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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I’m married to MacGyver

Once settled into our new home, a home with a view I might add, we set out in search of some petroglyphs aka rock art.  After a little research, I knew just where to go.  From our home located off Highway 191 we headed south and picked up Utah highway 279.

Colorado River Utah

The Colorado River along Utah scenic byway 279

petroglyphs

petroglyphsUtah road 279 located several miles north of Moab is a paved two lane road that meanders along the Colorado River and is a popular place with rafters, canoeists, and kayakers .  There’s numerous places to access the river as well as a few designated campsites.

The hunt for these petroglyphs or rather referred to as Indian writing and also known as rock art is an easy search.  There are actually a couple of brown signs near pull-outs that say “Indian writing”.

Al and I parked the truck and stood near the road glancing up at the red rock wall.  After a couple of minutes scanning the wall, I screamed out while pointing a finger, “There….up there.  Can you see it?”Indian WritingThere are several areas along this rock wall that were engraved with Indian writing – petroglyphs – rock art, whatever one calls it, that obviously told a story.  Most of the rock art is located on the smooth blackish face of the wall at least 20 feet up or higher.Indian WritingIndian writingrock climbing repellingI could’ve stood there for quite some time starring up at this unique historical site trying to decipher the story.  This was someone’s journal…..a blog post!  Hmm, wonder how long it took them to complete a blog post with all the carving and chiseling required.  I guess we have it pretty easy with our simple clicks and auto correct 🙂

We continued down Utah road 279 also known as Potash Road and stopped to observe some rock climbers.  Ah, to be young again.  However, even twenty some years ago I would’ve viewed the climbing part as perhaps a little too much work, but repelling?  Now that’s fun and I would still consider doing that today…..just beam me up Scottie and I’ll repel down.Moab Utah

We continued down Utah road 279 but not without getting side tracked with a gravel road that shot off to the west.  A little four-wheeling in the back country found us surrounded by huge majestic rock cliffs that left us admiring their beauty in awe.Red rockfour wheeling in Moab Utah

four wheeling the back country near Moab UtahIn the above photo, can you see little ole me climbing up the hill with camera in hand?  Look at the size of those boulders.  I wouldn’t want one of those tumbling down towards me.

Had we taken a map with us, we may have explored this back country road a little more, but the further in we drove the worse the road conditions got.  No map and a worsening road had us turning around.  We returned back to paved road 279.

Shortly after this slight back country road diversion and back on 279, the pavement ended near a large boat ramp.  This was the perfect place for our picnic lunch.  Beyond this point, folks with Jeeps or bicycles access Shafer Road; a gravel road leading up to Canyonlands.  High clearance vehicles are a must as well as a sense of adventure.

Across from our picnic area was the Intrepid Potash Plant.  I’ll share more about Potash in my next post.  For now it’s time to return to camp.Intrepid PotashBut before returning to camp, we needed to stop at Lion’s Park located at the intersection of Roads 191 and 128 in Moab to fill up our five gallon jugs with water.Colorado RiverRemember our day from hell……you know the day we blew a tire?  Well, that blown tire damaged our water lines.  We all know what a precious commodity water is especially when boondocking (dry camping).  Every time we turned on the water pump, we’d lose some water on the ground through the sliced line, thus we found ourselves going through water a lot quicker than normal even with our MacGyver patch.

boondocking Moab Utah

Our home with a view for a week. Boondocking north of Moab, Utah – Where’s my hook-ups?

With jugs filled, we returned to camp where Al preceded to fill our RV tank with fresh water.  Being self-sufficient in this lifestyle is a must and having a MacGyver for a husband is a big plus.

boondocking dry camping

Filling the RV with fresh water

It’s interesting how all winter long we stayed in RV Parks with hook-ups with a plan to spend most of April boondocking.  As luck would have it, we damaged the water lines just as we were entering our boondocking phase of the journey, which required us to travel through some pretty remote parts of Utah.

dry camping boondocking

Al’s nifty little rig up…..notice my lovely tape job on the wheel fender that got damaged from the blown tire – we’re a class act!

Unable to find the ‘right’ parts to fix the water lines properly, MacGyver aka Al used some tape to stem the loss of water and with a little more conservation on my part, we managed to still enjoy our boondocking.  Yep, it’s good to have a MacGyver around.  Once we get to a bigger town, we’ll getter all fixed up.

dry camping

Just another day in the life of an RV’er…………


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