Thursday, March 27, 2014

Moving from Rockhound to Pancho Villa

I moved on Monday to Pancho Villa State Park, but I wanted to post final photos from Rockhound State Park.  I snapped some photos at the Visitor's Center and we had a couple of gorgeous sunsets that I didn't want to toss into the "not used" file.  Here they are:

Large rocks spelling out the name of the park:

This is the Visitor's Center:

This is the park - there are only 29 spaces, the six on the right are dry camping spots, and the others are hook-ups.  All the spaces have nice views of the valley and mountains.

Here are a couple of our sunsets - the first one was during high winds and lots of sand/dust in the air.

And then the next evening, this gorgeous, clear sunset:

Katie and I arrived at Pancho Villa State Park, just three miles from the US/Mexican border on Monday and pulled into a nice dry camping site.  It turned out we are right next to Trish, the gal who leads the Sundowners group of WINs.  I walked over and was invited to join them, and also participate in the dance lesson after happy hour.  I did both, and had a Merengue dance lesson - thanks Bill!

The next day, Tuesday, the group was driving over to border to The Pink Store in Palomas, Mexico for lunch and a little dancing.  I don't have a passport, and said I couldn't go, but they said you can walk over and get back into the US with just your driver's license, so that's what I did.  It worked out fine, no problems getting back across the border.  They did type my info into their computers, though, so don't try this if you have any outstanding issues connected to your driver's license.

I brought a small camera, but I forgot I took the SD card out of it, and I didn't have much memory left, so I only got two good photos.  So, here are the two photos from inside the Pink Store:

Room with pottery for sale that was right behind my chair in the restaurant:

This is a wall of frogs that was behind our table:

A lot of you have been here and know all about this place - everything is pink, including the outside of the building - hence the name The Pink Store.  Lots more photos on their website.

On Tuesdays they have a special - the first Margarita is free with lunch - so most of us got the freebie.  Lunch was good and reasonably priced, and their water is filtered.  I had some and felt fine, so that was good to know.  I was able to dance a little - I haven't danced in - probably - 20 years, and I did pretty well considering.  We had a small group of WINs, but the LOWs were there, too, and they had a huge group.  The LOWs have an RV park in Deming, nearby, and I guess a lot of their members come every Tuesday for lunch.

It was fun - hopefully I'll get a chance to go back another day.  :)

Today the WINs are out on a road trip to a ghost town/mining camp and tomorrow they are geocaching - these guys keep pretty busy and have a variety of activities.  Non-members can attend some activities to see if they'd like to join the WINs.  They seem like a great group, and it's something to think about, that's for sure!  They are leaving on Friday and if my mail arrives tomorrow, I'll be joining them.

From me and Katie, have a great Thursday, everybody!  :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - more creative people

Playful diversions on the street by very creative people:

From me and Katie, have a great Wordless Wednesday, everybody!  :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Making new friends - Catholic Mass in the Campground

I've met a bunch of new people here at Rockhound.

First I met Rob't and Diana - they are camped here, too, and have their own traveling library.  They put a "book box" on a stool by the road in front of their site, and when Katie and I were walking one day and I stopped to look at the books, Rob't came out and then Diana walked over, too, and we talked for quite a while.  Since our first meeting, we've visited a few times and shared happy hour at Donna and Bob's.

Here's Bob and Donna, Diana and Rob't during our happy hour:

Next I met Donna.  She and her husband, Bob, are parked up the hill from me, and I met Bob the next day.  Super nice couple.  They have been full-timing for years, and belong to some groups, so they know a lot of RVers and have been to a lot of places.  Bob put up a neat wind machine on their Class A motor home - it looks pretty cool.  It's wireless and looks like something I might want to get.  It tells wind speed and direction, outside temps, and I don't know what else.  I'm going to research these gizmos and see what they cost.  Anyone have recommendations on one of these little machines?   Donna and Bob are also avid Geocachers and are approaching 4,000 finds!

Bruce and Ellabeth were driving back to their site the other day and pulled up my road while Katie and I were outside.  They stopped to say, "How's Katie doing today?"  I didn't know them, and walked over to their truck and said, "How do you know Katie?" (Weird - like Katie was a person.)    Bruce said they recognized me and Katie and also The Palms from the blog.  We talked a little bit and then I asked if I could take their picture for the blog - and they agreed. Here are Bruce and Ellabeth:

They are not bloggers, but obviously read other peoples posts!  It was nice meeting you both, Bruce and Ellabeth (I hope I spelled that right).  Thanks for stopping by to say HI!

Then on Saturday I met Sherry and Jack.  They are camped right next to me and we've said "Hi" as Katie and I walked by, but on Saturday Sherry and Jack came over and we talked - and wondered what in the world was going on in the Group Site across from us.  A huge catering truck was there, lots of people, chairs set up, Vestments hanging from the shade structure.  We had a good conversation and then Sherry went home while Jack checked out what was going on nearby.  Here's Sherry and Jack and that's their site behind them.  They don't have a blog, so I can't provide a link for them, but they are also avid Geocachers.  Geez, these Geocachers here at Rockhound really have me interested in trying that hobby again.  :)

It was really nice meeting so many people - and I enjoyed the time I spent with them all.  Hopefully we'll meet up again down the road.

The goings on in the Group Site?  Well, this isn't something you see every day while hanging out in a State Park.  It was a Youth Lenten Walk in honor of the Lenten season celebrated by the Catholics in the Deming and Luna County area.

Paraphrased from the Headlight Deming News:  In honor of the season — and to reach out to young people — Father Enrique Lopez-Escalera has organized the Lenten Youth Walk over the past five years on behalf of St. Ann Catholic Church in Deming. "The walk is for the youth, but everyone is invited to join."  The walk began at 8 a.m. from the intersection of McCann and Rockhound Roads and was seven miles.

Walkers were led to Rockhound State Park where a Holy Mass was conducted at 11 a.m. at the group shelter in the park.  Leading the mass was recently appointed New Mexico Bishop Oscar Cantu of the Diocese of Las Cruces.  "It's a very special occasion to have the Bishop here in our presence," Fr. Enrique said. "He is our shepherd and the successor to the Apostles. To have him here to celebrate the Eucharist and address our young people is a great honor, indeed."

Following the mass, a cookout of hot dogs and hamburgers and refreshments were provided for the congregation.

I was raised Catholic, but I'm what they call a "fallen away Catholic."  I have my own faith, but seldom attend church services of any denomination.  I really enjoyed watching the kids walking up the long road to the park - there were a LOT of them.  Cars were parked all over the place, on all the roads near the group shelter site.

There was a float with the Virgin Mary and potted plants, etc. leading the walkers, who followed behind it and you could see them coming up the long road into the park. They walked into the Group Site, which had been set up with a huge catering truck, large bar-b-que, and an alter for Mass and lots of rows of folding chairs.  It took quite a while to set it all up and then the kids arrived.  Most of the parents had already arrived in their cars.

Katie and I walked down to see the service - even though I went to Catholic school, I don't remember ever seeing a Bishop, so this was pretty cool for me.  Even though I'm not a practicing Roman Catholic, I still have great respect for that faith. I watched the Mass and listened to the Bishop's sermon, and after a while we walked on around the park.  It was very inspiring and uplifting and luckily it was a beautiful morning with NO winds. I suspect more than a few prayers were sent up asking for a calm morning.

After the Mass, they ate and drank and visited and then people started leaving.  Before long the Group Shelter was cleaned up and empty again.  I was glad to have experienced this event, and have to hand it to all the kids and adults who walked seven miles to get here.   Here are some photos I took:

I think Father Enrique Lopez-Escalera celebrated the Mass and Bishop Oscar Cantu gave the sermon and spoke to the congregation.  The men looked similar and I was too far away to hear everything:

Father Enrique Lopez-Escalera celebrating Mass:

There were two Sheriffs there who helped control traffic for the walkers.  They are members of the Church and donated their time.  I talked to the officer in the photo below and he explained to me what was going on and the history of this walk for the youth of his church.  Later I found more information on-line at the Headlight Deming News website.

Beautiful setting for the service.

Bishop Cantu with his Staff addressing the congregation:

One of the last vehicles to leave - I'm guessing this is the Bishop's transportation:

Lots going on here, between visiting, lots of walks, birding, and attending Mass. 

From me and Katie, have a great Sunday, everyone!

Friday, March 21, 2014

More Rockhound, NM birds - it's nesting season!

These are birds I've photographed before, but I can't resist posting the new pictures from our stay here at Rockhound State Park.

First, the Scaled Quail - aren't they beautiful?

And here's the White-winged Dove again - they are so regal:

Even their eyelids are blue:

I think the little guy below is a Chipping Sparrow.  I've only gotten one photo of this bird:

And here's a male House Finch.  I see them everywhere I go, winter and summer, north and south, Arizona and New Mexico.  They must be very adaptable to lots of weather and terrains.  He's on the roof of the shade structure right over a nest that's on the inside corner.  Lots of birds pick this corner to land, then lean over to check out the nest.  Some will go into it, but I don't think there are any eggs yet, so I don't know who has actually claimed the nest real estate for this season. 

Next is another Cactus Wren - they seem to be the birds that go into the nest most often.

And right after the photo above, the Cactus Wren fluttered down and hung upside down for a second, then moved into the nest.

Here's a photo of the Gambel's Quail in our site.  It's fun having two different types of Quail in one campsite.  They act the same and scurry around the same, but they sure look different.  I was here about a week before the quail started coming around.  Gambel's Quail have the most amazing feathers - the colors and the way they are arranged are just amazing.  Both types have very elegant top feathers.

I think this little guy is a Black-throated Sparrow:

Here's a White-crowned Sparrow - he spent quite a bit of time with these little yellow flowers, eating a lot of them:

And finally, these photos are House Sparrows - there a lots of them here:

I always try to get photos of birds at all angles, especially new birds, including closeups of their beaks and eyes, since they are such good identifiers.  

There is another nest in the opposite corner of the shade structure roof, and it's getting quite a bit of action today.  Soon there will be eggs in both nests, I'm sure, and little families getting started.  I love being in New Mexico this time of year - all these southern State Parks have such wonderful bird activity to enjoy.

Those are all the bird photos I have - so far - who knows, maybe I'll find another new bird to check off in my Field Guide as I visit the various State Parks.

A big WELCOME to our latest Follower, Nancy Kissack!  Nancy recently retired and purchased an RV and is going to travel around the country with her two dogs - Cooper, a poodle, and Jessie, a Jack Russell - and a BIRD!  Jonathan is a Parrot; that's going to be fun.  I met a couple who had a parrot and they kept his cage outside during the good weather, and he had lots of company. Everyone who walked by stopped by to talk to him.  Nancy, I've been going back reading your past posts, and I'm really enjoying them.  She is expecting a package in the mail today - a new camera - I can't wait to see the photos she takes with it.  Visit Nancy's blog Kissack Adventures.  Thanks for coming along with me and Katie - Welcome Aboard, Nancy!  :)

From me and Katie, have a great Friday, everyone!!!

PS - Kennedy had her Launch Party for her new jewelry business last night.  I WISH I could have been there, I know Kennedy was so excited!  Hopefully Trish will get some good photos and I'll post them.  I sent her an e-mail order to be included with the sales Kennedy has at the party - if any of you are thinking of ordering a locket, chain or charms, please visit their Origami Owl website or e-mail Kennedy and Trish at  If your order is included with the others from the party, your shipping will be less.    Below is one of the new charms - a hand-painted enamel vintage trailer.  I love it!  :)