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Published: June 13th 2013
Cynde admiring the beautiful plants in Old Town
Cynde and I had been talking about a trip to the Grand Canyon for quite some time. She had been to the Canyon as a child and had fond memories. I, on the other hand, had flown over the Canyon many times, but had never had the pleasure of stepping onto the rim to take in the magnificent views. So, we elected to make this trip our first lengthly trip, eighteen days on the road.
Our plan was to head out on Monday, the 10th of June, with our first night in Santa Rosa, New Mexico; the second night at Bluewater Lake State Park, New Mexico; and nights three and four at Holbrook, New Mexico, home to the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. But, I am getting ahead of myself!
On Monday morning I had planned to get up at 3:30 a.m. Naturally, I hit the snooze several times, finally arising at 4 a.m. After hitting the shower, I started packing the coach with the supplies that could not be packed the night before - refrigerated stuff mostly. I woke Cynde at 4:20 and we were on the road by 4:30 a.m.
Lunch at Church St. Cafe
Love this cafe off the square in Old Town- great New Mexican food
Hitting the road early is great! Not much traffic and cool driving. Having a windshield that is 92” wide and 60” high really catches a lot of sunshine - and heat! So, planning your travel helps to make it more comfortable.
We made really good time, arriving in Amarillo in time for breakfast. We tried searching for some local breakfast spot, but ended up only at McDonalds. Still, it was good.
We arrived at our target destination, Santa Rosa, New Mexico around noon. After checking in and setting up camp, we made a quick run through town. Santa Rosa is on Route 66 and home to the Blue Hole. This is a natural spring that pushes thousands of gallons of clear blue water into a large round pool with the overflow moving into a local river. The pool is a favorite spot for New Mexicans wanting to exercise their scuba diving skills. The divers can go to the bottom of the 81 foot pool to explore the mysterious crevice from which the water flows. The other folks just come to swim in the 61 degree water.
We did neither, opting
Bluewater State Park, New Mexico
Hills and Valleys at Bluewater State Park
instead to return to camp and the call of our 86 degree pool. After a leisurely swim, we got ready for dinner at the local cafe. We had sampled the fare last October when we traveled to the Balloon Festival in Albuquerque. We had BBQ and possibly the best cole slaw ever. It had a tinge of citrus that we could not identify. The cook, after much persuasion, told us it was grapefruit! It was wonderful. This time, the slaw was flavored with lemon. The cook and her husband own the camp. She shared with us that she received her training in the culinary skills while living and attending college in France, but acquired her practical skill in Costa Rica.
Another early morning (we remained on Oklahoma time), and we found a local breakfast in an authentic Route 66 cafe. It was great, and they provided coffee to go!!!
Our destination for day two was Bluewater Lake State Park. The park is only about four hours from Santa Rosa, but Albuquerque lies in between. Although we had not planned on stopping, temptation got the best of us. We just could not blow through “The
Bluewater State Park
Urgently Needed: Hairdresser for Cynde
Q” without taking time to visit Old Town. So many unique shops, so much Native American art. Who could resist? Also, lunch at the Church Street Cafe. It was well worth the stop. We finally made Bluewater Lake around 3 p.m.
Bluewater Lake is a mountain lake nestled between the peaks of the Continental Divide. The lake is at an altitude of about 7200 feet. Although the lake was low due to minimal snow cover this past winter, it was still a beautiful location, and obviously a favorite of the local folks. There were people fishing, boating, paddling, and camping. There were plenty of areas to explore and breath-taking scenery. Since there were no restaurants within 20 miles, we elected to cook. Grilled burgers, cole slaw, potato salad, and all the trimmings. As the sun set behind the mountains, we noticed two distinct things, a significant drop in the temperature, and a night sky filled with stars the likes of which we had never seen! It was beautiful. It was crisp. It got downright cold! What a wonderful contrast to Oklahoma. We settled in for the night with windows open and ceiling fans whirling. What a great
Bluewater State Park
Kenny enjoys the view!
night for sleeping!
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