Saturday, February 8, 2014


Yes! The Gordon Lightfoot concert was tonight! But I have one more post for you before that one! Darn! 

We had such a GREAT time!

In fact we just got back and set up - it's now 11:43pm - it's been a long day - but duty calls - right! I have a charged battery and wifi and so I gotta get to it. 

We spent the first part of last week at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park. We were lured by the pictures and are happy to report that we were very happy we went. It is a very nice park - nicely sited, well maintained, and quiet. 

This was our third New Mexico State Park. As you may know we don't often overnight in RV or State Parks. It just doesn't fit in our budget. Nice that even we can afford NM's parks since they are either $10 or $14 per night. 

We stayed for a total of three nights - glad we were plugged in the third night with temps down to 24F. 

Here's how it all went.

The park is a fair ride south of Alamogordo - about 14 miles. The last four are up Dog Canyon Road to the base of the Sacramento Mountains. You can see the park via the white specks centre right.

We chose site #24. The one thing about the park - well, two really - is that the sites are fairly small and not level. We fit this one with lots of room to spare but we had to stop the van here in order to be somewhat level. At least is was next to the picnic table and we are off the road - just.

In addition to a nice Visitor's Center there are two hiking trails - easy and strenuous. After lunch the day we arrived we headed first for the nature trail.

Warm enough for shorts and t-shirts - a drastic change came just two days later.

The clouds were amazing that day.

The Visitor's Center blends it pretty well - doesn't it?

This land at one time belonged to 'Frenchy'.

A little difficult to see but amazingly, Frenchy built stone walls around his property. You can just make it out above if you start low left of centre and work up and across to the right.

Since that trail was only a half mile we decided to start up the more difficult climb up the mountain. This trail is 6 miles long one way - and it is up - straight up - with a total gain of about 3,000 ft.

We thought that we would see how far we could get.

What a view! Hraefn is down there somewhere.

Yes, this is a pose. It wasn't at first - this is where I was taking pictures of the campground below. Derek said it was a good picture so I went over to him with the camera and came back. 

We actually got pretty far. After a stop for a snack though Cassia wanted to go back - we were impressed with how much climbing she did do. Plus it was colder up there and we hadn't brought her jacket. 

Derek and Rufus continued on. 

This one and the next seven photos are Derek's. Amazingly, he was able to go 3.75 miles before he had to turn back because of the setting sun. Sadly, the battery power was low on the camera so he only got a few shots.

An old stone cabin up in the Canyon. 

The trail takes you very high up and back. We are both also impressed with how far Derek was able to get since it was a lot of switch backs and hard climbing.

At one point the trail runs along the canyon wall.

That was Monday, Tuesday we decided to take it a bit easier and walk down to the Ranch House. It was bit deceiving because it looked to be an easy walk but at 1.25 miles there and then back again it was a good hike of it's own at 2.50 miles. 

We learned at the Visitor Center that Oliver Lee was thought to have been involved in the disappearance of a Lawyer and his eight year old son. Hmmmmm. Then we found out that Frenchy mysteriously died of a gunshot - maybe suicide (not likely) but the killer was never found. We have our suspicions about Oliver Lee. We wonder why the Park wasn't named after Frenchy - after all it was his land. Also interesting that Pancho Villa State Park isn't named for the Americans that were stationed there and fought against PV and his men.

Tours are given right now on weekends.

The mountains are amazing during the sunset - they go from golden to red.

We were treated to an awesome sunset Tuesday evening.

Wednesday was very cool. We managed to walk up to the Visitor's Center to look around and watch the movie on the history of the area. The rest of the day was in the van watching movies - it was that cold.

We were tempted to stay a fourth night at Oliver Lee but it would have just been another day indoors with movies - time to move on.

Since our White Sands entry fee was good for a week we decided to return there on Thursday for the afternoon. It was colder then it was on Sunday but it was still fun.

After that we continued west to Las Cruces and spent the night at their Home Depot.

We were ready Friday morning to head back to Texas and El Paso to pick up our Gordon Lightfoot tickets.

Of course, I'll have all the news on the concert with photos and movies next post!

All for me tonight. I had a slow signal and some photos were dropped so it is now 12:51am.

I'm done.


If you are looking for more of Rantin' n Raven we are not hard to find out there in the social media world. We are on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest. See you there!


  1. It is nice to have plugs in especially in the cold weather.
    $10-$14. a night is pretty good. for the state parks.
    Waiting to hear about the concert

  2. Beautiful area.......and gorgeous sunset pics!!

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

  3. Great tour. Wonderful pictures of the area, and the sunsets were awesome. Cassia, with her backpack brought a smile. Quite a hiker, you have there. It won't be long until she's leading the crew, looking back, and saying "what's holding you guys up?"


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