I like staying at Elephant Butte for several reasons.
One of the reasons is the many choices of walks for the crew and me. We can walk to the lake, go up to Lion’s Beach, take the Luchini trail, make our own trail going off from the campground in one of a number of ways, or follow the campground road up to the entrance road that overlooks the marina.
People dry camp along this road.
Pull off the road and you can park next to an adobe bunker with a picnic table, restrooms nearby, a playgound, and beautiful views like these photos show. The crew and I walk up that way and stop to talk with a guy sitting next to his Jayco trailer and pick-up. His name is Pat and he tells me he’s been fulltiming “pretty much” for over twenty years.
I see he has a solar panel on the roof.
I ask Pat lots of questions. He has a 160 watt panel and three 20 watt panels, the latter he’s had about 20 years. He says he originally had the panels on another trailer and a guy in town named Chip (Baker RV) helped him move the panels to his new trailer. I tell him I want solar and he tells me to call Chip, he’s good and reasonable. Chip is the same person who found the leak in Bridget’s (the lady) water heater and replaced it for her. Bridget recommends him also.
Pat and I talk for close to an hour.
Remember my harrowing experience driving to Coyote Creek Park (“The Coyote Road Crisis”)? He tells me about a similar experience during his first year fulltiming. I guess it’s a rite of passage. During our conversation we realize he’s followed about the same sequence of parks that I have this fall, just a few days behind.
When he was at Coyote Creek, a black bear about 250 pounds ambled by his trailer. He says he sat still in his camp chair, and he and the bear had eye contact until the bear moved on. Other campers were not as calm and caused a ruckus, wanting the bear removed. Gee, it’s the bear’s territory, people!
Monticello Campground, north of here, is not as inviting as it once was.
Fellow camper Bridget and I ride in the PTV with the crew to see this Elephant Butte State Park campground we’ve heard so much about. The facilities and campsites are very nice and well-spaced with views of the lake. Actually with views of what used to be the lake. The lake shore has receded so far that you can’t get to the water. The boat ramp is closed because it leads into the dirt. So it’s camping in the sand and bushes with a view of the mountains . . . no lake fun. Bridget and I both decide we won’t camp there.
Whenever you have people living close together . . .
Today Bridget tells me about a “situation” she had to deal with last night. A couple camped in the site next to hers had a fierce argument, throwing things, yelling above their loud music, and generally being out of control. Both of them were very drunk. Bridget called the camp host, but by the time he got there a few minutes later, the man had peeled out in the Class C rv with the woman racing after him in the pickup. They were gone all night, leaving a bunch of stuff at their site. They’re back today making no noise at all. Hangovers? The rangers told Bridget to notify them if they do anything annoying and they’ll throw them out of the park. Not everyone at a campground is someone you’d want for a neighbor.
Bridget and Spike take their camp expertise to a new level!
I admit I spoil the crew. Ever since we left Georgia Bridget and Spike have been with me constantly. Even when I go to the campground rest rooms or showers, they go with me. The most I’ve left them is when I run into a grocery store while they wait in the PTV. That’s it. They turn on the worst howls, especially Bridget. What a screeching she makes! This campground has too many people for me to take the crew into the showers. I’m thinking. . . This is not good. Spike and Bridget have to learn to stay in the Casita by themselves.
I leave the air conditioning and the television on.
I can hear them howling as I walk toward the shower house and hope that no one complains. I envision us receiving a visit from the park rangers, telling us to hit the road! When I return after my shower, all is quiet in the Casita! Of course, I give them lots of praise. Behaving themselves and being quiet while alone in the Casita is the last big lesson they need to learn to be excellent campers.
Today’s weather is perfect!
I realize I am very fortunate to live the way I do. I’m far from wealthy, but, really, what more do I need? I have all I need and much more, and I am grateful every day.