On top of the mountain

Sitting here at Hopewell Camp Ground on a mountain top, I realize that I know not the name of the mountain. Oh well…

My endeavor to finish organizing and cleaning Barth was spoiled by missing sink strainer/stoppers. Yikes, only so many dirty dishes can be stacked around a motorhome. I can stack a weeks worth at home, and make it all go away with one dishwasher load. Not here.

The town of Chama NM, located on the west side of the mountain, had only one strainer at the combination grocery and hardware store, called ‘Lowes’, but definitely not the chain type of Lowes. That one miraculously fit. These stoppers are absolutely necessary. A home-style of washing under the faucet would deplete my water supply quickly. Before going down the mountain a pan for oil draining was located that could have been used to wash dishes. But I needed gas anyways. A few groceries were also collected, along with engine oil for scoot.

It may be a surprise, but a scooter without gasoline doesn’t scoot very well. There was enough gas to get down the mountain, but not back. Scoot carried 3x 2-gallon cans back up the mountain safely strapped on and around. If I had crashed on the mountain road (US 64) the explosion could have been quite the sight!

US 64 is a beautiful drive from the east at Tres Piedras across the mountain to the west portal at Tierra Amarilla. Tierra Amarilla is near a couple of great NM State Parks, if they have not been closed. Of course the camera was lost somewhere on Barth, but now that there is gas, there will be pics later, maybe a movie.

Many, many motorcyclists obviously like the curves and grades on the mountain. Many were met and a few passed from behind. I am still not a daredevil scoot driver.

Tags: Hopewell Lake NM

Hopewell Lake, NM

The Days End list indicated that there is a 15-acre fishing lake on top of the mountain in the Carson National Forest. Altitude 10,000 feet, cool, breezy. Just the type of place that boondockers like. But information was scant on Google, which is not encouraging. But, but… gotta go and check it out.

Hopewell Lake dispersed camping

Hopewell was located on maps; it really does exist. A view with Google Earth suggested that it might be ok for Barth, but still…

A stop at the NM Welcome center on I25 south of Santa Fe yielded free coffee, just as the sign promised. While the sleepiness lifted, an awareness of the two fellows behind the ‘may I hep you’ desk took over. Those guys were good. Knowledgeable. Humorous. “Never let anyone leave without telling them where to go,” so they said! But Gary in the rest stop actually knew where Hopewell lake is located. Knew that the CG could actually accommodate a few large RVs.

After determining my preferences, Joe Guthrie went out on a limb. He told me of a great spot, ahem… over the border into Colorado, that I would like. So that will probably be my next stop. If you are in that Rest Area on I25, say hello to Joe if he is there. He is hard to miss. A ‘mature’  black guy with a crown of cotton white hair. Tell him that his knowledge is appreciated.

Another view

A Forest Ranger at the foot of the mountain at Tres Piedras was not encouraging. He could not even assure me that I wouldn’t dead-end, a navigational nightmare for a 38′ motorhome pulling a trailer. He did tell me that US 64, safely emerges on the other side of the mountain at Tierra Amarillo.

Finally, after all this obsession with Hopewell, arrival! The Hopewell Campground does have a few places possibly level and long enough for a big rig motorhome. Sara, the CG hostess, another gem of an employee for the state of NM, eyeballed my rig, and made a suggestion. Leave the CG and go further down the road into the forest. “Lots of open flat places to park a self contained rig,” she said. “And save $12 a day.”

Having dead-ended Barth before, I was still wary. What if I go to far and cannot turn around was the obvious question. Not to worry, said she. Just go left at the fork in the road and one will come out on US 64. Perfect.

So here I am, peachy happy, wishing for peachy pie. A beautiful, cool and level place to park for a week or so. The only possible drawback: I don’t know if I can sleep when the aspen quake into the late night!

Tags: Hopewell Lake NM