"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Hello New Mexico

Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico
Cochiti Lake Campground


Once again we pass through New Mexico.  This time I carved out some extra time so that we could visit a special place that Ingrid told me about.  And if Ingrid (of Live Laugh RV) says I need to do this hike, then I'm in!

It was a bit sad to say goodbye to those gorgeous mountains in Colorado but the snow was chasing us out.  As the calendar flips to the month of October, we find the landscape quickly flattens out and the temperatures started rising as we head south into New Mexico.

It does have its own beauty though.  You can see what seems like forever.


The colors in these mesas were very colorful.  Pinks, grays and bluish purples.



Our destination for the week was Cochiti Lake.  The campground lies within the Pueblo de Cochiti Indian Reservation.  The Cochiti Dam is one of the ten largest earth-filled dams in the United States, and also one of the largest in the world. There are 80 campsites, 48 with electric.  Most were very spacious and level.  Since the temps were not too warm, we chose a non-electric site very near the water.  It was elevated and surrounded by a wrought iron fence.  A little weird at first, but I kind of liked it.  We had high hopes for some evening kayaking.  Unfortunately, this time of year the winds kick up in the afternoons so Big Red never left the top of the truck.
 
Loved our site, #78.

We had a little visitor welcome us.


The price for non-electric was $12, $20 for electric.  There are several central water spigots in each loop.  If you choose a site next to one you could fill your tank from your site with a decently long hose.  There are dump stations, marina, lookout and hiking trails.

We didn't get out on the water, but we had fun driving the back roads along and up on the surrounding mesas.  We chose an interesting string of caches representing geo-art.  In this case, an arrowhead to represent the arrowheads found in the area from long ago. If viewed from a satellite or on the geocaching map, you can see the shape of the arrowhead.  This particular group of caches were titled, Bajada Arrowhead 1 - 18.  And no, we didn't find any actual arrowheads.

It took us about 2 hours to drive/hike to each of the individual caches scattered about the desert mesa.  It was very windy and not much to look at most of the time.  But every now and then there was a surprise.

 
We came upon the remains of a long ago dead cow.  It seemed to be eerily smiling at us.

Then there was this other form of art that had a hidden cache on it.

And another at a monument.

 
After all that caching, off we went in search of a drink and a snack.  We stopped in (at different days) at the Blue Corn CafĂ© & Brewery and the Santa Fe Brewery, both in Santa Fe.  Steve didn't care for the Blue Corn Brewery but he did like the Happy Camper IPA and their double IPA at Santa Fe.
 
We also drove through some of the small eclectic towns such as Cerillos and Madrid.  Their populations are around 200 and 150 for Madrid. We stopped in a little museum and gift shop with a petting zoo outside.


 
The artsy town of Madrid.




We had intended to drop off quite a few Geocaching "trackables", but actually found quite a few.

While driving part of the Turquoise Trail from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, we found many other Geocaching Series.  This one in particular was put together by a family and had some of the most amazing cache "containers".  Usually they had clever animal names and were handmade into animal shapes.  There were hundreds and it would've taken days to complete them all.  We set a new high record for us, completing 84 in one day.
 
Next Up:
Hiking at the awesome Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument!
 
 

16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It was a very nice campground and a good spot to roam around the desert, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

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  2. Glad you made it to the area and managed to set a record for caches in one day. It's always hard for me to leave Colorado, but Kasha-Katuwe made it worthwhile.

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    1. Thanks for the great tip! Keep 'em coming!

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  3. We are anxious to get to this area, as well! Love that campsite!!

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  4. We had reservations at Cochiti Lake in April, but ended up staying in Tucson. We'll add it to our list for next year!! What was the "little visitor?" Looks like a pregnant gecko?

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    1. It was a baby Horned Toad (horny toad). Fun area.

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  5. Looks like another campsite we have to add to our list!

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    1. It's a great spot to visit Kasha-Katuwe, Santa Fe & Albuquerque. Fun roaming the backroads in the desert too.

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  6. Looks like another great find. Love to horned toad baby.

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  7. The lizard does look cool. I'm surprised you didn't squish it when you picked it up. I like Steve's desert office! And the Michelin Man will have to be hidden eventually :-)

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    1. Steve loves it when he can do some work outside. The lizard was cute!

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  8. Oh that baby Horned Toad lizard is a cutie!! We loved the Turquoise Trail, especially Madrid and its amazing chocolatier. Your site looks perfect.

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    1. He must've been cold as he didn't seem to mind at all when I picked him up.

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