Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Natural Beauty and Man-made Beauty

Location: Cochiti Lake Recreation Area (el. 5,500 ft); Cochiti Lake, New Mexico

all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone

This campground and the surrounding area is the best blend of nature and man than I have seen in a while. 

I visited one of the man-made features the other day when I decided to play a round of golf at the local golf course. It was late in the afternoon when I teed off and after one hole it was as if I was by myself on the course. I didn't have to wait on anyone ahead of me nor did I have to worry about anyone catching me from behind. It was great. I had time to park the cart under the shade of a tree and just drink in the surroundings. The blue of the sky, the white of the clouds, the green of the grass and the grey/browns of the desert. It was a total contrast of bright colors. It was a definite "wow".
I was already aware.

As if I needed proof that I didn't walk the course. 

This gives an idea how far away the cart path are from the greens. This is one of the many tap-in birdies pars bogeys double-bogeys I had during the day.

A nice contrast of colors.

This is the elevated tee box on number 9 looking at the club house in the distance. 

The golf course has an extraordinary number of sand traps. I can honestly say I did not have to play a single sand shot during the whole round because I removed the ball if it mistakenly found its way into the sand. 

This is the finishing hole #18. It goes over water at first then along side water on the left at the landing spot of most drives. Again, the club house on the hill. I stood here for a while soaking it all in. It almost seemed like teeing off would break the picture of beauty. 

Looking back on the fairway from the 18th green. The round was over.
I played a little over bogey golf, not counting several mulligans, forgotten shots and ball donations to a pond and the desert. It is hard to explain, but the game was very relaxing emotionally and spiritually. Physically though, I was tired. That 5,500 elevation played heck with my breathing after walking across the greens and fairways. Yes, of course I had a cart, but at first I didn't drive on the fairways because they looked so nice. After the first several holes, I gave up that practice and started driving to my ball in the fairway. I knew it was OK because I could see all of the tracks from the other players on the course. I still had to walk to the greens and the builders of this course must have gotten a devious pleasure out of placing the cart paths so far away from the greens. A couple times after hitting my ball on the far opposite side of the green from the cart path, I thought about just leaving it there and dropping a new one on the green. But then I remembered how valuable golf balls were to me and my oldest son when we first started playing back in the late 80's and I just sucked it up and walked that mile 100 yards to play it. I won't mention the time when my son, as a teenager, sneaked into the country club back home, at night, and came home with a 5-gallon bucket of balls from one of the ponds.

The day before playing golf I visited the Tent Rocks National Monument located only about 5 miles from the campground. This is the Natural Beauty part of this post. The Tent Rocks are geological shapes formed from ancient volcanoes that spewed ash and pumice everywhere followed by years and years of wind/water erosion. This formed the teepee shaped formations, some with rocks still balanced on the top. A very nice Veterans Memorial overlook has also been built at the end of a 3 1/2 mile dirt road with section that are very washboarded. This was once again a blend of man-made and natures beauty. 

It was another pretty day with blue skies and puffy clouds

A windmill and cattle water troughs along the way

Seems like a dirt road always lead to good things

I couldn't decide which dirt road picture to include, so I used both.

You know you're close when you see the flags flying

This may be "staghorn" or "buckhorn" cholla. I'm just guessing, so if someone knows for sure, let me know. 

Veterans Memorial Overlook 

One view

Another view

And another

The grey/white material is ash and pumice from volcanic eruptions long, long ago. There were 40 separate eruptions within 10 miles of here.

I was at about the same elevation as the mesa in the distance. I wondered why mesas are usually so flat but have not been able to find an answer that satisfies me.

There are a lot of tent rocks in this picture. They are sometimes hard to see, even in real life because they blend in with everything around it

A few tent rocks on top. Easy to see with the sky as the background. There are also several others in this picture. 

Tomorrow is moving day and I'll be headed to a state park near Roswell, New Mexico. Yep, UFO country. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.  


  1. Gorgeous gorgeous photos. And your blog made me laugh out loud several times. Thoroughly enjoyed it! --Jool from N. Texas

  2. The road on top of the ridge is a lot easier road with a trailer than the on one that winds all over the place down by the lakes. Go see the lakes without the trailer. Wifi is really good around the bath house at the back of the campground.

  3. Mesas are usually formed when you have a large flat area of a harder rock or material than the underlying material, and are a result of the area around the cap rock being eroded away. That is why a lot of mesas have steep slopes leading up to the flat top. At least this is how a geologist once explained it to me.

    1. Thanks KCD. The question still remains,,,, why is the caprock flat?