Saturday, July 29, 2017

Las Vegas | New Mexico | Storrie Lake State Park

This was my view at Storrie Lake State Park.  It was a nice view - most of the time......   I'll come back to that later.  While I was exploring the town, I found some interesting old buildings, some still in use and some not.

YMCA - I don't know the last time I saw one of these.  It was still in use, as far as I could tell.

The Town Hall did not fare so well.  It sill looks like a usable, sturdy building in great shape, but they probably needed more space.  I couldn't tell if the Fire Department section was being used.  This town was built in the late 1800s, so there are lots of well-built old buildings.

There is one area with old homes  - some really nice buildings.  This has been turned into a bed and breakfast. 

This was right on the main plaza in town, but looks closed up for quite a while.


All the rest of the buildings looked in great shape and are being used.

On a street that has mostly abandoned buildings, there's an old railroad station, which is now the Visitor Center.

An old boarded-up church was nearby.....
And an old hotel which has seen better days and is now all fenced off.

So....  back to the park.  Not a bad park, most of the time, they do advertise a dump station but it's not in working order.  The locals seem to own the park.  If there are locals in the nicer section (with shade trees!), they will find another local to zip right in their spot when they leave.  Some of them leave their rig as long as they can and don't even inhabit it, they could be gone for days.  The sites with electric hookups are either all reservation or at the other end of the park they are parking-lot style, with no fire rings or picnic tables. 
One evening a group of young people came in, having a party with loud music, large speakers on the truck outside for maximum sound. It was probably rap or hip hop or something obnoxious like that, but ANY type of music that loud and thumping would have been just as bad.  They were having food and allowing foam plates and plastic bags to blow all over, not bothering to pick them up.  By the time they left, at 9 PM, after 5 long hours, I had a pounding headache.  I went outside and found the camp host wandering around and I asked him why he didn't do something.  The answer I got was that he told them to turn it down, and he claimed they did.  There was no variation in the volume for 5 hours and no ranger in sight, although I drove around looking for one. I'm shocked that this would happen in a state park and be allowed to continue for such a long time.  This is the first state park I've been to (in any state) that this has been allowed.  I have always promoted the state parks here in New Mexico since they're such a great deal, especially with the pass.  However, I can't support this one, the locals seem to rule and I will let them have it!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Eagle Nest State Park | New Mexico

Mornings are pretty here and I have been out taking hikes in different areas of the lake.

This is a white pelican and he has black on his wings that you only see when he's flying.  I have made several attempts to get a good photo of these, but they can see me coming a mile away!

Even though it's nice and warm here, there is still snow on the mountains.  We're up at almost 8000', so that's much higher.

These little prairie dogs are so cute and it's hard to get them to pose.

The town of Eagle Nest is small and rustic.


I love these guest cottages.

A place called Eagle Nest must have a metal sculpture of an eagle!
 I was in the gas station store and saw a customer looking at these, so I just had to get a photo of them.  The New Mexico people just love their chiles and it's on every menu in the state.  I'm not sure about it in candy though......


This little guy lives in my back yard.  The camp host said he was a chipmunk.  I did find out a few weeks later that it's a Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel! 

And my campsite!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cimarron | New Mexico

I set out for a day trip to a nearby town, but before I left Eagle Nest, I saw some of these critters in a field and stopped to take photos.  Cute little guys, I think they may be alpaca.

This was my view as I was leaving town.
The weather was perfect for a drive, and the scenery was gorgeous.  This little river followed me, sometimes on one side of the road or the other, sometimes it seemed like both. 
My truck gives an idea of how massive this rock mountain is. 

My destination was Cimarron, an old town that was booming in the late 1800s. 

This old, well-kept building is for sale, and as you can tell from the sign below, they sold just about everything back in the day........

The old soda fountain is still in operation, although they didn't serve food, except for ice cream and other treats - the good stuff!

The art gallery has some nice items and the owner was showing me some photos of the building when they bought it.  It has been an amazing transformation, it's a beautiful building.

The mechanic shop is not used any longer, but I love the gas prices!

Lots of interesting buildings that are not being used.

I have no idea how good these burritos are, but it was a cute set-up.

My neighbor at the campground told me I had to stop at this hotel.  It was built in the 1870s and still has most of the old feeling.

The entryway shows this scene, complete with bison head.  The second photo shows the rest of the room.

Down the hall, there are many rooms that were labeled.  Since Jesse is pretty well-known, I decided to show this one.

The door just happened to be slightly open, so I kind of pushed on it and this was the scene.

More famous names are shown below and were regulars at this establishment.

Stairway to the second floor.  I never saw an elevator, but this was probably the "tourist" section of the building.

The saloon is now a restaurant and, like many establishments in the southwest, there are bullet holes in the ceiling as you can see from the second photo.

I wandered over to The Old Mill, which was closed.  I did take a few photos. 

On the way home I stopped at this gate with it's "No Trespassing" sign.  I had seen a few of them on the way.  I understand they don't want us to trespass, but what I don't understand is why they gave us a convenient little stairway that goes over the fence to give us an easy entry.  It's on the right of the photo, and looks to be sturdy enough.