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Old 06-08-2008, 06:10 PM   #1
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JimandRod's First-Time-On-the-Road Maiden Voyage Adventures

Well, after 2 years of dreaming and 6 weeks of a wait that was killin' us we finally made our first trip. The voyage took us to the City of Rocks SP and Caballo Lake SP. Both parks are part of the New Mexico State Park system and are located in south central NM.

We left on Saturday 5/31 at about noon. As we pulled away from our house several of our neighbors were lining the street dousing us, our TV and the shiny new 'Stream with champagne. Finally, 2 of our neighbors gave us a chilled bottle of Gruet Brut to enjoy when we got to our destination. (We live in a great neighborhood! Lots of RVers and everyone loves to party!)

Out first stop was City of Rocks State Park near Deming, New Mexico. The park is an unusual collection of volcanic rock formed over 30 million years ago. The campsites are dispersed throughout rock formations making it a very unusual (and spectacular) place to camp. Throughout the park are various cactus and desert gardens. Many of them were in bloom.

Once set up, we spent our time hiking, geocaching, star gazing, and in general enjoying ourselves. When we were looking for one of the caches we ran into a pretty sizable rattle snake. A real reminder that we were in the desert!

Although the temperatures were in the 90s we never used the A/C at City of Rocks. The days were breezy and typical of the desert, the temperatures dropped at night and it cooled right off.

After 3 nights there we pulled up the chocks and headed to Caballo Lake State Park for 3 nights. Caballo Lake is formed by an irrigation dam on the Rio Grande. We were a little disappointed with the site we were in. The park has three main campgrounds. We were lakeside. It was OK, but the best ones were on the lower side of the dam by the river. Next time we'll know.

We spent the mornings doing some hiking and geocaching. By mid morning the winds started to kick up and by noon it was too hot and windy to be outdoors. We spent the afternoons inside reading books, watching TV and enjoying the A/C in our new environment.

We pulled out on Friday 6/6 and headed home after a week of fun in the new Airstream. For those of you who have never been to City of Rocks we highly recommend it. With places like this just a few hours from home I doubt we'll spend much time out of the Southwest.

Here are a few pictures of the trip...

Cactus in Bloom
Various scenes in City of Rocks and our campsite
Overlooking City of Rocks from the observation point
Rod at City of Rocks
Sunset at City of Rocks
Finally - 2 pictures of Caballo Lake

For our next adventure we're going to do some dry camping up in the Jemez Mountains.

Can't wait! This is fun stuff!

Jim (& Rod)
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:16 PM   #2
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Congratulations! This sounds like a great first trip in your Airstream. Thanks for including pictures along with the descriptions of your sites and surrounding areas. Your southwest is so different from our Missouri. Our green countryside this spring must rival Ireland, I believe. Beautiful, but so is your desert. Someday we'll take the drive with our Gypsy to your part of the country and see for ourselves. Thanks for sharing what must have been a wonderful trip! ~G
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:20 PM   #3
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Hey, looks like it was a great trip! I'd always heard that City of Rocks is a really nice park.

By the way, it looks to me like Rockhound State Park (also down by Deming) might be pretty nice. They have a very active "friends" group and often send photographs. (I've never been down there ... but I'm their webmaster.)

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:44 PM   #4
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Yippee!

Bet it was nice to finally get out and play with your new toy!!!! Sounds like a perfect first trip. How did the trailer do? You don't mention any "first-timer" surprises or hiccups...come on, 'fess up, there had to be something you're reluctant to share! Couldn't have been that perfect ~ hope so, but....

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Old 06-08-2008, 08:15 PM   #5
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Hi Jimandrod,
Nice pictures, thanks for sharing. I see you have your TV antenna up at City of Rocks. Were you getting reception?
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:50 PM   #6
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Hey Jim and Rod...so glad your maiden voyage was all you hoped it would be...and it sounds like it went without any major problems or surprises...that's great!

I loved the send-off your neighbors gave you...it's very cool to have neighbors who would think to be there to send you off properly! Good for them...

Glad you enjoyed City of Rocks...if you follow our travel log, we stopped there as a second leg of a trip after going to Silver City about a week and a half before you were there. I think we were in the site right next to the one you were in. It's a very nice park, and very quiet this time of year. Maybe the baby rattlesnake we had in our campsite grew up in the meantime and and visited you!

Now you are totally hooked...as if you weren't before! Thanks for sharing the pics! We have not made it to any other NM state parks yet but we are looking them over...of course, it's as warm in southern NM in the summer as it is in AZ, so winter might be better for us...hope to see you down the road...
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubank View Post
Hey, looks like it was a great trip! I'd always heard that City of Rocks is a really nice park.

By the way, it looks to me like Rockhound State Park (also down by Deming) might be pretty nice. They have a very active "friends" group and often send photographs. (I've never been down there ... but I'm their webmaster.)

Friends of Rockhound State Park


Lynn
Lynn - if you get a chance to get down that way you should really check out City of Rocks. It's really pretty unusual. It's a little warm down there right now. It was in the 90s last week while you guys got some snow!

We'll have to check out Rockhound the next time we're down that way. It sounds pretty nice there too.

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Yippee!

Bet it was nice to finally get out and play with your new toy!!!! Sounds like a perfect first trip. How did the trailer do? You don't mention any "first-timer" surprises or hiccups...come on, 'fess up, there had to be something you're reluctant to share! Couldn't have been that perfect ~ hope so, but....

Shari
OK Shari - if you insist...

The big mishap was the weekend after we got the trailer before we even took it out for the first trip. We had a 30 amp RV outlet installed in our garage when our house was built. The electrician screwed up and wired it to 220 instead of 110. All I'll say is that the trailer spent the next week in the shop. All is fixed and repaired with the trailer and the electrician made a visit (at his expense) to properly wire the outlet.

As for the trip, it really did go pretty smooth except for one little mess. We bought an Elfa storage drawer unit from the Container Store to put into the closet for extra kitchen storage. We loaded it up and thought it was perfect!

When we were on our trip and made our first rest stop we went into the trailer to make some sandwiches. We found that the drawers of the storage unit slid forward, pushed the closet door open and all the contents of the drawers and closet we all over the floor - not a pretty sight! Now we run a bungee from the base of the drawer unit to the clothes bar and it works like a charm. It was a lesson learned on how to batten down for a trip.

Other than that, the trip went as smooth as can be!
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
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Jim and Rod

Love your thread here. Last December we visited Silver City and City of Rocks. Just had a great (but chilly) time. I definitely want to camp at City of Rocks. We just picnicked there. The shapes, light and shadows there are unparalleled. Did you see stars clearer than ever??

On the first time out mishaps--we had a doosey! Jerry ate some salsa and didn't tighten the lid when it went back in the fridge. After driving uphill and down for a day, a tired Caryl opened the fridge to have the salsa tumble out and splatter everywhere. In a Bambi, that means, floor, room divider, bedspread, stove and every crook and cranny.

Great pictures. Glad you are still excited about your Airstream. See you at the Balloon Fiesta!

Caryl
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:50 PM   #9
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WOW! That looks like tons of fun!

Thanks for sharing with us!

G
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:06 PM   #10
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OK Shari - if you insist...

The big mishap was the weekend after we got the trailer before we even took it out for the first trip. We had a 30 amp RV outlet installed in our garage when our house was built. The electrician screwed up and wired it to 220 instead of 110. All I'll say is that the trailer spent the next week in the shop. All is fixed and repaired with the trailer and the electrician made a visit (at his expense) to properly wire the outlet.

As for the trip, it really did go pretty smooth except for one little mess. We bought an Elfa storage drawer unit from the Container Store to put into the closet for extra kitchen storage. We loaded it up and thought it was perfect!

When we were on our trip and made our first rest stop we went into the trailer to make some sandwiches. We found that the drawers of the storage unit slid forward, pushed the closet door open and all the contents of the drawers and closet we all over the floor - not a pretty sight! Now we run a bungee from the base of the drawer unit to the clothes bar and it works like a charm. It was a lesson learned on how to batten down for a trip.

Other than that, the trip went as smooth as can be!
Oh geeezzz! I had no idea about the electrical mishap!!! That could have been much worse than it sounds like it was...you are lucky everything didn't burn down! I hope the electrician also picked up the tab for the AS repair work...

Yeah, the cupboards...I thimk we have all had that happen at least once. On one of our first trips we had a glass jar of spaghetti sauce jump out! You've seen pictures of our trailer...we have white upholstery!!!! Somehow, it got on everything - the walls, ceiling, cabinets but not a spot on the upholstery - how? I have no idea...lesson learned, glass jars don't go traveling with us anymore AND make sure the cabinets are locked before moving.

Thanks for satiating my curiosity - glad it all worked out okay.

Shari
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:16 PM   #11
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I have been following your threads as you have search for and gotten your Airstream. Karma sent. Thanks for the photos. I lived in the upper Texas panhandle near Clayton, NM for several years. I am familiar with northeastern New Mexico, but have never been to the southern parts. Another destination to add to the list.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:25 PM   #12
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Hi Jimandrod,
Nice pictures, thanks for sharing. I see you have your TV antenna up at City of Rocks. Were you getting reception?
Yes - we got reception at both City of Rocks and Caballo Lake. It wasn't the best but we were able to at least watch the news.

J
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by maxandgeorgia View Post
Congratulations! This sounds like a great first trip in your Airstream. Thanks for including pictures along with the descriptions of your sites and surrounding areas. Your southwest is so different from our Missouri. Our green countryside this spring must rival Ireland, I believe. Beautiful, but so is your desert. Someday we'll take the drive with our Gypsy to your part of the country and see for ourselves. Thanks for sharing what must have been a wonderful trip! ~G
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I have been following your threads as you have search for and gotten your Airstream. Karma sent. Thanks for the photos. I lived in the upper Texas panhandle near Clayton, NM for several years. I am familiar with northeastern New Mexico, but have never been to the southern parts. Another destination to add to the list.
Well Georgia and Vaughan you'll just have to put New Mexico on your agenda of upcoming trips! It's a beautiful state with an extremely diverse variety of geographical features (just ask Lynn Eubank!) I love the desert but sometimes I really do miss the green!

Jim
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:40 PM   #14
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Jim and Rod

Love your thread here. Last December we visited Silver City and City of Rocks. Just had a great (but chilly) time. I definitely want to camp at City of Rocks. We just picnicked there. The shapes, light and shadows there are unparalleled. Did you see stars clearer than ever??

On the first time out mishaps--we had a doosey! Jerry ate some salsa and didn't tighten the lid when it went back in the fridge. After driving uphill and down for a day, a tired Caryl opened the fridge to have the salsa tumble out and splatter everywhere. In a Bambi, that means, floor, room divider, bedspread, stove and every crook and cranny.

Great pictures. Glad you are still excited about your Airstream. See you at the Balloon Fiesta!

Caryl
Wow! That must have been a mess with the salsa! It makes our mishap mild in comparison!

We're also looking forward to the Baloon Fiesta rally - it's going to be a LOT of fun!

J
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