I wake in the middle of the night with the van still rocking. I’ve had enough. Tomorrow we’re heading back to the Silver City area and then to meander our way back to Ojai by end of month. It’s time…
Tonight is the first night below 45 for a week. The prediction is about 38. It feels colder. Sherman comes over and licks my ear. He points at his water bowl with his nose. I give him water. Then he curls up between my legs. He notices that it’s a colder night too.
In the morning, I look at the maps to plan the route back to CA. I’m going to stay off freeways as much as possible, and stay south as much as possible. We’re going to wander our way to Aho, AZ which is just north of the Organ Pipe National Monument. Two full-timers told me they usually winter near Aho. That there is a lot of BLM land in the area and it’s one of the warmer areas in the southwest.
After that’s settled, I sit in the van and meditate. Sherman curls up by my legs. The wind on Weather Underground’s local station shows sustained 29mph. Then… it’s out into the wind to walk the loop where the NM spring has arrived.

We’re walking along and around a big bush 30 feet away walks a HUGE jack rabbit. Biggest I’ve ever seen. He stops and stares at us. We stare at him. Eventually, he just walks forward a few feet, turns left and trots off between some other bushes. Sherman watches him go.
After the walk, I hook up Sherman in the shelter and pack the van. Then, we’re off to Silver City and City of Rocks taking the back way through the Gila National Forest.
Going through the Gila National Forest we drive up and over a high pass. It’s spectacular.
The pass is around 7000 ft. Still a little snow visible.
I meet a man there from near Montreal who travels in the US for 3-4 months each year. He too thought he would stay at Elephant Butte State Park for a day or two and stayed for a week.
We get to Silver City and our favorite coffee shop, Javalina. Great people. Great tea. Dog friendly. Good wifi.
Then on to my favorite NM park so far, City of Rocks.