Showing posts with label new mexico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new mexico. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Overnight Stay at Springer Lake Wildlife Area, New Mexico

 Headed home, got about five hours of driving time closer.  Left the Monticello BLM area shortly after sunrise this morning.  Using I-25, I would arrive near the town of Springer, NM and the campground area set up within the Wildlife Area by 12:35 PM.

Had the place to myself!  :)

Got set up under sunny clear skies, warm temperatures in the low 70s.  It felt good even though it's forecasted to be around 18°F (-7.7°C) overnight!

There was ice buildup evident on the edges of the lake, not sure how thick but I don't imagine it was very thick given the temperatures of the last few days for this area.

Distant snow covered peaks suggested some long depth of field shots using the zoom lens and some distance from the URRV:

I dismounted and then rode Yagi over to the other side of the lake but not much there, no other campsites anyways.  

Returning back to the campsite, just took pictures of what wildlife I could see, all of it at the extreme range of the zoom on the camera.

A "meh" sunset for my last night of camping for this particular trip.  Over a month on the road, one burned up sidecar rig, iphone and camera....still, no injuries and some enjoyable days in the warm conditions of Arizona mostly.

Monday, December 07, 2020

T-Dub'ing around the BLM areas north of Truth or Consequences

 Properly layered this time, I set about exploring the BLM areas to the North and Northwest of my campsite, trying to find campsites for future trips in case the preferred sites are occupied.

Didn't have much luck finding anything but just one night spots that the URRV could access easily.  I returned to the campsite for lunch and then rode south to explore the BLM areas closer to the Elephant Butte State Park.

I'm thinking the rightmost formation is Elephant Butte
but not sure

Can you see the two pelicans on the left side of the lake?

The birds below were shot at maximum optical zoom with ClearImage digital zoom enabled bringing the total zoom to 1128mm!  Obviously, I had to use a tripod and a two second delay on the shutter (as mentioned by CCjon) in order for the camera to be steady enough to render the below pic after post-processing.

On the way back, a nice view of the hills and mountains within the Cibola National Forest to the NW presented itself:

I find find 3 spots that the URRV could handle easily this time, and marked them on Google Maps for possible future use.

Spent the rest of the afternoon resting, doing a police call for trash (not much at campsite); unfortunately found piles of it away from the campsite, too much for me to handle unfortunately.

Sunset was better than yesterday but not by much, it had looked quite promising earlier in the afternoon with lots of clouds in the sky but they'd gone by the time the sun set.  Oh well.

I shot this pic just to show the rather symmetrical lens bloom/flare
evidenced when trying for a sunburst today.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Now in New Mexico, Boondocking north of Truth or Consequences

 I woke way before sunrise, ate breakfast and broke camp.  I hadn't loaded Yagi onto the URRV's front bike carrier last evening due to the leveler blocks causing too high an entry angle for the ramp.

"Unfortunately", this meant that the S.A.W.* that had parked real close to my campsite was in the light of the URRV's headlights when I turned them on to have working light.  It was still dark you see.  Shame really, the light probably woke them up too.

I got Yagi loaded up with no issue, then turned on the fog lights mounted on the bike carrier so I could see what I was doing as I got everything tied down and packed up.  Shame really, how those lights continued to light up the S.A.W.'s fifth wheel trailer just a few feet from my campsite.

As I was doing my final checks, I saw the S.A.W. exit the fifth wheel with his two mangy looking hounds and walk off quickly to have them spread their crap around the area.  I'm sure he's the type of dog owner who doesn't pick up after them you see.

As dawn was beginning to make the eastern horizon glow, I left the campsite and made my way back to the small town of Bowie where I took Business 10 Loop east and eventually got onto eastbound I-10 heading towards New Mexico.

I arrived to the BLM area serviced by Monticello Road, about ten miles or so north of the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  I had the whole area to myself at 11:00 AM and was able to grab my usual camping spot almost two miles away from the highway.

As you can see, clear skies and sunny.  Temperatures wouldn't get above the low 60s but it felt nice under the sun.  I did go on a few miles worth of riding with Yagi but failed to wear my windproof liner so I felt the strong wind chill factor, which limited the speeds I could go at.

Didn't find much except for one spot on the west side of the highway junction but it was too close to the highway in terms of would be OK for an overnight stay but not for a multi-day stay.

I'll range further tomorrow, this time more warmly geared up!  There's some promising BLM terrain to the NW near some hills visible to the rear of the URRV in the first picture above.

The clear skies rendered a "meh" sunset, I didn't even bother going outside, choosing to shot the distant mountain range's blues through the URRV's window.

* S.A.W. :  Soiled Ass Wipe

Monday, April 06, 2020

Homeward-bound, via New Mexico...

After a restless night, woke early and after breakfast headed out for some more dune pictures while the sun wasn't too high in the sky and things were cool.

Different section of dunes, still close to the camping/staging area.

After the above shot, I elected to back Fiona up instead of losing all the height advantage I'd gained for this spot.  This turned out to be quite the ordeal and I ended up smoking the clutch quite a bit to get her into the below spot.

I waited ten minutes for the clutch to cool down and to quit smoking!  First time I'd seen actual smoke come out of this particular clutch setup.  Hopefully all is OK and I just basically wore down the material somewhat.

Fiona rode fine back down to the campsite and I parked her to cool her down some more.  At this point, the camp host stopped by and gave me a heads up.  The BLM folks were going to close down access to this site in the next day or two, soon as the signs arrived.  Bummer, but not unexpected.

After a call with Martha, I decided to go ahead and pack up and head on to my planned stopped near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico a day or so early.

I returned the flag to the camp host with my thanks and I headed on out for a 4.5 hour drive to the Monticello Road BLM site north of Truth or Consequences, NM off of the I-25 Super Slab.

This is a spot I've used before several times, but this time my usual spot was occupied already.  I ended up in a pretty good and recently cleaned up spot closer to the highway entrance.  Last  time I was here, I recall a destroyed RV's remnants here.

After setting up camp, I dismounted Yagi, my Yamaha TW200 to go check out the access to the nearby Elephant Butte Lake.  It turns out the area claimed/covered by the Elephant Butte Lake State Park includes all the interesting riding areas near the camp!   New signs both proclaimed new to me boundaries and the fact the state park was closed due to the Corona Virus!  Dammit.

Still, got a few miles of riding in before I realized I was within the state park boundaries and had to leave.  I returned to the URRV, put Yagi back on the front rack mount as there was no point to staying here more than tonight.

I expect to be home by tomorrow afternoon now, here's the last sunset for this extended URRV trip....quite the journey.  It'll be good to be home though.

Finally a pano shot of the was quite nice eh?

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Pancho Villa Museum, Uraling around Columbus and a Christmas Day Sunset

Here's hoping you had a great Christmas Day!

Mine was pretty good.

First off was a visit to the Pancho Villa Museum located within the Pancho Villa State Park where I am currently glamping.

The entry fee is waived if you're a camper so I go in for free.  It's a very well put together museum concentrating on the raid by Pancho Villa's men on the town of Columbus on March 9, 1916.  A raid which would lead to a punitive expedition by the US Army under the command of John "Black Jack" Pershing to try and ultimately fail to capture Pancho Villa.

The state park is located on the grounds used by the US Army to stage out this punitive expedition; next to the village of Columbus, the subject of the raid:

An armored truck on display at the front of the museum

Some interesting stuff within the museum, here's some of the things which caught my eye:

 I didn't know that at the time, the US Army used a
French made machine gun.

 A pano of the Army Camp which was setup to
support the punitive expedition

 Then and Now set displayed at the museum

 The punitive expedition was the US Army's first field
use of aircraft in combat operations.
Note the Red Star insignia....

Though used extensively in this operation, this expedition would also prove the "Swan Song" of Horse Cavalry as mechanized vehicles were introduced.  The Mexican government had denied the use of Mexican railroads by the US Army so they were forced to turn to trucks and autos to keep General Pershing's troops supplied.

 Looks like quite the beast, doesn't it?

 One of the trucks which eventually replaced the 
use of mules and horses to supply the army

 Replica of one of the Jenny's used during the expedition

There were of course, lots of memorabilia and photos with the museum's main subject: Pancho Villa:

 Posing with an Indian Motorcycle, I don't
think he rode it.

 Villa was known as quite the horseman

 The young Lieutenant to the left and behind
General Pershing is George S. Patton.

 The Customs House still stands.

 I wonder if the above armored truck is the same as
the one on display at the front of the museum.

 Dodge Brothers Touring Car, similar to the 250 ordered by
General Pershing for his and his staff's use.
Also used by LT George Patton on one operation to catch and 
kill three Villistas.  Patton was quoted as saying: 
"We couldn't have done it with horses.  The motor car is
the modern war horse"

 Sample of the equipment and uniform issued to the
US soldier of the time.

Several models of Jenny aircraft were used for reconnaissance and message delivery.  Most of them were not tough enough to withstand their use in harsh Mexican conditions apparently.  

Still, it was the first combat use of aircraft by the US Army; which is what I found interesting.  I would later find the marker for the airfield they used, really close to the village's railroad depot.

 Small artillery piece located outside the museum.

The view from atop Coote's Hill, which was also
reported to have been where Pancho Villa watched
the raid on the village of Columbus.

After visiting the museum, I geared up and went for a ride on Fiona, my '99 Ural Patrol Sidecar.  First I tried heading north on NM 11 to see if I could find a road that would get me close to the base of the Florida Mountains.  Rain would have me turning back:

As stormy as it looked to the north, just a few miles to the south the skies remained mostly clear and sunny:

 From left to right: South, Middle and North Peaks

 Reducing depth of field through use the telephoto lens

I mentioned before, finding a marker next to a fenced off patch of land to the east of Columbus' Train Depot.  The area wasn't very large so either they only managed to preserve a small portion of it or those early aircraft didn't require a lot of take off/ landing space!

By now, the skies had become cloudy and temperatures hovered in the low 50s, high 40s.  Felt quite cool to me so I retired to the URRV to process pictures and listen to audio books.

Pretty relaxing afternoon overall, I might have even fallen asleep listening to the audio book.

Christmas Day Sunset was pretty good: