Ahhhh….. Las Vegas! ….. New Mexico that is.
Las Vegas sits at the eastern base of the Santa Fe Mountains and offers wonderful views of both the mountains to the west and also of the vast plains to the east. It was first settled by the Spaniards along the western side of the Gallinas River. Pretty soon the railroad came into the area and another town popped up along the eastern side of the river, which was settled by the Anglos. The two towns were called Old Las Vegas and New Las Vegas. Eventually the towns merged into what is now Las Vegas. It’s a nice little city with a pleasant mix of old and new, with plenty of things to see and do. Huge roadside billboards proclaim their town motto: So Damn Authentic We Can Prove It!
Our ultimate destination was Storrie Lake State Park which is just a few miles north of the city. We were fortunate to find a site that sat back from the other three camping areas. The campsite to the north is the boat ramp area and can be very busy with fishermen and recreational boaters coming and going. Another site that lies to the south is basically the main campground. It offers several full hook up sites as well as a few non-electric sites and a playground for the kids. Across from it is a huge field that butts up against the Storrie Lake shore and it can be used for primitive dry-camping. A little further down the road and to the west sits a small, 4-site campground that I think was called Gallego Campsite. Thats where we parked our rig and we even had electricity. Thats a treat for us!
Although our shelter was rough stone and log, most were made in the Adobe Style.
Panoramic view of Storrie Lake
Views of our campsite. NICE!
Storrie Lake State Park was a great place to stay put for 2 weeks, especially over the Labor Day weekend. While the lake did get somewhat busy during that time, the noise was pretty low key and there were very few incidences of unruliness. We hooked up with Jerry and Shar, Camp Hosts for the main site, and once again gained valuable information from yet another long-time full-time RVing couple. They’ve been all over the west and up and down the Pacific Coast as well. During the Labor Day weekend, they invited us, as well as all of the Park Personnel, over for free eats and drinks (non-alcoholic)! It was nice to sit under the shelter and learn about what others are doing with their lives as well as sharing our experiences. Before we left to head elsewhere, we got contact info from Jerry & Shar and have made tentative plans to hook up with them again sometime over the winter months.
The evening clouds and sunsets, as well as the nighttime skies, were wonderful views from our campsite. Photos just do not do the scenery justice, especially the fiery sunsets. Gorgeous!
The Big Dipper over a Picnic Shelter.
We visited Las Vegas quite often, usually picking up needed items from Wal-Mart but also visiting several antique stores, a few thrift shops, a local museum and of course a couple restaurants. One of them was Kocina de Raphael. It was good food but the highlight was the Sopapillas! I don’t think I’ve ever had such huge fluffy ones before. Muy Bien! I also managed to visit Cornerstone Church on both Sundays that we were there. I felt very much at home and enjoyed a worship service that had a mix of Spanish and English songs. Even though I understood very few of the Sp
anish songs, the feeling of worship was still there and I felt very blessed.
We drove up into the mountains several times, exploring the area, always on the search for new and different places to camp. We found a National Forest Campground that was very remote and while it was nice we have realized that we enjoy places that have an expansive view of the area. Thick forests give us a feeling of being boxed in.
Almost everything that we wanted to do had to be done early in the day for come afternoon the monsoon showers would arrive. Sometimes it rained just in the mountains but often it hit us down by the lake as well. Our neighbor, a woman who has been traveling alone and living in an old 1989 Chevy van, hardly ever made it back to her campsite before the rains came. She’d have to either re-set her rig and electric hook-up in the rain or just sit it out until the storm passed. It got to be a running joke with us, wondering and watching to see if she made it back in time!
As mentioned in the previous post, we also did a day trip over to Pecos National Historic Park. It’s nice to be in an area that has a lot of things to do that are mainly day trips. We always try to get Ranger-Led tours and have never been disappointed in one yet. They really do an excellent job of giving the history of the park where they are stationed.
Our time spent at Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas, New Mexico was just what we needed, especially during the holiday weekend. We had a nice campsite with water, electricity, showers and some beautiful views, met several nice people, had an interesting area to explore, was close to some much needed shopping and had great access to the internet. In short; it may have very well been “the perfect campsite”. Well, for now anyway. Maybe, perhaps, there is an even more perfect campsite that awaits us on down the road. Who knows? The adventure continues!