June 7, 2016 Heron Lake State Park, New Mexico

Cumbres & Toltec RR
Cumbres & Toltec RR

Travel From Questa to the Chama Area

Broke camp at the Columbine Canyon Campground outside of Questa, NM around 10 AM, and headed south on Route 522 to Route 64 west.

View from Elevation 10,000' on Route 64
View from Elevation 10,000′ on Route 64

I was a bit apprehensive about route 64 west over the Tusas Mountains where the road summits at an elevation of 10,505′, but my worries were for naught as both the climb and the descent proved to be no problem for my rig ( Whew! ). From Route 64, I turned south on Route 95 to Heron Lake State Park.

Confusing Sign
Well, Do I or Don’t I

Heron Lake State Park, Blanco Campground

So I arrived at the Blanco Campground at Heron Lake State Park where I had made a ten day reservation for Site #37 where I will have shore power for the first time in over three weeks. The sign above had me a little confused, so when I obeyed the top sign, I ended up approaching my campsite from the wrong direction and had to drive around to find a spot where I could make a u-turn.

Heron Lake State Park Blanco CG Site #37
Heron Lake State Park Blanco CG Site #37

Site #37 is a long, pretty level pull through with twenty foot tall junipers providing some privacy and yet not preventing me from getting my DirecTv satellite signal.

Heron Lake State Park Blanco CG Site #37
Heron Lake State Park Blanco CG Site #37

When I turned on my Verizon Jetpack, I was pleasantly surprised to find 3 bars of 4G out here, the strongest signal I have seen in months! Water pressure was fine, but the shore power consistently showed at under 110 volts, so I hope I don’t do any damage to my frig or AC while here,

Heron Lake Marina and Boatramp
Heron Lake Marina and Boatramp

Heron Lake is supposed to have some great fishing, but the water level is certainly a little below where it should be as you can see from the image above. There are no views of the lake from the campground.

Cumbres & Toltec RR
Cumbres & Toltec RR

Cumbres & Toltec RR

Cumbres & Toltec RR
Cumbres & Toltec RR

One of the reasons I have stopped here, aside from my pursuit of higher elevations and cooler summer temperatures, was to check out the Cumbres & Toltec RR and I am debating whether to give it a try or not.

Cumbres & Toltec RR
Cumbres & Toltec RR
Cumbres & Toltec RR
Cumbres & Toltec RR
Cumbres & Toltec RR Open Gondola Car
Cumbres & Toltec RR Open Gondola Car

The open gondola car looks like an interesting way to go, but the crowded conditions ( and this is a mid-week trip pictured here ), make me a little leery of hoping aboard.

Cumbres & Toltec RR at 10,000 feet
Cumbres & Toltec RR at 10,000 feet
Cumbres & Toltec RR Engine 484
Cumbres & Toltec RR Engine 484

These last two images were taken at the Cumbres Pass, elevation 10,015 feet. This is roughly the halfway point on the trains journey, a 64 mile trip that does seem to offer spectacular views. Still can’t make up my mind about whether I can handle the crowds or not, but I have a week or so to decide.

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