Sunday 23 Feb – Left the relative green park of Cochise and back down into the desert plains in the direction of Safford. We had our destination of a BLM site in the GPS so were able to make our way easily there. Some of the areas that we have been through have been irrigated and in this region they grow pistachios with the odd vineyard dotted around. There are also a few cattle ranches but we only saw a few cows here and there – there is grass of sorts (very dry tufty stuff) which doesn’t look like it would provide much nutrition.
The site itself was nothing special – just a huge expanse of open land and we were joined by only one other rig. There was not much in the way of wildlife – although there were plenty of holes around so something must be living in the burrows. Although it looks quite barren on first glance, as you walk around there are a lot of tiny plants visible. These ones are less than an inch high with the tiniest of flowers.
Monday 24 Feb – Made off in the direction of Rockound State Park with a few stops on the way. First stop was Lordesburg, which on the map looked like it would be a good place to have morning tea – what a mistake that was – it was a really run down place with hardly anything to offer. We have been surprised at how run down some of the smaller towns are – the housing in Lordesburg was crude to basic and the only place to eat was McDonalds, so we skipped that and had morning tea in the van.
Whilst driving along the Interstate we came across a series of billboards advertising an historic trading post – selling authentic Mexican pottery and handicrafts, Indian moccasins and other interesting sounding crafts. When we stopped and went inside – it was full of really tacky souvenirs and general junky stuff. The only bargain was some DVD’s to add to our collection. From the outside the place looked reasonably genuine.
Finally made it the campground around 4pm – paid our fees (this is the first time in quite a while we have had to do this) but were disappointed as we expecting showers but they were in the process of putting in a new block so there were none available. This park is a haven for rock hunters and for the persistent you might even find a gem or two. We had a wander around and poked around but didn’t find anything spectacular. The campground was fairly high above the plains and at night it was like fairy land as the lights of the surrounding towns came on.
Tuesday 25 Feb – Left our campsite at Rockhound State Park after having a little hike around the area. Headed east again in the direction of Texas. Travelling for the most part on the Interstate which isn’t too bad, two lanes each way not too much traffic – mostly big trucks which pass us as we just dawdle along. The good thing is that they are smooth!! For the most part we were travelling on a big open plain, and only as we got near Las Cruces did we see much sign of civilisation. Travelling between Las Cruces and El Paso we came through a big dairying area – this is not like NZ dairy farms!! The cows were all in pens (just like the beef raising lots) and there they stay for their life – fed heaps and hardly any room to roam around. You could smell them from quite a long way off. Are staying tonight in our first Boondockers place (this is where like minded RV’ers let you stay on their property) just north of El Paso on an 8 acre farmlet. We are even provided a hook-up to electricity – a first for us as we have been using battery power since starting off. Robert & Brandy who own the property are in the process of selling up so only have one steer and a few horses. They also have a small natural wetland area and we got to see a raccoon (albeit asleep in the tree) and there are a lot of different birds around.
We will have an early start tomorrow as I have a dentist appointment in Las Cruces which will be fun and then we are off the farmer’s market and a big book store which Bob wants to visit.