May 21, 2016 Raton, New Mexico

My Site at the Soda Pocket Campground
My Site at the Soda Pocket Campground

Soda Pocket Campground at Sugarite Canyon State Park, Raton

Wednesday morning, I loaded up and contined north, and upward in elevation, to Raton, just a few miles south of the Colorado border. I had checked out the campground at Sugarite Canyon State Park on Google Earth and noticed there were two seperate campgrounds, one directly off the highway that offered hookups where the sites were reservable and a larger campground a little farther north, a couple miles off the main road. This second campground did not have any hookups and was all first come first served. Figuring there most likely would be little chance of this more remote campground being full this early in the season, I set my sights on doing a little primitive camping for a week.

Soda Pocket Campground
Soda Pocket Campground

Soda Pocket Campground ( the name of the primitive upper campground at the state park ) just may turn out to be one of my all time favorite spots. There is a two mile washboarded gravel road you do have to climb to get up to this very nice secluded campground. When I arrived, there was no one there, all 18 sites were empty, so I drove around, all good interior roads, and finally chose Site #12 for my stay. There are four or five pull throughs and several backin sites that will handle a larger rig, and almost all the sites are level with mostly decent separation between sites. All have a concrete pad for the picnic table, fire ring, and shelter. Only major ding here is that there is absolutely no Verizon signal here.

Soda Pocket Campground
Soda Pocket Campground

I chose to drive straight in to my backin site to take advantage of the wonderful view down the canyon. Located at an elevation of around 7500 feet, the days are warm and sunny with temps around 80 and the nights are wonderfully cool in the 40’s.

Five Hummingbirds
Crowded Feeder

Yup, Here We Go Again, More Birds

Hoping that there just might be some birds around, I dug out the hummingbird feeders and mixed up a batch of nectar. As I stood on my stool to hang the nectar feeder from the shelter roof, I was instantly buzzed by a hummingbird that settled on to the feeder before it was even out of my hands! I guess you would have to say this looks promising.

May as well warn you, there are going to be a mess of hummingbird images coming in the next few posts.

Eight Hummingbirds
A Crowd Gathers

PairAtIrisVertCROP

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (female) and Iris
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (female) and Iris
Black-chin Hummingbird and Iris
Black-chin Hummingbird and Iris
Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

In addition to the hummingbirds, that I believe are Black-chinned and Broadtails, there are several types of seed eaters that came in as soon as I put out a platform feeder, among them, Scrub Jays, Stellar Jays, Black-headed Grosbeaks, and a few pests such as cowbirds and, as if I hadn’t had my fill of them this winter in Salineno, Red-wing Blackbirds.

Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak
Stellers Jay
Stellers Jay
Scrub Jay
Scrub Jay
Scrub Jay
Scrub Jay

Also I have spotted through the motorhome windows, Mountain Bluebirds and a single Western Tananger. A gorgeous little grey fox has checked out the seeds scattered by the birds here and several mule deer have been caught browsing the grass right outside my door. A beautiful light blond black bear was walking along the road as I was taking a stroll through the empty campground Thursday morning. As I said earlier, I believe I may have found one of my all time favorite campgrounds.

All in all, this place has proven to be a very pleasant surprise! Stay Tuned.

Note: Until I once again get to a spot with a strong Verizon signal, I am unable to update the 2016 Travel Map. It may be a few weeks.

 

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