Monday, January 27, 2014

ELEPHANT BUTTE STATE PARK, NM

So, I left off with Hatch and Sparky's. Yum - yum.

It was a pretty short trip up to Truth or Consequences from there. Interesting name for a town - right?!

Have you heard how it got the name T or C - as the locals refer to it. 

As mentioned, Derek and I hadn't been there since 2006. It didn't look much different although much larger than I remember.

T or C used to be called Hot Springs which is what it is known for besides the peculiar name. There are ten places ranging from high to lower end where you can soak in the mineral springs.

At that time, we were on a three week really fast paced SW tour in our truck. We stayed at the Riverbend Hot Springs - back then it was a bit hippie and fringe like, we stayed in a renovated trailer. It looks to be higher end now - not for us + they don't let in children under 12.

We drove through T or C and even stopped at the Visitor Center- we then did a drive by of the Artesian Bath and Trailer Park- with their cheek to jowl parking style we continued on. In the end we decided we really didn't need to stop at T or C and soak. 

We drove on.

Derek was pretty shocked that I didn't take any pictures of T or C - not one. Not sure why - I wasn't inspired. Sorry.


The scenery from Hatch to T or C.


Along I25 north.


With it being around 4:00 in the afternoon - we needed a place to stay. We headed over to Elephant Butte State Park to take a look. So, glad we did - we were smitten right away. 

Sun, water, sand, open areas - we are staying.


We parked and headed for the beach. So nice to be by water again after so much desert.



 Rufus is very excited as well. Water and off the leash.


The view of the marina. Gosh we haven't really walked around a marina since living on Vancouver Island and heading over to Cowichan Bay for dinner and an ice cream. And Cassia - she's never really seen a parking lot for boats before.



Taking a closer look. They must rent these Derek says - boy - it sure would be nice to go out on the water - take Cassia for a ride. But we both knew that the chances of that were pretty slim on our frugal budget. 


As we wandered around we met up with a few of the staff members as they were closing for the day. Shane, one of the fellows, brought Cassia some food for the seagulls. It was nice talking to Shane for a few minutes - yup - the boats rent for $55 per hour - sounds like a pretty good deal, but…..

Anyway, by the time we were leaving, Shane told us to come back tomorrow and he would take us out for a ride. 

WoW!!!

It was all Cassia talked about for the rest of the night and the next morning.



Our site just as the sun was setting. Nice. Although there are water and electric sites for a very reasonable $14, we chose a developed site for $10 because it was on the ridge and off by itself - and across from the playground.


The view from our site - not bad - right?!


Since we were still full from Sparky's we had more time to spend outside - a visit to the playground as the sun was setting.


Cassia's dad forgot that at 49 he probably shouldn't be pulling a stunt like this. He paid for it the next morning!



We were up VERY early Sunday morning. Since we weren't expected down at the Marina until around 11:00 am - giving it a chance to warm up - we decided to go for a walk on the trail. We left cold and all bundled up and returned very warm - hot even. 


We walked back down to the Marina del Sur for our ride with Shane.


Cassia was in awe that we were going to ride on a boat with a sofa.


A nice thing for the Wood Clan.


As we headed out on the water we passed Shane's boat - it's for sale by the way. We've seen our share of lakes through our travels - this seems like an ideal place to have a boat! 



Captain Cassia?! Yup - that's Cas getting driving instructions from Shane.


Nothing to it right Cassia?! She did a great job.

Here's the movie!

video



The namesake of Elephant Butte - not sure if I see an elephant from this angle….


We traveled as far as the Elephant Butte Dam. 


A better view of the ---- ah - rock. It was nice to talk with Shane on our ride as we learned all sorts of things about the area and the lake. He told us that there are goats on the rock when it is an Island. Right now it is not so they are living elsewhere - they'll be returned when the water level rises. 






Here's a pic of Shane - courtesy of Cassia.


And dad and Rufus - also by Cassia. Looks like I have a photography assistant.



Arriving back at the Marina.

What a great day. We went for about an 1 1/2 hour ride. Amazing. So calming to be on the water. That's something coming from me because I'm not the biggest fan of the water - just talk about boating and I start to feel sea sick. But - this was fun. 

Thanks to Shane. You know - while we travel we see some great places, we eat some amazing food and we have been known to try a craft beer or two, BUT times like this and meeting really great people like Shane - is really what it is all about. The friends we make along the way (and all of you reading and connecting with us through the blog) is the real heart and soul of our travels.


We didn't do much but enjoy the sun during the afternoon. And repeated trips back to the playground. Cassia also kept herself entertained with a towel, a few toys and water.


Each site comes with it's own pueblo shelter. It was hard to believe it got so warm after a near freezing night.


The setting sun on our first full day at the Park.


And the sunrise. Another early morning - what I wouldn't do these days to be able to sleep in until 8.


This morning. 
Although a nice shot it was very cold and grey. We had been considering staying for one more night but then decided to move on. That's how we roll.

We were on the road by 9:30 am. 

We weren't quite sure which way to head - north or south. With cooler temperatures in these parts we didn't want to get to Albuquerque and Santa Fe and find it too cold to look around. In the end we decided on north - we have a date with some craft beer and The Roaming Pint!

It was supposed to be an easy ride but about 20 miles in, the van began to shake and shake and shake. We stopped at the rest area but nothing showed - no smoke, no smell, no heat. 

Darn. We should have known that we couldn't go a few weeks this winter without mechanical issues.

So, here we are in Albuquerque for the night with an appointment for the morning. Fingers crossed that it isn't too serious. 

All for me tonight. 

Teresa

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16 comments:

  1. Elephant Butte SP is a very nice place!! The water level looked a bit low though.....wow, you lucked out meeting Shane!! That was very nice of him indeed!

    Safe Travels...........

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    1. Nice that you have been there BlackSheep. It was low but Shane said it had come up quite a bit but was expected to be higher. Very nice indeed! What a memorable time we had.

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  2. We LOVED old town Albuquerque much more than we liked Santa Fe. We returned there a few times during our times there. Santa Fe we went once for the day and that was it, too many people for us; although we did enjoy the art galleries, buildings, etc.. Enjoy, hope the mechanical problems are not serious.

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    1. Hi Brenda. Can't wait for for the Old Town and Nob Hill here. Interesting - we'll have to see about Santa Fe - we were hoping to really like it but you are the second person who has told us how busy it is…..

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  3. So nice to get that free boat ride, was very thoughtful of shane and looks like ya'll enjoyed it.
    Hmm thinking the shake, shake could be a universal joint. Hope it works out for you.

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    1. Very nice - and so unexpected. Thankfully not the u joint although Derek was thinking that also. Just the spare thank goodness!

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  4. What a fun post ...great pictures.... you really have a photographers eye.
    Looks like Rufus even liked the boat ride.
    What a kind gesture from Shane.
    Good luck with the van repair.

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    1. Thanks Kelly! I appreciate you saying that…. Rufus did well - Shane told us to bring him along - hist first time on a boat as well. Very nice of Shane - a very nice guy….

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  5. Cassia's eyes were just beaming and what lovely memories you guys are giving her. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

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    1. There are challenges to travelling but times like these are the rewards. Our hearts overflow as parents to be able to provide Cassia with these experiences.

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  6. What a sweet post...every time we get by water I'm hopeful we get an invite for a ride.... you see so much more from that point of view. Cassia had to be going crazy wild knowing she got to drive the boat! Nice park too!

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