April 19, 2016 Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Santa Rosa Lake State Park
Santa Rosa Lake State Park

Santa Rosa Lake State Park

Monday, I left Oliver Lee State Park around 8 AM and drove about 180 miles north to Santa Rosa Lake State Park via Route 54. An uneventful drive through some pretty uninspiring high desert landscapes. Initially, this park was a bit of a disappointment after Brantley Lake and Oliver Lee State Parks. I arrived to find that most of the 20 plus sites in the utility section of the campground were all reserved sites and the few that were first come first served were all backins and all but one were occupied. The campground host told me that they were full here almost every night.

So I decided to set up in the primitive Juniper Campground down the road a little and ended up on Site #15, sharing the entire campground with just two others. The place looks a little rundown and some of the sites are a little too close to one another. No great view of the lake, or of anything really, and the lights from the dam are a little too bright to be able to enjoy the night sky here. But I certainly can’t complain about the crowds. Nice and quiet here and the weather is great, cool nights, and sunny days with temps around 80.  Like I did at Oliver Lee, I put out the bird feeders but I have yet to see any takers.

The opening image above is an overview of the primitive Juniper Campground at Santa Rosa lake State Park.

Santa Rosa Lake State Park, Juniper Campground Site #15
Santa Rosa Lake State Park, Juniper Campground Site #15

And here is a closer shot of my campsite. The wind is howling, as you might see if you got a closer look at a very windswept Jenny being blown along the drive from the campsite. Several nice pull throughs here in this campground with somewhat reasonable spacing between campsites. Most sites have a picnic table under a sturdy shelter but there are no electric or water hookups here. Unfortunately, most sites are not very level. Verizon internet signal is quite weak also, but just strong enough to be able to check email and the weather, but not strong enough to do much with blog posts.

Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, NM
Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, NM
Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, NM
Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, NM

I checked out the Blue Hole on one of my drives into town. This must have been quite a discovery to the first pioneers coming through here. Just about the last thing one would expect to find in this harsh dry high desert environment. In the warmer months, scuba divers come here to explore this unique spot. At the bottom of the image above are some goldfish swimming around, I have a feeling they may have been recently introduced. They really stand out in the blue tinted water, the blue being more than simply sky reflection.

Abandoned Buildings
Abandoned Buildings

I also took a drive over to Conchas lake State Park to check out camping there, most likely my next stopover point. They don’t take reservations until May 1 so all sites are first come/first served and there were plenty of sites available as I drove through the three campgrounds. Office was locked so I couldn’t ask any questions. Will probably head that way next Monday. The image above is of what may have at one time been quarters for ranch hands, I really don’t know. Obviously has been abandoned for some time and would make a great candidate for a watercolor somewhere down the road.

While out, I stopped at  Silver Moon Auto in Santa Rosa to see about getting yet another new tire for the dolly and getting my most recent new/old tire with the tube repaired. While there also asked about fixing my onboard generator gas leak and taking care of my six foot mud flap angle iron replacement. Made an appointment to leave the RV with them Monday.

Last of the Birds From Oliver Lee

Gambel Quail
Gambel Quail

These guys, with that strange feather in their cap, always amuse me.

Green-tailed Towhee
Green-tailed Towhee

This Green-tailed Towhee is a first for me.

Black-throated Sparrow
Black-throated Sparrow

A handsome Black-throated Sparrow. I was amazed at the number of species in the campground at Oliver Lee State Park.

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