Mile Marker 3

Mile Marker 3

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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

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