July 6th to the 9th. I am up before the sun even thinks of cresting the horizon. I did not sleep well due to the loud neighbors partying until the wee hours of the morning, and I want to get moving and get our new camp set up so I can crash. Villanueva here we come!
I give the boys their breakfast then stake them out to do their business and get in their last sniff and hike session while I finish loading the few things that are outside.
The trash needs to be taken to the dumpster. It’s right across from us next to the noisy neighbors camp. I walk over and open the lid, drop in my small bag of trash, and let the lid fall down on its own. It’s very loud. I grin. I hope they heard that! I know, I should feel terrible, but I don’t. It actually felt pretty darn good. I think about lifting it up again and letting it fall once more, but I don’t, and I think to myself, again, Dang! That felt good!
Come on 2 Dogs Travel we’re outta here, and I motor out of the park, smiling all the way out to the highway.
We take Hwy 41 to Moriarty then I-40 east. Chugging along behind a slow-moving wide load—this makes for good camouflage; people think it’s the slow-moving wide load that is denying the right lane their right to drive 80+ !!—I spot TWO CELL TOWERS on the right. There is a turnoff to Cline’s Corners and I know from my truckin’ days that they cater to all travelers. One of these has to be ATT. This will be the ideal spot to park while getting caught up on scheduling blog posts! Our new camp will have to wait.
We take the off-ramp and park in the dirt lot, empty at this time of the morning. I walk the dogs and then get down to business. There is no signal. THERE IS NO SIGNAL! How can this be?
Okay, surely the store has free WiFi and I take a peek. Yes, they do! I see two bars looking back at me. That’s not terrific, but we’ll take it. Four hours later I have four posts scheduled. I try for a fifth, but lose the signal as more and more people pull in and most, no doubt, get onto the same connection. That’s okay. I’ve got four posts scheduled! I always feel better being a bit ahead of the game.
Storm clouds are gathering as the day warms up We need to get to our destination before it hits. Our exit, just up the freeway from Clines’ Corner, places us on a very narrow two-lane road. About 30 miles in we come to the little village of Villanueva (New Village). This old church still stands!
The road to the park is on the right and it takes us on an even narrower road that twists and turns and drops into the canyon. It levels out as we enter the park.
And right there waiting for us is an empty primitive site under the shade of the biggest cottonwood tree I have ever seen. It is ginormous.
We have a table, fire ring, vault toilet one side, water spigot on the other, and we just get settled in when the storm breaks. I should have bought more supplies. This looks like a squatters spot for sure!!
By morning the neighbors across the road are packed up and gone. The young man and his son in the tent to the left of us are also gone. There are puddles everywhere, and the air feels so fresh and clean. The Pecos River is running so muddy it looks like thick, brown chocolate milk.
The Chiweenie Brothers were leery of crossing the foot bridge at first, but soon felt at ease.
We spend the next several days exploring the park and enjoying day time shade and cool, crisp nights.
Villanueva State Park is nestled between two sandstone canyon walls along the Pecos River. The storms that rumble through have a different quality and a kind of echoey sound as the thunder talks.
Some tree trimming had to be done in the park while we were there.
High rise apartments, Mother Nature style. Select to enlarge.
It has some hiking trails, and a lovely visitor’s center along with a playground made entirely of recycled materials.
Villanueva is definitely one of my favorite parks so far.
Thanks for coming along with 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna