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Old 05-08-2015, 11:14 AM   #1
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NEW MEXICO Rockdocking Rock Hunt- July/August 2015

This is NOT an Airstream Rally, so I am posting this under Boondocking.
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This is a very good Bureau of Land Management offering information to those of you in California (Needles, CA area) for collecting agates and fossils.

Rockhounding, Needles Field Office, Bureau of Land Management California

Another site: Rockhounding in Southwest New Mexico | Casitas de Gila Nature Blog

The Casitas de Gila Guesthouses & Art Gallery exhibits some very nice specimens to be found the Southwest New Mexico. The well written text with excellent examples of what YOU CAN FIND yourself in the area, or visiting the Casitas. Nearby is also the Gila Cliff Dwellings which is well worth visiting. DO NOT TOW YOUR TRAILER TO THE GILA CLIFF DWELLINGS. The road is an excellent, yet narrow black top that are winding up and down through canyons and along steep walled volcanic mountainous terrain. A restaurant just EAST of the turn north to the Gila Cliff Dwellings not only attract hundreds of hummingbirds with all of their outdoor feeders... there is a parking area on the south side of the road to park your trailer to stop. You may inquire about parking the trailer while you explore the very nicely preserved Gila Cliff Dwellings and museum.

Some of the best collecting is above 6,500 feet elevation, so in the hot summers it is warm/hot during the day and cool in the evenings. Humidity runs about... 3%.

IF. There are a few trailer owners who want to camp "off the grid" in Southwest New Mexico, these camp sites are north of Silver City, NM, which is the largest city in the area, my wife and I would consider taking a small number of trailers with us for a Rockdocking adventure. Trailers over 25 feet would need to be careful not to drag their rear bumper skids... but with leveling blocks a 28 footer, while making a turn off the main gravel road... can be done with some patience and sweat equity. Conditions change each year, but we have been camping here for eight years and work around anything new.

Quemado, New Mexico is an excellent fuel/water stop and my choice to meet up with individuals wanting to camp IN the Apache/Cibola National Forest - Gila Wilderness - Cibola National Forest with UNLIMTED hiking and exploring.

If interested, send me a private message with your information. Post questions on this thread for discussion. June to August is the most convenient time to be in this high country. You must be capable of walking. If you have not camped off the grid... no problem. By the time you spend a week with us... you will be teaching friends that Rockdocking is not something to be afraid of doing. We usually are in this area two or three times a year, depending on our time availability. We have to be out before August 20th or so.

NO facilities. What you arrive with, that is it.

If there is some interest. I will coordinate WHERE we will meet and provide some July to August times to find what is most convenient. Up to a week gives everyone plenty of time. If there are more than ONE participant... there are several camp sites to handle five to eight trailers. There are many hunter's campsites available, but you may have to find one that suits YOU. We would find a main camp to meet after everyone is settled in their camp site.

Details as far as WATER and LAST FUELING will be provided.

I am being a "bit vague" as I do not want to publish every detail and GPS location to avoid the entire internet to be camped before we arrive. Meeting at a particular place and time is the best I can do. This is not for those not wanting to get their trailer exteriors dusty. Well maintained main gravel roads, and less maintained pull offs to hunter camps.

Once a date is FIXED. It is fixed. No stragglers, as once we are camped... no one will want to come looking for you as we will be too busy. Quemado, NM has plenty of parking areas near the Gila National Forest Service Office. Ranger District Quemado manages the 603,382 acres of National Forest.

IF the Airforums permits, I would answer all questions and caveats you may have in mind. You will be safe. You will be among friends with similar interests. You will get use to pitch black evenings. You will not forget this trip. This IS a picnic in the PARK... but without the crowds and you provide your own table.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:19 AM   #2
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This sounds very, very interesting.

How many days are you thinking, and how hot is it there that time of year?


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Old 05-08-2015, 11:23 AM   #3
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I would be extremely interested....F150 with 4wd towing a 25Flying Cloud.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:29 AM   #4
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If one has to ask "how hot", should one not even consider?......

Low humidity is a huge plus.



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Old 05-08-2015, 11:34 AM   #5
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Gila NF Ranger Station- Quemado, NM

An individual can stay one hour and decide the area is not to their liking, or as long as you want. Once you are there, anyone can come and go as they please. We will be there for guidance on the geology, archaeology and recommend the purchase of the Gila National Forest, New Mexico Forest Service Map. Gila National Forest Ranger District office 505-773-4678.

During the days, maybe 80 degrees is the most to expect. Shorts and tee shirts during the day. The mornings can be in the mid 50's, maybe upper 40's. Light evening jackets and a removable light shirt during the mornings. Short rain showers can come through but dry quickly with the low humidity. Your Interstate would be an easy drive in and out. Check temperature norms on the internet for the Silver City, NM area. Then make adjustments for higher elevation.

I am driving a Tundra 4x4 pulling a 25 footer. A 23 footer or smaller is an easy size for optional areas of interest to you. Only tow vehicles will need to come to the main camp site.

You will NOT SWEAT in 80 degree or 90 degree high elevation humidity! This is not Illinois heat/humidity. The sun is hot, the shade is cool.

There are campsites to be found closer to the black top exit to the back country. You park... look over the access difficulty. Our location will be given for those who find another option to park/camp. This is pine, piñon and spruce trees around open grassy meadows.

There are Elk, Deer and Bear in the area. Some rattlesnakes... seen one in EIGHT years of summer camping. It was over six feet long, so was very easy to... SEE.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:39 AM   #6
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Hmmmm....I'm still interested.

What about dogs??



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Old 05-08-2015, 11:42 AM   #7
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Maggie, this could be a lot of fun....and we could explore some ruins also...
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:47 AM   #8
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I know. I'm very interested....am waiting to hear about dogs.

I'm not getting any younger.



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Old 05-08-2015, 12:45 PM   #9
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Maggie. We have two Blue Heelers. That should tell you a lot about us.

If you have an active dog or dogs... this will take the active out of your dog, as you can walk as many miles as you want to explore. Our dogs think of it as "Their Vacation".

There are Pit Houses in this area. I will point and you figure out where to find them. Once you figure out how the original occupants of this area camped... you will figure out how to find others.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:54 PM   #10
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This sounds like an excellent opportunity....especially for those of us who really do need a guide. Thanks for offering.

I'm subscribed to this thread and will follow along.

Would really love to do this.



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Old 05-08-2015, 01:13 PM   #11
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Subscribed. This sounds like a lot of fun.
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:55 PM   #12
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I googled "rockdocking", and what did I find?......

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f382...or-106880.html

Essentially, all that came up.

Ray Eklund seems to have coined the phrase.


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Old 05-08-2015, 06:26 PM   #13
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New Mexico 2015 and Wyoming 2016 or Bust...

I took the Heelers on their daily hike to keep... me in shape. There are a couple things you need to have before thinking about hitting the back country, in New Mexico or anywhere you have not been before in the Rockies.

A Compass and a GPS for 100% coverage. You can get turned around where nothing runs in one direction like the streets in a town. You can get lost. Practice a bit at home. GPS is not necessary, but sure comes in handy here and anywhere else you may go hiking. My wife is the GPS guide. It works!

While hunting these Chalcedony Rosettes you may also encounter Elk and Deer antlers. Sometimes that is more fun than hunting agates, if things get slow. Takes a different way to hunt antlers and agate, which you will discover quickly.

My wife has been wanting to go to "The Gila" (pronounced "Hela") so you will sound like a local, once the snow and the rain stops in the Rockies. This could be a May or June trip running through Albuquerque, NM to Socorro, NM, to Quemado, NM (which is west of Pie Town, NM). We like to be in Quemado, NM on a Monday through Thursday, as the Friday to Sunday local area campers could be out taking up the good campsites.

I will post that date on this Thread if we decide to catch the end of the Elk Antler Hunt in the area for stray antlers not found by the locals, and do some spot checking what changes this last winter may have done to the other campsite access roads.

We always bring a shovel. Even if you have not used one in a decade, it will put a shine on the edge if you have to level some grade for access.

Even if you have no trailer, but using a tent... there are even more options for tent campers. This is totally informal. My wife and I will get you acquainted with WHERE you are on the map, take you out for a walking geology tour, see how to find these agates laying on the ground and the second day you can just wander off on your own, if you like.

We will be going to The Gila at least twice this year. Late May/sometime in June and if we will find those seeking some off the grid experiences for this July/August trip.

The Rockdocking Thread Maggie mentioned, I added a post about a DuBois, Wyoming 2016 Rockdocking camp. This would be for the "survivors" on the Gila Trip 2015 and anyone else wanting to visit one of the most beautiful, off the grid, Wyoming campsites right on the route to the Tetons and Yellowstone Park. This would also be a July/August timing but in 2016. This camp is also a no fee area with a Forest Service tent camp next door with a water pump of Spring Water.

Why July/August for high elevation camping, you ask? Because it can Snow and get below 20 degrees and be back into the 50's the next evening.

It has been raining here at Castle Rock, Colorado for a couple weeks now. We may have snow on Mother's Day. The rain eases up Monday and Tuesday, and then raining again. We are not going anywhere until the rain stops at 6300 feet and the snow to the West of us may get up to two feet, although they always over estimate rain or snow reports. There is nothing worse than being camped in the rain, being wet and stuck in your trailer or tent. This could be a second year we have had lots of rain, rain and more rain. Pikes Peak at 14,000+ feet is white down to maybe the 7,000 foot level, from what I saw today from Castle Rock. That is more than this winter's cover for Pike's Peak. Colorado Springs yesterday had a big hail storm that took plows to move it off the roads. Imagine an Airstream with... dents.

These are my reasons for avoiding the high country until June, July, August and can be "iffy" after September. We just play it safe, ourselves. Stuck in 12 inches or 4 feet of snow is also no fun either. You do not have that much propane to stay that comfortable.

(We received upgrades to our IMacs and it has this touchy "spell check" that can change words on me. What a pain. At times it is handy, but I now have to proof read to be sure...)
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:38 PM   #14
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Maggie,

If you come I have a GPS and compass...Actually what I have is a Garmin Rino655t. It has a radio so if someone has similar equipment you can talk to each other...it also shows everyone on the map that is carrying a similar unit....
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