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)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New Mexico and Rain

Location: Storrie Lake State Park (6,600 ft); Las Vegas, New Mexico

all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone
Click pictures to enlarge

I skipped posting about a location where I stopped. It was a KOA at West Pueblo, Colorado where I hunkered down through the Labor Day weekend. I ventured into town once but everything was busy and traffic was bad so I just stayed in the campground after that. 
West Pueblo KOA.
I've passed through big cities all over this country and have rarely gotten caught in heavy traffic. That didn't happen in Denver. I was in traffic moving about 20 mph for about 15 miles. At least we were moving. The problem? One very popular exit had traffic backed up for nearly a mile as people were trying to exit. It was crazy. Oh well, things happen sometimes, and if that is the worse that happens to me on the road, I'm a happy man.

I gained my freedom from the holiday weekend and pulled out of West Pueblo heading south on I-25 to New Mexico. My destination was Las Vegas, New Mexico and my first New Mexico state park.

After getting south of Denver, the traffic dropped off dramatically and the views improved. 

The bright blue sky and drifting clouds were great.

The two mountains in the distance are the Spanish Peaks.

The Spanish Peaks were used to guide pioneers along the Sante Fe Trail.

The clouds were beginning to form over the mountains.

The two Spanish Peaks are named West Peak and East Peak. Not very creative. I like what the Ute Indians called them,,, "Huajatolla", meaning, "two breasts" or "breasts of the Earth".

This flag is in the middle of nowhere and it is one of about a dozen scattered along I-25 south of Denver. They were spaced about every 5 miles of so and each was in very good condition and flying proudly.

There were several areas that warned of Gusty winds. There were a few gusts, but Freedom and Liberty handled them well. It would be interesting to learn why there are gust alleys like this. Is there a valley that channels the wind? If I have time, I will try to research it. 

Very large windmills taking advantage of the wind gust area

One of the very few fully bushed out trees along the way

A rest area in southern Colorado with the flag flying nicely and Freedom and Liberty parked beneath it. I had to take a picture and the reason I like my cell phone for its convenience of always being in my pocket for times like this.

Something jutting out of the ground. All the surrounding land was relatively flat. I'm not sure what it is and it may be another research project if it continues raining.

Wide open land, looking out my side window

The Spanish Peaks are behind us now and the plateaus, hills and mountains ahead are in New Mexico.

A lonely homestead. The nearest house or any kind of building was dozens and dozens of miles away. 

Another American flag at the turn going to a ranch that was a few miles away. 

The mountains of New Mexico coming into view. I didn't see the bird flying in the upper part of this picture until I downloaded it. It's probably not, but I want to think it is a majestic eagle soaring on the wind. 

Another fully bushed out tree in the middle of nowhere with now houses nearby. Perhaps it is all that remains from an old homestead place?

The modern day electricity producing windmills are not the only ones using the wind for a purpose.

These dark clouds came up quickly about 45 minutes from the campground. 

Waiting out the rain so I can set up camp. I learned later that this is the edge of Hurricane Newton that hit the California Baja.
As has happened before, storms were predicted to hit along my path as well as at the campground. I kept a check on Accuweather and all was good until I was about 45 minutes from the campground. Dark clouds began showing, seemingly out of nowhere. Accuweather said storms were due to hit Las Vegas in 40 minutes and I was 45 minutes away. This has happened to me a few times before. It was going to be nip and tuck again. It was like Deja Vu, all over again. I gassed Freedom a little more to gain as many minutes as we could. I pulled into the state park after having driven through a couple patches of light rain, but nothing big like what was predicted. The campground office was closed with a sign directing me to the "self check in" station. I grabbed a campground map and quickly called up my reservation email to see what campsite number I had chosen. After dodging some bad potholes and turning around once, I found my pull-through campsite. I was hoping to get set up before the big stuff showed up. No sooner than I stopped and got out of Freedom, a big clap of thunder scared the crap out of me. After a couple of steps towards Liberty, lightening bolts flashed in all directions and thunder began rolling from one to another. I didn't want to sit in Freedom to wait it out since I had been sitting for a couple of hours so I ducked under the shade shelter to get out of the rain. After about 15 minutes, it let up enough for me to open Liberty and get inside to wait out the next wave of storms. Even with her slides in, I have access to the bathroom, bed and recliner. So I opened a window, turned on the exhaust fan to create a breeze, sat down in the recliner and enjoyed the rain singing its song on the roof and the cooler 65 degrees. Accuweather told me there would be a break in the storms in about 30 minutes and she was right. I quickly set up camp before the next round of storms hit. After getting set up, I drove into town with the intention of going into Walmart. The parking lot was packed and the time was 3:45. I'm guessing a lot of people just got off work and school had let out. There wasn't anything I needed desperately, so I left and went to find something to eat. A Supersonic Double Cheeseburger and crispy tater tots hit the spot.

I will be here for 5 days. My only planned exploration is a trip into the Sangre De Cristo Mountains to find an old church that someone told me about. Rain is predicted for the next 3 days so I may have to wait until Friday for a sunny day. We will see how it goes. 

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


  1. Hi Darrell,
    I hope you enjoy Storrie. It is too high for me at 6600 feet but I appreciate your pics.
    Since I lost your email address (along with several others in a dumb moment) I need it from you again. I will be heading back north into New Mexico tomorrow or the next day. Send me your near future plans and maybe I can cross your path again. Be safe and have fun.

  2. Love the pics of the American Flags! I find myself taking a lot of pics of flags too! Love New Mexico State Parks..looking forward to the church pics! Enjoy and stay safe!