Saturday, June 21, 2014

Back in New Mexico – Jeremiah and I are loving it!

What day is it? asked Pooh.
It's today. Squeaked Piglet
My favorite day. Said Pooh

I'm with Pooh - “today” is always my favorite! Yesterday is gone and nothing can change what it was like; and tomorrow is really an unknown. I'm trying to live up to my chosen “footloose and fancy-free” lifestyle.

Who says you can't make a bouquet from thistles that were in my side yard?

When I was home in May, you'll recall I had time with family members: sister Alice, her youngest daughter and son-in-law and granddaughters Melody and Christine.

Christine Pray and Melody Cottrell
On June 2 after the final load of perishable foods, Jeremiah headed north on I-17 and east on I-40 into New Mexico. My sort-of/flexible plan is to take advantage of my New Mexico Parks Emeritus Host status (camp at any New Mexico State Park for $4 a night) and wander the state for at least two months. With 27 camping parks with electric hookups scattered throughout the state, I'll have plenty of variety.

As with all NM state parks, there are 'electric' sites for $14/night, 'developed/picnic table' sites for $10 and 'primitive' sites (along the lake shore) for $8. I'm pretty sure the NM state parks cost less than any other state parks.

Bluewater Lake State Park
My first night's destination was Bluewater Lake State Park. The park is 7 miles south of I-40 and I was about halfway when I spotted this “PET ROCK”! Yes, indeed, this pictures doesn't show it all, but there are numerous stuffed animals alongside the road.

Luckily I got one of the few sites with electric hookups and I camped three nights before driving into Rio Rancho. This is a well-used park partly because of its proximity to the cities of Gallup, Grants and Albuquerque/Rio Rancho. As with all state park lakes, the lakes are at low levels due to the drought.

Rio Rancho
After a week of visiting time with friends and some special time with daughter Sue, I got an email from Navajo Lake State Park, hoping I could come up there and help out for the couple of weeks. But first, more time at Bluewater Lake.

More Bluewater Lake
Eager to be on the road again, I returned to Bluewater Lake for a week. This park is in Indian Country – and open range. It is fairly common to see cattle and horses roaming the camping areas, at the lake that is to the west, and down in a canyon that is to the east of the camping areas.

It was a pleasant surprise to find Hazel and her two retired/rescued greyhounds serving as volunteers here. I've had nice visiting time with her and plenty of petting time with the dogs. I had met her in past years at other parks. Most afternoons just after 4 pm, I rode around with her as she drove through all the camping areas. She is the one who pointed out the brown pelican who was 'fishing' for dinner at the lake.

With my flexible lifestyle, I keep these words of wisdom in mind:
With each new dawn there is delivered to your door a fresh, new package called “today.” God has designed each of us in such a way that we can handle only one package at a time – and all the grace we need will be supplied by Him as we live out that day. – Pastor Chuck Swindoll

Next stop is Navajo Lake State Park