A Year in New Mexico

(New Mexico)
This year was an experiment to see if I could spend the entire year just camping and traveling within the state of New Mexico. It would mean far fewer miles and less expense. The key to making it work would be finding suitable camps at elevations to maintain pleasant temperatures. And of course, to satsify my urge to roam and experience new things.

A Year in New Mexico

Percha Dam on the Río Grande

The year started slowly with taking care of Tardis maintenance, doctor visits, and personal business while camping at my winter haunts around Truth or Consequences. Got to see the Gathering of Quilts and Geronimo Wood Carvers exhibits.

A Year in New Mexico

El Vado Lake

While awaiting my summer departure, I drove a loop through the Gila Mountains to see Emory Pass, Lower Gallinas Canyon, Fort Bayard, and to hike the Mineral Creek trail. Also, got to attend the annual Wild Wild West Fiesta which had been missed in prior years.

A Year in New Mexico

Edward Sargent WMA – Elk Range

On my way north and to higher elevations I saw the Dittert Site Ruins, some more of El Malpaís, and the P’oshu’owingeh Ruins. Camped at familiar spots, but also found some new ones going as high as 10,000ft. Sights like the Brazos Cliffs, some horses, Placer Creek Falls, and others kept me entertained.

A Year in New Mexico

Río Santa Barbara

Other stops included the Oñate Monument, Fort Burgwin, the Kit Carson House, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Cleveland Roller Mill, Windmills Yard, the Sawtooth Mountains, Clouds over St.Augustin, the Ben Lilly monument, Gila Colors in the fall, and some Mimbres ruins. Also, hiked on the Jornada del Muerto, visited the ghosttowns of Monticello and Engle, and enjoyed a couple of fun holiday nights.

A Year in New Mexico

High Road Overlook – Sangre de Cristo Mountains

I got to see Cave Creek Canyon, the Geronimo Surrender Mounument, the Gadsden Hotel, Bisbee, and Fort Bowie during five days in Arizona. Except for that short trip to visit an artist friend, all my time was spent exploring inside the state of New Mexico. Since, the first weeks of the new year would be in state, I think a full year was accomplished. It was a very good year, and I considered it a success.

Camp: Elephant Butte Lake SP-Quail Run CG
Scene: Travels in New Mexico

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18 Responses to A Year in New Mexico

  1. Steven Crisp December 30, 2018 at 1:27 pm #

    Well done Pleinguy! More sight seeing, less time on the road, and as you say, lower costs. New Mexico sounds like a winner!

    We did many more miles in just a couple of months exploring Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s all good 😉

    Steven Crisp

    • Pleinguy December 30, 2018 at 3:11 pm #

      Thanks for the encouragng words, Steven. Hope you enjoyed your trip.

  2. Barney Ward December 30, 2018 at 3:28 pm #

    You did real good young man. What will you do for an encore? I bet it will be exciting.

    • Pleinguy December 30, 2018 at 4:29 pm #

      Thanks Barney. I’m making plans now for a summer sojourn; stay tuned.

  3. Gumo December 30, 2018 at 3:30 pm #

    I noticed your time this year was in NM and was glad you did because I enjoyed reading about out the way sights I’ve never heard of or will probably visit myself, so thanks for taking us all along on your travels. Happy trails for 2019 to you!

    • Pleinguy December 30, 2018 at 4:31 pm #

      Glad you liked it Norm. Hope you get up this way sometime.

  4. Rick Rousseau December 30, 2018 at 6:49 pm #

    We’ve personally seen some of those places you’ve visited; but, also many that we are now planning to see. Thanks for taking us along.

    • Pleinguy December 30, 2018 at 7:18 pm #

      I’m happy to be of help. Thanks for letting me know.

  5. Chris December 30, 2018 at 8:42 pm #

    I’ve always enjoyed your posts. Your seemingly insatiable desire to see new places is our (the readers’) good fortune. As Rick Steves says, “Keep on traveling!”


    • Pleinguy December 30, 2018 at 10:10 pm #

      I’m happy to hear you enjoy following the journey. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Peter Scarnati January 2, 2019 at 8:47 am #

    In making the “loop” in New Mexico, were you able to stay warm enough during winter months and cool enough during the summer without utilizing hookups to a great degree?
    Are NM State Parks located in such a way to allow someone to purchase the annual pass and boondock most of the year in comfort?

    • Pleinguy January 2, 2019 at 9:25 am #

      Yes, to both. I stayed comfortable the entire year drycamping and boondocking. State parks, national forest, and BLM were used. Only in the last week or so did I pay for an electric site; although I could have chose not to hookup. Most all the state parks have sites for hookups, drycamp, or primitive (boondock). So, you can camp however you wish. Thanks for asking Peter.

  7. Martha January 5, 2019 at 5:13 pm #

    I’d say your year has been a great success, and I’ve really enjoyed your posts. New Mexico is a beautiful state, probably my favorite of southwestern states, except for the prickly thorns everywhere!

    • Pleinguy January 5, 2019 at 5:19 pm #

      It’s my favorite state in the southwest, too. The thorns can usually be avoided, if you stay aware of the surroundings.

  8. Betty Graffis February 19, 2019 at 12:04 am #

    I learned a lot about New Mexico through your eyes. Joe and I didn’t spend time there except traveling through to get somewhere else. Also enjoyed all the beautiful pictures. Looking forward to your next journey.

  9. Pleinguy February 26, 2019 at 1:04 pm #

    You should spend more time there. It really is a ‘Land of Enchantment’.

  10. B-I-L Brad March 6, 2019 at 12:16 pm #

    Glad to hear you are doing well and enjoying yourself. Have you been able to avoid the snow? Where are you headed next?

    • Pleinguy March 7, 2019 at 2:54 pm #

      No snow for me this year. I’ having a grand time. I expect this summer’s sojourn will mostly be northern Utah and western Colorado. Glad to hear from you.

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