10 days at Saddle CG Lincoln NF near Cloudcroft, New Mexico
The Complete Trip with Photos:
After Selling the Scamp Thursday (June 12), LadyHawk & I headed for the high country to escape the heat of 100+ temperatures. Expecting a lot of people camping over Father's Day, we were hopping to find a campsite up by Cloudcroft (elevation nearing 9,000'). About a 90 mile drive from Las Cruces. There were many sites to choose from (many of them too small or unleveled), but we found one in the Saddle Campground that was really nice & level side to side.
Intending to set up camp & attach two Fan-tastic Ulta-Breeze Fan Covers, but we hadn't brought the Lap Seal we would need to do the job correctly. Instead on Friday, we drove down to Alamogordo to a small RV supply place to get some, then to Walmart to get a few things we would need camping. It really had a lot of RV supplies.
Once back at the campsite & on the roof & looking the Fan-tastic Fan vent & the bathroom vent over, we discovered there were no screw heads showing to which we are to remove 4 screws on each vent to attach the covers to those screw holes. Did some reading of the directions & discovered we have fan/vents install by clamp method. We would need to call tech support with Atwood, who makes the vent covers. By then, when we called Atwood's tech support, it was past closing (EST) & not be open until Monday.
At 7 am Monday, I called Atwood (very nice, friendly lady) knew what I needed & asked if I had email. She emailed the diagram & measurements for drilling holes.
Went to Library in Cloudcroft to use WIFI @ about 10 am & email was there. Got working on getting things out & ready to install them 11:30 am or so. All in all it went very well. Use a plastic bucket & a tire down strap to pull things up to the roof. Nice & cool with wind. Took my time. Once into what needed to be done, all went more quickly. Very pleased with the out come.
Will not be able to see through the Fan-tastic Fan Vent anymore with the Ulta-Breeze Fan Cover on now.
Tuesday, we drove over to Ruidoso Downs & the Hubbard Museum of the American West (An Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution). Never been to it, often wanted to see what it offered. We were very pleased with the place, a very nice museum with many exhibits & a wide assortment of them. The museum is right off of Hwy 70, close to the race track.
:C Hubbard Museum
Especially enjoyed the visiting exhibit ("Beyond Tradition, an exhibition of contemporary fiber art" presented by the Studio Art Quilt Associates of New Mexico) which will be there until Sept. 1. Fantastic work they are. Never seen anything quite like them. Extremely creative art work.
Walmart is just down the road from the Museum, so we stopped for a few supplies.
A very nice drive over there (43 miles one way or close to it from the campground). We had a very enjoyable outing. More shops & eating places in Ruidoso, but we were not into that this time.
Wednesday, we drove to Las Cruces (LadyHawk had an exam to get & I wanted to see my chiropractor. Got up just before 6 am, had a quick breakfast & took some cheese & grapes to eat on the way over, got home about 8 am. Had time to pick out what we didn't take before, stow all that in the pickup, shower & go to our appointments. I took the pickup, she took the car.
After my adjustment, I went to library then stopped & picked up some Mexican food (green chile stew & whole beans) for an early lunch. Rested a bit after lunch, then on the way back to Cloudcroft, we stopped at Walmart & Sam's club as well as the post office & UPS. I'd stopped on the way to the chiropractor to pay the electric bill.
It was raining a little as we left the mountains & as I was waiting for LadyHawk to at the new Walmart, it rain pretty good for a short time in Las Cruces. It started with some small hail mixed with the rain. Back at camp later, it would shower a little now & again. But later it stopped with just a cool wind blowing. Thursday, morning it is calm & chilly out with scattered clouds. May go to the library today & post what I have so far.
We have been the only people in this loop few days except for the camp host, we have one group of 4 camping across from us now. A quite group. A few are in the second loop below us; most go down to Apache campground below us or to Silver campground above us. Suit us well, stays nice & quiet here, without smoke drifting into our area from campfires as well.
Monday, we walked by some of the shops & going into many. We did stop at a art gallery which had some very nice work by the owner & her husband. The art show at the library had some very nice work of local people as well.
Temperatures have remained in the 70s for highs & some times down into the 40s & 50s for lows. Chilly at times especially when breezy.
Not many birds or animals around, a few hummingbirds, but didn't bring a feeder & didn't remember to get one yesterday.
Mainly did walks around the campground & to the other campgrounds thus far of the trip. I'm doing so much better walking than last September, when I had such a hard time making it back to Silver CG after walking down to Saddle, where we are now. I wound up getting Quadruple Bypass Surgery seven days later. Seems longer, but hasn't been a year yet, 9 months & 8 days now.
Thursday, we went into Cloudcroft wanting to find a stocking cap of some kind. Hardly any to be found & not what I was needing to keep my ears & head warm on chilly nights. Last place we decided to check, just in case was the Cloudcroft Truck & Auto Parks store with the slogan above the door, "No, This Ain't The Place". Very nice owner who chatted with us for a while. Then I noticed on the shelf of caps by the counter a single brown stocking cap, with the logo, 'Cloudcroft Truck & Auto Parks' embroidered on the front. It didn't have a price on it, so I asked him, "What do you want for this?" He said his son must of taken the tag off & it was $12. We chatter a bit more, then I asked him, "Would you take $10", & he said, "Yes". it worked very well that night & Friday night.
Friday, we awoke to rain & it would rain (showers) on & off all morning into the afternoon. A chilly day. We did a lot of reading & napping. A quiet, relaxing day. Use the Honda Genset to knock the chill when it was generator hours a time or two. And to boost the battery, since solar was not going to do it to day. Later in the late afternoon, the sun came out again & we went for a walk.
Saturday, we awoke to a nice warm & sunny morning. After breakfast, we drove the Sun Spot Hwy to the Bluff Springs road, from one of the vista pull offs, one can see into the Tula Rosa Basin & some of White Sands.
& on to the Bluff Springs Road & to the Bluff Springs Waterfall.
First part is paved.
Then NOT. A good road however, but dusty then.
Didn't get out, it was very crowded with tent campings. Very meager flow of water now. It began to look like rain clouds were moving our way as we drove out there. But still sunny & warm as we drove back to Cloudcroft. We then made a left at Cloudcroft & drove to the Mexican Canyon Trestle Over Look.
By then it was time to eat some lunch, but the Trestle picnic area parking was full. It was very warm now, so we went back to our campsite, where it would be cooler. By the time we got to the campsite, it was looking like rain was coming our way for sure. It got dark & thundered, but no rain at the campsite. After it cleared off, we went on another walk.
Sunday, LadyHawk allowed me to get a 1/2 lb BBQ Beef at Big Daddy's Dinner as Carry Out after service. And it was delicious, very tender & most, but the BBQ Sauce wasn't the best. The meat did not need any sauce in fact. We'd stopped at Texas BBQ, but they didn't have enough meat to sell by the pound or half pound. It would have been at least a dollar more there as well. Maybe not as good as well. We both enjoyed our lunch of BBQ & still had some for dinner as well.
Lazed around some after eating, reading, etc. Later went for a good walk. Not many left in the campgrounds now. Only two in our loop counting us. Carried some more water to the camper via the pickup's 26 gallon water tank. This has been our practice for almost each day before it is time to run the generator (5 pm to 7 pm). We take a shower while it is running, therefore the water pump does not drain the battery of power. Wanting to have enough to last the night with the CPAP machine running most of the night (while sleeping). Going to add a second RV battery to the trailer, so we have more longevity of power each night.
After our showers, we added the level indicators to the trailer, side to side & back to front. Swept the outdoor matts & stowed them, put the folding chairs away, as well of putting things to order so we want have so much to do tomorrow before we leave.
Being a warmer day Sunday, we did a little more sitting & reading outside, before & after the showers. A very lazy day for sure, but with somethings getting done as well. Another excellent day camping.
Monday, In preparation on heading back Home & some warm temps, I wanted to clean the roof of the Lance were it was cool in in some shade. After breakfast, I climbed onto the roof via the sturdy rear ladder. I used the web strap to lift up the supplies, such as a pall of water, mop, broom & a dust mop we attached a micro-fiber towel (I used to dry the roof after moping). I swept the roof of the slide off first, then mopped it, then dry it with the micro-fiber towel attached to the dust mop head. Next I did the same with the Lances roof & cleaned off the solar panel & used window cleaner to finish the panel off. Not too bad a job only using water.
After packing up, we stopped & paid the $5 to dump at the entrance to the campgrounds. We had a good safe journey down from near 9,000' feet to 4,336' in about 16 miles. As well as one on to Las Cruces were we stopped at the NM MVD to get the title, etc for the Lance. Took about two hours to see someone & out in another 30 mins. Was able to purchase a Permanent Tag for the Lance since it is less than 6,000 lbs.
Took sometime to get it parked on the side of the house again, but we got it in.
All in All a very good day. Even had a slight shower while unhooking. Sure need the rain around here.
Our little Backyard Gas Grill (I converted from High Pressure to Low Pressure) worked great.
We had many great sunsets at the campground.
First night we had a Full Moon, heard coyotes yapping as well. Not so much later on.
Came home Monday via the 16 miles of steep downgrades & sharp curves.
Without one problem.
Stopped at the Warning sign area just before getting into Cloudcroft eastbound to clean the windows of the F150.
It has been hot here once we are home, would have liked to stay a while longer. The camp host was one of the best (if not the best) we have seen. A very helpful, friendly man.
Again, We really enjoyed seeing those Quilts and/or Fiber Art:
Hey now, that was a really nice posting. It caught my eye because on
Sunday I just happened to be going over the Sacramentos and through Cloudcroft. Never been down there before. Great ride. Next time will bring the trailer -- looks like a nice place to camp. Thanks.
Great report Adrian, thanks!
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