Mile Marker 3

Mile Marker 3

PipesTraveler Rating:

Once we left Roswell, NM we finally made our big turn towards the North. We’ll be on this new track for the next three months. Our long-term goal is to get up and be trout bums along the Rocky Mountain Fly Highway for a minimum of three weeks. We’ve got lots of fun adventures planned prior to that in both Colorado and Wyoming. FLY HIGHWAY

From Roswell, we made our way up to much higher elevation by going up into the Manzano Mountains but still in NM just south of Albuquerque.. Our Altitude app on our phones showed we were sitting at 7300′. The air was clearly thinner, drier and cooler. The second night at this new campground we got a nice heavy wet snow event that made it all fun and perfect for a crock pot of chili!

Basic map of the general area

Such a beautiful snowy late afternoon

The new spot was on top of a mountain, a NM State Park called Manzano Mountains State Park. It’s a gem but short on proper amenities that we’ve come to really appreciate like water plugged into our camper, a sewer connection and of course electricity. The only offering available here was electric. Once again we just deal with it and do what we have to do to make the adventure fun and memorable!

Very arid climate and wind sculpted sites
Kinda barren but roomy sites

Still preferring to fly loose and not lock into too many hard commitments we just drove up there hoping we’d get a nice spot. We got lucky and got the last one available but only for one night – this means that IF we wanted to stay that something would have to open up the next day and that we’d have to go through the hassle to hitch up and move.

Sure enough we were working with the camp hosts and they found us a great site for a few days and we needed it cause the weather (mostly high winds) was going to preclude us from moving on for several days. No worries – we just rolled with it and had fun meeting new camping friends every day. Our boy Pickle loves to stay put so he seemed happy and that always makes us smile.

Who would expect this cute little fellow to be tied up?!

This Campground only had about 20 RV sites and a few tent/group camping areas. By all standards a boutique camping experience. The sites were for the most part level but since the foundation was dirt/rock and some gravel you’d get what you got…some better than others. Typical. Nice size sites considering the small nature of the overall campground. They did offer 2-3 fresh water taps that we could use to fetch water as needed and a dump station to drop off some camping “honey” when the tanks got full. For those that may not know this…most all campers/RV’s have a grey tank for kitchen and bath waste water and a black tank for all the deposits from the toilet. Once they get full – you have to properly dispose of this waste – thus the dump station.

Typical site for RV’s
Some of the sites had these nice shelters

We really did enjoy this campground and exploring the hiking trails with and without Pickle. It was very different for us…. the flora and fauna offered stuff we’d never seen before – see pictures.

Manzano Tassel Eared Squirrel
Alligator Juniper

We were at this location from May 18-28 and the cost was a total of $140 for the ten nights. Do the math.

We continued to have a problem and were harassed by a female camp host that was working there during our visit. She road around on her noisy hauler everyday grinding the gears doing her chores and duties… but she just couldn’t leave us alone about Pickle. Like all campgrounds there’s a leash rule for all pets – we know this and abide BUT when we’re on our own site, he’s laying in the sun in his bed we don’t tie him up. He’s very well socialized and friendly. She got onto us about this and again a day or two later as I came out of the camper with him following me out…before I could even get the leash and put it on him she jumped me with a nasty disposition! She heard from me too and so did others around the campground cause she got me “fired up”! Another time she told Liz in a gruff fashion that he’s supposed to be on a leash! At the time he was napping in his bed by the front door. Other than this unnecessary harassment we had a ball.

Overall, putting aside the grumpy hostess, Pickle still offered this cool campground a 4-Pickle rating! The very limited amenities and no shower/bath facility hurt their rating.

Looking down the approach road to Campground
Beautiful scenery and woods to hike and enjoy

We did enjoy visiting the small community of Mountainair and checking out the Shaffer Hotel, circa 1923 that’s under restoration. There’s such a neat story and history there to learn about and as such we’ll be doing a miniblog story for you next. Stay tuned.

1923 Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair, NM
Old business in Mountainair

On the last full day we took an awesome hike into a deep ravine about 3 miles from the campground and did some rockhounding and exploring. There were supposed to be some petroglyphs but we never found them. We did find some other treasures and had such fun – Pickle was left behind cause it would have been too tough for him.

Hiking & rockhounding treasures

Manzano Mountains State Park – Mile Marker 3, Highway 131 Mountainair, NM 87036 (505) 469-7608 WEBSITE HERE

Chris Pipes
  • Mary
    Posted at 03:04h, 06 June Reply

    Good keeping up with the traveling Pipes.

    • PipesTraveler
      Posted at 13:05h, 08 June Reply

      Hi Mary – We’re glad your keeping up with the fun! Thanks for being a loyal fan. More great stuff coming as soon as we can get a day or two to sit still!

  • Clark Waters
    Posted at 17:10h, 06 June Reply

    Soooo, you are breaking the camp code rules and ticking of the lovely flower that has the daunting task of keeping Rebel Rousers like you in check ! Poor woman had to tangle with a discriminating Southerner that certainly has a bewitching mannerism that some, sweet females, just don’t like! What in the world???
    Now getting back to the Tassel Eared Squirrel. How did it taste in your stew? Did you tie it’s tail to your radio antenna like you used to do? I bet Red was digging that!!
    As you know, I’m a world renowned Fly Fisherman and I have been down the FFH a few dreams. I have some double double triple double secret spots I wanted too turn you on to.
    At the S Fork Snake River fish opposite the sun, you can see the pods better. When you go further down stream be careful at Silver Creek (no Red there isn’t any silver in the water)
    those rocks are a might slippery.
    The next honey hole is by far the best, the Owyhee River , travel upstream 60 yards and cast a blue bottom stripped gnat fly. I guarantee your fish box will fill up quick.
    The last and best one for Red is Tassel Eared squirrel! What in the world??
    Have fun and as always.

    • PipesTraveler
      Posted at 13:00h, 08 June Reply

      HaHa – yeah I guess we did make her mad but she brought it on herself with a bad attitude towards us. Funny as it seems this cool place we are at now the camp host took a walk with us with Pickle not on a leash and he said he didn’t care as long as he was under control…which he always is. Not sure how to respond to the rest of your tale but its so funny Liz and I were crying… Thanks for following along. Hi to sissy.

  • Carol Royer
    Posted at 18:48h, 06 June Reply

    You guys are putting a smile upon my face everyday and making me so antsy to get some highway under my tires. Loved the pics and the poor hostess probably just needed a companion or attitude adjustment on top of her nasty little noggin….

    • PipesTraveler
      Posted at 12:47h, 08 June Reply

      Hi Carol – Thanks for the feedback and we’re glad you’re enjoying the trip with us. More coming up soon! All the best. CP

  • Gary and Sharon
    Posted at 16:52h, 12 June Reply

    Sharon and I enjoyed our brief time (15 minutes or so) getting to talk to the three of you at the end of your stay. I hope your lasting impression of NM isn’t of the grumpy camp host. We’re NM (Albuquerque) natives and she is not representative of the great people of NM. In case you’re trying to rack your brain as to who we were, I was the one wearing the Merril Lynch shirt. Blessings and continued safe travels! – Gary

    • PipesTraveler
      Posted at 18:13h, 18 June Reply

      Hi Guys – thanks so much for the comments. We were glad to meet you as well and no worries about the one not so good experience at that otherwise lovely campground! I’ve gotten myself really behind again on our reporting but we’ve been having lots of fun. Hope to crank out 3-4 posts this week. Stay tuned and thanks for following along. Chris, Liz and Pickle

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