After leaving Big Bend, we went thru El Paso TX & headed north up Highway 54 to Oliver Lee State Park, just south of Alamogordo NM. The Park didn’t seem like much at first, but we spent four great relaxing nights in Loop B (the boondocking section at $10/night) with only one other neighbor.
Since the Park is nestled up against the start of Dog Canyon, we had an expansive view of the valley, all the way over to the western mountains.
Our neighbor, Ben, was an ingenious guy living out of a small utility trailer. He shared various boondocking ideas & told us a lot about the NM State Parks. I’ve read numerous blogs for several years about RVers spending not only winter months, but summer months too shifting from one NM State Park to another after their 14-day stays. For out-of-staters like us, an annual pass is $225. And if you get the pass on the first of a month, you have until the end of that month next year to boondock free or pay $5/night for electric at any of the numerous parks. So, we’ve started thinking hard about trying this next winter, making our MO visits during the Spring & Fall months, & returning to NM to hang up in the cooler mountains. We’ve got numerous states & sights to visit before settling on any one area or state tho, but for now it’s a semi-plan for coming years.
Friday, we continued westerly again but wanted to check out Rock Hound State Park & Poncho Via State Park, both south of Deming NM. Rock Hound is small & didn’t have near the vegetation around the campsites as Oliver Lee, so we headed on down to Columbus NM (right on the Mexican border) to Poncho Via. It’s a much larger park, tho very few boondocking sites, so we opted for a $14/night electric site. It was fairly bare of vegetation too but very flat (no photos). Glad we saw it but probably don’t ever need to return.
Saturday, we got back on I-10 & headed to Arizona after spending five nights in NM. Yay, the temps just kept getting warmer & more comfortable, but we were only barely into AZ. Our neighbor Ben at Oliver Lee told us about the Cochise Stronghold campground, south of Wilcox AZ, & that’s where we ended up for night.
The narrow, curvy gravel road round thru an ever-deepening canyon with a dozen houses or so along the road to end up at a totally tree-covered boondocking area at the end of the canyon with a large currently-dry creek bed running thru it. With our Golden Pass, it was $5/night for a paved campsite & pit toilets nearby.
One lady with both a cat & a dog in a Class C spent the night also. We would have loved to stay longer, but with so many trees, we couldn’t last long without getting some sun for our solar panels (not to mention satellite RV reception). However, I did have a fairly good 3G cell signal.
We also met & spent an hour or so talking to a not-quite-old-enough-to-retire couple from Prescott AZ who really, really want to figure out a way to fulltime & work on the road. A great couple we hope to meet up with again.
Sunday morning we were off bright & early. . .& finally arrived back at Ajo BLM at the same hilltop where we met RVSue last year. OMG. . .it just so felt like COMING HOME. How unexpected.
Our first gorgeous sunset back at Ajo
This is the FIRST TIME since leaving NM last April for friends/family visits & working in Poudre Canyon CO that we’ve felt this degree of peace & contentment. Unbelievable in many ways. Aaaaahhhhhhh — breath & relax.