Arizona 2024: Day 10: Dwyer, NM: Love in the Rocks

We had been to Oliver Lee (not Robert Lee, not Oliver Read) park before and it did not disappoint. They seem to have put some money into it since we were last there. The views are awesome!

A lovely, mostly quiet night sleep that featured some pretty big winds. Post wakeup I headed out to do a small part of the Dog Canyon trail. It goes way back in the hills and features many kilometres walking along the edge of said hills. I still don’t like edges. I decided I had to make it 1km along the trail so that was my minimum goal. In that 1km the elevation gain was 104m. I turned around just after the 1km mark and took just as long going down as I did going up. Why? Going up you can’t see where you are going to fall too, so I am much more cautious on the downslope.

Last time at Oliver Lee I got a number of cactus cuts. While those sound like a great regional appetizer, they are in fact cuts you get from walking into a cactus. This time was the same, another cactus cut. Perhaps I need to me more careful! It happened when I was hugging the non-edge side of the trail while walking up the mountain and I got a tad too friendly with the cactii.

Cactus cut

Walk over, slow packing up of our stuff and we headed over to the dump station. It was more eventful than usual because…I got sprayed by…my rinse hose. The faucets have an anti-siphon feature and I use a collapsable hose that when you remove pressure from it, will shrink and discharge the water. In this case, that meant the water came out through the faucet and onto my shorts. No faeces! Quick change of shorts and off we went.

Our path took us to Alamogordo, NM (remember the Alamogordo!) and then past the White Sands National Monument and the missile range. We had been to the Shite Sands before so we drove past while glancing at all of the gypsum dust. Up and over another mountain pass and we stopped in Los Cruces to provision.

We headed north on the 25 taking a bit more of a circuitous route to our destination. This allowed us to go through Hatch, NM – the chili capital of the world! No, we did not get any chilis. We did stop at Pepe’s Cochino for some street tacos. They were acceptable. A bit bland. How can you have bland tacos in the chili capital of the world? At least Mrs Milddogs got practice spanish.

We continued up to Deming, NM for a quick fuel stop before the final short leg to City of Rocks State Park. We had some confusion as we had booked some sites, then cancelled and booked others. We ended up finding our site and confirmed the name on the campsite post. Never hurts to bring a Sharpie just in case!

Oh my. City of Rocks is amazing. We do have to ignore the high winds we had. The area features outcroppings of granite rocks like a natural Stone Henge. The campsites are nestled into the rocks and many are very private.

I took a loop around the campground as I headed off to pick up a trail map at the visitor’s center. Oops, they closed at 1600 and I arrived at 1615. It’s about a 2km round trip to the visitor’s center but it allowed me to explore more of the park on foot.

After some relaxing it was time to get dinner going. Windy, so I fabricated a wind shield and set up the NomadiQ grill for our non-vegan all Texas beef burgers. The umbrella was affixed to the table with paracord using mostly taught line hitches and slippery half hitches.

Grilling on a windy day

Since Mrs Milddogs had been the one to provision, she ended up with this.

Margarita anyone?

Post dinner we had a nice walk with Amy, did some clean up and watched the sunset.

Tomorrow we stay in the same campsite. First time on the trip we have not moved. “I love it here. You don’t gotta put on your coat to go to the bathroom, and your house is always parked in the same place!” <-Ruby Sue

Tomorrow we look forward to walking around, a bit of maintenance, a bit of planning and maybe even a nap. Been hard to nap while driving, even thought many of the roads are perfectly straight for many miles.

Since we had no agenda at the start of the trip, we are just wandering to where we want to go and to where we can get campsites at specific spots. Campnap has really been great. We have been able to get some cancelations at some great parks, like this one. Not a paid endorsement and not a shareholder!


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