Cedar Ridge Campground

Where is Cedar Ridge Campground?

Nice little 16-space place. No showers or other amenities, just electric, water, sewer hookups.

But the owner is so cantankerous that he almost asks you to leave and quite bothering him. You got to park? – too much trouble, get outa here. You don’t know how long you want to stay? Too much trouble to make change more than once. Just pay for one night and move on. Not very busy. Actually, except for two long term setups, I am the only one here. Hut it is still winter here.

Wednesday, 17th, I visited The Whitewater Catwalk near Glenwood. Interesting trail, portions elevated on a catwalk. Passes by a creek in a narrow canyon that has a medium size stream flowing perennially.

Thursday, 18th, I also visited the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Caves high on a hillside that was developed and inhabited by some ancient peoples sometimes in the past. This place was really cool! I inquired about becoming a volunteer here. The pay sucks, but the location is great, although 2 hours from anything.

Friday, 19th, I am just going to kick back and do nothing. Planning on returning home to Hereford Saturday. Should be fun sifting through 3 weeks of mail!

Tags: Silver City NM

Franklin Mountain State Park

Where is Franklin Mountain State Park?

While looking for a State Park near El Paso, after several phone calls, I was told that this park had five dry camp RV sites. I arrived simultaneously with a second RVer from Austin that had a bewildered look on his face. He made a reservation weeks ago for a site here, but discovered there were none. We located the Ranger, got a political sob story about his effort to develop five sites, and were told that we could park… ‘there’. He gave us the combination for the lock on the main gate in case we needed out early (I did), as he closed and locked the gate at 5 PM, until 8 AM the next morning..

I also had the honor of telling him that his reservations at the Hueco Tanks State Park, pronounced “Waco”, again made weeks earlier, was no good, as I was told on the phone that it is closed due to a lack of camp hosts. So much for the reliability of the Texas State Park reservation system.

This stop was another maintenance mission. I had previously visited a front end specialist in Tucson to address some steering ‘wander’. This supposed expert (ex race car driver) checked all steering and suspension components and consulted with the chassis manufacturer (Spartan). The net result is that he declared everything healthy and to specification and sent me away, after extracting a few hundred bucks from my back pocket.

While I was whistling my time away in the Cummins parking lot a few days ago, I started searching for another front end expert. After some inquiries, and being turned away after explaining that I wanted caster set to higher than manufacturer’s specification, one truck and bus alignment shop accepted the challenge, but not this day.

On the flip side of my trip from Big Bend, I called a day ahead and obtained a commitment to check it out,

The net result was that he measured below spec, and caster was increased to slightly above factory spec. I believe that handling is better, but have not driven enough in cross winds to be sure.

Tags: El Paso TX

Oliver Lee State Park

Where is Oliver Lee State Park?

This New Mexico State Park is located some miles South of Alamogordo. The campground is adequate, but the sites are not quite level, and are poorly laid out. However the park offers an exhilarating hike for avid hikers, and a simple hike for the others.

A guided tour of a reconstructed ranch house at the site of Oliver Lee’s original homestead is offered Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Additionally, I happened to be there when a Star Party was conducted by an amateur astronomer. This is not a regular occurrence at this park, but is a regular occurrence at some area park.

The star party was interesting. Two telescopes were set up, a Mead LX90 8 inch automated scope, and a home made 8 inch Newtonian scope. Unfortunately, the sky did not cooperate very well, as it was hazy and cloudy, but clear enough to get a few views. Venus and Saturn were especially nice.

From this location day trips to White Sands National Monument and the (commercial) Space Museum were made. White Sands is interesting for a first and once visit. The Museum was a disappointment. The display of missiles and rocket engines outside were the most interesting. The actual museum was tailored for kids (Ok, OK, stop asking “then why did you not enjoy it”).

A day trip was also made to the top of Cloudcroft. When I came across the mountain on the way here, it was raining and very foggy. When I went back to see the views, it was overcast and snowing. Guess that is what one would expect for a ski area in the Winter-Spring.

Tags: Alamogordo NM

Cottonwood Campground

Where is Cottonwood Campground?

I just strolled around my present camp site, in Big Bend and encountered a grey bearded older gentlemen that is from… you might have guessed, Columbus, NM, the place I just left. Now, what are the odds that one of Columbus’ 2000 residents would turn up at the same place? (Somehow I seriously doubt that number).

Cottonwood Campground offered a place to park, without any hookups (dry camp). I arrived without prepared tanks for a long visit, and have seen about all of Big Bend, so one night was plenty here. There were several tent camps, for which this location is best suited.

Big Bend? Deja Vu.

Tags: Big Bend TX