As usual, when we are stealth camping we are up and out pretty early. We don't want to overstay our welcome, after all. A nice stay in the parking lot of Ska Brewing however.
It wasn't a long ride before we were into New Mexico. Ahhhh New Mexico - we are quite found of you. We've been to New Mexico many many times, however our two week tour last January while waiting for the Gordon Lightfoot concert in El Paso was tops - we covered a lot of territory. Now we are entering New Mexico in the NW corner - new for us.
Once into New Mexico we headed to Farmington for groceries and then on to Bloomfield for gas. We also found potable water at the gas station - sometimes you just need to ask.
Then on to here! Neat eh! It was love at first site. THIS is looking towards the location of the Angel Peak National Recreation Area. The turn off is 15 miles south of Bloomfield. It is well marked - road 7175 to the east. This photo was taken about 1 mile in - we stopped quickly at the first info pullout - we didn't stop long we knew we were headed in 6 miles.
Six miles on a gravel road - but really it was ok - the first bit was somewhat washboardy - most likely because of the heavy truck traffic. There is a land farm at the beginning - strange - never heard the term land farm before. Anyway, there is also a lot of oil and gas activity in this area.
At the end of the road is a large loop with nine campsites spaced out along it. It really reminded us of another favourite boondocking campground of ours - Buckeye Recreational Area by Buckeye, Az.
This is the view from our campsite.
Which is here. We were completely surprised that we were the only ones there. It was Saturday, so we were a bit worried there would be a weekend crowd. None - zero - zilch.
Ahhhhhh - what's that sound? Silence. Well, not complete silence….
There was a hummmmm - what is that sound? Turns out there are generators dotted throughout to run the wells. So - it really was like we had a few neighbours that ran their generators 24/7. Not to bad but definitely noticeable except for in the van. Good to know - right?!
It didn't take long for Cas, Rufus and I to go exploring.
The campsites on the inside of the ring are linked by these pathways.
Cassia and I were on the hunt for pretty rocks - the area was full of agates - our favourite.
While mom rock hunted, a little girl I know couldn't resist playing in the sand.
Later, we headed out for a hike. This area was just over the hill from our campsite. Ahhh - one of the generators we have been listening to. Just when you think you are out in the middle of nowhere.
The view is quite breathtaking - as you can imagine I took a ton of photos. I tend to go a bit crazy in areas like this. From your vantage point it may all look quite the same - but in person it seems to change at every turn.
That's Angel Peak - at nearly 7,000ft, composed of river deposited sandstone.
You probably could get to Angel Peak if you wanted to but we didn't. This hike we went up and down five 'hill's to get to the last and our final destination.
I can't say I was in love with the path - most of the time it was ok - but some areas got really narrow and really steep.
You're right - I really shouldn't be looking down but I take this job very seriously you know!
Hey! That's me! This is my 'I made it' - look or my 'I'm a star' - look.
A few spots were a little touch and go.
Proving that he is the smartest member of the Wood Clan, Rufus opted to stay behind.
Just a bit narrow. Gulp.
Awwww - my knight - has come to help me across.
'Someone' always needs to get ahead…...
Hey a dinosaur bone! More likely a piece of petrified wood.
And if we weren't sliding down on our butts we were hoisting ourselves up and over.
And then we returned home. WoW! Are we ever out of shape - but that was fun - right!? Right?!
Later, we were sitting over at the site beside ours drinking tea and waiting for the sunset. And - oh - being dinosaurs too.
If possible - the formations looked even better with the setting sun shining on them.
We were waiting for a great sunset picture but it really didn't happen - the next night it did though which you just have to wait a bit longer for.
The next morning - Derek, Cassia and Rufus struck out on their own. They were headed to the bottom to walk along the dry creek bed.
They made it down alright but had a heck of a time getting back up. By the time they made it Cassia was 'sick' and crying and Derek was sweating. Ok - maybe not the best idea. All recovered quickly though. I really should have warned Cassia about Derek's 'death marches' which I have fallen victim to many a time.
I think the animals are much happier in the shrubs.
By the afternoon, it looked like we were in for some rain. It was very strange because the clouds were all around us. We watched for hours, convinced we were next, but it never really came - just a few drops.
By this time I was comfortably reading my book, so I was happy when Derek said he was off to take some pictures. Who knew how amazing it looked out there. So - the rest of the pictures below are Derek's. I was so impressed with what he got.
Great pics - right!? Brings tears to my eyes.
Because we were in the middle of nowhere - the evening dragged once it got dark. We were in bed by 8:15pm and therefore…..
Derek was up at 5:45am - it took a bit but he was able to capture the sunrise.
The last picture - the sun shining on Angel Peak.
But leave we did - as always - we have miles to cover.
From Angel Peak we headed into Albuquerque - we don't mind Albuquerque for being a large city. We spent a few days there last January and were surprised at how easy - well fairly - it is to get around.
This time we are on a mission - we have two stops - Pep Boys to deal with our fuel pump and Trader Joe's.
Turns out it was a much more challenging stop then we figured it would be - that storey next post.
Sorry for the delay on this - as usual I am really behind. We are now headed to Carlsbad Caverns and then Texas by tonight. Still a few posts until I am caught up.