Our time at Holloman Lake was short but oh so sweet. We would have stayed longer but we were on schedule to go see Jessica Perform at U of A in Tuscon and we wanted to get a week in at the Benson SKP park beforehand. So we only stayed there four (free) nights.
I found out it’s not BLM at all, but a Recreational Area in development – owned by the Air Force Base of the same name. I really liked it there – although the reviews talked about it being smelly or hard to get into. The entrance was a little tight – as you can see by the pictures below of us go coming and going – because of the fence posts beside the cattle guard on a turn to get in.
After that it was clear sailing and we had a spot pretty much to ourselves. The lake – or drainage lagoon – while not exactly scenic did provide for some beautiful sunset reflections.
The weather was nice while we were there, and we were happy to be out of the higher (therefore colder) elevations. There are other boondocking areas east of Las Cruces, and we had stayed there before, but we didn’t want to take the gamble of not getting a spot.
While camped at the lake (near Alamogordo), we took the drive over the Organ mountains to see that boondocking area, and sure enough there would have been no spots available. In fact, it was practically unrecognizable from when were were there just last February. They paved Baylor Canyon Road – the shortcut road from Hwy 70 to the Organ Mountains Desert Peak National Monument – and the BLM area we had stayed at had been fenced off to have even fewer spots than before.
We did go over to do the Dripping Springs hike and it was fantastic. First hiking we’d done in a while and the weather was perfect.
Going up into the canyon offered a wonderful view of the Mesilla Valley below, and it was interesting to learn of the history of the Boyd Sanitarium, which was built to house TB patients, and of the older hotel at Van Patten’s Mountain Camp, which was mostly in ruins now. The spring providing water for the area was barely visible and inaccessible, but you could still hear it.
I found it surprising that the hotel was built with a space between the rock wall it was built in front of – because in Arkansas the hotels all seemed to be built into the rock using it as a back wall.
After that hike, while still in the park, we drove to another hike, the La Cueva Trailhead, seen from a distance in the outcropping of rocks below.We were still marveling at what perfect weather it was.
There was a large cave in the rock mountains used by natives for some time and in more recent history by a very interesting hermit.
All in all it was a wonderful day of exploration.
Since we were camped only a few miles away from White Sands National Monument I wanted to visit there as well, but after finishing some chores, we were a little late for the sunset walk.
I really love that place and wrote about it here but, maybe because it hadn’t been that long since we’d been there, we didn’t take the time so make a day of it.
Our four days there just flew by. There are a couple of space museums in the area, but we couldn’t agree on which one to visit, so we did none.
For a stop over point, it was wonderful and I was sad to say goodbye – although excited about our next destination: We are taking advantage of an Escapees special to spend a week in an SKP co-op in Benson for half price.
All I know about it is that some of our friends are “on the hot list” there – so I guess I’ll find out what that means!
Thank you for following along on our adventures with us.
Peace & Love, Joy