Monday, August 26, 2013

New Mexico numero uno

This was our view heading up into the mountains to Ruidoso. We have this luck where whenever we go out of town, it likes to rain on us. It rained on us in Arkansas, it rained on us in Fredericksburg, and it rained on us in Ruidoso. But only a little this time, and truly it was great timing all around. New Mexico has been in the midst of a terrible drought. But thankfully, starting a week or so ago they've been having crazy rain which has been a blessing (because dry mountains = forest fires), and we came in the middle of it. We drove into this storm and it was pretty epic. Storms in the mountains are full of thunder and lightning and big fat showers of rain, but they don't last long. The storm we drove into disappeared just in time for us to set up camp. Or find our camp I should say.

We had no plans whatsoever for this trip. I knew Ruidoso was surrounded by Lincoln National forest so there would be ample campgrounds, and I knew we'd probably stay at least one night in a hotel, but that was it. We got into Ruidoso after a rather loooong drive from Texas around three, had a late lunch, and then went on a mission to find a place to stay. At first we were a little defeated by the rain and looked for hotels, but we machoed up and remembered that we camped for days in the rain last year, so we could do this.

After lots of searching and lots of driving, we found our little slice of heaven nestled in the mountains. We were the only campers at the entire site for the first two days (aside from the camp host of course, who was so nice), and on the third we were joined by just a few families. This place was perfect. If you ever go to Ruidoso and want to camp, the Oak Grove campground is where it's at. Actually, go to Ruidoso and camp just for this campground. We had our own private meadow just steps from our tent. A green meadow full of flowers, surrounded by mountains. The recent rains had turned this place into a green wonderland. We overheard some locals saying they can't remember the last time Ruidoso was this green. My words will not nearly do this place justice and neither will these pictures, but we'll try.

I mean, this place was something out of a dream. And down that hill in the forest? A little mountain stream.

Perfection, y'all. Our first night camping there was a full moon! It was so bright, it lit up the whole mountain side. Inside our tent it looked like everything outside was glowing. And the next day, after a rainy and muggy afternoon, we woke up to this loveliness:

The road our campsite was off of was called Ski Run Road. It's the road you take to get to Ski Apache, the local ski area. It's a twelve mile twisty-turny (understatement) road up into the mountains, with a spectacular view. (If you are a hardcore runner, I'd like to see you attempt the Ski Run Road Challenge. Not only is it 12 miles of insane hills, but you're running at crazy altitudes!) Our campsite was five miles up, but we drove the rest of the way up our first morning there. The views were phenomenal.


Channeling my inner Weasley clearly, what's up with that hair? I think someone needs a trim. Badly. Look at that mess. Oh and did I mention the temperature? While the highs were hanging around 100 degrees in Texas, the high in Rudioso was like 75. Amazing.

A big shout out to Bruce Wayne, our sweet still fairly new car, who got more than broken in on this trip. She was SO dirty, exterior and interior, by the end of it all and we put an obscene amount of miles onto that odometer. She was a champ though and climbed up and down those mountains beautifully. She even did a little offroading!

Enough mountain photos for you? No? Good, there's a ton more. Just wait.

The rest of the trip here.

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