The snow started blowing late Monday afternoon here in southern Colorado. By Tuesday morning we awoke to a blanket of white. With a chuckle I say to Al, “Looks like Tucson”. That snowstorm in Tucson, Arizona, was a rare sight to behold, and I responded to the Tucson snow like an exuberant child.
Snow in Colorado? Well, that’s to be expected. As is the ten degree temperature at 7:00 a.m. Therefore, I do NOT respond with any exuberance. I ponder….”why aren’t we still in Arizona hiking and photographing the blooming desert?” Oh those darn responsibilities and obligations. At least this Colorado snowstorm blew through southern Colorado quick and by Tuesday afternoon the snow was gone.
Our departure from Tucson took us on a five-hour drive to Elephant Butte Lake State Park, New Mexico. We paid careful attention to the weather forecast before hitting the road, in particular to the wind speeds. Interstate 10 can get dicey with high winds that are known to cause brown out conditions. We picked a beautiful day for travel and our drive was uneventful and pleasant.
We arrive in the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and stop at Walmart to stock up with groceries before heading to the state park entrance. We know inclement weather is in the forecast and we want to be well stocked and prepared. We’ve driven past Elephant Butte Lake State Park numerous times over the years, but this was our first stop and layover.
Nina over at Wheeling It piqued my interest with her rave review of this State Park. I also had the pleasure of meeting Nina and Paul while camped at Quartzsite and we discussed some of the must see sites in this part of New Mexico. Boy, that “must see” list has a funny way of getting longer. I never realized how much there is to see and do in New Mexico.
After checking out the campgrounds near the town of Truth or Consequences, we take the ten-mile twisty, curvy Rock Canyon Road to the Monticello area and quickly settle into site #34. At this time of year, the lake level is very low, its also still winter, thus camping at the northern part of the lake is less popular….right up our alley. As usual, Nina was spot on with this recommendation. We much preferred this campground over the ones closer to town.
The bath house is heated, clean, and the showers provide plenty of hot water, which Al and I take full advantage of. The views are vast. The hiking and biking endless…. providing you don’t encounter a driving snowstorm like we did. Yep, snow again. We enjoy plenty of heat, food, and drink as we watch the weather roll in, then out. Internet service is good, allowing Al and I to keep tabs on the weather forecast.
The original plan was to hang out here for a few days exploring the surrounding area. Ah….Mother Nature has other plans with a series of storms intermixed with high wind warnings in the forecast. We opt for Plan B: After a two night stay at Elephant Butte, we’ll depart for Santa Fe.
Initially I was somewhat disappointed with the early departure. However, I’d rather be safe than sorry and roll with the weather. Elephant Butte Lake State Park is an easy eight-hour drive south from Pueblo, Colorado. Thus, we can return to the area when the weather is more amenable and explore that list of places I wanted to see. I’ll admit, I was pretty eager to get to Santa Fe anyway.
Next stop…..Santa Fe, New Mexico!