So, yet again I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love. I’m rather prone to this, being somewhat of a hopeless romantic, and it’s a good thing hubby has a very open view of my fancies or we’d both be in trouble. Usually my fluttering heartstrings strum along the whims of chocolate, wine and other such indulgences, but this time they’re locked on a place. Yup folks I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been enchanted, bewitched and swept away by New Mexico.
I have to admit I didn’t expect it. We really didn’t know of anything about New Mexico before we got here, and our original plan was for a short 2-week drive-though (stopping at a few of the better known spots) before rushing headlong into our beloved CO mountains. A sequence of chance events changed all that. First of all the snow’s been hanging around far longer than expected up North, then I started seeing blog posts from other RVers on New Mexico and slowly, but surely we got drawn in and our plans extended.
I’m just so happy they did and it gives me the chance to share a few reasons why this is going down on the list as one of our favorite States ever:
1/ Variation Abounds: New Mexico has much more variation and beauty than we every originally expected. From glorious mountains to high-desert plains, sand dunes, rocks, forests, lakes, ghost towns and ancient pueblos there’s really no end of interest for anyone and everyone. You could easily spend months here and still not see everything. Also, the variation in elevation and geology allows you every kind of weather. Too hot in the desert? Just drive on over to the mountains. It’s all right there!
2/ It’s Such a DEAL: I’ve mentioned it before, but darn it I just can’t get over it!! The Annual Camping Permit ($225 for out-of-state) covers almost all your camping fees for a year. Whenever we roll into a State Park (all of which have been lovely, by the way) it’s either free or a mere $4/night for electric hook-up. On top of that there are masses of dispersed camping in the forests and even more open space on the BLM lands (which we have yet to hit).
3/ The Views are Stunning: This kind of goes back to #1, but I’ve rarely been in so many campgrounds with so many gorgeous views. We are (yet again) overlooking a fabulous and spectacular view here in Elephant Butte and I’m just wondering when our winning streak will end. Are all the campgrounds this pretty? We’ll see!
4/ There’s Practically No One Here: New Mexico has a grand total of 2 million residents with a lot of open space in between (making it the sixth-most sparsely inhabited State). The RV scene seems to be just as light which makes this place a hidden gem in our eyes. We love the fact that most of the State Parks and forests have masses of first-come-first-serve sites and we love the fact that everything is so accessible. Since we don’t have to reserve ahead of time we’ve been able to take it slow and pace ourselves with our surroundings. Most of the campgrounds are almost completely empty during the week and we’ve not yet had a problem getting in anywhere.
5/ It’s Totally Dog-Friendly: Anywhere that welcomes dogs always gets bonus points from us and New Mexico has definitely delivered on the paw front. Everywhere we’ve been has been very dog-relaxed and friendly allowing pooch on all the trails and in all the lakes. A lot of the places we’ve visited have open and empty spots where pooch can run free without hindrance and some even allow “voice control” rather than leash. It’s a dog-gone-loving paradise!
So far our time in New Mexico is looking like it’s stretching to 6 weeks and it’s still rather open on the other end. We just extended our stay here in Elephant Butte and delayed another week for the next spot. After all, why not? As the French would say “Il n’est rien de réel que le rêve et l’amour” (nothing is real but dreams and love), so if you’re given the chance for both take it for all it’s worth.