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Old 05-23-2015, 08:02 PM   #113
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New Mexico Rock Hunt photographs

I had never thought I would be in need of photographs of the campsite. As you can see, there is plenty of space and just a matter of keeping trailers spaced for a comfort zone and turned around to exit whenever you are ready to depart the area.

This trip was June 6, 2013.

Yes... there are at least ONE brown bear in the area.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:05 PM   #114
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Before I depart, IF you are interested. My wife, Nancy, would be more than happy to help you find the bear's wintering den she discovered on that 2013 trip.

Bring a flashlight. Nancy will bring the camera as you look into the Bear's den.

As I said. This area is Off the Grid. Bear are hunted in this area and they are not going to stick around too long when you are near. Turkey will catch you off guard when you surprise a group digging around the pine needles and leaves. Elk will keep their distance once they smell or see you. Hummingbirds... bring a feeder or wear colorful clothing. Some will actually land on you.

It has rained here on and off every day at Castle Rock for at least FOUR weeks. It has snowed in the mountains of Colorado at the same time. I am ready to head south this year and enjoy some sun and dry weather. With luck July 13 will be DRY and SUNNY. I am looking like a toad.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:19 PM   #115
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This looks awesome! I would love to go, but am on a business trip through november. Any chance for next year?
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:22 AM   #116
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2016 Seems Like a Long Time from today...

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This looks awesome! I would love to go, but am on a business trip through november. Any chance for next year?
*****
I posted a Thread of some potential 2016 options for some Western camping options off the grid. The general idea is proposed and the logistics can be tweaked from the first Base Camp.

These excursions are intended to introduce those who have not dry camped off the grid before, some familiarity of preparation. There is safety among numbers, and this is really an opportunity for those who would prefer to learn within a group. The truly hair raising trips, like the National Forest site looking straight at the Grand Teton of Wyoming, might be even a bit risky for myself and not among those options!

I am now focusing on Nevada and Utah this year for my own exploring for interesting places to camp. Most locations are remote, but have stunning geology and camping options. Some places I have been and find no value in returning. All sites are accessible with my 25 foot trailer.

When I turned 65 last October, there is no reason to protect the places my wife and I have discovered the hard way by elimination. We actually enjoy camping within the geology and archaeology of the West. Not through a book or magazine with wonderful full page illustrations or spending a day at a museum looking at displays through glass... but are in the middle of an area where only a few can say they have been.

If you have a hard time physically getting around, you will figure out how. If there is some hesitation today of going that next mile with trailer in tow... you will figure out how. If you have not solo camped at a place so remote there is barely radio reception... you will figure it out. These off the grid camps are tailored to everyone's interests and your own abilities, known or unknown.

The Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wyoming is a two day stop. The Buffalo Bill RANCH near North Platte, Nebraska can start an entire journey camped above the Badlands in the Ogallala Grasslands in the upper panhandle with a view of the Black Hills in the distance. Then staying at the site where Crazy Horse was murdered at an 1870's army fort and off to the Oregon Trail sites in Wyoming and beyond to Yellowstone.

This short easy trip to New Mexico is the "I can opener" to open the "I can do this" attitude. Once you find the confidence among fellow travelers, any of this is possible. We are much more comfortable in remote locations than in a town or city RV Park.

There are risks from the natural elements to be overcome. You may not be suited to off the grid sites. You may not shower as often as you like. There are limitations of off the grid camping.

We are comfortable being camped along a small river in a remote valley for a week and then camped at Sam's Town Casino outside of Las Vegas, Nevada for access to the Las Vegas Strip for another week. Having ALL options made available when traveling is to your advantage.

Kids seem to adapt faster than the adults. These areas are the 1940's where the trailer door opens in the morning and the kids learn that school does not teach classes in self reliance and avoiding the obvious dangers in the natural environment.

Our trailer is now being outfitted for leaving in a couple weeks to look over the base camp for this trip. Chances are very good that we will be not returning to Colorado until after the July 13 rendezvous at Quemado, NM. Just too much back tracking distance on this one. I do not expect everyone who says they are coming... to come. There are no hard feelings if your plans change. If Maggie knows ahead of time that you are unable to make the trip, let her know so we do not wait looking for your arrival at Quemado.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:01 PM   #117
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The camping area looks beautiful, Ray.

I will be there in July



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Old 05-24-2015, 01:04 PM   #118
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We are still interested. We close on our house soon, we just don't know when. Has to close by 6/11.
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Old 05-25-2015, 07:03 AM   #119
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My 2.5 gallon, collapsible water jugs have arrived, and I am pleased.

Very compact in their unfilled state, so I can stow them neatly in the bag with the two, 2.5 gallon solar showers we bought several years ago.

Going to fill them all up just before this trip....can you carry too much water out there? I think not.

Being the rather compulsive planner that I am , I am planning on spending July 11th and 12th in one of the several campgrounds in Socorro, NM, which appears to be the closest town of any size to Quemado.

An easy drive from there to Quemado on the 13th, and they have a couple of laundromats, a WalMart, a propane fill, and probably diesel fuel.

Carrying limited propane in the Interstate, which may be needed to keep the frig going and run the generator, I am going to prepare some food for fuel that weekend that then will not need to be cooked at our wilderness spot, and can also be consumed on paper which I am hoping we can burn .....pasta salad, deviled eggs, tuna salad, etc., probably something too that can just be warmed stove-top.

Just sharing, and anyone coming thru Socorro who wants to join me there, we can have a little caravan on to Quemado, if you like.

Planning is half the fun, you know.

Now.....to find a proper sun hat.



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Old 05-25-2015, 07:19 AM   #120
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Ray and Nancy will be heading out June 10th to scout campsites that will accommodate all of us, so I think having trailer lengths and sun/no sun parking preferences to me by June 1st is reasonable. ??

They will be traveling, I will need to have everything complete/to them, and they need to be in a place where they can receive it, before they head out June 10th into no-signal land.

If you even think you're going to be able to join us, get that basic info to me so I can relay it to him.

Right now, there are 7 of us, including the Eklunds, for July 13th, none joining the Eklunds for the June 10th pre-planning expedition.

I believe, and Ray can clarify, that anyone wanting to tent, sleep in their vehicle, etc., would also be welcome, but we need to know far enough in advance of July 13th that he knows who to look for and wait for in Quemado.

Ray has set a 2:30pm, sharp, departure time from Quemado on July 13th, but will leave early if everyone he is expecting has arrived.

I'm thinking final confirmations from everyone to me no later than July 6th?

What are your thoughts on that, Ray, Sir?


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Old 05-25-2015, 08:35 AM   #121
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Ray,

What are the neck scarves on your dogs?

Are they decorative or functional?

If functional, are they something those of us bringing dogs should have for ours?



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Old 05-26-2015, 10:42 AM   #122
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Coyotes do not wear Scarves...

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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Ray,
What are the neck scarves on your dogs?
Are they decorative or functional?
If functional, are they something those of us bringing dogs should have for ours?
Msggie
****

Whenever we are off the grid, we put scarves on our two Blue Heelers. Since Coyotes do not wear scarves, anyone seeing them know they are domestic dogs. It is not unusual for a rancher to shoot problem coyotes. Also, when among people at a campground, the scarves tend to put people into a comfort zone that these two are friendly. They are also decorative so we can tell if it is Blue or Dingo by the scarf they are wearing from a distance.

Several weeks before the July 13th Quemado, NM Rendezvous, Nancy will connect to a WiFi, somewhere, and I am sure that Maggie will beat us to Quemado with a list of adventurers.


It is important that we leave Quemado early enough to get settled at the campsite and get to wander around a bit to become comfortable with the immediate area. I expect that everyone will have a good opportunity to place their trailer, RV, tent and tow vehicle where it is convenient. Nobody needs to place their trailer for an easy exit, if you plan to stay longer than the others. When you pull into the site, your door to the trailer will be facing East and into the sunrise and the view across the dry meadow.

There is a large hunter's fire pit at the site for those with firewood and like to sit around in the evening and catch some beauty smoke. Sometimes last years hunters leave dead timber and lumber trimmings that was not used.

Since this area is open to the general public, you never know what to expect one year to the next. I might consider getting our trailer set up at the site to stake claim to it in the event someone happens to find this spot convenient and empty. I drive a silver Tundra with a shell, Colorado plates and have two Blue Heelers. Without the Airstream in tow, we would most likely park at the Forest Service building and direct everyone to the water, if needed.

You can carry a side arm if you want. It will give some a sense of security, as there is no 911 to call for an aggressive "bear alert". A sturdy walking stick as a nose whacker is second best. We have had no problems here. The number of campers at the site will discourage even outsiders from stopping... unless they see someone to ask what is going on. Elk antler shed collectors tend to drive around looking for large antlers along the road.

If you have a dog, a scarf is recommended, as I said earlier. There could be a number of Elk calves in the area, as usual.

I do not expect a shortage of fresh water when camped. You can easily return to Quemado, fill water jugs, gasoline and some supplies if necessary. There is a grocery store in Reserve, NM to the south and two gasoline stations. This area looks like wilderness but with all the amenities within a hour's drive.

We stock our trailer with food, water, propane and dog food to last two or more weeks no matter where we are going. Many times we know what direction, but not where.

After one full day wandering around, you will reach your comfort zone and enjoy exploring. The first day for those interested, I will explain how, what and wheres. We will scatter like we are looking for some lost hiker and hunt for agates, Elk antler sheds, fresh air and maybe stumble across a Pit House with large trees growing out of them.

We look forward to finding everyone eager to experience this wonderful part of New Mexico, lack of tourists but no lack of exploring within the 1,000,000 acres. We are in the flatter part of the area. Some areas have 1000 foot drops to the Gila River, where we will not have access from where we will be camped. You can use your Forest Service map and find your own "experience". After eight years camping here, there is still 85% we have not even been close to seeing!
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:54 AM   #123
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Good info, Ray, and thank you.

I will tie one of Doug's old bandannas around Lily's neck..... A red one.

I thought we would be a couple of hours out of town, so good to know we will not be quite that remote.

I called the Ranger Station in Silver City today, 575-388-8201, and ordered one of their laminated maps. $10 with your credit card, right to your door.

I have a sun hat, I have collapsible water jugs. I'm ready.


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Old 05-26-2015, 11:01 AM   #124
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I read online that the Gila Cliff dwellings do not allow pets on the trails, other than service animals, but that they have kennels available free of charge at the visitor center.

I would like to see these, as well, and good to know there is a safe spot for Lily if it is too warm to leave her in the Interstate with the vent fan running,

She will hate a kennel, but.....



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Old 05-26-2015, 06:51 PM   #125
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Additional obscure information...

Quote:
We look forward to finding everyone eager to experience this wonderful part of New Mexico, lack of tourists but no lack of exploring within the 1,000,000 acres. We are in the flatter part of the area. Some areas have 1000 foot drops to the Gila River, where we will not have access from where we will be camped. You can use your Forest Service map and find your own "experience". After eight years camping here, there is still 85% we have not even been close to seeing!
*****

Maybe closer to a 500' steep wall, than 1000 feet. You will drive down one side of the canyon on switchbacks, cross the Gila River and drive back up on switchbacked all season gravel roads. After that it would be... 1000 feet, so you would not be disappointed.

No. It is not part of this campsite package. I am making this as pleasant as possible and not an experience you would want to repeat with trailer in tow.

The parking lot at the Gila Cliff Dwellings has plenty of shade trees, as well. There is a restaurant east of the turnoff before the turn to the GCD that has decent food and maybe hundreds of hummingbirds at their numerous feeders outside the dining windows.

For anyone wanting to take the "hard way" from the campsite to Silver City... I can show you a route on the Gila National Forest map, that is scenic and actually entertaining... without trailer. You will be driving along the ridge between two canyons along some parts of this Forest Service Road. This road is actually ON the Continental Divide and improved in the 1930's by the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps. Probably originally built for logging in the late 1890's for wagons.

The McDonalds in Silver City use to have WiFi in the parking lot...

A restaurant in the middle of town, south side of the main road through town was good. I remember it has a large parking lot, maybe a covered wagon to attract attention? The Forest Service office was on the north side of the same road through town in a strip mall. When you find any of these places, you can update my memory from eight years ago.

Anyone who gets a copy of the Gila National Forest will discover quickly that the map is printed on both sides and LARGE. A North and a South half. We will be camped on the North Half of this map.
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:29 PM   #126
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Valles Caldera New Mexico Supervolcano

For those who want to understand what a volcanic caldera is geologically, google some. Yellowstone Park Caldera. Valles Caldera. Datil Caldera. New Mexico Caldera.

Yellowstone has the potential, at any time, to cover most of the USA under 3 feet of ash. These massive explosions have occurred regularly three times in 2,000,000 years. The last explosion was 620,000 years ago. Hmmm...

If you go to Yellowstone Park and can camp out in the Northwest part in Idaho or Montana... they have the most and biggest earthquakes in that area. Could be your lucky day to be camped in one. Up to magnitude of 7+.

So study up. You will be camping right on the western edge of a similar caldera on this trip. But a tame caldera... I hope.
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