1214 Rock City State Park, NM

1214 Rock City State Park, NM

The last couple days in Rock City have been amazing. The energy here is so expansive. It’s not just the open horizon, there’s an energy here in the land. We’ve walked around, over and through the rocks for hours each day. Gone on a few of the shorter trails, and we went on a guided hike with a Ranger on a new trail that was mostly a bird watching hike. I was the only one without binoculars.
More Rock City Pics:
Rock City Park from the road.
Sunrise
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1209 Rock City State Park, NM

1209 Rock City State Park, NM

Morning in Pecos, TX is VERY cold. The temp is about 22F, with a steady breeze. The “feels like” temp is about 16F. I am very happy that we are in a motel and not the van in a Walmart or Truck Stop parking lot. (There aren’t any parks nearby.)
Looking at the map in the morning, there are two possible ways to get to the Deming/Silver Springs, NM area. One is continuing on I-20 to merge onto I-10 to Deming. The other is to go north from Pecos on what’s called Texas Mountain Road. The guesstimated drive time is another 30 minutes through the mountains. I’m so tired of freeway driving I take the northern route.
This drive through some very desolate Texas rangeland with occasional oil well groupings. As we near the New Mexico border, we turn west into Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We drive into beautiful rocky mountains with a little snow on the ground. As we climb, there’s fog in the distance. We enter the fog and a frozen wonderland. All the plants are covered in frozen snow. The fog is intermittently so thick we slow down to 20 mph.

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1208 Pecos, TX

We wake to sunshine and take a walk around the park. There’s a water plant here, but it’s too small to be a waste treatment plant. Must be a pump station for supplying water to the surrounding area. This was a great place to spend the night on our way to NM, but not a park I’d come to for recreation. Maybe if I had a boat… The reservoir is big and the water seems very clean.
So, it’s another long driving day. I’d like to make it to the western side of TX. Damn, this is a wide state. At least the speed limit is 80! As we drive west all day, the winds pick up and the temperature plummets. About 7pm, I’m tired. The windchill is brutal. It’s motel time.
The next town of any size is Pecos. So, we’ll stop there. I wonder if it’s the home of Disney’s Pecos Bill? I stop at one of the motels that doesn’t charge extra for dogs. As I fill out the registration info, the woman at the counter says she grew up in San Jose, CA. I asked how she got here? “A long story.” One that she’s not going to tell me. I mention that I’m certainly buzzed from driving 80mph on the freeway. She says how night it is to be able to get places quickly, but that the accidents are horrible.
Sherman and I have dinner in the room and as needed go out quickly for doggy bathroom duty. We spend a quiet, restful night.

1207 Mt. Pleasant, TX

1207 Mt. Pleasant, TX

Another long, long driving day. We make it to within an hour of Dallas. I tried to get ahold of a friend north of Dallas, but he’s out of town. It’s dark and raining, so we drive a half hour off the freeway to a little county park on a reservoir named Lake Bob Sandlin. I found this place on FreeCamping.com. They say I need to register with the ranger, but all the buildings are locked up. So, I pick a spot near the water, we take a short pee walk in the rain and hunker down in the van for dinner and sleep. The low tonight will be in the mid-40’s. Big difference from last night around 20F.

Big Reservoir just off he freeway. A good find for a place to spend the night.
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1206 North of Cairo, IL

1206 North of Cairo, IL

A long day of driving. It’s VERY cold outside and we’re heading south as fast as we can go, stopping to get gas, pee and take short walks. We stop in a Rest Area north of Cairo, IL.
In the morning, it’s a sunny and the air is warming. I look on the may for a place nearby to take Sherman for a good walk, or maybe let him run. I see a park at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Fort Defiance State Park. I have no idea what’s there, but the rivers.
The drive into and through Cairo is depressing. This was probably a small thriving area when the rivers were main avenues off travel. But now, they are sad. We make it to the park. The old Fort is long gone. There are large open field in the rivers crotch. We park and I put Sherman on a 15 foot leash to give him some room to move and we check out the area. There are too many stickers in large areas of the fields. Lots of puncture vine. So, it’s leash time. But there is a large area to wander around. Near the junction of the rivers is a viewing building that’s built kinda like the bow of a boat. We go up there and don’t get the point. The view of the rivers is poor and there’s nothing to see in the distance. Who designed this?
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