Saturday, April 19, 2014

In the Clouds

We are just north of Carlsbad New Mexico.  after spending a few days in Texas at Guadalupe mountains National park, we are finally beginning our spring northern migration which will eventually take us to Oregon sometime in June about 2 months from now.  Been living full time in RV for past 10 months.  Amazing huh?
We awaken to overcast skies at Brantley State Park

Geography lesson:  Getting from Carlsbad to Alamagordo requires travel over or around  9000+ mountain range.  We will travel over it and camp at 8600 ft Friday night.  Woo hoo.  Forests again instead of desert
gradual grade increase heading west to Cloudcroft
We head up the narrow winding roads gradually from 3300 ft to 8,000 ft elevation where we find out campsite in a back canyon where Elk are known to come through.  
Our new campsite in the forest
 We saw the fresh Elk droppings by no elk.  It rained hard and fast for a short time last night.  Smells so good out in the forest this morning (Saturday). We are truly in the clouds here.  Reminds me of Sierra Foothills.
We hike the trestle trail.  3 miles  600 ft elevation gain and descent.
We set up camp then head up the hill to Cloudcroft, elevation 8,650 ft,  a small high mountain destination place in the summer for those seeking refuge from the heat in the desert below.
We select a short yet moderately strenuous hike over the trestle trail.
We hike down to the end of Mexican Canyon Trestle.
 It descends into the western canyon about 600 ft where we see remains of several trestles built back in the late 19th century by the Alamagordo and Sacramento Mountains Railway, to bring timber down off the mountain for other parts of the railroad empires.  The route was 32 miles up the mountain featuring grades upt o6.4% and more than 30 trestles.  Quite a feat.
Mexican Canyon Trestle from other end by higway.
 Tired from the hike, especially in the high altitude, we go back and rest in the quiet evening.

We pack up and head out after leisurely morning to Alamagordo and White Sands. down a 14 mile steep 6+% grade.

Future Plans and Directions

We will arrive Santa Fe next Friday or so.  Turns out there is an RV service company in Santa Fe who is certified by our Tiffen, our RV builder so we need the 5000 mile checkup on motor and chassis, and want AC, water heater, etc checked out and serviced.  We decided not to extend our warranty beyond August, choosing to be pro-active in preventive maintenance.  So we will be there over the weekend to attend Saturday market,  tour around and get work done.  They have place we can actually park the RV and stay in it overnight if necessary.  What a deal!

We just committed also to be in Salt Lake City area by May 10 to help Sraddha's nephew-in-law and family move into their new home on south side.  So we will let the weather somewhat dictate our route from Santa Fe to Salt Lake City of that 10-11 day stretch.

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