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Published on July 10, 2018, by admin in New Mexico Summer.

These sites not for big RVs.

After five days at Navajo Lake State Park, I decided to drive 80 miles east to Heron Lake. Navajo is a nice park but too warm this time of year without air conditioning. While I was there, I fortunately had an electric site so I could run AC and stay cool. Navajo Lake is around 6000′ elevation and Heron Lake is 7200′. Logic told me to put the money for electric in my gas tank and drive up to the higher elevation.

There is a good road to Heron that curves up to the north and swings south at Chama. Unfortunately, my GPS saw a lot shorter route through the Apache Indian reservation, and beckoned me on another shortcut. It was a mistake! The road was sort of paved most of the way, but dangerous potholes littered every bit of the black top. That was bad enough but then the road turned to dirt. With all the rain in the last few days many places along the road were washed out and muddy. I half expected to come to a dip filled with water where I would have to back-track many miles.

I made it as you can tell. The campground I’m in is quite pretty with trees and views of the lake. I’ll do more exploration tomorrow. There is a thunderstorm firing up this afternoon and forecast is for more all week. The temperature is 82 degrees.

 
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Published on July 6, 2018, by admin in New Mexico Summer.
Swallows nests in Bluewater canyon.

Swallows nests in Bluewater canyon.

My 14 days were up at Bluewater Lake State Park so I packed and headed 150 miles up to Navajo Lake State Park. I was a little worried about finding a spot with it being a holiday week. Navajo Lake is over 1000′ lower than Bluewater so I was hoping I could find an electric site to run my AC for a few days. Forecast for Navajo Lake was high 80’s through the weekend.

I pulled into the main campground, called Pine, and drove a couple of loops looking for a site. Everything was filled or reserved, even the non-electric sites. I thought for sure I would have to go up to one of the loops on a back dirt road look for an empty site, but I turned the corner in the last electric loop and there was one electric site open. It is fairly small but Minnie fit fine. After I parked and paid the extra for hook-ups, I walked all the loops and discovered I got the last one.

Rain on the way.

Rain on the way.

Later that evening we got a pretty good rain storm. The dark clouds brought a pretty rainbow before the rain began.

This morning I unloaded Honda and rode around the lake to Sims Mesa campground. Sims Mesa campground is only a mile across the lake as the crow flies, but it is 40 miles on paved road as the motorcycle drives. The campground over there was as crowded as this one. I drove the loops to check it out and headed back after a butt rest.

Navajo lake from shortcut road.

Navajo lake from shortcut road.

On the way back I noticed a dirt road that followed the lake shore, and a sign announced it as the Navajo Dam shortcut road. I’m all for shortcuts but it usually means a rough road. The road lived up to my imagination and bounced me all 10 miles to the dam. A lot of the road was so rough that I had to stand on the pegs to keep my internal organs in place!

Nice view of the dam and San Juan River below.

Nice view of the dam and San Juan River below.

I was here a couple of years ago and parked down below the dam by the river. There is a campground along the river called Cottonwood but I didn’t get any cell signal there. All the campgrounds here are nice but warm for this time of year. I will probably move on after the weekend and look for something a little cooler.

 
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Published on July 3, 2018, by admin in New Mexico Summer.
Free is good!

Free is good!

I rode into Grants today with my camp neighbor and friend John. He was getting brake work done on his truck and wanted to pick up groceries and do laundry. He had mentioned before that this laundromat was newly open and offered free dryers. The washers were reasonable, and free drying made it a good deal.

Each day the clouds move in in the afternoon but so far no rain. The temperature has fallen into the low 80’s which is a good thing. I will move in a couple days. Happy 4th of July everyone!

Malka and Nate.

Malka and Nate.

This is a picture of my grandson Nate with his girlfriend and her Dad on her college graduation day.

 
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Published on June 29, 2018, by admin in New Mexico Summer.
Cracked dam.

Cracked dam.

This morning I walked down into the canyon and followed the trail up to the dam. My tracking app announced one mile just as I reached the bottom of the dam. The trail got a little muddy and wet as I neared the base and I got a wet foot a couple of times.
The weather was cloudy and cool this morning, making the hike comfortable. The wind did howl up through the canyon, threatening to flip my hat into the stream every now and then.

I noticed two long cracks in the face of the concrete dam that made me think about what I would do if the wall let go while I was helplessly trapped in the canyon. I kept looking at the canyon sides and wondering how fast I could scramble up to higher ground. One positive factor of the safety of the dam structure is that the lake is very low and not putting much pressure on the cracked wall.

I have noticed that my fridge has not been as cold as it usually is. I pulled the jet nozzle out and found out it was plugged with gunk over the end. This has happened before. I’m glad it was an easy fix.

 
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Published on June 28, 2018, by admin in New Mexico Summer.
Will it rain?

Will it rain?

We have been getting lots of dark clouds the last couple days. I’m hoping it means the monsoons will get here soon and cool it off some. It has been up in the 90’s this week.

I made a trip to Grants on Honda a few days ago. I was mainly looking for RO water and some lettuce from Walmart. I rode all over town looking for a water machine outside a store and finally had to text my friend John to find out where he found it. It was off on a side street outside a Family Dollar store.

Today I rode west on interstate 40 to Thoreau. Thoreau has a couple gas stations, two restaurants, cheap propane, and a Dollar General. Every little village I’ve gone through this last week has a tent set up on the outskirts of town, selling fireworks. I’m thinking maybe New Mexico has a relaxed regulatory on firecrackers. I hope people are careful this year because setting off fireworks and rockets in the forest are how some forest fires get started.

While I was in Thoreau I drove up the back road behind Bluewater Lake to check out a nice boondocking spot I found a couple years ago. The person here at the visitors center told me the forest was all closed over there and I couldn’t go in. It was a good thing I was skeptical because the forest road and campsites were all open. The recreation area on the other side of the lake is closed, however; that’s probably what she heard about.

Every day I look for an open electric site here. There are only five, and if one opens up, it is grabbed almost immediately. There are several reservation electric sites that I noticed are sometimes empty every day. Other state parks will allow you to stay at these sites if no one has reserved them. I walked down to the visitors center to ask them why they didn’t rent out these reservation sites if no one had reserved them. She gave me some story about a guy that wouldn’t move because he was drunk the night before and couldn’t drive. It was such a hassle that they don’t do any temporary occupancy. Sounded like a good scenario for a heafty ticket from law enforcement to me. I think they just don’t have the staff or energy to coordinate the reservation system with first come campers.

 

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