(Alamogordo NM)
In the late 1800s “Frenchy” Rochas built a small rock and adobe cabin for himself at the mouth of Dog Canyon. By piling rocks, he also created a flume from the spring fed stream in the canyon to collect water. He stacked rock terraces for his garden, orchard, and walls to contain his cattle. His efforts provided a decent living at the base of the Sacramento Mountains. Being about 30 miles south of the settlement of La Luz NM, it provided the solitude he long sought.

Rock and adobe ruins

Frenchy’s cabin at canyon entry

I hiked the riparian trail that goes a short way into the canyon and then descends to the stream. The trail then follows the stream down hill to the remains of Frenchy’s cabin. It was a fairly short and easy route so it didn’t take very long.

Rocks, reeds, path

Riparian trail in canyon

Rocks, water, logs

Spring fed stream along the trail

There are also short trails that meander across the hill between my campsite and the restrooms. An array of desert plants like cacti, ocotillo, mesquite and creosote populate the area. And, the steep trail up into Dog Canyon beckons me.

Cactus in front of large cliffs

Cliffs along the Sacramento Mountains

From my campsite at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, there’s a great view of the mountain cliffs and of the Tularosa Basin valley below. This place was my first camp after buying my rig Tardis last year. Back then, I could only stay for one night. So, I had wanted to return to see more.

Cacti, motorhome, valley

Tardis at Oliver Lee, seen from the cactus garden

The park is at 4,638 ft elevation, and the Dog Canyon trail rises considerably more. So, I awaited the arrival of warmer temperatures. This week the forecast calls for highs of mid-60s to mid-70s, and lows of upper-30s to mid-40s, so it should be ideal weather.

Camp: Oliver Lee Memorial SP-Loop A
Scene: Mountains, cliffs, canyon, desert

11 Responses to Frenchy

  1. Gypsy February 13, 2014 at 12:33 am #

    I love the scenery of the southwest, but don’t care for the native plants. Frenchy picked a beautiful site for his cabin.

    • Pleinguy February 13, 2014 at 1:00 am #

      There are some fantastic views in the desert southwest for sure. Pretty much every plant seems to have thorns. I’m learning to respect their defenses. As any artist, I love the variety of colors and textures.

  2. Jim and Gayle February 13, 2014 at 2:24 am #

    That’s a tough trail up Dog Canyon but worth the effort.

    • Pleinguy February 13, 2014 at 2:31 am #

      So I’ve heard; a big increase in elevation for the distance. I probably won’t make it all the way to the top, as that takes 8 hours. Still, I’m hoping for half way up. These old legs will tell me how far is enough.

  3. Dragonfly February 14, 2014 at 1:40 am #

    Love the pictures, brings back memories from my long ago trips out west. May meet up on the trail someday yet my friend.

    • Pleinguy February 14, 2014 at 1:54 am #

      Hey Dragonfly, been a long time; good to hear from you. That would be so cool to see you on the road. Sure hope you make it.

  4. Brad February 16, 2014 at 1:45 am #

    What beautiful views! I love the rocks, views of the skies, plants, etc. One thing I have to ask… Is there any fear of scorpions or snakes? I’m terrified of those types of critters.

    • Pleinguy February 16, 2014 at 3:00 am #

      I haven’t seen any snakes or scorpions. Snakes pretty much hibernate in the winter. I don’t have a fear of them, but do respect their space.

    • Barney (The Old Fat Man) February 16, 2014 at 3:45 am #

      Brad, Everywhere out here in the western desert you have possibility of snakes and scorpions. Caution is required even in the winter. I have never run into an aggressive snake in the desert. Highly defensive yes.

  5. jonthebru February 16, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    I read a lot of blogs written, some very well, by fulltimers. Yours is clearly a favorite. You have a decent perspective. I will be curious to know how many miles you move your TARDIS around this winter, its definitely the way to travel through time and space!

    • Pleinguy February 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      Thank you Jon. I will be doing some more exploring. But, moves will not likely be far apart, as there is so much to see in this area. Stay tuned!

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