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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Mexico, USA – Dec. 21-26, 2011

(Including campground pictures)

If you can risk getting the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas stuck in your head just one more time, ours picks up at #5: 

On the first day of New Mexico, Mother Nature gave to us . . .

          Five Days of Snow [which lead to];
Four short walks, three other campers, two Lomls sniping, and a dinner with only four items.  (And that includes the cranberry sauce!)

As previously reported, we knew a storm was coming to New Mexico and so we plotted and provisioned ourselves enough to hole up at the Bottomless Lakes State Park outside of Roswell, N.M., for what we (and the weatherman) thought would be a one-to-two day storm with little accumulation of snow.

Now, there are parts of New Mexico that routinely get buried in snow – Roswell is not one of them.  So when the snow started on the 23rd and kept falling on the 24th and 25th, to the tune of over 8” accumulation, the already quiet area became paralyzed.  They do not plow the back roads in this area of New Mexico, so getting the campground plowed was out of the question.  But that didn’t stop us!  On the 24th we wanted to pick up a few more items for our Christmas Dinner, so Alan hooked up the chains and we attempted a ride into town (Pepper only, naturally.)  A short video of this will be coming out soon – a drive so pumped with adrenalin that my SP finally spoke!  (I know, I know, I am working on it as fast as I can!)

Unfortunately, we did not make it into town:  The chains worked great, but the snow was still coming down and, not knowing the road at all, we were concerned that we would drive off into the ditch—it was that difficult to tell where the road ended and the snow drifts began.  Hence, our dinner was down to only four items:  A Diestal turkey breast, fresh cranberry sauce (because I had carpe cranberried while at Whole Foods and made the fresh sauce a few days ago), stuffing and roasted beets.  But it was plenty, most notably as we had started the day with home-made cinnamon buns (in the pictures above – unfortunately they proved more photogenic than tasty.)

The Noses and I were thankful that the park had access to a nice hiking trail and we took off on that every day—sometimes just River and I as the snow had become so deep that Rosco’s (ahem) stomach dragged through the snow which he did not appreciate.  As we were one of only three campers in the park (and the only hikers), the dogs enjoyed a lot of time off leash which at least tired them out enough to enjoy the long hours laying around inside Salt.

The weather did not warm up as fast as promised, so we decided to stay an additional night (the 26th) which gave us time to go into Roswell, have a delicious lunch at El Toro Bravo, do five (yes five!) loads of laundry, visit the UFO museum and buy some LP.  It is the latter that led to the Two Lomls Sniping.

I don’t want to even count the weeks that we have been in the Inclement Weather Experiment, suffice it to say that it has been long enough for Alan to hitch a ride with me on the Stir-Crazy Wagon.  The sniping began when I suggested we take our empty LP tank to Roswell for filling (we have two) but Alan thought we could last on our second tank one more day. (The worry of this second tank running out added to my sleeplessness of the night before.)  So we began our drive, without the tank, over the icy and snow-filled road out of the State Park.  After four slow and stressful miles, I said, “I think we should go back and get the empty tank.”  This started the sniping—I am sure you don’t need the details.  It was just a little sniping for which we each apologized over cervesas at lunch.

As you may have surmised, we did return to camp for the second tank.  However, we have yet to run out of gas in the first tank.  Is that called a win-win?


P.S.  A special note of thanks to Bennie and Debra, the two camp hosts at Bottomless Lakes State Park.  They each provided just the right amount of assistance, local knowledge, and care.  Please see the Campground page at the top of the blog for more information on the (delightful) park.