Chihuahuan Desert Camp'n Trip - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-18-2014, 11:13 AM   #1
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Name: Adrian
Trailer: Lance 1985~'Casita de Campo' ~23' 4"~Dinette Slide Previously: Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette, Front Bath
New Mexico
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Smile Chihuahuan Desert Camp'n Trip

LadyHawk & DesertHawk have just returned from a 12 day RV/Camping trip (most of the time in Texas) all in the Chihuahuan Desert. Left Wednesday Sept. 3 returned 15 Sept.

We purchased a Texas Parks Annual Pass for $70 which covers entrance fees & gives 6 half price camping (for a second night). Entrance fees add up quickly, they are per person each day on top of the camping fees. The pass will cover a car full of people. We quickly got back the $70 dollars using it & has started to save us money. It will be valid until end of Sept. 2015.

We also purchased a New Mexico Annual Camping Pass for $100 which is also valid until end of Sept. 2015. NM State Parks do not charge a daily entrance fee on top of the camping fee. It will take 10 nights camping to recoup the investment. I forgot to buy it for the first two nights, so I have 8 more nights until it starts to pay a dividend.

Discovered the kitchen faucet was spraying water under the cabinet. Sink worked ok, so could use it, just not the faucet. Called Lance, need to take it to a Lance dealership. When I asked was it a common problem, they said yes, they have been having a lot of them with the problem. Still haven't taken it in. Have an appointment in Tucson to get it taken care of. Since the hurricane down in Baja Mexico area is pushing up a lot of rain, we changed the appointment until Tuesday of next week.

In Texas
3 days at Balmorhea State Park with the largest spring fed swimming pool in the world (20' deep in places). You swim with fish there as well. Got some good exercise in the cold 72 to 74 degree water. We had a blast. Swam an hour or more each day. We were using goggles, snorkels & fins. About 230 miles from Las Cruces. Had water & electric plus cable. Not too crowed weekdays, but could have been full Saturday except it was rainy then & many canceled.

3 days at Davis Mountains State Park near Ft Davis. Lot of rain while there, but had a very nice time. South of Balmorhea SP about 34 miles. Rained on the way to the park & most of the night Saturday & all morning & into the evening Sunday. We take a long scenic drive Sunday evening. Monday was mostly sunny but cool, we did a 3 hour walking tour of old Fort Davis National Historic Site. Neat vistas from a high ridge by the campground. Cable helped when raining a great deal. Had water, electric & sewer as well as cable. Not many people camping while we were there.

2 more days at Balmorhea swimming each day. A great time again. They scuba dive in the pool as well. We got about an hour each day of swimming. Cooler days.

In New Mexico
3 days at Brantley Lake State Park 10 miles or so North of Carlsbad. Had to stay an extra day when the road up to the Caverns was closed due to Flash Flood warnings, very heavy rains on Friday. Water & electric, no cable, but good TV signals which helped on rainy Friday. Not crowed, but several camping. Didn't check out the dry camping area. These all had water & electric with a few with sewer. Saturday was overcast & cool. Walked in from the entrance, about 2 1/2 hrs. The oil field traffic is extremely bad now up there from Balmorhea to Pecos & on to Carlsbad. A great many tankers on the highways plus dump trucks, flat bed semis & other trucks.

1 night at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park 12 miles South of Alamogordo. We would have stayed in Cloudcroft, but it was rainy & going to get pretty cold at night. Choose not to get water & electric to see how our two batteries would work (did very well), but poor TV reception. Almost no traffic west bound from Artesia to Cloudcroft, more east bound. Some rain & sprinkles going up as well.

Haven't downloaded any photos yet, but found these online.
1-3 Balmorhea SP
4 & 6 Davis Mountains SP
5 & 7 Fort Davis NHS
8 Oliver Lee Memorial SP
9 & 10 Brantley Lake SP
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2015 Lance 1985 ~ Casita de Campo ~23' 4"
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:08 PM   #2
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adrian--great photos! your trip sounds wonderful and i am especially intrigued by the swimming pool. the shots of it make me wish i was there....

thanks for posting your itinerary. one day we will travel thru and around texas and i will now have this info for assistance in our planning.
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:29 PM   #3
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Adding My Photos

Downloaded one camera's photos.

Balmorhea State Park (Texas):
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:57 PM   #4
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Name: Adrian
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Smile Davis Mountains State Park & Fort Davis

Davis Mountains Vistas from a mountain ridge above the campground as well as above Fort Davis, Texas.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting - great pictures that brought back memories of recent trip we made to the area.

We were kicked out of Big Bend NP last fall when the government shut down and decided to wander around TX for a few days before heading home. Davis Mountain SP was our first stop but the campground was closed for renovation; looks like we missed a nice Park.

We ended up at Balmorhea later that afternoon and, when checking in, the ranger told us the pool was closed and had been drained for cleaning but would reopen the next day. After setting up and finishing supper, Cindy and I walked over to the pool and it was completely empty except for a few small puddles scattered here ad there on the bottom. I thought 'no way would they get that big hole filled with water from a spring in a week much less overnight'.

Early the next morning we were amazed to find the pool not only completely filled but overflowing into the irrigation spillway. Since the gates were open, I couldn't resist the opportunity for a swim. And the fish were there - no idea where they went when the thing was drained.

When in the Carlsbad area, we usually camp at Dog Canyon in the Guadalupe Mtn NP for most of our stay but always manage a night at Brantley Lake on the way out - great facilities. If you haven't checked out the nearby desert museum and zoo, I'd highly recommend it.

If you ever have plans to visit the east coast, give me a 'head up' and I'll be happy to offer suggestions.


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Old 09-18-2014, 10:21 PM   #6
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Name: Adrian
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Smile Brantley Lake and Oliver Lee State Parks (New Mexico)

Brantley Lake State Park North of Carlsbad, New Mexico & Carlsbad Caverns.

Oliver Lee Memorial SP South of Alamogordo, New Mexico.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:35 AM   #7
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Hi Adrian,
Thanks for posting your trip experience and photos! I wish more FGRVers would do so. We need more postings about our camping experiences! I, for one, learn about places I might want to visit and, in the meantime, get to visit them vicariously.
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