With the intention of fully utilizing the state parks pass, we returned to New Mexico after the graduation excitement. However our first two stops in the state have been previous favorite boondocking spots rather than parks.
Our first stop was a spot in the national forest that we found several years ago. It’s just far enough off US 285 to be quiet and hidden.
We were surprised to find another RVer there when we arrived, although he was just packing up to leave. Ron walked over to say hi. The poor man is suffering from PTSD and feels more comfortable in the wide open spaces. So sad.
After setting up, we noticed a lot of activity out our rear window. Two bluebirds were building a nest in a tree cavity. It seemed they were afraid of being ousted because one would guard the hole,
Until the other returned with some nesting material.
We stayed two nights in our peaceful spot, but had quite a mechanical scare when we hitched up to leave. We backed into the fifth wheel as usual, but when the jaws closed around the pin, the handle didn’t snap back into the locked position. And no matter what we did (back the truck, lower or lift the fifth wheel), that handle didn’t move. And we also couldn’t disconnect to start over. I was panicking. But Ron very calmly got his tools and started poking around under the hitch until the handle suddenly popped into place. What a guy! The next day, he called the hitch manufacturer and the tech support guy said we probably didn’t have enough weight on it. That makes no sense to me, especially since he had Ron pop it by pushing on the open jaws and it latched fine. With NO weight on the hitch. We’ll see if it keeps acting up, but at least Ron can fix it.
Once the hitch was securely locked into place, we moved on to the Santa Fe Elks lodge. It’s just a parking spot on their dirt lot, but what a perfect location only 2 miles from the downtown area.
We got our big city fix with laundry, grocery shopping, Sams Club, a breakfast and dinner out, and we got some extra keys made for the truck and RV. Today we finally did a short hike in the foothills.
The Santa Fe Foothill Trail System includes 34 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. We only did about 2 miles of that, but couldn’t believe how nice the trail was. At each intersection, indicated by a number on the map, was a trail map,
And signs to point you to the next number. I don’t think you could get lost if you tried.
The trail had great views of Santa Fe. Although it is the state capital, they have building regulations to help it retain a small town feeling. You can see there are no tall buildings.
And no matter how large the house, it must conform to the southwest color scheme and style.
We saw this pretty cactus blooming. The flower looks like the claret cup that we have in Arizona, but the rest of the plant looks completely different.
This horned lizard stayed still right along the trail. I guess he thought we couldn’t see him. Maybe he was correct because I managed to chop off the top of his head in the picture. But I’m posting it anyway.
Back at the trail head, we noticed someone had spruced up the parking lot. I just love the color of this iris.
And what a cool wood carving! Only in Santa Fe would a piece of art survive in a parking lot.
Tomorrow we're moving back to Villanueva State Park for several days. Despite the fact that the road in is rather frightening and, once there, there is no phone or internet, we really liked it when we visited about a month ago.