It has been a while between Escapitoes, but for good reason! We decided to sell our RV, BagoBago, and go with a pull-behind travel trailer that would get off the beaten path more easily; would be equipped with all those features for off-grid camping and exploration. After a few weeks of shopping we decided the new MicroMinnie FLX from Winnebago would fit the bill nicely. This high clearance, rugged 22 foot trailer is loaded with solar panels, lithium batteries, on-demand hot water, eco efficient heater, AC and range, etc., and is surprisingly roomy with a Murphy bed large enough for two plus our 50# dog, Luna. (Yes, Luna is very spoiled!)
Enter ”The Felix” ….. and her maiden, shake-down voyage to the Four Corners region of New Mexico.
Angel Peak Scenic Area, in the far NW corner of New Mexico, is more than 10,000 acres of public lands smack in the middle of Badlands country ….. the high desert ….. Oil & Gas production lands. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages this recreation area for its scenic beauty and scientific resources.
Once leaving the pavement, the washboarded and dusty dirt road follows the Kutz Canyon rim with many viewpoints and a few nice picnic areas overlooking the colorful and spectacular badlands. Miles and miles of water-carved sandstone, shale and mudstones were shaped by ancient high-energy rivers carrying rock and other debris from the Rocky Mountains. The many deeply eroded and sculpted fingers found throughout canyon were formed more than 60 million years ago. Now that’s history! The layers exposed from past and present erosion reveal mammal fossils and petrified wood from the Eocene and Paleocene.
As we passed by rugged Castle Rock, The Cliffs, and many other incredible viewpoints, the 7000 foot Angel Peak was always visible. The road ends at the small campground loop, where you can set up camp directly across the canyon from Angel Peak.
The surrounding oil & gas facilities didn’t hamper our urge to get out there and hike about. While absorbing the scenic views, we encountered many wildflowers in bloom, somehow finding enough moisture in their pure sand substrate to grow. There were several bird species flying about or singing from the tops of twisted and contorted juniper, and loving the heat of the afternoon was a very ”cool” collared lizard. This dude was very handsome, all decked out in his ornately patterned and colored suit, complete with dandy yellow-gloved hands, He seemed as curious about us as we were of him.
We had planned to spend several nights in this scenic area, but decided to get some relief from the oppressive heat and explore new-to-us Cuba Mesa (about 70 miles to the SE) spending some time in a 7500 foot ponderosa pine forest.
For a review of Days 2 & 3, stay tuned for Escapito #2b (coming soon).