El Vado Lake State Park, New Mexico

As we leave our beautiful camp at Hopewell Lake I am taken with the beauty of the morning. The air is soft and cool, the sun is peaking through the tall pines, and I am looking forward to what awaits us down the road.

We are again heading west on Hwy 64. We almost immediately begin the long decent that will take us through Tierra Amarilla. (yellow earth). It’s a long, long decent some of it steep, but the vista we encounter on the way down is amazing. DSC_0003 (5)

The shock of what we enter into at the bottom is heartbreaking. Tierra Amarilla is a dump. I follow the road into town encountering several derelicts drinking in the shade of some large trees. It’s barely 9:00 a.m. Ramshackle housing and abandoned buildings are abundant. The police station and another government building look pretty decent, so there must be a better part of this small town somewhere, but honestly I don’t want to look for it. I get turned around and head back out toward Hwy 64.
A quick stop at a gas station provides us with ice for our stay at El Vado Lake State Park and we drive the 11 or so miles out to the park.
When we gain the entrance I stop at the pay station, dig a ticket out of the little box and fill it out with the date, our vehicle license number and state, and our year’s camping pass number. I leave the site number blank as I don’t know which site we will be in. I’ve done this all along and no one has said anything so I guess it’s okay.
We drive past the restrooms and showers, and hang a right on the road that follows the lake along the cliff top. Campsites are dirt with covered picnic tables on concrete slabs, a fire ring, and some with electric. There is no shade to be had other than the table covers and my heart sinks. We can’t stay here!
Following the loop around we head back toward the entrance to the park thinking maybe we can park facing away from the sun for a few minutes while I look at the map and see what I can see. As we pull up to the pay station I see a dirt road off to our right that descends down into a ravine and back up the other side where it makes another right turn off into some TREES. Let’s go check this out Boys. We may find something there.
And we do. There are campsites back here and many fairly good sized juniper trees and  small pines. We slowly cruise the area. There are a lot of campsites here, but most are not even close to level; even the picnic tables have an obvious lean to them.

Eventually I find a spot we will call home for about a week. I make it as level as possible by digging two holes on the front and back right side for the tires to roll into. Not bad!!
The Boys are staked out on their short leashes for the time being while I set about putting up our tarp awning, getting the generator out of the back along with the IP and sack of spuds. Out comes the camp chair and our table cloth. Lastly I eyeball a couple of the trees and guesstimate the length between two of them and put the Boys’ cable line up and get them settled in. They’re tangled up together in a matter of minutes, which is normal. LOL

And here we stay for over a week. Ice should be good until day five, but I have plenty of water left and food that does not need refrigeration as long as I don’t cook more than one meal at time.
If you noticed a lack of photos of El Vado Lake, it isn’t a mistake. I did enough of THAT already. At this point in our summer adventure I still haven’t found the rest of the photos. Still looking. I am cautiously optimistic, but am not counting on anything.

Thank you for stopping by 2DogsTravel. We’re so glad to have you along for the ride!

Hugs, Shawna



Author: 2DogsTravel

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I am a full-time traveler, retired from a lifetime of different occupations, traveling the country with my two little dogs, Fries and Charlie B; The Chiweenie Brothers. You never know where you might find us, but if you do stop by and say hi . . . If you can get past the two best watch dogs in the universe! Happy Trails!

2 thoughts on “El Vado Lake State Park, New Mexico”

  1. Glad you were able to find better accommodations…You are braver than I would have been after seeing town…We had our first snowfall the end of Sept. on Burney Mt. and monday I had a little small hail while throwing wood into the shed and stacking it..today is pretty cool and sunny. Warmer temps predicted for the weekend. I have to admit it is really a lovely fall day today.
    Have a great week.


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