Escapito #5: Public Lands Boondocking through central New Mexico

“The Felix” was loaded and ready for a fun boondocking adventure through forest and desert, ghost towns and lava flows, rainbow colored ridges and badlands.
Central New Mexico is a splendid place to explore and discover wildlife, geology and spectacular scenery.

Come on along with us for 4 days of camping fun in the Land of Enchantment.

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Grumpy G. Gus …. A Sandia Mountain Sentinel

Sandia Mountain granite! Such distinctively gnarly gargoyles, whimisically odd and judgmental, critter and caricature mimics ……. There’s nothing like these boulders! This is a short story about one of a cast of thousands; Grumpy G. Gus.

But there’s a longer story too. Underneath the often comical-looking and recognizable characters that can be envisioned in these boulders, there’s an even more fascinating tale that tells volumes about the geologic history of central New Mexico. Come along and meet Gus and learn a bit about Sandia Mountain granite.

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Escapito #4: Reservoir Hopping thru Georgia O’Keefe Country

On the road again with “The Felix” reservoir hopping through spectacular Georgia O’Keefe country in north-central New Mexico.

Come along and see what we discovered!

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Escapito #3: Wildlife and Geology of Catron County

“The Felix” was back in action for another camping adventure into the wilds of New Mexico.  For a few days we enjoyed spending time at one of our favorite dry campgrounds, Datil Well. Then on one day we unhooked truck from trailer and headed further afield to explore a seldom visited area of the Cibola National Forest ….. the Sawtooth Mountains.

Come along and see what we discovered!

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Escapito Mini: Perea Nature Trail, Pueblo Pintado Solar Fields and Open Pit Coal Mines

Do you ever wake up with an urge to head out for the day on an adventure? To go somewhere new ….. excited about the chance of seeing something different? It was the last day of May, and we decided to play tourist in our home state. But where? With so many areas closed to public access because of extreme fire danger, our choices were limited.

So we pulled out our book of New Mexico maps and found an entire portion of the NW badlands area we’ve never seen. And look …. the 291 mile round trip would take us over the Continental Divide too! Cool.

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Escapito #2a: Angel Peak Scenic Area

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.

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Escapito #1 Focus Study: Pyrrhuloxia Close Encounter!


When we left North Carolina, one of the birds we enjoyed immensely but sadly left behind was the Northern Cardinal. Such a brilliantly red, active year-round resident of the East. Fast forward to New Mexico and the State Park we visited after Percha Dam is called Rockhound. Known for its geology (thunder eggs) and breathtaking scenery (Florida Mountains), we were prepared to oooh and aaahhhhh at the view while finding a few rocky gems.

Little did we know the birds would captivate us, especially the Pyrrhuloxia, a cousin to the Northern Cardinal and full fledged member of the cardinal family.

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Travel Journal, Escapito #1, 2022: Exploring Southern NM

March 14-18, 2022

New Mexico, our home state, is a wonderful state to explore, and this little 5 day Escapito lived up to expectations.  Over 650 miles round-trip, from central NM south and then east, we visited  3 new-to-us state parks, and revisited one of our favorite Bureau of Land Management campgrounds. Our main objective was to find migrating birds; those coming north from south of the border to breed in the US, and those that overwintered along the Rio Grande River corridor and are heading way north to Canada and Alaska.  We found some beautiful birds while exploring some very rugged country to within 12 miles of the Mexican border. 

With my travel journal in hand, I was able to capture a few pages of images and notes from the week. 

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Visiting el Malpais National Monument



One of our favorite day trips is to el Malpais National Monument. Winter is the perfect time of year to hike the sandstone bluffs and lava fields without danger of cooking doggie paws (hiking black lava in summer can be deadly). The skies are New Mexico outrageous blue, the views are vast and incredible, and we always have a wildlife encounter or two. One year we enjoyed watching a huge herd of elk crossing the highway, along with a surprise black bear showing at one of the trailheads! Today, February 12, pinyon jays seemed to be our only wildlife discovery. But these noisy and very social birds are always a treat.

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