We are glad to be back this evening to where it is warmer in the southern part of New Mexico. After 2 nights in a campground it is also refreshing to be in a motel room again.
The snowfall that surprised us Tuesday in Albuquerque didn’t stay around for long. We had a couple of more days at our extended stay to enjoy activities in Albuquerque. One of those days we drove up to the Jemez mountains and visited Jemez State Monument. This was an opportunity to view some beautiful scenery and to tour the ruins of San Jose de los Jemez church that was built in the 17th century during Spain’s colonization of New Mexico.
On Thursday we left Albuquerque and headed northwest, stopping at El Malpais National Monument. We didn’t have time to view the whole area, but headed to El Calderon, where there was a picnic area to eat lunch and then a short hike to view the volcanic formations.
Our endpoint for the day was Bluewater Lake State Park, where we set up camp, cooked dinner and then had time to walk up to a scenic overlook of the dam and lake. It was quite overcast that evening, but the clouds cleared up during the night and there was no rain. The weather change, however, did bring very strong winds the next day. Most of that day was spent driving to Chaco Canyon, an important site in understanding the culture and history of the southwest, but, also, a very out-of-the-way place. The last 20 miles of the drive was over an unpaved, rough dirt road.
This morning when we crawled out of our sleeping bags we didn’t waste any time sitting around our campsite. The temperatures overnight had plunged into the 20’s. The water that we had in our water bottles was frozen! It was difficult taking down the tent and packing the car because without gloves our hands and fingers were numb.
But 250 miles later we are in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where it was 80 degrees this afternoon. We wanted to be back to civilization this evening so that we could attend Easter Sunday services tomorrow. After that, if the weather looks promising, we will do some more camping. But this time it should be a lot warmer!
Check out the photos from this week’s activities.