning. I even postponed some camping (tent) because the nights were so miserable. We're definitely not used to that here. Glad you got stuff fixed and are heading for higher ground and cooler temps!

  12. Use to go there all the time. I lived in Bluewater Village, love hiking behind the dam.

  13. Last year I added mirror extensions to my previous truck and the first day on the road I glanced at the driver side mirror just as the extension was about to fall off. Would have lost if it was the passenger side.

  14. I really love your pictures. I'm impressed with your skill to take pictures so closely to those small animals. They are awesome.


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