Monday, July 30, 2007

Arrowhead Point Camping Resort

Well, the Boomerang is over. We really enjoyed this get together...there were only about 22 rigs in attendance so we got a chance to meet and talk with everyone (unlike the Quartzsite Boomerang in January which attracts 100+ rigs). We had dinner out at a Mexican restaurant in Buena Vista, breakfast at another restaurant, and a pot luck on Friday night. The gathering ended Sunday morning with a hitchup breakfast, although we stayed until this morning.

We are now spending a couple of nights at Arrowhead Point Camping Resort, just north of Buena Vista where we will drain tanks, clean, and do laundry before heading back to New Mexico.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pictures from the Colorado Boomerang

These pictures were taken by Bill Pienups from his remote controlled plane.

The left-hand picture is of all of us gathered for Happy Hour. Earl and I are sitting in the lower outside circle...we're the two chairs to the right of the red chairs.

The right-hand picture shows our Excel and Dodge truck (pretty much in the center of the picture).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Colorado Boomerang

On our way north along US-285, we stopped in Buena Vista to purchase an annual Colorado State Wildlife Area permit (only for me...none is necessary for old farts age 65 or older).

We arrived at Boomerville, located at the west end of Clear Creek Reservoir, about 15 miles north of Buena Vista, just before noon, and were greeted by several Boomers who were already there. We found a place to park, and after having lunch, went to pay our money for the pizza being ordered (and delivered) tonight.

We had Happy Hour at 4:00 PM, and around 5:00 PM the pizza was delivered. Everyone had no more than started on their first piece of pizza when the sky opened up and it started to hail! We each grabbed another piece of pizza and hightailed it back to our rigs.

Miles driven: 47.7
GPS coordinates: N 39° 01.231' / W 106° 16.632'

Saturday, July 21, 2007

On the way to the Colorado Boomerang

We left Sugarite Canyon State Park this morning and headed north on I-25 until we got to Walsenburg, Colorado. Here we stopped to have lunch at the A&W (have to have root beer floats, you know).

We then proceeded northwest on SR-69 which goes through some really beautiful countryside! Once we got to US-50, we headed west to Salida where we filled up with diesel ($3.119/gallon) and then went on to Heart of the Rockies Campground which is about five miles west of the US-50/US-285 junction. We'll spend a couple of days here doing laundry and grocery shopping before proceeding on to the Escapees Boomer's get together north of Buena Vista, Colorado.

Miles driven: 196.2
GPS coordinates: N 38° 32.271' / W 106° 10.588'

Saturday, July 14, 2007

St. John's Church

On our way back from Capulin Volcano National Monument, we stopped at a small church which is located on SR-72, and which has a cemetery across the street.

St. Johns Methodist Episcopal Church as built in 1896. Surprisingly, it was open, and is apparently still used. There was even a donation bowl sitting on a table at the entryway...trusting people, I guess.

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Today we decided to take a trip to Capulin Volcano National Monument, southeast of our location (this monument is just north of the small town of Capulin where we spent our first night in New Mexico earlier this year). The drive on SR-72 between Raton and SR-325 where you turn south to go to the Monument goes through some really beautiful country!

Capulin is the cone of a volcano that erupted between 56,000 and 62,000 years ago. The cinder cone represents part of the last stage of a great period of volcanism that began about 9 million years earlier. It rises more than 1,300 feet above the plains to 8,182 feet above sea level. The symmetry of the volcano was preserved because the lava did not flow from the main crater, but from the mouth located at the western base of the cone.

We had to wait in line at the Visitor's Center before driving up the 2-mile road that spirals around the mountain to the summit, because the parking area at the top is so small, they can't have cars come up until there is a space available. The drive up was scary for me because we were on the outside with no guard rails (in fact, I kept my eyes closed the entire time!).

The top two pictures above are taken from the parking area at the top of the summit. There is a wonderful view from the top, and had the weather not been so cloudy, we would have been able to see even farther. The bottom picture is of the vent at the bottom of the crater...there is a 0.2 mile trail that goes down to the bottom.

On our way back, we stopped in Folsom and had lunch at the Folsom Village Inn where we had really good hamburgers.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More Pictures from Sugarite Canyon State Park

The top left picture is a view down the valley from our campsite.
The top right picture is of the male Rufous hummingbird who protects the feeder...he does a really good job, too, chasing away everyone (you'll note that he's sitting at the top of the hummingbird feeder hanger...all the better to be closer to chase other hummingbirds away). He will occasionally let a female feed, but there are absolutely no males allowed!

The bottom picture is a better one of the family of wild Turkeys who came through our site again. This time, I was able to open the screen on one of the windows to take the picture.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hummingbirds & Other Critters

We put out a hummingbird feeder at each park we go to. At most of the New Mexico state parks we've been to so far, we've attracted only Black-chinned hummingbirds, although at Coyote Creek, we also had some Rufous hummingbirds.

We put out our feeder yesterday shortly after we arrived, and today we've noted Rufous, Calliope, and Broadtail far, no Black-chinned. This is the first time we've ever seen a Calliope male (we think we saw a female at Medicine Lake Campground in the Modoc National Forest back in 2005, but never saw a male to confirm that sighting). It's lots of fun to sit outside and watch them chasing each other away from the feeder!

There was also a family of wild turkeys that came through our site...three adults (one male and two females) and a whole gaggle of little ones. I didn't get a really good picture of them because I was inside shooting through the window.

Sugarite Canyon State Park

We left Las Vegas around 10:00 AM and headed north on I-25 to Raton where we had lunch at Arbys. After eating, we headed north to Sugarite Canyon State Park. The town of Sugarite, which is no longer in existence, used to be a coal mining town. The Visitor's Center for the park used to be the Sugarite Post Office.
The picture is a view from our campsite.

Miles driven: 116.7
GPS coordinates: N 36° 58.405' / W 104° 23.656'

Friday, July 06, 2007

Las Vegas, New Mexico

Because we wanted to do laundry and shopping, we checked in at Vegas RV Park, just up the road from the Wal-Mart in Las Vegas, NM.

After starting one load of laundry, we went to dinner at Kochina de Raphael, a Mexican food restaurant we'd eaten at the last time we stayed here (that time, we'd stayed at the Elks Lodge which is right next door to the restaurant...we would have stayed there this time, too, except we needed full hookups so we could do laundry).

After eating, we went by Wal-Mart to look for a small air compressor, but all they had were 12-volt air compressors (which we don't want), or large air compressors. Earl ended up buying some fishing lures and flies instead.

Miles driven: 45.5
GPS coordinates: N 35° 37.382' / W 105° 13.496'

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Rain Storms

Almost every afternoon, clouds have come over and we've heard thunder off in the distance. Sometimes it's rained a bit, but at other times, we've had quite a bit of rain. These pictures were taken at sunset.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cimarron Canyon State Park

Since Cimarron Canyon State Park isn't that far from where we're staying at Coyote Creek State Park, we decided to go check it out to see what area might be good for us.

The drive up through Angel Fire and Eagle Nest is beautiful, as is the area where the state park is located: Along the Cimarron River and through the deep canyon it has cut through the Cimarron Range, the easternmost flank of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. These mountains, themselves, are a southern extension of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

There are three campgrounds in the park, not including the walk-in tent only area at Blackjack: Tolby, Maverick, and Ponderosa. The first two campgrounds (Tolby & Maverick) are in heavy trees, the roads are narrow and the branches haven't been cut to allow larger RVs to navigate the roads without scraping the roof. The sites are also close other words, not a good place for larger RVs. Popups, truck campers, smaller Class Bs and Cs, maybe, but we wouldn't camp at either one, even in our relatively small 32' fifth wheel. The last campground (Ponderosa) is nothing more than a paved parking lot with RV parking around the outside edges next to the curb, and in the middle. While we would be able to get our satellite Internet tuned in here (which would have been difficult in the other two campgrounds because of the heavy tree cover), it isn't a place at which we'd spend any length of time...maybe an overnight on the way to somewhere else.

After driving all the way through the park (which is strung out along US-64 between Eagle Nest and Ute Park), we decided to drive into Las Vegas where I could buy a new mouse for my computer, the other one having gone to mouse heaven. After buying the mouse, we went by Arby's to pick up something to eat on our way back to Coyote Creek SP.