"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

Monday, October 10, 2016

Last Days in New Mexico

Casa Blanca, NM
Dancing Eagle Casino



After wrapping up some busy time in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, we were looking forward to a little quiet time and cooler temperatures in the White Mountains of Arizona, but Steve had a busy few days of work so we stayed at the no-frills RV Park at the Dancing Eagle Casino not too far from the border on I-40.
 
There are 34 large sites with full hookups for $10.  It's right off the highway and very convenient when travelling this direction and you need a place for a night or two.  We stayed 4 nights.
 
 
The sites are deep but close together.  It's really just a gravel lot, but very clean and fenced.  They have laundry and amenities next door such as grocery, gas station, food and a small casino.  If you drove a few miles west on I-40 Grant is larger and has Wal-Mart and many other stores.

There are 5 pull-throughs in the middle.  We had one reserved, but apparently no one saved it for us and when we arrived they were all taken.  No big deal, we just took a back in.  One of the downsides was that while the staff is very nice and accommodating, they are almost never at the office.

Scenery while driving along the mesa area.
Another reason for the stop here was to spend a day at the Sky City Cultural Center and Museum on the Acoma Pueblo.  My Mom loved the old Indian village.  You have to make a reservation for the tour, which we did.  We headed out one day and I had us turn down the wrong side of the mesa.  By time we noticed it, it was too far away to turn back to make any of the tours.  Bummer.  Well, we made the best of it and there were other things to see along this route.  There were many geocaches along the way too.
 

The above pictures are from the internet of the Acoma Pueblo as it sits very protected on the mesa.

We started our drive down Rt. 117 to see one of the largest sandstone arches in New Mexico.  Luckily it was a short hike up to the arch as it was pretty hot this week.  Almost no one around so we enjoyed visiting the El Malpais National Monument.

The arch in the center.



McCarty's Lava Flow a bit down the road was a nice hike marked by large lava cairn piles.  You meander through scrub, up and over small lava fields.  Unfortunately, while some of the lava was smooth, most of it was pretty rough and too sharp for Hurley to spend much time on.

 

 
A little more driving brought us to the Sandstone Bluffs with great views of the lava fields.
 

Loved the deep blue color of the berries in the plentiful Juniper bushes.


There were some "tanks" of water in the bluffs.

The marker at the top which held the answer to a multi-cache we were searching for.  Veni Vidi Vici.


If you took the road down the other side of the monument there are ice caves you can hike through in the Big Tubes Area.  You'll need to get a permit to go in, but it is free.  We did not have time to do this as it would've meant staying another day and we wanted to get back up into the cooler mountains. 
At the bottom of the long park was a small turnoff which would take you to Pie Town if you drove east.  This of course caught our attention and if we had more time we would've driven there just to check it out.  We love quirky finds like this.
 
I also had to send this picture to an RV friend of ours, Lee of Camper Chronicles, because of his fanatical love of pie.  It turned out he had been there before and yes, Pie Town with a population of less than 200, does indeed sell pies.  He was not impressed though. 
 
Tomorrow we leave New Mexico.  Our destination is Big Lake in the White Mountains of Arizona.  Fishing, hiking, kayaking and cooler weather!
 

4 comments:

  1. One of our favorite surprise stops on I-40 - love El Mailpais! That is a great stop for the price. I've saved it for our future travels :-) Facing highs in the 30s the next few days, your October blue skies are wonderful!

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    1. We really enjoyed it too. Yuck, we've got cold temps in NorCal next week. 30s at night and maybe some low snow.

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  2. Thanks for the great tour and ideas. I am so hoping to get to New Mexico next fall. This darn country is just too big and our family lives on the wrong side!!

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    1. Yes, it sure would be nice if family lived in Colorado right? Ours are in CA. So it's Nov/Dec in the much colder mountains. Brrr. We still have more to see in NM. Maybe on our way back from the east coast next year we'll hit the east and middle part.

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