Over-looking an apocalyptic atomic bomb landscape with the remnants of burned-out trees the only living things left standing, and the radioactive dust still hangs in the air.
Or! A misty morning at the City of Rocks State Park.
Despite the apocalypse it was another beautiful day in southern New Mexico, a cloudless blue sky and mid-60s for highs, not bad for a winter day. Of course, that bright blue sky could be improved with a few clouds, which should happen tomorrow.
I'm usually not in southern New Mexico this early, so I'm not sure what's normal for the number of people visiting the City of Rocks State Park this time of year. But like I said, when I first got here 10 or 12 days ago, it wasn't crowded like I'm used to seeing it. There have been a lot of reservation sites going empty at night; first come, first serve boondocking sites have been available, and incredibly, there have been first come, first serve electric hookup sites available since I've been here... And that's unheard of!
I think I'll walk down to the visitor center before they close and talk to the hosts about whether this number of visitors to the park is normal or something else is happening. If this is a normal number of visitors for this time of year, I would be inclined to visit here this time of year in the future because it's been great without the crowds.
I still don't know where I will go when I leave here, and since time is flying by for me, that will be pretty soon. But since I've got several options, I guess it doesn't much matter because wherever I go, that's where I'll be, and wherever I'll be, is where I want to be, and if I want to be there, I'll be happy.
After carefully studying my calendar hanging on the wall, it just occurred to me that due to my own carelessness, negligence, and devil-may-care attitude, my two weeks at the City of Rocks is almost UP, and I'm actually supposed to leave here on Sunday morning, which for knowledgeable full-timers like myself is a definite no-no because if you're truck breaks down on a Sunday help may be a long time coming... If at all, so Sunday travel is emergency's only as far as I'm concerned.
So after carefully assessing my tenuous situation I have decided to head down the road to Rockhound State Park which is only 40 miles away... Once again... stay for a couple of nights and leave Monday morning. That way I won't have to travel on a Sunday, and I'll have plenty of time at Walmart to restock my meager supplies.
Did I try to talk the Ranger into giving me a couple of extra days? Absolutely! I crawled into his office on my hands and knees crying like a baby and slobbered all over his spit shined boots begging for mercy. Not only did I not get any extra time, he said he wished I had never been here for the previous two weeks... Rangers are heartless.
There's a few boondocking sites in the boulders that are large enough for the bigger RVs, but not many, and are usually pull-through's.
I would imagine a lot of folks make reservations for these boondocking sites without realizing most of them are too small for class A's and large fifth-wheels, and prove to be very challenging to get in and out of.
Official walking paths are marked with rocks. Easy peasy walking.
Official trails that you can follow through the boulders, are marked with lines of rocks to keep you on track. There easy walking, mostly level, no difficult steps up, or down. And suitable for just about any ability.
Getting off the marked trails Is a little more challenging but a lot more fun. You'll have to squeeze between some rocks, step up, or down, a couple of feet, and the ups and downs can be steeper, but is in no way challenging for a person of average abilities.
Some places you may have to get on your knees and crawl, or just walk around till you find an easier way.
A few Sotol plants growing at the City of Rocks. I really would like to be here when these things are blooming and the stalks are covered with flowers.