Here are a couple pics of Coyote Creek on the trail above the campground. Most of the nice sites are back in the woods where they can’t be seen from this trail. The big loop is where the electric sites are located.
There are five state parks a few miles north of Las Vegas, New Mexico, and the one I’m camped at has the only working dump station. I left Storrie Lake yesterday and drove 40 miles north to a nice little state park named Coyote Creek. Coyote Creek SP is small but quite pretty. It’s in a wide valley surrounded by mixed pine and hardwood trees with a small stream running through the park.
There are about 10 RV sites with electric and about the same number of developed, non-electric sites you could get a small RV into. The electric sites are packed together in a side-by-side, crowded line. One road to more camping spots, crosses the stream and runs up the hill, and is mostly for high-clearance vehicles and tenters. There is also a small field down by the river for overflow camping.
At 7700′ of elevation, the temperature has been nice. It was a bit chilly this morning but warmed up into the 70’s quickly. Today I hiked a trail that circles the stream side of the park and climbs up the hill for a mile. Of course, every afternoon the monsoon thunderstorms move in and chase everyone inside.
I get 3 bars of 3G on Verizon. It’s not great but adequate. I had to put my dish up on Minnie’s roof to get above the trees. I get enough sun to get a full charge every day and all this rain is keeping my panels clean!
I’m heading back to Storrie Lake State Park on Friday. I ordered something from Walmart that should be at the store in Las Vegas by then. All the good spots at the state park will undoubtedly be filled on Friday, so I will park in the field down by the lake.
All day long the Harley Davidson motorcycles have been roaring by the road here at Storrie Lake. I guess there is an annual rally in Las Vegas that attracts many bikers. I’m not sure how many come to the rally but it seems like hundreds have gone by.
This weekend the park has come alive with campers, boaters, and picnickers. The weather has been sunny and warm, attracting many to come play at the lake. The developed sites are all taken but there is a huge field where you can pull in anywhere you want. It’s called primitive camping because it is out in the field without a table or firepit. You can pull down as close to the water as you dare. If I had a kayak I would probably park down by the water.
This morning I rode Honda twenty miles north to look at a state park called Morphy Lake. When I arrived at the park, there was a sign on a closed gate that said the park was closed for dam reconstruction. I wasn’t disappointed to see the park closed. I didn’t plan to camp there anyway, and it was a nice motorcycle ride on smooth, curvy road.
It’s nice having the town only four miles away. I have been to Walmart a few times and today ate lunch at Wendys. There are a couple more state parks north of here but I’m not in a big hurry to move. Except for showers that come through in the afternoon, the weather has been really nice. I’m sure I’m getting spoiled with solar, cell, satellite, and supplies all available. There is a good chance the parks up north will be slim pickings for amenities.
It’s amazing how many multiple names of towns there are in this country. Yesterday I drove past signs for Cuba, Algodones, and Las Vegas, none of which are the places I first think of when I see those names.
I’m presently camped 4 miles north of Las Vegas, NM, at Storrie Lake State Park. I got one of the last developed sites available. If an electric site had been open I probably would have ponied up the extra cash to run my AC. It’s not too warm yet and there is a nice breeze that helps. The sky is dark overcast and may dump some rain soon. At least I have good cell signal and open sky for satellite.
After only one night at Fenton Lake I packed up and headed for Hyde Memorial SP. Hyde Memorial is 8 miles north of Santa Fe in what is called Black Canyon. It’s a good description because the park is narrow, heavily treed, and crowded. I found only three sites open and managed to squeeze into one of them. I was not level, there was no way my satellite could see through all the trees, and I had zero cell signal. The one good thing I can say is that at 8500′ the temperature was perfect – 75°.
I’m a little miffed at New Mexico Parks because the last three parks have had no dump station. Fenton Lake never had one and Hyde Memorial was closed because of flood water. When I pulled in here at Storrie Lake and saw the sign that the dump was closed, I was a bit disappointed. When I asked the girl working the entrance booth about it, she directed me to a nearby RV park that charges $10.
The main reason I purchased the park pass is so I would have free access to dump, water, garbage, and a nice site. I guess my main objective this year is to explore the state parks and decide which ones fit my lifestyle. So far I haven’t found any better than Bluewater Lake and Heron Lake for warm summer months.
My 14 day limit was up at Heron Lake State Park so I headed out to find another place to explore. My original thought was to head up to Eagles Nest State Park, situated high in the Carson National Forest at 8500′ of elevation, and look for a break in all this hot weather. Eagles Nest is a high, glacial lake situated out in the open with few trees around. I looked at the weather forecast for the next week and became concerned with being out in the open in violent lightning storms every afternoon. At the last minute I changed direction and headed south to Fenton Lake State Park.
The road up to Fenton Lake coming in from Los Alamos was pretty curvy and steep. I wouldn’t want to tow a big trailer up that way. When I went through Los Alamos, I was stopped, had to show picture ID, and consent to a search of my RV. I’m not to sure what goes on around Los Alamos. The signs say it is a national laboratory. I’m thinking some kind of top secret nuclear testing and design. There sure we’re a lot of impressive huge buildings with hundreds of vehicles in adjoining parking lots. When I get a cell signal I’ll look it up.
Fenton Lake State Park is tucked into a valley high in the Santa Fe NF. The lake is tiny compared with many I have been to. Most of the sites are reservation only and the few that are open are not very level or nice. There is no cell signal, and the weather is just as hot as Heron Lake. They have lifted all fire restrictions, however, so you can roast hotdogs over a campfire.
I thought that coming up in the middle of the week would give me a better chance of finding a good spot. The campground was almost full even on a Tuesday. I guess the big draw is the fishing. One camper told me they stock it with big trout every week. If I were a fisherman, or had a kayak, or planned to hike the nice trails in the area, I would probably stay for a while. But I’m not, and I don’t, and I can’t, so I think I’ll move on.
Richard wrote to me about all the places to see and explore near Fenton Lake, but with Honda down until I get the headlight fixed, I won’t be making many side trips. Maybe next time through.