Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Mexico – Land of New Mexican Food

My mouth waters at the thought of a New Mexican Green Chile Cheeseburger! The anticipation of this and other yummy New Mexican meals kept Jeremiah's tires rolling east to Rio Rancho. Jeremiah and I camped at “Latham's RV Park”, a.k.a. friend Jesse's home.

After some service for Jeremiah – replace the A/C cover at Vantastic Vans and oil service, tires and engine check at American Tire and a much-needed motorhome bath by Recapturing Vehicles. Then friend and family visiting time started and continued non-stop for a week.

The highlights of my Rio Rancho/Albuquerque visits are time with my daughter Sue and visits with friends I made while living there. I treated myself to a pedicure with Carla, the best nail technician I know, and had an appointment with my holistic doctor who keeps my body ticking along.

And I enjoyed my long-awaited New Mexican meals – including four green chile cheeseburgers, chile rellenos and enchiladas.

Great Horned Owls, Rain, Park Project
Sunday: It was time to head south to Pancho Villa State Park – three miles north of the Mexico border. This 5+hour trip takes me through Truth or Consequences, Hatch (chile capital) Deming and finally into the tiny town of Columbus, New Mexico.

Pancho Villa State Park
I discovered this park in 2005; and it was the first park that I volunteered for. It is a desert park and certainly the vegetation never could have been described as 'lush'. At least the park had plenty of cactus and many more trees than it currently has. A few years ago a couple super-freezing nights combined with drought left a lot of dead and dying cactus, killed trees and left large expanses of bare, sandy ground.

During the week I camped there, I joined the Rving LOWS (Loners on Wheels) across the border for lunch at the Pink Store (in Palomas, Mexico). As always the complimentary margarita and Mexican food were delicious.

As part of my “Emeritus” park host status, Park Manager John Read had a project for me – painting two coats of preservative on the wooden wheel spokes of their 1918 large artillery piece (canon).

The Highlight of the Week – a Great Horned Owl family
What a treat! Mom, Dad, and three fledglings. The nest was in plain view in a tall tree on the lower park road. Dad spent most of his days in another tree. Mom alternated between spending time in the nest and on a nearby branch. When she was in the nest, it was very crowded.

Three baby Great Horned Owls
I set up a chair and binoculars at my campsite and then wandered the park inviting campers to come see the owls. It was a nice way to share owl information with others. (Once a teacher/camp host, always a teacher/camp host.)

On my way home
As I write this, I'm at my sister Alice's home and will drive home tomorrow. My May plans changed when I got a call that two of my granddaughters were going to have a “cousins road trip to see Grandmother for her birthday.” Good thing I am experienced at being flexible! They will arrive in Prescott Valley this coming Friday evening, will spend Saturday with me and relatives there, then will drive to Tempe on Sunday for more family visiting before driving back to California.

May plans – unless they change
I will be at home in Prescott Valley this month – then most likely head back to New Mexico for more camping.