Sunrise over New Mexico

10 03 2013
Brantley Lake State Park

Brantley Lake State Park

We’re just staying ahead of the cold front that dumped show on Colorado Front Range area and has scattered snow, ice and rain showers as far south as Ft. Sumner, NM. We passed through Ft. Sumner yesterday on our way toward Carlsbad. We’re just a few miles north of Carlsbad at Brantley Lake State Park. Along the way we learned that Ft. Sumner is “famous” for being the last resting place of Billy the Kid. The history of his exact gravesite and headstone is filled with gunfights, Pecos River floods, stolen markers and even two competing “museums”, each of which claim to have the authentic effects of the gunfighter. The web is full of wonderful information about The Kid, and we didn’t take the time to stop and pay for admission to either of the museums. Leaving Ft. Sumner we continued south on Highway 20 for about 50 miles to intersect with Highway 285. This probably isn’t the optimal route for smooth roads – NM highway 20 is very rough, giving the truck and trailer suspension a good workout. Highway 54 directly to 285 would probably be a better option (but, you’d miss the Billy the Kid gravesite).

After a quick resupply stop at the Albertson’s in Roswell, we arrived at the State Park around 3pm. Surprisingly the campground was filling quickly with only 3 sites on the reservation loop (sites 1-30) and 6 or so on the first-come first-serve loop (sites 30-60) We’re in site #51. The sites all have water and electric hookups, a grill and covered picnic table. Set up on a bluff visible from 285, the campground would almost be completely surrounded by water during full lake conditions. But, with the amount of growth around the banks, this Pecos River impound hadn’t been at high levels in a long, long time. There is also a clean bathhouse, a group shelter and a kids playground in the center of the campground. The sites are spaced well apart, and with leaves on the trees many would be very private. The cellular service is the only down-side, on the Verizon network there is very weak 2G signal, on T-Mobile there is a fairly week 3G signal. We’d stay here again, but only during “non-work” time.

Brantley Lake State Park

Brantley Lake State Park

Brantley Lake State Park

Brantley Lake State Park

Brantley Lake State Park

Brantley Lake State Park

Today we’ll leave New Mexico and cross into the Central Time Zone of west Texas. We’re headed to Ft. Davis – more from there later.

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