May 2020 – Heading North For Cooler Weather

We completed our month at the Elephant Butte Lake Resort, and were reluctant to extend another month. New Mexico was not going to open the state for another month, temperatures were going up to the 90’s and we were getting bored. So we headed north to Santa Fe, driving through Albuquerque, a covid-19 hotspot, and wound up at the Ranchero de Santa Fe campground.

Santa Fe hills

Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground

It was quite a rustic campground, an old KOA, they hadn’t reduced their rates since then either. But the 15 minute drive into Santa Fe and the two nice restaurants nearby made it worthwhile.

Of course the park was half-empty and the front office had left the park information outside the office, so no contact.

Drove around the empty streets of downtown Santa Fe. At least it was easy to park and stroll around to admire the architecture.

The St Francis of Assisi Cathedral in the center of town.

The Native American Museum across the street which was the Palace of the Governors.

This is the central plaza, usually bustling with shoppers, tourists and nowhere to park, but not today.

The only spot we encountered anybody was the local French patisserie, so stopped for coffee and pastries.

Love all the Spanish influenced adobe architecture, such a shame that everything’s closed though, would love to have visited the Georgia O’Keefe Gallery.

The 800 year old adobe house is considered the Oldest house in the USA

Barn Dog is a monumental piece that features a porch swing mounted beneath the dog’s torso.

Outside of the Historic District were the usual array of grocery stores, Whole Foods, Spouts and Trader Joe’s which we took full advantage of to re-stock.
There was a bustling farmers market also, which under normal circumstances Chris would run to, but avoided this time.

We did drive pass the Government offices, where a demonstration was under way, complete with armed participants. We gave that a wide berth, it was scary just to pass by.

It’s hard to see the homes here, they’re built so low into the ground and surrounded in flora

Next stop Lake 13 on the way north, still not sure which way we’re going, Steve is having breathing difficulties from the high elevation so we need to get to lower ground. So a change of plans is in order and Colorado is out the question, not only for him but it’s also a covid hotspot.

This area was 2 hours from Santa Fe on 25 N . The landscape changed dramatically from “the mountains to the prairies”

We found the lake but not before another GPS failure occurred. We found this lovely free spot on the lake, with only one other occupant. Solar and our managing it is doing well

All was well apart from the wind, which the ranger told us picked up every afternoon. One evening it was so bad that we pulled in the full wall slide to protect the slide topper. Well that was a mistake as we pulled in 100 or more moths with the slide. So we spent the evening battling the onslaught, they were attacking us as much as we them. That’s a lot a moths inside 400 sq. Feet

Our home from across the lake. Lots of social distancing here

We chose to stop in the area to visit some local beauty spots.

Hmmm Camels in Maxwell NM

We noticed a young antelope running furiously along side us, only to see his parents a few hundred yards up the road waiting patiently for him

First stop Eagles Nest a year round resort area, snow sports in the winter, boating in the summer Up the road was Angel Fire a similar town both on the Enchanted Circle Trail

Eagle Nest Lake

A llama farm on the outskirts of town.

Then arrived in Taos, a pretty little ski town, full of adobe structures with art galleries and museums, a long time artists colony.

Kit Carson’s home. He was a fur trapper, wilderness guide and US Army officer. A frontiersman who was a legend in his own time

Between Angel Fire and Eagles Nest was the home to hundreds of prairie dogs They would run across the street and we drove 10 or more miles trying to avoid them

Beautiful scenery as we drove back down the Cimarron River where the fishing is really popular considering their are 4,000 catchable wild brown trout per mile c/o the New Mexico Game and Fish hatcheries.

Ute Park

Closer to home, we’re the ever present free range cows

Back home to our socially distant existence

Interesting sky

Looked out of the window one morning only to find a flock of 10 wild turkeys. They were relaxing after surviving the latest spring turkey hunt

Turkey parade. Not social distancing

Just up the road was Sugarite Canyon State Park close to the town of Raton and the Colorado border.


Lake Maloya





Believe it or not, every evening we sit with our fly shatters and battle moths, they’re everywhere still. Open a bay downstairs and get pelted, it’s going to take awhile to get rid of them all.

So now we’ll head east and then north and go around Colorado.


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