Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Elephant Butte State Park

From Roswell we headed northwest up towards Truth or Consequences to Elephant Butte Lake State Park, where we camped for 5 nights. This park is apparently very popular with New Mexicans and I can only surmise that that is due to the scarcity of places in which to practice watersports in a state that is essentially mountains and desert. The park has a quiet scenic beauty and it was very relaxing but it doesn't offer all that much in terms of an extensive trail network for hiking. Perhaps that was just as well, since the Astrals were in need of some quiet recuperation time.

Here's the lake, which is man-made, with the breakwater in front of
the marina.

Behind our campsite it was just high desert. Quails, jackrabbits, and 
cottontails would run across the sand with some regularity.

The site was developed, with AC power, water, and a covered picnic table.

Otis seemed to ignore the other rabbits.

Here's a jackrabbit just chillin'. They're pretty skittish and it was hard
to get many pictures because they don't usually sit still for too long.

Lots of these quails would run around all day. I'm not sure of
the exact type because I discovered, in small print, that my
Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds is the Eastern
Edition. Ha! The arbitrary dividing line for the Western Edition
was just east of where we were.

There were a few trails for desert hiking. Not surprisingly, it's dry and
dusty. You have to carry water and I have my trusty Brazos Walking
Stick, which I picked up in Roswell. You just don't want to be out in
the wild without a stick. We've yet to see a rattlesnake but I ain't-a
takin' no chances.

We never did figure out which of these hills is Elephant Butte itself. I'm
no expert but the one in the foreground looks like a butte. On the other
hand, the part of the mountain in the background on the right looks
like a pachyderm cranium to me. Oh, well. Also, I prefer to say Elephant
Butt anyway. Maybe someday I'll grow up and mature beyond Beavis.

We did a lot of reading and loafing during this stay.

This is one of the trail-heads, with Turtleback Mountain in the distance.
The town of Truth or Consequences is nestled below that peak.

The desert is not is bloom yet, but there's still a lot of beauty.

Here's a nice barrel cactus.  When you're from New Jersey, this is pretty exotic.

Everything that grows in the desert features a spike.

These quails made some cool sounds and they ran really fast. Like
the roadrunner, they can fly very short distances but they seem to 
prefer to run. 

If you find the butte, let me know.

Great shot Astral Wendy.

Well on the way,
Head in a cloud,
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him,
or the sound he appears to make,
and he never seems to notice,

But the fool on the hill,
Sees the sun going down,
And the eyes in his head,
See the world spinning 'round.*

It's a lake. In the desert.

We were surprised to see a gull this far from the ocean.

Whenever there's a spot of clouds, the sunsets are pretty sweet.

Some of the local cottontails seemed mildly interested in Otis. Even
though they're the same species as the ones back East, they generally
seem to be a lot grayer.

Camp Cuisine: Whole Wheat Penne with meat sauce. We were 
slowly working our way back to eating with some comfort food.

Armed and ready for rattlers.

Hey Astral Wendy! You're in the middle of a desert!

There's a lot of color in the desert but it's very subtle.

This little guy hid in the yucca plant by our water spigot. I think
he ran out to sneak a drink every time we used it.

It addition to Otis, we have have Dags our stuffed jackrabbit,
Babe the irrepressable pig, and our travel goddess. 

Had a great time in downtown Truth or Consequence today. We'll feature that in tomorrow's post. Cheers!

*The Fool on the Hill, The Beatles


  1. Always love a good rabbit photo, be it Otis, Jack or Stuffy!

  2. not likely on the maturing thing Dad...

  3. @Debra: Rabbots rule!

    @erica: At least I have a goal. ha!

  4. @colin: the temptation was irresistible.

  5. It's a butte Clark!

  6. @Anonymous: Heh-heh. That was cool.