Sunday, December 02, 2018

The Southwestern Sojourn - Days 4 & 5 Monticello Point and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

Saturday, Dec 1.

Day 4

A non-travel day, I spent it instead Uraling around, doing some errands and just generally checking out the area.  I woke early as usual when camping, and managed to capture a pretty nice sunrise at the Monticello Point BLM site I'd stayed at last year.

About ten miles from exit 92, and after about 8 miles of them being packed dirt, I arrived at Mitchell Point and the Rock House that's located there.  Can't really find much info about this location, but it is near the Rio Grande which used to be the border between the USA and Mexico at this point I believe.

Near the banks of the Rio Grande, the USGS has established a River Gaging Station, I think they're keeping track of the river's level?

 Gaging station infrastructure, there's cables going across
the river, but that's about all I know.

I left the Rock House, not much to it, two rooms, three windows.  I've pics but nothing worth publishing of the interior which was basically empty and abandoned.

 Nearby mountains provide a nice backdrop to the 
Rock House 

I rode further north along New Mexico Highway 1 which runs from Mitchell's Point to the city of Socorro to the north.  I turned off this highway when I could and rode back towards the mountains for this shot:

I would spend the night again at the Monticello BLM site.

Sunday, Dec 2.

Day 5

Caught another sunrise as this time I woke at 4:30 AM and couldn't go back to sleep!

At first, the sunrise wasn't really that nice, so I spent some of the waiting time packing up things in preparation for travel.

It suddenly turned into a pretty colorful sunrise but only in the far horizon, which I managed to capture using the telephoto lens.

A very short travel day, I drove the URRV south along the I-25 Super Slab and less than 90 miles later was passing through Las Cruces, NM and onto US Highway 10 heading east 14 miles to the entrance to the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks BLM Campground.

There's another 5 miles or so before one gets to the campground and it's very twisty and steep and curvy!  I thought I saw a sign saying trailers longer than 23 feet weren't recommended and I believe it.  Uma, the URRV did fine, but I did take it really slow along the sharp turns headed up to the Aguirre Springs Campground.

It was solid overcast and spitting rain when I parked Uma, nicely windy and cold too.  Still, nice location for $7/night camping.  Tomorrow, according to the camp host, it's supposed to be nice.  I hope so.

I geared up and left the cold and windy campsite at the foot of the Organ Mountains and went over to White Sands Missile Range and found that their museum was closed today and tomorrow!  Doh.

Slowly retracing my path back, I crossed over windy Saint Augustin Pass and headed towards Las Cruces to gas Scarlett up.

On the way back, I stopped for a couple of shots;

 The western side of the Organ Mountains
taken from a neighborhood in the town of Organ.

 The Space Mural Museum was also closed so I contented
myself with this shot of St. Augustin Peak and a model
of the Space Shuttle

 It was very windy up on top of St. Augustin Pass, it
was actually shaking the old Hercules-Nike Air Defense
Missile on display at the summit.

Shortly after one leaves the summit on the eastbound lane of US 70, one comes to the entrance marked Aguirre Springs Campground.  Easy to slow down a bit.

 As you can see, still lots of clouds overhead.

Tonight's campsite

I'll decide tomorrow, depending on the weather, whether I stay one more night.  I like this campground, good 4G LTE signal and not crowded.

Closing with a shot of the sunset:


RichardM said...

You really get off of the beaten path. I really like the third photo. It looks like the sky is on fire. How cold was it in southern NM? I occasionally look at the southern AZ weather and get surprised by the near freezing temperatures.

And, do you really need anything more than good LTE signal?

redlegsrides said...

I wouldn’t try your TT on the narrow paved road to this campground in the Organ. mountains. Though I did see a Class A make it near the entrance but chose not to enter the campground. Yep, pretty much a good signal enables me to work.

ScooterScum said...

Nice to see my old neighborhood again from your excellent photos. I lived in Las Cruces in the 1950s and again in 1972. I was back this summer and almost didn't recognize the town any more.

I lived two houses away from Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of Pluto. Who would have thought a mid-west farm boy like Clyde would settle in Las Cruces. He came originally to support the army testing of V2 rockets captured from Germany and was there for the early development of the US rocket program at White Sands before getting a faculty position at New Mexico A&M's--now known as New Mexico State--astronomy department.

One of my strong memories of living there as a kid was the spectacular sunsets on the Organ mountains. You did a nice job capturing the palette of colors.

redlegsrides said...

Thank you ScooterScum

Thanks for the info and history...the Organ Mountains make a nice foreground silhouette for sunsets don't they?