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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Pecan Trees and Desert Tracks

~Thursday, January 19, 2023~

Day 950 (Travel Day)

Boy did last night get cold. The low was about 37, much colder than the last time we were here. With the inside temp of the trailer at about 47, I couldn’t wait to blast the furnace and get back in bed until things warmed up a bit for my early shower. With a wake-up call at 6:30 a.m., we wanted to be on the road by 8:00. We were close, actually getting on the road by 9:00 a.m.

Today we head east, with 385 miles and about 6 hours of driving to go, aiming toward Las Cruces, New Mexico to stay for one night at our boondocking spot called Pre-Historic Trackways Dispersed Camping. As we exited what’s been our home the last 7 nights, Jeff realized he never left the park the duration of our stay. Even though it wasn’t complete relaxation, he enjoyed staying close to home and getting things done. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for traveling. Let’s just hope the winds stay calm for us as we tow the trailer.

Saw the dramatic, snow covered Sandia Mountain range as we entered the Land of Enchantment (New Mexico) with about 143 miles to go. The yellow and black chili pepper designed license plates were our reminder that we weren’t in Arizona anymore. We gradually climbed to about 4,500 feet where we crossed the Continental Divide, about 92 miles outside of Las Cruces.

As we approached our destination, it seemed to be a fertile, agricultural region. We must have seen at least 50 pecan orchards. I guess they like the heat. We arrived at our boondocking site an hour before darkness set in. The road wasn’t too rough getting in, but we weren’t sure if we were going in the right direction since there initially weren’t any signs to guide us. We were just going by Google Maps and thank goodness we at least had that. Finally, we saw the national monument sign and a few desert dry washes that had pretty low clearance, making it a bit challenging to cross. You certainly wouldn’t want to cross these areas in a flash flood. Barely scraping through, we made it to our resting spot where we found a few other RVer’s all settled in. We were immediately greeted by Jim and Emily, also in a travel trailer, who had already been there for a few days and knew the ropes. They recommended we choose a different orientation for the trailer due to the high winds they’d experienced the last few days. We heeded their advice, though there were no winds to speak of that evening. But it is something to consider when trying to save your slideout awnings. Sadie and their German Shepherd/Husky mix got along great, where their dog was even willing to share a ball. I’m sure Sadie really enjoyed the wide open space she could finally run around in. We had to cut our visit short since we were running out of daylight and the temperatures were plummeting quickly. It’s too bad we didn’t have an extra day here since this lesser known gem of a place offers a variety of areas to explore. This rich, geologic 5,280-acre monument was established in 2009 by the U.S. Congress to protect the fossilized trackways that date back to the Paleozoic era. These tracks were discovered in 1987. That really would have been great to see. In addition, there are 30 miles of trails perfect for hiking, horseback riding or 4WD off roading. Hopefully we’ll be back one day to check it out. But what a great boondocking find in New Mexico. We’ll definitely be keeping this one on our list!

As we were preparing dinner, we heard a loud rumble next to us which Jeff decided to investigate. Yep, another RV’er with one HUGE bus towing a Jeep. Since it was dark, all we could make out is that it was a former school bus transformed into an RV (they’re called skoolies), complete with solar panels and 2 large awnings on its exterior. Maybe we’ll get to meet each other in the morning though we have another early departure. With another big drive day ahead of us, it’s an early turn in for us both (yes, even me). Sweet dreams….😴.

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