Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Glamping in New Mexico: Valley of Fire and Bottomless Lakes State Park

December 16-17.

Drove Umarang, the URRV with Yagi, the TW200 on the front hitch's maiden voyage and Fiona, the '99 Ural Patrol in the trailer behind Uma.

I should have waited a couple of days.  It turned out that I-25 and all I could see from it was snow covered from Colorado Springs down past Springer, New Mexico!  It made a project 7 hour drive a 9 hour journey involving snow-packed roads, lots of melting snow and some white-knuckle driving as traffic whooshed past me unheeding of the snowy conditions.

Still, we made it to our destination as the sun set and darkness gathered at the Valley of Fires BLM campground near the town of Carrizozo, NM.  Fiona didn't fare too well sitting in the back of the RV tied down to the trailer.  She was exposed to all the freezing road spray and her left side was completely covered in thick ice!

As it was dark by the time I got camp set up, no pics of the sunset but did manage to get some of the following day's sunrise:

 It was in the 20s I think (forgot my thermometer at home)
but things warmed up slightly once the sun came up.

Valley of Fires Campground, run by BLM, $18 for electricity
and water, though my faucet froze overnight.

Soon as the sun's heat could be felt, I started chipping away at the ice layer covering poor Fiona, took quite a bit of time but finally got her uncovered and freed from her icy prison.

It must have been at least 50 lbs of ice I think!  Quite the mess.

I then took a walk along the Malpais Nature Trail that takes you through a loop for a close look at the ancient lava flows that comprise the Valley of Fires.  They apparently originated long ago from cracks in the earth surface, not a volcano and if you're a vulcanologist or a geologist even, you'd probably find it quite fascinating.

 A view from the campsite, near the trail head

View of part of the campground from the top of a small
hill, the campground's highest point.

Pretty good 4G signal for Verizon users, a nice campsite overall and the price is quite inexpensive.

I broke camp and then headed east on US380 heading towards the Bottomless Lake State Park to the east of the infamous town of Roswell, NM.  The town itself was much larger than I thought it would be and I'll be exploring the UFO tourist aspects of it tomorrow.

Got to the RV campground situated next to Lea Lake within the state park and got a spot that provided electricity and water for a mere $14!  Such a deal.  Got all set up and then wandered aboard Fiona to explore around the area.

The buildings next to the lake appear to be for events, it
was closed while I was there.

Nearby is the Devil's Inkwell Campground that is for dry camping for a $10 fee.  There's several small "lakes" there which are cool to explore, I might check them out further tomorrow after exploring Roswell which is about 12 miles from the campground.

 Mirror Lake

No clouds as the sun set so I didn't even bother taking a picture of the  RV and rig within the campground.  I like the occasional stay in campground that provide water and electricity.  I used the water to wash the RV and Fiona somewhat, and electricity means I can engage the tank heaters to hopefully keep the three water tanks (fresh, gray and black) from freezing overnight and run a small space heater for the RV!


Oz said...

What an adventure. That sure was a lot of ice/muck on Fiona. I bet you aren't surrounded by other campers

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for commenting Oz, Valley of Firrd was mostly empty but there’s more campers at the state park....but surrounding areas are quite empty so it’s all good

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

first look....”Dom found Bigfoot, way better photo than seen previously....captured too!”

Lovely country and snow-free.

Artie & Leinen's Grand Adventure said...

“Poor Fiona”. I’m going to watch where you are going because we’ll be heading to NM after the New Year. Looks like we’ll get through the state quickly, hang out in warmer Texas, then explore it in March. Tentative plans. Where you are is beautiful! Today is our 19th anniversary!

redlegsrides said...

Coop, it was more like icefoot!

redlegsrides said...

I would skip Roswell unless you’re a major UFO fan, Bridget. This state park is nice but not much else. Hopefully the next destination is better and more importantly, warmer.