Winter is here in the West! So, New Mexico was, unfortunately given short shrift.
It’s a beautiful state. We’ve visited before, about 16 years ago with Olivia. We loved the Zuni Mountains, Jemez Springs and Santa Fe. It was in New Mexico 16 years ago that we visited the Acoma Pueblo Indian Reservation and witnessed an awesome Powwow.
But, because we worried a bit about getting into our long-term campground at Monarch Mountain in the snow, we hightailed it through the Land of Enchantment.
Our journey north took three nights of sleeping in New Mexico. Our campsites varied widely. The first night was in a good old Walmart parking lot in the town of Carlsbad.
The night of 12/30, was much more interesting. We drove into the tiny town of Vaughn and stopped for gas. Turns out, we decided to spend the night in the gas station’s vast parking lot.
During the night, the wind kicked up and roared across the desert, bringing a few inches of fine, dry snow with it.
It was somewhat of a noisy night, considering the wind and the nearby train tracks! Lucky for us, they weren’t using the train horn.
The next night, on New Year’s Eve, we found ourselves in Carson National Forest not too far from Taos, NM.
Calling this huge area a forest, in the middle of the big empty desert, was a stretch. There were not many trees! We pulled off the two-lane highway down an unpaved forest road.
It was maybe one of the coolest free spots we’ve camped in! Away from the highway, sheltered by a couple of big juniper bushes, we rang in the New Year.
We had about an hour of daylight left on New Year’s Day when we pulled into the Heart of the Rockies campground, just a few miles down the valley from Monarch ski mountain. We were finally in Colorado!
Here, the Tramper and Marfa, the 4Runner, will get a break from each other for the next month. We settled in, cozy in the Tramper that David made.
And now, let the skiing begin!