White Sands National Monument and Campsite Birds
Wednesday, I drove the Prius back up to Cloudcroft to check on the descent Route 82 makes coming down from the mountaintop to Alamogordo. When coming this way in the motorhome Monday, I chose to go a few miles out of my way to avoid this long downgrade I had been told it would be wise to avoid. After driving it in the Prius, I guess I would have to say I made the right decision, it is a loooooooong downgrade that is best avoided in a rig like mine. The grade probably is no worse than others I have done, but it does go on forever and could well prove to be too much for my old motorhome.
I noticed a number of little birds hopping around in the underbrush around my campsite so I dug out the feeders and my post prop from Salineno and also spread a bit of seed on the ground to see if I could entice any of them into the open. The Canyon Towhee, a first for me, was one of the first to show.
The curve-billed thrasher, just like his cousin, the long-billed thrasher back in Salineno, enjoyed the peanut butter/lard/cornmeal mix.
Wasn’t long before a small flock of house finches turned up.
Several white-crowned sparrows also came in to feed.
A couple white-winged doves have shown up, although I have yet to ever see the dove on her nest hop down to feed, though I’m sure she must?
White Sands national Monument
This was my first trip into White Sands N.M. though I have driven past on a few occasions. Certainly worth doing if you are ever in the area. There is a paved road into the dunes that turns to a sand ( gypsum ) loop road about 6 miles into the monument. The glistening white gypsum dunes are quite impressive on a blue sky day and I would love to be able to catch them at sunrise or sunset, but, unfortunately, the road is only open from 7 -7 daily, and at this time of year, that misses both sunrise and sunset.
When you come here, be sure to park and walk out into the dunes. Easy to walk on and you will discover a lot of interesting details, such as animal tracks and interesting vegetation, once you venture a ways from the road.
Aguirre Springs Recreation Area
Leaving the Monument, I drove west on Route 70 about 30 miles to check out the Aguirre Springs Recreation Area that I had noticed on my New Mexico Benchmark Atlas. I was curious to see if the campsites there were accessible to a rig like mine and if so, what the campground looked like, to see if it might be a boon docking option sometime down the road.
On the road into Aguirre Springs I saw my first wildflowers of the spring.
This imposing peaks hover over the campground and can be seen from miles away as you approach the area on Route 70 West.
There is a sign stating that the narrow winding road to the campground is not recommended for trailers over 23 feet long. Now, the paved road is narrow and winding, but I really do not think it would be anything to worry about for a rig like mine.
There are a few, not many, campsites that could accomodate a large rig once you get up to the campground. The setting is gorgeous and when I was there midweek in mid-April, there was no one camping in any of the 60 plus sites there. No water, dump station, or electric at the campground, but it is a wonderful secluded setting, way off the beaten track and I definitely will consider staying here sometime down the road.
This last shot was kind of a surprise to me. A left over shot from Salineno that was on a disc I hadn’t removed from my backup camera in a while.
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