Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Exploring old and new locations north of Truth or Consequences

 Pretty nice day today, presaged by a pretty nice sunrise:

About mid-morning, I headed out driving Mariko, the '87 Suzuki Samurai to go check out locations I'd been to before on motorcycles and also range further into the southern boundary of the Cibola National Forest.

First was a drive to Mitchell Point and the Stone House located there.  Mitchell Point is located near the Rio Grande which feeds into the Elephant Butte Reservoir to the south.  

The interior of the stone house is empty but for miscellaneous bits of the roof and trash.  I'm not sure this historical site is in anyone's budget to keep in good shape!

I made my way back towards NM Highway 1 and then turned west on Forest Road 139 which takes you towards the border of Cibola National Forest.  I wanted to get closer to some interesting mountain/rock formations in the distance so I ended up turning off of FR139 and turning onto FR225.

The objective was to try and get close to the mountain peak
in the middle of the three shown above

The road wasn't in too bad a shape, I didn't even have to go into 4WD until near the top of the pass/ridge before a small campground called La Luna.  There were even a couple of campers there!

This is the scenery once one is past the La Luna Campground, getting closer to the aforementioned rock formation/peak.

This is as close as I got today, I could have gone further but I had hit half tank on Mariko and didn't have any spare gas with me.  Perhaps another time I'll go further.

Retracing my route, once is treated to a nice view of the valley below as one descends along FR225.

Once I was back on FR139, I took a wrong turn and found myself going towards Monticello instead of back to NM Hwy 1.  Turning around, I did stop for this shot of the mountains:

San Mateo's Mountain on the left and Vick's Peak on the right

Heading east on FR139

Found a possible future campsite a few miles from NM Hwy 1,
not good for Internet access but did have voice cell signal.

Returning to the campsite, I decided to drive the few miles further towards the reservoir and the Elephant Butte State Park to pose Mariko by the lake I'd posed Yagi by on my previous stay:

Not as photogenic as a motorcycle eh?

A shot of the my campsite

Here's a couple of views of the hills and peaks that border the Cibola National Forest, you can see how they drew me closer today...

I must find a route to get me closer to these foothills!

So, a good day of dirt driving in Mariko.  Did find a low frequency rubbing noise when in 4WD and going above 30 MPH....it comes and goes, and is not evident in 2WD.  I'm going to have to watch that....I don't see any damage, no leaks from the differential or axle areas.

As the noise seem to come from the right front, I even felt the locking hub for heat but it was fine.  Oh well.


SonjaM said...

Stunning sunset, Dom.

The scenery reminds me of our camping trip to Spain...

redlegsrides said...

Danke SonjaM, though it was a sunrise.... ;)

Steve Williams said...

The Suzuki Samurai is every bit as photogenic as your motorcycles. That machine is the right color, has the right tires, and looks perfect in the landscapes in which you explore.

Kim and I looked at one of those Suzuki's years ago when we were between vehicles. Wasn't the right fit then though. I admire your vehicle choices. They seem utilitarian, simple, and seem to fit seamlessly into your adventuring life. Most people wouldn't consider a 34-year-old vehicle to disappear into the wilderness but I suspect it's just as reliable and a lot easier to fix should something fail.

Your posts allow me to daydream and fantasize about the West. Thank you for that.

redlegsrides said...

Thank you for the comments Steve!
As to going into the wilderness with a 34-year-old vehicle I try and make sure to stay within cell range or at least satellite range for my personal locator beacon just in case.

RichardM said...

Personally, I don't think it's quite as picturesque as the Ural. But, I'm probably biased….

CCjon said...

The mountains have called your name and you are going... love those last two shots.

Any plans to mount a winch on the front ? That with a drag anchor could be a solution in soft sand.

redlegsrides said...

Yeah, I feel the same way about it RichardM!

redlegsrides said...

I am researching the winch option CCjon... Not in a big hurry as I intend to avoid mud or really deep sand if I can help it! I am carrying a pair of sandboards for sand just in case.