Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

We mentioned in our Alamogordo post that life isn’t always fun and games, even when you are traveling full-time.  Sometimes there are chores to do, work to get done, and then sometimes, you just need some down time!  That has been the last couple of days for us.  After staying at Dog Canyon Dispersed Camping for five nights, we were in need of some fresh water and a dump station, but we needed to stay in the area for a few more days because we were waiting on some mail.  We were unable to find a place that would allow us to dump and fill for free, so we opted to try for a first come-first served site at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park just a mile up the road from where we had been staying.  This area is super busy this time of year, so we were lucky to land the last site they had with electric and water.  Paying for this site also allowed us the use of their dump station, so that solved those problems for a few days!  If you are ever in New Mexico and are able to get a site, you should really consider the state parks.  They are an extremely affordable option (a developed site with electric and water was only $14 per night) and are really nice campgrounds, at least in our experience.  This particular state park was set right at the foot of the Sacramento Mountains and had some amazing sunsets!

The first day we got here, we went to turn on the water in the sink and nothing happened.  Our water pump had been making some weird noises, so we knew we were on borrowed time, but dang!  We aren’t even a month into our adventure and things are already breaking!  We tried the old, bang on it and see if it starts working again, and it did for a short time, but would stop again within a few minutes.  Luckily, since it is such a crucial component, we knew better than to leave home without an extra.  Jeff got right to work replacing it and had us back up and running within the hour.  Now we just need to get our hands on another one, so we have an extra again!

We also spent a lot of our time here on the computers trying to plan out where to stay for the next week or so and doing some video editing, reading, calling and catching up with friends and family, watching YouTube, and mostly just being lazy lumps!

We did get out in the state park a little and do a couple of the short hikes they have including the Riparian Nature Trail and the Lawson Springs Trail.  The nature trail was super interesting.  It had the remains of “Frenchy’s Cabin” that was inhabited by a settler in the late 1800s, the flume built by Oliver Lee to send the waters of the Dog Canyon Springs down to the reservoir on his ranch in the valley, and some Native American Mortar Holes that were used by prehistoric people to grind seeds and beans into flour.  The Lawson Springs Trail takes you a short way up into the Sacramento Mountains to some limestone terraces with year-round springs and lots of shade from Cottonwood trees.  It is definitely an oasis you wouldn’t expect to see in the middle of the desert!  There is also a very nice visitor center with lots of information and exhibits talking about the interesting people who called this place home many years ago, and just outside the visitor center is a nice garden where they label and explain all the different desert plants of the area. 

The Alamogordo area has been a great stop for us to have some fun, get some work done, and relax, but now it is time to move on and see what waits for us down the road.

Until next time!

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