From our latest home at Bluewater Lake State Park we trekked up I40 to Albuquerque and did some shopping. Deciding which way to get to our destination was easy for me and a little hard for Dale. He wanted to get to Manzano State Park! I mean, really get there! 🙂 I Googled our next destination and the instructions kept taking us through Albuquerque (going east on (40) to Hwy 337 to Tijeras. Dale wanted to go straight down I25 and over to Mountainair and then back up 55 to the park. He thought that would be faster. Well, we discovered the I25 route was about 30 miles longer although the speed limit is 75 mph and may take less time.
I am so glad we went the back roads! We saw some very lush country of New Mexico that we have not seen much off. The valley between Tijeras and the park was green with grasses and pine trees. This is part of the Cibola National Forest. I am sorry I didn’t get any photos. I was so enthralled by all the beauty I forgot.
We went through places like Escabosa, Chilili, Yajique, Torreon and Manzano. Instead of towns they call these (name of place) land grants. Some of these places had a post office and two of these places had a very small grocery store. Mostly just houses and a church with a graveyard.
At one point the vista opened up and we could see to the east of us and it was all desert. It was quite amazing to be in this lush country with trees all around us and just a few miles was total desert.
Growing alongside the road in abundance was the Cholla. Pronounced choya. This particular Cholla is Tree Cholla and it was blooming! I was so excited to finally see a bloom!!!!
As we got closer to our destination the lush vegetation gave way to more of a desert feel until we turned off the main road to the state park. We are now in the foothills of the Manzano Mountains. The paved road also went away to dirt as we got closer to the park.
The website for this park says there are 34 spaces. Within a tight circle there are aprox. 20 spaces, all but 5 are reserved. Some have tables with covers while most just have a picnic table (and sometimes those tables are on the wrong side of the rig???) There are 3 water spigots and yes, they have a dump station. Beyond the group shelter are undeveloped spaces to make up the total 34 spaces. Some I would just call a parking space for an extra vehicle!
Our site is awesome. Once again we are secluded by trees and a shelter over our picnic table that is solid wall from floor to ceiling. We can sit back there and no one knows we are around! There are no spaces behind us, just trees. A great place for Morgan and Annie to roam free.
We have erected our handy-dandy screen tent so we can sit outside bug free. Dale has been eaten up so far because of sitting outside unprotected. Wildlife is scarce but we have seen a big squirrel nosing around. It is very quiet here when the volunteers aren’t running around on the 4-wheeler. Nice place to veg out.
They do have a great hiking trail system and Morg and I can get in a couple of miles hike each day! We do like it here. I also have to say that so far everyone has been so friendly. Nice place to be.