Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Woo-Hoo! 2015 – A new year for adventures!

Once a campground host, always a campground host
I may not be the official campground host here at Pancho Villa State Park, but with Christmas just two days away and a fair number of campers that would be here over the holiday, I had the brainstorm to organize and host a social get-to-know-each-other time. With permission from the managing ranger, I had a key to the park's recreation hall and permission to use it. Next I went from RV to RV introducing myself and inviting them to come. It was simple – no food. Just an hour the afternoon of Christmas Eve to socialize. 18 campers came and we had a good time. I did the same thing the afternoon of New Years Eve and had 24 folks mingling and enjoying the time.

Tackling the weeds and dead cactus
The park happily loaned me some rakes when I offered to do some weeding in campsites. So, since I
enjoy doing it, I've been raking up weeds and removing unsightly dead cactus. Guess I made this task look like fun because I also enlisted another camper to help. And I do enjoy being outside when it is nice – and the results are rewarding.

Window feeder provides seeds for the birds and enjoyment for me
One Red-Wing Blackbird, numerous House Finches, Cactus Wrens, Curve-bill Thrashers, Gambel's Quail, Lark Bunting and several kinds of sparrows eating seeds from my window bird feeder keep me entertained when I'm in Jeremiah. We also have a pair of roadrunners. White-winged Doves would like to join them, but none have figured out how to get in. They perch precariously on top of the feeder – most likely frustrated at the smaller birds that get inside the feeder.

Among the House Finches are "Clumsy" who has a deformed foot and "Stubby" who has part of her upper beak missing, making shelling the sunflower seeds a challenge. And at first I mis-identified the Lark Buntings – because of their brown-tan feather coloring, I thought they were just well-fed sparrows. Then I checked my bird book and was reminded that later in the year the male Lark Buntings' feathers are all black with a splash of white on the leading wing feathers.

Not all-work – plenty of play
Since I don't watch any TV, I do enjoy reading. The park has a large 'free book exchange' and the town library has shelves of books for sale ($1 for a grocery bag full). Paying little for books and having access to free ones, I explore different authors and also manage to find books from my favorite authors.
So far I've read:
An Unexpected Grace by Von Kreisler
The Tombs by Clive Cussler
and I re-read Dragon, also by Clive Cussler
Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
And reading The Confession by John Grisham

Interesting campers and plenty of dogs and cats to pet
What a pleasure to meet campers – we've had a couple from Australia and several Canadians. I find people interesting and like sharing ideas for future camping trips. The various dogs and cats help fill my longing for my former traveling companion – Cat. I would get another cat except there just isn't enough room in my tiny RV. A recent camper had seven cats! Another camper makes jewelry and gave me a beautiful necklace.

It IS winter, I keep telling myself
We've had it all – rain, snow, wind and sun. Nights for the past few weeks have been in the high 20s. And we've had a couple of cold days with no sun. But on sunny days, I've been enjoying temps in the 60s. Of course, when the wind blows, all temps seem cold to me. The bonus has been gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

 Camping Clubs enjoy his park
In past years this park has hosted numerous RV camping clubs. The park layout with its large sites, most with electric hookups, has made these group events pleasurable. Another 'plus' is the nearby neighbor of Palomas, Mexico, and its famous Pink Store for its shopping and dining. And, yes I feel safe to go the three miles south to enjoy it. Our most recent club has been the Three Crosses Campers from Las Cruces. In mid December we also hosted the Elks Lodges from Silver City and Alamogordo.

Dental checkup - “Look, Mom, no cavities!”
Besides the Pink Store, many campers also get dental checkups and work done by Palomas' dentists. These dentists are trained in the US and from what I've seen they have highly advanced equipment – and much lower costs.

The parks long-awaited rebuilt restrooms are a disappointment !
The previous “comfort stations” (park name for bathrooms) were old, but everything in them worked just fine. The architect planning the new ones had some good ideas that were expected to lower utility costs. I won't go into specifics, but unfortunately the construction job was given to the lowest bidder who did sloppy and careless work resulting in less than wonderful results.

What's next?
I'll stick around here enjoying the New Mexico winter sunshine and this super park. Each day brings new surprises and blessings.