It keeps getting better!

 The crew and I set out just before sunset. 

Did the rock help this cactus grow?

We discover there are several trails to choose from and the length of each one is marked.  We choose the short trail, only .2 miles.  It starts about .1 mile from our campsite, so it makes a nice, very short, beginner’s hike. 

Both Bridget and I carry more weight than we are designed for and our lives have been very sedentary the past six months or so.  At one point I was walking 4-5 miles a day almost every day of the week, but that came to a halt once Georgia humidity set in last Spring.  Anyway. 

Back to our first New Mexico desert hike!

Spike always seems to be the pacesetter.  He leads with a brisk and jaunty walk.  The trail is well-marked with stones lining the path and there is no close brush to hide Easter eggs . . . just kidding . . . to hide rattlesnakes.

What a spectacular view!

We come to an opening and suddenly we see the lake and a vast stretch of desert reaching over to distant volcanic formations . . . absolutely stunning!  The time of day adds to the beauty of the scene.  The sun has set, yet its remaining light turns the undersides of the massive clouds a soft pink against a pale blue sky.  The desert is dotted with green clumps . . . junipers?  mesquite?  I have so much to learn about this new, strange, and intriguing environment!

The lake level is extremely low. 

I can see a boat dock on the other side that ends on land and then there’s another fifty feet or so, I estimate, to the water’s edge.   People are wading along the shore on that side.  On our side, we look down a cliff to the water.  The light is too low for my camera.  I decide we’ll hike again in the morning and I’ll take photos then. 

The hike is the highlight of the day.

Earlier I research Storrie Lake State Park as a possible next camp.  The site is confusing because it indicates the season ends after Labor Day.  I call the New Mexico Parks office and the lady explains it’s the end of the reservation season.  The park is open year round.  After Labor Day its first-come, first-served.  There are so few campsites that I doubt I’d be lucky enough to land one, given the park is only four miles north of Las Vegas (New Mexico . . . for those of you not familar with the area).  I’m looking at other possibilities.

The crew and I take frequent walks, short excursions off the campground road. Look closely and you can see the mesa at the horizon.

I’ve got a good read going on my kindle.

It is cool enough in the shade to sit in my anti-gravity chair and read.  This gives the crew some time outdoors, too.  There are only three other rvs here and one of them is the camp host’s.  It feels like we own this side of the campground as we have it all to ourselves!

Flashback to Oak Park Campground at Navarro Mills Lake, Texas!

I’m sure I left my camera behind at the Navarro Mills camp.  I can’t find it anywhere.  I should have known to venture into the black hole of my purse.  Sure enough, there it is, in the zippered part I rarely use.  I rush to hook up the USB cable to see the photos.  I especially want to see the one of Paul and Reine standing in front of their Casita!

These two are experienced campers who enjoy lending a helping hand to newbies. I can't thank them enough for helping me get started on the fulltime vagabond life.

This entry is the one I tried to post yesterday, but couldn’t.  Remember, if I suddenly stop posting — possibly for days — it is because I have poor internet connectivity.  Do not think bad thoughts!  One of the reasons I drove up to Santa Rosa State Park is for Verizon service which has enabled me to post since I’ve been here.  It still isn’t great, so I may disappear at times.

I’m glad the crew and I stayed here.  Every day we enjoy it more!



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
This entry was posted in Simple living and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to It keeps getting better!

  1. Old Fat Man says:

    Remember you can go into a NM park during the week when the number of folks is at a low. I have found Sunday afternoon to be very good for claiming a FCFServed site. If it is a bad site, just pay for the one days and change sites as one becomes available.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I was thinking of leaving here next Monday, even though that puts me on the road with all the Labor Day weekend people. (Oh well, big deal.)

      I think there are only about ten sites at Storrie. (I’ll have to look again.) Do you still think I have a chance of getting a site on Monday? I won’t be able to get there at 7 a.m. like Las Vegans can easily do.

      I know, life has no guarantees anyway.

      • Bob Giddings says:

        You wouldn’t get a site at 7am on Labor Day. But you probably WILL get a site at 4 pm. And certainly the next day. The idea is to stay put on holiday weekends, and arrive at a new place just as everyone else is leaving. Or during the week. They all have to go back to WORK, poor souls.

        And this is probably the last holiday of the year when it might be a problem. You won’t need reservations again. What you need, though, is a list of the parks that are open after Labor Day, and year round. So you don’t go out of your way (whatever that means) just to find a locked gate.

        And then there’s boondocking. Where it’s high and cool, you don’t need electricity every night. Maybe you haven’t quite figured out how long your battery lasts, but I bet it’s several days if you only use lights and the water pump. I can’t remember if you have a generator. Anyhow, here’s where I stayed near Sipapu, above Taos. It’s just a wide spot beside a stream, but I had it all to myself for 4 days. O, and it’s free.

        Darn. All I have on line is a pic out the door, but maybe you get the idea:

        And then there’s roadside parks. Here’s one just the other side of Taos, at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge:

        Always remember that you are always at home.

        Bob, who mostly boondocks.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks so much, Bob!

          I think Storrie Lake (if I get a site) will be a great jumping off point for me . . . I could go try the location you gave me after that. I would be extremely proud of myself and happy if I could do that.

          No, I don’t have a generator. I have no idea how long my batteries will last. I don’t hardly ever use lights. When nightfall comes, I look at the stars, read or compute by clip-on battery light, or I go to sleep. My main usage is the A/C which, of course, I won’t need up there. Oh, I’m lovin this!

          • Bob Giddings says:

            Your big battery drains will be the fridge and the heater fan. The fridge can run on propane, the heater runs on propane, but the heater fan is probably a 5 amp draw all the time it is on. It can drain the battery overnight, if it’s a cold night.

            Ha! Listen to me: “a cold night”. When was the last time you had one of those?

            One of the small honda generators will probably be in your future, if you keep this up. It frees you from needing to plug in. But the months ahead will tell.

  2. Reine says:

    I looked at Storrie Lake reservations for this week and see that for most of the sites “available” for tomorrow, most of the reservations are for the weekend, some as a 4 day weekend even this close to Labor day. There are several sites available next Tuesday which is the last day of reservations. That tells me that AFTER Labor day you will have an easy time finding a site on Wednesday or Thursday and then it’s “squatter’s rights” and you’re fine. School either has or will start and most folks still have to work Monday-Friday. Remember wat YOU were doing this time LAST year. And thanks for the info on the reservations. That saves me having to call the NM Park service.

    Personally, I would go after I’d explored everything I wanted to in my current location whether that’s a week or a month. Have a great time where ever and when ever you go.

  3. Steve says:

    Go Sue Go!!!! If/when you get a chance you should check out Ruidoso (just south of lincoln) before it gets too cold up there.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Steve!

      Maybe I should have gone to Lincoln area first, but I needed my internet fix so I came up here.

      As time goes by, I’ll wean myself off this computer. I’m going to have to.

      This first year is all upside down because I started in Texas in August.

      • Steve says:

        Practice everything in moderation, but don’t overdo it.

        That gathering I told you about should be taking place Oct 6-11th @ City of Rocks, NM if you’re still interested in joining us. I’m still waiting to hear back from a few others about making it.

  4. rvsueandcrew says:


    Don’t you and Paul look swell in front of your adorable Casita!

    I wrote to OFM that I would leave Monday. It makes more sense to leave Tuesday as Monday is Labor Day. (What is it with me and days? Is it retirement that makes it so difficult for me to keep the days of the week straight? Golly.)

    I suppose if I leave early enough and I can’t get a site, I’ll have enough time to find something else. I am trying to avoid private parks. It’s so nice only having to pay $4 a night!

    If I were more experienced, I’d find a beautiful, breath-taking campsite just off the road for free . . . Not ready to depend on that!

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      Mapquest says Storrie Lake is only an hour and a half to two hours from here (I adjusted for my slower speed). I thought it was further! That’s great. I can get there early on Tues. or Wed. after Labor Day.

      Also Storrie has 25 campsites, not 10 as I previously thought. I’m going for it!

      • Reine says:

        Yep, Storrie Lake is a short drive so you can arrive rested. No need for a long trek. No problem about getting the days mixed up although the idea of a DAY only calendar sounds great. Ain’t nothin wrong with $4 per night. Boondocking will be fun later on but for now, I think you and the crew will enjoy campgrounds with water and electric a bit more.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I know what day it is. The problem is when I write, for some reason, I type the wrong day! My proofreading is deteriorating because I know I’m going to be disconnected at any second.

          The crew and I aren’t in this to suffer. If the weather ain’t right. we’re going electric.

  5. Kim says:

    Sue & Crew – glad you 3 are settling in nicely. Also glad you found your camera. Paul and Reine come to life! What great folks.

    I know envy is the most caustic of emotions BUT …. when I think about being in the desert Southwest, kicked back in a gravity chair, staring at the Milky Way well …. you know. I could even see a portion of it from my suburban backyard last night so I can only imagine the view from your location. Actually, I’m thrilled for you (and can’t wait to get out there myself)!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Kim . . . If you could have been with the crew and me this morning on our morning walk in the cool, cool air or yesterday evening when we saw that gorgeous view on our hike . . . you’d be more than caustic!!!! And understandably so.

      I know you are happy for me and I will be for you, when you are “out there” wherever that may be.

  6. Mumsy, Chancy and Crew says:

    I have missed getting to read your posts, glad I am back. I see you and the fur sweeties are having a great time. Reading about your adventures almost makes me wish I was a vagabond. You make it sound like so much fun. Hugs and nose kisses

  7. Old Fat Man says:

    See there you are making too much worry out of this RV lifestyle. I have not been to Storrie but if the landscape is like the ride to Villanueva then you have some spectacular scenery to slow down and enjoy. Have fun.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, I’m not worrying. Seems like when things go into print . . . like wonderings . . . they look larger than they really are.

      I have a habit of anticipating everything that can go wrong, then going through each one and knocking them down, and in the end I don’t have anything left to worry about!

      I am looking forward to the trip to Storrie. You have fun, too. I have to go read your blog to figure out where in the world you’ve run off to.

  8. If you are having trouble with which day is which, they make a clock that has only days of the week (not hours and minutes). I actually prefer the clock with no hands. It keeps perfect time.

    Enjoy! We start our journey west in 55 days. Like your launch, there are so many things to do.

  9. I think staying where you are over Labor Day is a good idea. It looks like a nice park, with places to explore. I felt the same way, I didn’t want to deal with the traffic or getting stuck with no place to go. I’m staying here until Monday morning, then going on. Should be no problem getting sites by then. Enjoy the extra time – I love that the dogs seem to be having a great time, too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Looks like you and Katie are in a lovely spot in Washington. Yeah, stay put until after Labor Day. Let the working people wear themselves out.

      The crew is loving this new life . . . especially Spike. He’s more energetic and happier than I’ve seen him in a long time. Bridget loves having me to cling to all day and night.

      Your Katie is adorable.

  10. Sheila says:

    Even if you don’t meet up with the folks at City of Rocks State Park you should wander that way at some point. It is amazing and beautiful and in the middle of nowhere. What more could you ask for?

  11. Joan Gagnon says:

    FYI…….our vet in Arizona told us that alot of rattlesnakes in the NM , Arizona area have there rattlers removed by hunters that are only after the rattlers.We also get our dog a rattlesnake vaccine as soon as we hit Arizona in the fall and the just before we leave in the spring. They should have the vaccines every 6 months. In Yuma the vet charges $25 and that includes a check up with the shot.He told us that if a dog gets bit by a rattler, if it doesn’t kill them it can cost upwards to $3000 to get the dog well again.So we figure the shot is worth it. They will still get sick if bit but not near as bad and as expensive.If you are going through Yuma at all and want the vets number let me know, he is on the Frontage Road off Hwy 8 at the east end of town.
    We are going to parked as well for the holiday weekend. Can’t see any reason to fight that traffic when we have a perfectly good camper to laze around in. :)Have a good weekend Sue & family.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate you giving out this information. I looked into the vaccine and wondered about it. I guess most vets in rattlesnake areas would have it available. I’ll look into it when I’m at the start of a camp week, so I can find a vet who will fit us in.

      Have you or your pets ever had a close call? Remember I’m an Easterner. We have snakes back in NY but they are rarely seen when in the woods or meadows, just little harmless critters.

      Will I be in Yuma? I don’t even know where I’ll be in a week!

      Does the vaccine make dogs sick temporarily? Anyone with more info .. .I’d love to read it.

      Thanks again, Joan.

      • Joan Gagnon says:

        our dog isn’t as bouncy and bubbly the day of the shot, but back to her old self the following day. Paula ( our dog) is a real sniffer and has to look in every nook and crany she sees.We also let her run when we are in the wash or out in the desert in the sand rail. Our neighbors did kill a rattlesnake that was at the bottom of the steps of their motorhome and the handyman in the RV park got bit in the hand when he was checking on the automatic watering system for the trees. One lady saw a sidwinder by the garbage bin. The vet says March to Oct is when your likely to encounter snakes.They go in their dens when it cools down some.Their idea of ” cool down ” is about 70.But we have the vaccines so Paula is covered all year.If there is a snake close by she’ll find it.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hey, Joan . .

          Gee, that’s a lot of snakes. But then, as I wrote, one is a lot! In fact, it’s too many!!!

          Thanks for giving me the details on the shots.

  12. Old Fat Man says:

    I have been hearing that tale about the rattles for many years and in many states. I still have not seen the validity of it. The shots for the pets seems like a wonderful idea to me.

  13. JoJo says:

    You sure do have a lot of followers. 🙂 You are doing great and I wish I was on the road. I leave here from Lakeside, AZ. On Oct 15 to head back to Tucson, where my mh sits waiting for the next road trip. I have a trip planned for the following week. The more I read about you and others full timing the more I think about selling my Tucson home and hitting the road. Maybe this little place up here too.
    Have fun don’t rush enjoy and keep safe. I will be following you also.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, JoJo,

      You are fortunate to have a foot in both worlds …. a permanent home and choices for travel. Keep doing what you’re doing … reading blogs, evaluating your situation, pros and cons … As I’m sure you’ve heard before, this life isn’t for everyone, but for those it is . . . . wow!

      I knew the moment I stumbled upon Tioga George’s blog that this is the kind of life for me. That doesn’t mean it isn’t right for those who arrive at it slowly. Have fun on your next road trip!

      I am surprised by the number of people who read this blog. Very nice people.

      • Joan Gagnon says:

        JoJo have you heard or seen anything of George lately? last
        we heard he was in the hosplital, That was a few months back.

Comments are closed.