Ah, Warm at Last in Arizona

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January 25th 2014
Published: January 25th 2014
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Picacho PeakPicacho PeakPicacho Peak

Picacho Peak State Park, AZ
Thursday, 23 January, 2014

We drove into the town of Elephant Butte and found the post office, finally mailing the post cards we’ve been carrying around since Big Bend. There is a nice resort/rv park in town with a wonderful laundry that they have opened to the public, so we were finally able to wash clothes.

The wind picked up as the afternoon progressed and temperatures have dropped. It is supposed to get down into the 20’s tonight. It was quite windy by dark, with gusts probably up to 30 mph.

Fri, 24 Jan

This morning the thermometer showed 21 degrees when Kerry got up, but the wind had calmed some.

We drove south on I-25 to the town of Hatch, the self-proclaimed chile pepper capitol of the world. Everywhere you looked were chiles, both red and green, hung on strings. Every restaurant advertised their chile (this is the spelling they use, saying chili is some kind of tex-mex mess.) There were long strings of dried chiles and short strings and even chile wreaths.

We drove west on Hwy 26 from Hatch to Deming through the Mesilla Valley. Along the way we passed (surprisingly) two
Sunset on cloudsSunset on cloudsSunset on clouds

at Elephant Butte Lake SP
dairy farms, a solar energy field and a wind farm. At Deming we again headed west on I-10 to Arizona. The wind has picked up again and the air is full of dust. We stopped in Willcox, AZ, at the Elks Lodge where they have a nice little campground. We had dinner at the lodge, a tolerable meal of salad, fish and homemade mac and cheese. It was apparent that we’re not in the south, though, no one spoke to us. Outside, the railroad tracks are very near and trains pass through blowing their whistles about every 30 or 40 minutes. I sometimes think there is a law that all campgrounds must be near a train track/crossing.

Sat, 25 January 2014

We got a little rain overnight, just enough to rinse the dust off the hood of the truck. We left Willcox and continued on I-10 through Tucson to Picacho Peak State Park. This park is along the side of a cactus-covered mountain. There is a great variety of cactus and other desert plants, including Saguaro cactus and Palo Verdes. The cacti are all around the campground and it is quite beautiful. The campground overlooks the interstate and
Elephant Butte Lake DamElephant Butte Lake DamElephant Butte Lake Dam

The lake was created by damming up the Rio Grande
the railroad tracks beyond, but it really isn’t noisy. We can hear the trains, but no whistles, unlike last night.

We are finally warm. Kerry is sitting outside in shorts soaking up the sun and trying to bake out winter.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Elephant Butte IslandElephant Butte Island
Elephant Butte Island

In Elephant Butte Lake
Elephant Butte DamElephant Butte Dam
Elephant Butte Dam

from the downriver side
Dust in the airDust in the air
Dust in the air

Willcox, AZ
Campground at Picacho PeakCampground at Picacho Peak
Campground at Picacho Peak

our little camper
Saguaro CactusSaguaro Cactus
Saguaro Cactus

Picacho Peak SP
The odd coupleThe odd couple
The odd couple

Ocotillo and saguaro
Saguaro and Palo VerdeSaguaro and Palo Verde
Saguaro and Palo Verde

Young saguaro often grown under a "nurse tree"
The saddleThe saddle
The saddle

Picacho Peak State Park, AZ
Saguaro skeletonSaguaro skeleton
Saguaro skeleton

the ribs were often used as fence posts or roof rafters.

29th January 2014

As usual, wonderful pictures of a grand trip!!!!!!

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