It’s a rock thing

When we hit the road in the RV full-time almost three years ago, we weren’t sure what to expect or if we’d have any regrets.  Considering we sold the house and moved into the RV on a whim and all within ninety days of deciding to do so, one can’t help but wonder, “Whatever were we thinking?

City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico

City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico

But it’s those hidden gems, those unexpected discoveries that have Al and me wanting to keep those wheels on the RV rolling.  The first time we pulled into City of Rocks State Park, I was giddy with delight.  This time was no different.  There’s something surreal and unworldly about this place.  It’s all about the rocks… it’s a rock thing.

interesting shapes abound !!!

interesting shapes abound !!!

City of Rocks While hiking around City of Rocks State Park, voices swirled in my head, “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!”  I know, I’m dating myself, but I couldn’t help thinking what a fabulous location this would make for a Lost in Space episode.

It really did feel like I had stepped onto another planet.  Around every corner was another fascinating rock formation, another cluster of interesting shapes accompanied by a multitude of color and light.

I’m afraid I could wear out the use of the word unique around here.  How about dazzling, splendid, delightful, superb, appealing, awe-inspiring …… ?

campsites nestled amongst the rocks

campsites nestled amongst the rocks

We are in site #1, first RV on the right. It's the shortest electric site.

We are in site #1, first RV on the right. It’s the shortest electric site.

Since we didn’t have a reservation….. as a matter of fact, we made the decision to overnight at City of Rocks State Park while driving through Las Cruces, New Mexico, only an hour away.  Remember in my last post when I talked about flexibility?  When Al and I are transitioning between locations or reservations, we have a tendency to wing it and find ourselves changing our minds numerous times.  The original plan was to do a quick overnight at a RV Park in Deming, New Mexico, but how boring is that?

Visitor center at City of Rocks State Park

Visitor center at City of Rocks State Park

City of Rocks So at the last minute, we decided to go someplace fun and maybe stay a couple of days, considering we were running ahead of our loosely planned schedule anyway.

But we needed to ask ourselves, what if all the electric sites were taken?  After all, we were driving thirty miles out of our way – 60 miles round trip back to interstate 10 and the town of Deming, NM.  We always have a backup plan and sometimes a backup to the backup.  One of the backup plans was to pick out an awesome dry camping site  – and they are one-of-a-kind, unique, and awesome – but with freezing overnight temperatures predicted, dry camping was our last choice regardless of how distinct and amazing the dry campsites are.  I wanted to run that RV furnace to my heart’s content without worrying about the RV batteries or running the generator like crazy.

The electric loop is in a meadow setting while dry camping sites are dispersed amongst the rocks

The electric loop is in a meadow setting while dry camping sites are dispersed amongst the rocks

One of the dry camping sites. Works well for either tents or RV's

One of the dry camping sites. Works well for either tents or RV’s

We pulled into the loop that offers electric and water hook-ups around 1:00 in the afternoon and snagged the last electric site available.  Site #1 is rather short and required us to unhook the truck from the 5th wheel.  We didn’t mind and were thrilled we procured an electric site.  Although the intention was to stay a couple of nights, I paid for one just in case we changed our minds, a gals prerogative ya know!  And remember, state parks don’t give refunds.

a sweet spot to call home... for a bit, anyway.

a sweet spot to call home… for a bit, anyway.

I absolutely love City of Rocks State Park, and it’s these kinds of discoveries that have me living in the RV full-time with NO regrets.  However, this was February, aka winter, and with daytime temperatures barely reaching 50 degrees Fahrenheit and in the 20’s overnight, we decided to hook up and move on the next morning in search of warmer weather.  Hmm, have we turned into winter wimps?

love this place - my RV is front, left

love this place – my RV is front, left

unique dry camping site

unique dry camping site

a pull-thru dry site on the left.

a pull-thru dry site on the left.

The state of New Mexico never ceases to amaze me with all its splendid landscapes.  There’s so much untapped raw beauty to explore around here, but let’s keep that a secret between us.  After all, we don’t want to share this amazing solitude and gorgeous scenery with hoards of tourists.  So mums, the word 😉

Brought to you by the letter 'd'

Brought to you by the letter ‘d’

By the way…. White Sand Dunes National Park is another unique New Mexico site not to be missed.  However, for those looking for an experience a little less remote, Santa Fe and Taos are definitely worthy of a little exploration.City of Rocks

amazonClarks Women’s Mission Parker Chelsea Boot,Brown,9.5 M US

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99 thoughts on “It’s a rock thing

  1. What a cool state park… I love the rock formations and your photos of them. We spent a month in New Mexico in 2014 but somehow managed to miss this. I have a very long list of places to check out next time, thanks to you, Ingrid. And, ML and my many blogger RV friends who continually find wonderful places to check out.

    • Isn’t it amazing how you can spend a month somewhere and still miss amazing sites? I’d like to spend a month or two just meandering around New Mexico exploring those hidden gems. This is our 4th winter in Phoenix and I’m still discovering new and fun things. Once I have the new computer up and running (and I figure out Windows 10) I’ll be back to blogging and sharing.

  2. Only you can find “interesting shapes” in rocks! Well, except for Terri! 😉
    I find and take photos and collect heart rocks… and you my dear… ummmm…. hmmmm… ummmm…
    Well, you find other kinds! HA HA HA HA 🙂
    Neat to know about this as a place to go when we travel that way.

    • Hehe! Actually, I would recommend Rock Hound State Park for you two. Who thought Deming NM would have a couple of truly special must see places!

    • You welcome Sharron. I know you guys would really enjoy this place. I think it’s safe to say after becoming desert dwellers, we’ve turned into reptiles and thus don’t handle the cold well LOL!

    • During my airline days, my time was spent predominantly in the Midwest and East Coast… the west is special, unique, and wild. It has captured my heart 🙂

  3. Great write up on City of Rocks. Spent a couple nights there with Steve and Debbie McCormack last spring in a dry camping site. Glad they had a generator with them. We only had a 12v battery then and it didn’t last one night. Great hiking in the area too. Plan to go back better prepared.

    • It’s a great spot to hang for a few days. Our first year out, we only had one 12v battery but the Honda 2000 did a pretty good job topping it off. Now we have two 12v and can go longer without using the generator, but Al is super cautious about not running down the batteries which can happen quickly in cold temps.

  4. We loved that place too! Nice hiking all around. We’d also return again. Did you see the scattered petroglyphs? I know you can overnight at a nearby winery in Demming, but why when you have those fabulous rocks!

    • I didn’t spend as much time hiking around and through the campground as I would’ve liked. I focused on the scenic overlook and capturing panoramic photos of the area. Next time I’ll hike around more. Rock Hound SP is also worth checking out.

  5. We loved loved loved City of Rocks when we stayed there. It was a bit warmer so we dry camped up in the rocks and would do it again in a heartbeat. The hike to the top o the nearby mountain is a good one but had us panting LOL!!

    • April??? I thought you were doing the east coast. You can make a reservation at City of Rocks SP if you want to secure an electric site. You’ll also want to make sure to visit Silver City. Then there’s Rudioso and the White Sand Dunes to consider, if you haven’t already been.

  6. And yet another destination goes on my spreadsheet! I love rocks and am looking forward to our trip west next year through the badlands and Garden of the G-ds as we work our way to Arizona.

    • Let me know if I can offer any suggestions. We loved the Badlands and Black Hills in South Dakota. We used to live in Colorado Springs and have hiked Garden of the Gods ‘a few times’ 😉

  7. Wonderful that you have chosen this life Ingrid. It obviously suits the two of you very well. The rocks are mesmerizing. As if they are modern art sculptures!

    • Thank you Sue. Al and I lived a mobile lifestyle before children working as a Flight Attendant and Pilot. So living in a home on wheels as empty nesters didn’t come as a surprise to our families. I love searching out God’s artistic creations!

  8. You decided to sell up everything and go on the road and then you did it all in three months 😳 That’s what I call decisive! What wonderful places you get to stay overnight – especially among those magical rocks.

    • We had just returned ‘home’ from a 4 month road trip and the house didn’t feel like home, yet the RV did. Those 3 months were crazy physically and emotionally, but not regrettable. I keep looking at real estate, but so far can’t find anything that would want me to stop those wheels from turning.

  9. This park has been on my list for awhile…it has rocks!!! You know I love rocks:) With all your awesome photos I am even more anxious to get there. I don’t blame you for wanting electric with the cool night.

    Love your amazing B&W photo of the campsite…so pretty:)

    • There are so many interesting nooks and crannies to explore at City of Rocks SP, but with the way you guys hike, you’d cover every square inch in a day 😆

  10. Reminds me of the Alabama Hills along highway 395 — and Joshua Tree, too. City of Rocks has long been on our list of places to visit. Thanks for the preview tour! That dry camping site looks especially lovely — but I agree with you, electric hook ups are mighty nice on a chilly night!

    • Those are two places high on my must see list. We’re still trying to figure out our summer and then perhaps we’ll see if those CA sites will fit into the fall schedule 🙂

  11. How beautiful! Those rocks remind me of Joshua Tree National Park, or maybe of the Alabama Hills in the Eastern Sierra. Glad you snagged an electric spot and could run your furnace… though you might be weather wimps after all. 😉

    • Yep, I think it’s official – we’ve turned into reptiles and don’t move well in cold weather – winter wimps for sure. With these lower gas prices, we’re thinking now is the time to explore those interesting CA sites. Perhaps this fall 🙂

  12. After reading your first blog on City of Rocks a few years ago we tried to get in there but the campground was completely full. It is still on our list of stops we want to make but in the meantime I will enjoy it through you pictures 🙂

    • Yes, those electric sites do seem to fill up. I was really concerned we wouldn’t be able to snag one and normally we wouldn’t stress and just go for a dry site, but it was so cold, we wanted to run the furnace. I look forward to following you this year. Sounds like a very adventurous year.

  13. If my memory hasn’t totally failed me, that park is just North of Panco Villa State Park..which is uniquely across from Columbus NM and lots of Pancho Villa history. Let me tell ya, they have a Panco Villa Days in late Feb or March..(memory IS failing me), and they have a fabulous celebration with dancers and food..Plus, you can walk across into Palomas, MX and have lunch at the Pink Store..If you ever decide to go there, research the safety of walking across ..It was in 2009 when we did this..You have convinced me we need to revisit the American Southwest!

    • City of Rocks is 30 miles north of Deming NM. I’m not sure where Pancho Villa is but I’ll make a note of Pancho Villa State Park for our future travels. I can always count on you to direct me to some interesting history.

    • We’re basking in the warmth of the Arizona desert and loving it after some real chilly overnights (17 in Van Horn!!!) during our trip from TX to AZ. Rock Hound SP just 14 miles out of Deming is another great spot with totally different scenery.

  14. What a fun place…so great how you come across these sweet stops! I love the way you travel! I just post a wind mill too! :O) I have a huge yearning to explore New Mexico! Sure love your photos!!!

    • Don’t you love those old windmills? New Mexico is an amazing state. You just have to be aware of elevation which equals weather conditions, but the mountains aren’t any where as high or extreme as in Colorado. Definitely put NM on you must see list 🙂

  15. We love City of Rocks, but it does get cold there. Our first winter fulltiming we bought a NM State Parks Pass so we could spend the winter there at a reasonable cost. We had no idea that nowhere in the state is below 3,000′ so we froze! Live and learn…

    • After living in Colorado for many years, it became second nature to double check elevations during our travels. We knew City of Rocks SP would be cold, but what we weren’t expecting was how sensitive to the cold we’ve become. Some where during our travels, we’ve turned into reptiles 😆

  16. I love that place! But we went so long ago there wasn’t a visitor center, just a dirt road. I also love white sands and Santa Fe. A really neat place for those kind of rocks is Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. And have you been to Ramsey Canyon in Arizona? Fantastic for hummingbirds.

  17. Just thought it was time to say ‘hi’. Looking at the rock pics made us think of Joshua Tree National Park.
    We’re Larry & Peter and we full time as well (since july 2011). Sure is a lot of fun 🙂
    here’s our blog link;
    http://wllrtr.tumblr.com
    cheers,
    peter

    • Thanks guys for stopping by and commenting. I’m hoping to get over to that part of CA next winter and stop at Joshua Tree SP and the Salton Sea. Thanks for sharing and I’ll definitely stop by your blog.

  18. Now we have two City of Rocks to visit. There is also one in southern Idaho that is a national preserve. But the last time we were nearby it was very cold and didn’t go. The wimpy thing you know 🙂

    • It’s amazing how sensitive to the cold we have become and have no desire to change that anytime soon. I think we’ll stick with flip-flop weather. I’ll be checking into the City of Rocks in Idaho. Sounds interesting. We may be heading up in that direction this summer. Thanks 🙂

  19. Love your reference to becoming winter wimps. We have had quite a bit of snow here the past couple of days but I am not complaining, I love it! Our son, on the other hand, who lives in Ottawa, is cursing the snow as they received a record snowfall of 51 cm or just over 20 inches yesterday!

    Great photos once again, what an interesting place!

    • Yikes, 20 inches? My back hurts just thinking of the shoveling. I occasionally have moments where I miss the quiet solitude of snowshoeing through the woods, but the thought of bundling up quickly squashes that moment 😆

  20. I see you couldn’t resist some of the more interestingly shaped rocks. nice set of photos. I love Silver City area.

    • Ah, I believe you and Teri noticed that familiar shaped rock 😆 We had the best of intentions to visit Silver City which is why we wanted to spend a couple, three nights at City of Rocks SP. We’ll try for warmer weather next time and I might even ask you for recommendations.

  21. Love that magical place and have played around there several times but haven’t spent the night. Did you happen to visit the funky but warming Faywood Hot Springs nearby?

    • No, we didn’t visit the hot springs, but definitely noticed it. I would definitely recommend spending the night at City of Rocks SP. Sunset, sunrise, and the nighttime dark sky are not to be missed.

    • AND the pull-thru sites are big rig friendly and the gals might enjoy Silver City. That was on the schedule but the weather was just too cold for this gal.

    • The Escapees RV Park (Dream Catcher) was a great quick overnight stop in Deming (stopped there on the way to Texas). We also like Rockhound State Park which is 14 miles south of Deming. So we have 3 places around Deming that we actually like. There’s a lot of really cool places to explore in NM.

    • Rock Hound is also another nice state park to consider. It’s a little closer to the interstate and at $14 a night with beautiful views, it can’t be beat.

  22. Remote and majestic, Ingrid, a truly awesome place. I love all the different shapes of rocks (laughed at the “letter d”) and then the stark vastness around it. Your photos, capturing the different light and variety of shapes, are a joy.

    • I think it’s the stark vastness of the land with this grouping of rocks clustered in the middle of no where for no rhyme or reason, that makes this place so captivating and interesting. I was duly entertained.

  23. What an interesting place. We love NM but just wish there were more state parks. So much of the state is federal land with very limited camping opportunities available for RVs, and many are only open in summer months. Very sad, as it would bring a little more tourism money to the state if that was available. Loved your photos, as always! 🙂

    • Thanks D. We too enjoy New Mexico and have stayed at several state parks. Thus far we haven’t run into an issue with closures. Could be our timing.

    • It was a balmy 17 degree Fahrenheit overnight low in Van Horn, Texas…. brrrrr! So yes, it does get cold in the south. It’s all about the elevation. Nice hearing from you 🙂

  24. We spent a day hiking City of Rocks, such an unique place. Now with a generator and batteries I’d love to spend a couple of days in one of the dispersed site.

    • With the cold weather, only two of the dry camping sites were taken. Thus, some really great sites were available. I was game to stay in one of the unique sites, but Al was concerned about cold batteries 😉

  25. Oh how we can relate to your flexibility. That’s how we roll. We just seem to do it between “bookends,” where we have family obligations to arrive at certain times. But those amazing places we discover in the meantime are priceless! Fantastic pictures and such a great photo op site!

  26. How cool to explore this fascinating place! Beautiful photos, love the capture of the two small rocks between two huge rocks. 🙂

    • I took so many photos that I had trouble narrowing down which ones to post. I too liked the little rocks wedged between the huge ones. Entertaining stop 🙂

  27. Unique? Yes! Fascinating? Yes! I love the rock formations & how cool would it be to camp among them. And yes, I picked up on the flexibility right away. I really must try that. Perhaps in the Fall when I’m sure the campgrounds will be less full.

    • City of Rocks SP DOES take reservations. Rock Hound SP is also another one to keep in mind. Hubby prefers City of Rocks. The weather in the fall would most likely be more agreeable and good timing to visit Silver City.

    • Thanks. Hope you give it a try some time. FYI… if you’re writing a blog, your gravatar isn’t linked, meaning no one can click on your photo and stop by your blog to visit.

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