Whitesands National Monument only offers camping for backpackers, and we wanted to sleep indoors during the cold spell, so we needed to find another place to camp. John found a great state campground about a half-hour drive away, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park. The park is nestled at the foot of the Sacramento Mountains, with a Read More →

New Mexico offers some truly otherworldly experiences; it’s no wonder UFO and alien theories abound in the area (we thought about visiting Roswell to learn about UFOs, but ultimately decided not to take the time). I previously told you about touring Carlsbad Caverns, which makes me feel like I am in a sci-fi castle, now Read More →

Ninth day, Jan 8 I set out alone from our campsite in Ocotillo Grove to hike Chimneys trail, which the map shows is just a couple miles up the unpaved road from our site. I underestimated the distance from our camp to the trailhead along the road, and it took nearly two hours to get Read More →

Sixth day, Jan 5 I awoke when the sky was still dark and went outside after breakfast to watch the sunrise. Even with my down sleeping bag, it was too cold to sit still and enjoy the morning, so I decided to go for a bike ride as soon as it was light enough. I Read More →

Fourth day, Jan 3 For the first seven weeks of this road trip, we spent nearly a third of our nights backpacking, but we have not been on an overnight trip since that epic 100 Mile Wilderness adventure. Coming up to our Big Bend visit, John suggested that we go on a backpacking trip. I Read More →

First day, December 31 Our first campsite was Gravel Pit #1, a few miles upstream on the Rio Grande from Rio Grande Village, where we were booked for three nights. The ranger who helped us plan our itinerary promised that the Gravel Pit had nice sites, despite the unglamorous name. She did not lie. We Read More →

The day we left Lake D’Arbonne State Park, the warm weather also left the region. A cold front blew in, bringing first rain and later ice. It dropped the temperature more than 30 degrees from the amazingly warm weather we experienced in the prior days. We wanted nice weather for our visit to New Orleans, Read More →