Monday, February 05, 2007

Ahhh! A toast to the start of a 2-month adventure

Friday, February 2, 2007 – Rio Rancho to Elephant Butte Lake

It was an easy 160-mile drive between home and Elephant Butte Lake State Park, just north of Truth or Consequences, NM. Jeremiah is parked in site #92 facing the lake with nothing between except an expanse of sand.

There aren’t many winter campers, but come warmer weather, the park will be filled to overflowing. I’ve learned that this park is the largest and most visited one in the state park system

After getting parked and hooked up – and giving Cat some outdoor time – I took a stroll around the area. When it got dark and cold, I put on my warm pajamas, lit my lavender-scented candle and poured my traditional first-night-out glass of champagne. Cat was on my lap and seemed intrigued by the bubbles in the flute. Life is good; I am blessed.

Once the "what" is decided, the "how" always follows. We must not make the "how" an excuse for not facing and accepting the "what."
---Pearl S. Buck(1892-1973), American novelist

My current “what” is to travel in Jeremiah as much as possible, as often as possible, and to a variety of places. My “how” is JUST DO IT! I haven’t spent any time ruminating on possible problems, inconvenient logistics, or what other people might think. No excuses. Lord willing once I hang up my motorhome keys for good, I’ll have plenty of time to stay put somewhere.

Now about Elephant Butte Lake State Park. Even though I set a goal of visiting all the New Mexico State Parks, I was willing to skip some. And Elephant Butte was one of them. Every time the park and the huge lake formed by a dam made the news it was because of crowds of campers and partying and drunk boaters. Then some park volunteers encouraged me, saying it was a nice place for camping and I should check it out for myself in the off-boating season. That would be now. Any plans were to stay here two nights. I like it so much, tonight will be night #4. Note to myself: don’t pre-judge.

Nights have gotten down below freezing; days have been in the 50s. Cat has been out a bit, but something must have spooked her because even with the door open, she usually decides to stay inside. I haven’t seen any dogs around; just rabbits, quail and some birds that don’t stay still long enough to identify. Also my identification efforts are hampered by the fact that I left my good binoculars at home.

“The Blessing of Bats” was the theme of the Saturday program at the park. Ranger Sal had great slides and an interesting program about the usefulness of bats (pollinating plants, eating mosquitoes and other bugs and providing nutrient-rich fertilizer).

On Sunday I took a long walk along the lake then came back and gave Jeremiah a “spit bath” using a bucket, brush and towel. He shines up real good! That evening I invited Rita, a park volunteer, for dinner (thanks Wendy and Vickie for the lasagnas).

Monday was a loafing day – reading, thinking, watching a couple of my favorite videos (Ken Davis: hilarious Christian comedian), walking, and a bit of housecleaning. Oh, yes, delighting in the clock Santa gave me this past Christmas. Luckily, the service technician at Rocky Mountain RV (where I bought Jeremiah) was able to install a hanger for it. Every hour it plays music and the clock dial moves around. It is amazing and always makes me smile.

Tomorrow I make the short, 20-mile drive to Leasburg Dam State Park. This park sits alongside the Rio Grande.