First full day at Santa Rosa State Park

Rocky Point Campground is a good name for it.

Yesterday . . . After the long drive from Brantley, the crew and I are anxious to arrive at Santa Rosa State Park.  We’ve had hours of flat highway through New Mexico grassland.  That changes as we approach the park on a long, winding, uphill road.  We cross over the dam.  The road is only two lanes.  I take a quick glance at the deep gorge to the left and the water way down below to the right.  “No parking” signs don’t allow for a picture.  Not that I’d stop anyway . . . kind of scary so high up.

I can’t bear to listen to Bridget and Spike yap any more. 

I stop near the entrance and let them out for a break.  It’s around 3:30 and, of course, it’s hot.  The crew members finish their business and we move on.

It’s self-pay so I grab a form to fill out and proceed around the campground loop.  I start to get nervous as I see “reserved” signs on one site after another (all the pull-throughs), although several of them are empty.

This is what a typical Rocky Point campsite looks like in late August .

 I don’t see water at the non-reserved sites.  After two loops, I spot one with water and electric and attempt a back-in.  I’m feeling a bit shaky and after my first miserable try, I realize I can’t do it.  It’s too hot and I’m too tired and impatient.

Plus I’m worrying that the heat will get me again.

I drive to the first empty pull-through, get a water out of the fridge, and the crew and I sit under the picnic table shelter.  Soon a park guy drives up on an golf cart type vehicle.  I tell him I know this is a reserved spot, I just had to rest a bit, and would he help me get backed in?  He’s very agreeable, says he has to dump some gravel, and he’ll be right back. 

He picks a site across the road and talks me through the backing-in.

Spike demonstrates what to do after the air conditioner is turned on.

At that point I don’t care that it’s an unattractive site.  I want air conditioning for me and the crew!  I hook up the electric and save the water hook-up for when the sun goes down and I have some energy.  (Later I notice an army of ants heading up the electric cord.  I zap them good with spray, plus the wheels.) 

Bridget, Spike, and I go in the Casita which looks like a tornado hit it from all the jostling on the rough highway.  At last we are here! 

Santa Rosa’s landscape is brown and scraggly in August.

Everything is bone dry.  I am disappointed with the lay-out of the campground.  It’s small with campsites close together.  It doesn’t help that the shrubs and trees are short and spindly.  There is no great vista to be seen from campsites as there is at Brantley Lake.

There is a great variety of trees here. When the days are cooler, I'll find out their names in my field guide. Right now they all look like Charlie Brown shade trees to me.

But, heck, for now it’s home!

Blue sky and puffy clouds over our campsite at Santa Rosa State Park

Today the sunshine isn’t as bright.  After an early morning walk with the crew, I cook a hearty egg breakfast to help me regain some strength.  We stay inside most of the day. 

I wash some clothes, reorganize the kitchen, do some banking online, read about the hurricane, cook corn-on-the-cob at lunchtime, shower and wash my hair, take a nap, shake out the quilts, tidy up the place . . . .

Tonight I need to make a decision about where we will be next week and through the Labor Day weekend.  I hear thunder!  Storm clouds are gathering.  Maybe we’ll sleep to rain on the roof tonight.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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51 Responses to First full day at Santa Rosa State Park

  1. Kathe says:

    Sue, you are too far south and too low in elevation for this time of year. Too hot! There are some beautiful mountain towns near you to the south or head north up Highway 84 to Santa Fe, Abiquiu, Carson National Forest, south central Colorado where the elevation is 7000′. While in Santa Rosa, go swim in the Blue Hole.

    Venture off the interstates…find those Blue Highways!

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      I don’t think I’ve driven one mile on an interstate since entering NM. Sometimes the blue highways aren’t very charming . . . especially across the central part of this state.

  2. Bob Giddings says:

    You are almost to interesting and cooool country. But not quite. About a hundred miles to go.

    You need to proceed north to Las Vegas, and then further to Mora, just past which you will turn left and go over the pass and down into Taos. It will get dramatically cooler as you climb. Stop anywhere you see a pull out on the other side of the pass, along the river. Sipapu is good. Cool off for a few days, dry camp, read, listen to the rippling stream.

    Take the PTV down into Taos and look around, or ride the back roads to Espanola and back. It’s called the High Road to Taos.

    Once you get used to altitude, you won’t want to leave. But you’ll have to go down into Taos for internet. The very best places are not connected.


  3. Joan Gagnon says:

    love the sound of rain on the roof of the 5th wheel, don’t know if it’s because it is soothing or it means the air is going to cool.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joan . . . No rain last night. I enjoyed watching the storm clouds and lightning far across the desert. It looks like somebody got rain over there, but not here.

      Too bad we can’t take some of the rain away from Irene.

      I am looking forward to hearing rain on the roof. It’s very soothing.

  4. Kim says:

    Wow – that location looks pretty desolate allright. Spike’s photo says it all. (I don’t care for heights or bridges so I would have been a little panicky in addition to everything else that you were probably feeling).

    Geez – is this summer ever going to end???

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Kim,

      I’ve slowed down enough that I’m beginning to see the beauty in this place. The crew and I had a very pleasant, leisurely walk this morning and we saw things we’ve never seen before. It feels cooler than usual.

  5. Reine says:

    According to Reserve America, the Storrie Lake Campground, which is about 10 degrees cooler, is only open through Tuesday, September 6th. Looks several of the higher elevation State Parks close the campgrounds after Labor Day. Hopefully the folks at the office at Santa Rosa Lake can provide you the info you need to choose a place to go (or stay). Glad you had help getting backed in. The “Charlie Brown tree” cracked me up 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reine . . .

      It looks like Storrie Lake is booked up over the Labor Day weekend. I still am not sure I want to travel soon.

      I’m not going anywhere beyond this park until I’m feeling 100 percent. If that keeps me here through Labor Day . . . well, that’s life, right?

  6. Lee in Lubbock says:

    You might like coyote creek state park 17 miles north of Mora via NM 434. 17 electric sites, cool pines and a river with trout. Dump station, showers, etc. Just google coyote creek state park for more info. Stay cool. Lee in Lubbock.

    • Bob Giddings says:

      Coyote creek probably isn’t high enough to be cool. At least not as cool as the mountains going over to Taos. Though no doubt higher than Santa Rosa. And the highway it is on, which goes to Angel Fire, is narrow and twisty for anyone pulling a trailer. Not impossible, but something to consider for a newbie.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the suggestion, Lee. If I don’t get there in the near future, I may eventually . . ..

  7. Reine says:

    I’m wondering if the campground at Storie Lake Campground is actually closed after Labor Day or if you just can’t make reservations after Labor Day. Sure would be great if you can find out cause that will affect our vacation later this year. Thanks,

  8. Jerryc says:

    I’m thinking I would make my way on North to between Santa Fe and Pagosa Springs. Maybe Heron Lake SP, or one of the National Forest CG’S in the Chama, NM area. Once you reach Hwy 160 in Southern Colorado, you can pretty much pick your weather by traveling East or West, depending on what you are looking for. You can travel from mountain to desert within a hundred miles or so. It’s going to get better and better…………….jc

  9. tinycamper says:

    Sue, I’m really worried about your extreme lack of energy. Is there a walk-in clinic or somewhere to see a doctor anywhere near there?

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      Please don’t worry. I’ve had low energy bouts since I was a child. I have to pace myself and give my body time to recoup.

      If you read my blog over a period of time you will see that I have times when my motor stalls. It only becomes a worry if I overdo it which I’m not going to do.

      Thanks for your concern.

  10. KAREN says:

    Hi Susan – Your energy level is a concern to me too as I have been overcome by it myself at times. How about some gatorade? Gotta keep that potassium level up. Sister Pauline could tell you all about that. Google low potassium to find some foods that you can eat to help. What an adventure you and the kids are on. If only I could part with stuff and feel free for hubby and me to hit the road as you have. Right now we are dealing with the arrival of Irene here. It has been TV non-stop for us all day and now into the night as the heavy rains are just starting to arrive. Wishing you well. Keep the stories coming and enjoy the view but stick close to the AC.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      I hope Irene has been kind to you, your family, and your property.

      I did Google potassium and was pleased to discover I have many potassium foods on board. (And some thought I was silly for bringing so much stuff!).

      Here’s some of what I’ve got . . . potatoes (I’ll eat with skins as that’s where potassium is), lima beans, kidney beans, baked beans, peanuts, orange juice and tuna fish.

      Thanks for the advice. Stay dry and safe.

  11. Oh, if the Crew could talk… “Hey Partner, what are you doing and where are you taking us? When can we decide where to go”… LOL.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barrie . . . The crew is loving it here at Santa Rosa! There are many weekend campers with dogs . . . plus last night the aroma of steaks on the grill was everywhere. A canine wonderland!

      I think the newness of riding in the PTV has worn off after all these miles. . .

  12. I camped at Santa Rosa in the dry camping section right down by the lake. Drove through the section you’re in and turned around. Welcome to the high desert!!! 🙂

  13. Carmen D says:

    Sounds like the heat is really sapping your energy. Stay cool and hydrated, dangerous to get over heated. That Charlie Brown tree is a Mesquite Tree. Stay safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Carmen,

      I’d love to continue on a great adventure, pulling my home up and down hills, seeing spectacular scenery and enjoying cool mountain breezes . . however, I’m not up to it yet. I’ve waited this long for that, I can wait a bit longer.

      The key is to enjoy the place you’re in and appreciate what you’ve got. I’m trying to see the beauty in the Mesquite . . .LOL

      • Carmen D says:

        I totally understand Sue. Take it easy and enjoy the moment. Keep those babies happy too, I’m sure they are worried about you. Spike, Bridgette, be nice to mama. I know it’s hard to see the beauty in the Mesquite, but as BBQ wood, it’s fantastic.
        Enjoy the journey, Carmen

  14. Jack says:

    Hi Sue, a few yrs ago I had same heat issues in Az. Heat, heat and mo’ heat. I didnt know the rule then but its pretty simple. When there is too much heat, head for the mtn top camp sites. You need elevation for a nice cool camp. Last I heard there are mtns where you are camping. Start looking lov. Good luck!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Jack!

      I’ve got myself worn out chasing after cool weather and mountains. I didn’t make it in time . . . LOL . . . now I’ve got to hole up in the camper for a while. Not so bad, I could be WORKING!

  15. JoJo says:

    Hi Susan,
    I sure hope you find some cooler weather soon. This being your first big adventure and hitting all the hot weather is probabley what is draining your energe. But I am no Dr. just know from a little experience how it got me too. Head north. At least with this trip you will know where not to head next summer.. Good luck and stay safe drink lots of water or pediolyte.

  16. Betty Miller says:

    Go find a motel and check in. Go out to eat and get some solid meals in you. This may break all the “full time camping” rules. But here is the bottom line….stay alive! I’m praying for you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      Going to a motel would do me in for sure! Just imagine . . . I’d have to unhook the utilities, pack up the interior of the Casita so things don’t fly about on the road, heave the crew into the PTV, and then drive down a winding road to the flat land, drive to Santa Rosa, search for a motel, check in to a motel . . assuming I can find one that takes dogs . . . haul clothes into the motel, clean up and make myself presentable, walk the dogs, put them back in the PTV, get gas, find a restaurant, order a meal, drive back to the motel . . . you get the picture . . . extra expense and a whole lot of effort. For what?

      I’ve got a variety of good, wholesome food that I can cook up into solid meals in my little kitchen. When I’m done eating, I can relax on my own bed drinking water, the bathroom is a few feet away, sleep whenever I want, only go out of a/c to walk the dogs, usually in the cool morning or evening. It’s a great situation in which to recharge.

      Please don’t worry about me. I’m doing fine. I’m just being cautious and I think, wise. You are a kind friend, Betty. Thanks, as always, for your prayers.

  17. Bob Giddings says:

    Perhaps you should go to a drug store and check your blood sugar. There are kits. Buy one and use it regularly. Have you ever been told you might be borderline diabetic? The problem with diabetes onset is that your judgement is about the first thing to go after your blood sugar drops. Have a can of Coke or some such sugar water in the fridge at all times. If drinking it immediately makes you feel better, get to a doctor.

    Diabetes is quite manageable, and doesn’t interfere unduly with travel. But if you don’t know what is happening, it can kill you before you do.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I get everybody calmed down, and now you go and have me dying on the spot! I was married to a diabetic for about 15 years. I know the symptoms. I am being careful. Please don’t worry.

      • Bob Giddings says:

        Sorry about that. You announce symptoms. I start thinking about causes. You are in the middle of nowhere, you know.

        I suppose if the worst occurs, Spike will drag you and Bridgette to the nearest emergency room. So there’s nothing to worry about. Proceed on.

        Bob the doomsayer.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Okay. I appreciate your concern. I was a little harsh there. Remember I have neighbors. I have the phone number of the park office.

          I wouldn’t have mentioned anything about it on this blog. I had to say something. People would wonder why I stopped moving. Once you put a symptom in print it looms very large, even when it isn’t.

  18. Mick says:

    The pictures are great Sue. What camera do you have? Please share all your new discoveries with us but remember to use the zoom lens for rattlesnake pictures.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The pictures are lousy, Mick, but it’s nice of you to put a positive spin on them!

      I’ve been using my phone since I couldn’t find my camera. Today I found it! I feel so silly. I had put it in a zipper part of my purse that I never use, for safekeeping. It was so “safe” I couldn’t find it.

      My camera is a Samsung Digimax A402., 4.0 mega pixels

      It’ll be good to throw at a rattlesnake and run.

  19. Kim says:

    Good God!

    Diabetes, rattlesnacks, hypocalemia …. Geez people!!! Sue is FINE!!! She’s just recharging her batteries like we all must from time to time – only she’s sharing it with us. I hope she doesn’t regret doing so.

    She’s in a great place in a great trailer with a great fridge and a/c unit & accompanied by great companions. I know your intentions are good but she hasn’t lost her senses. And she’s not going to waste away. Not unless one can keel over due to an overdose of unsolicited advice!

    Sorry, Sue, to talk about you like you aren’t here. I realize I’m being contentious. Feel free to delete this post. I just had to say somethin’.

  20. Dave says:

    Sue, if you want cool just head up to around Santa Fe. Hyde Memorial State Park is beautiful – and cool. We’ve camped there a few times in the Casita. We just spent the last 2 weekends in the Casita outside of Pecos, NM. NF campgrounds, so no hook-ups, but daytime temps. in the 70s, lower 50s at night – wonderful!
    As others have said, Taos area would probably be similar, maybe even cooler.
    Enjoy NM, it’s a wonderful gem of a state.

  21. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, Dave,

    Thanks. It sounds wonderful! My timing is off, what with Labor Day ahead. I definitely want to try these places I hear about.

    I’m such a newbie I’m not ready to go to an area and find a spot. I’m still at the stage where I need an established park. The wandering stage and dry camping will come.

  22. Pauline Nash says:

    I want to thank all of you for your concern about my sister. I also want to assure you that Susan is a very smart lady and she has lived with this “condition” for a lot of years. She always was a puny kid. (Sorry to sound like you are not in the room, Susan.) I am concerned about you too, but I know that you are doing what you should do, for you. I know that you would seek help from those around you in the case of an emergency. You have been going like a house a-fire for a few weeks. My sisters and I can do amazing things on adrenaline and then we need a few days to recharge. Glad you Googled “potassium”. If you are loosing lots of fluids, you are loosing potassium. Just take care, rest up and enjoy yourself where you are at. Love you so very much

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for weighing in on this, Pauline.

      Remember when we were kids and I slept so much? Mother and Dad took me to the doctor. Doctor thought I had leukemia, then anemia, and then “That’s just the way she is. Don’t worry about it. Feed her lots of liver.”

      Mother put liver and onions on the table for years!!

      • Greg and Jean says:

        YUCK……no wonder you some times feel ‘verklempt’ ……lol

        • Pauline Nash says:

          Gee, I thought she cooked it because I liked it. LOL I remember the leukemia scare, I was so afraid of what was going to happen to you. Hadn’t thought about that in years.

          Stay Safe, Dear Sis

  23. reeves99 says:

    Just thought I’d say that the Casita and the PTV make a real classy combo. Bet you’ll get a lot more compliments as time goes on!

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