Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Goodbye Oliver Lee; hello Alamogordo

I’ve had a great time here!

While I have my morning coffee, I’ll do some writing. I had some new “guests” at the sunflower seed feeder – eight Gambel’s Quail that entertained Cat and I.

Today I’ll unhook and pack up to drive 12 miles back to Alamogordo for the New Mexico State Good Sam “Samboree.” The event is being held at the Elk’s Club grounds in town.

I’ll leave here mid morning and make several stops before checking in. First stop will be the Chamber of Commerce to access the Internet through their wireless system. I’ll check email and post to my blog.

Then I’ll find out when the nearby pistachio grower/packer has tours scheduled. Figured this would be a good time to learn about this tasty nut.

Then I’ll fill up my gas tank because I’ll be “dry camping” until Sunday. This will be a new adventure for me – I’m used to having electricity. I’ll be using my generator for a part of each day, and it runs on gasoline from the engine’s tank. Having lived on solar and generator in the past, I’m already programmed to be a miser when it comes to using electricity.

I’ve met a lot of people, but got to know some more than others:

Dave and Marlene, (in their mid 60s) campground hosts from Michigan. They’ve been splitting their winter for several years between Pancho Villa and Oliver Lee State Parks. She “works” in the visitor center, he does miscellaneous outdoor jobs. Always ready with helpful hands and a welcoming smile.

Dave and Carol, (in their 60’s also), originally from Omaha, are full-timing in their 5th wheel. Ten years ago, Carol had a lung transplant. As with most traumatic events, it was their “wake-up” call. When she recovered from the surgery, Dave retired and they started traveling.

A couple from Alabama that parked across from me: They have a fancy rolling castle and have lived in it for the past two years. They tow a trailer with a motorcycle. They find an RV park that has a lot of things to see and do within 100 miles (Oliver Lee fits that requirement), and then they use their motorcycle to explore.

A couple in a tent: She is active duty military, stationed at nearby Holloman Air Force Base. We often crossed paths in the morning while she was getting ready for work at the women’s restroom. He stays at the tent. I would have liked to get to know them, but her mornings were busy and I didn’t want to intrude on their evenings.

Favorite things about Oliver Lee Memorial State Park:
Wide, spacious sites that aren’t crammed together.
No glaring “yard” lights allowing great visibility of the stars at night. There is something delightful about falling asleep looking at stars and feeling a cool breeze from the window.
Super quiet at night – even the javelinas that reportedly roam the park at night are quiet.
Lots of birds, cactus blooming, and mild winds. Temperature in the low 60s at night, mid-90s in the day.

Send email to carolinnewmexico@azulstar.com