Jeeping around the San Mateo Mountains

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My location:  San Mateo Mountains Northwest of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Walked Yuma up the road this morning to get a view of San Mateo Peak.  We are in a valley and can only see the top of it from the RV.  Saw an antelope briefly, but Yuma saw it first and both were gone in a second.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture and Yuma didn’t catch up with it.

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While eating breakfast, our neighbor who owns the cattle around here, stopped by to say hello. 

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He was out looking for a few stray cows and asked if I had seen any.  As a matter of fact, I had.  When Yuma and I were walking, several disappeared over the hills nearby.  I told him where I saw them and he headed off to round them up.

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After breakfast, Yuma and I decided to continue on road 139 and see if we could find the illusive Springtime Campground.

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We went about three miles and came to a fork in the road.  We turned off 139 to 225 heading for San Mateo Peak.  I believe Monticello is a village.  May check that out tomorrow.

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This is looking back the way we have come.  We’re camped behind the mountain on the left.

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The road is rugged and definitely not meant for any kind of RV.   A truck camper or tent campers with a four wheel drive vehicle.  We kept going up the mountain till we reached Luna Campground.  There was one rock at the campground that had morteros dug into it.  A sign said five miles to Springtime Campground.

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We kept going.  This was the longest five miles I have ever been.  The road went up and around the canyons.  It was so steep at times, I had to put the Jeep in four wheel drive.

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Finally got to the top and as I looked over the crest, I could see we were heading down into a canyon far below.   I thought about turning around at this point, but the road looked safe to travel, so we kept plugging along.  Still no Springtime Campground!

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This is as close as we came to the San Mateo Peak.  From here we, started heading East (to the right).

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Began to get into large Fir trees and Pines.

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Had to stop for this guy.  He thought if he was real still, I wouldn’t see him.  Thank goodness I did or he would have been flattened.  It is a king snake or rat snake, about four feet long.  Very pretty snake and non-poisonous.

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Urged him a little and he was on his way.  I grew up around snakes, so I know which ones to look out for.

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After I had given up ever finding Springtime CG, there it was.  1/2 mile away.  And hwy 1 is only 14 miles away.  Yesterday I turned left off hwy 1 onto forest road 139.  So, I went in one big 40 mile circle today.

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Because, my Internet is very slow, I’m going to continue this Jeep excursion into tomorrow night’s post.  At least we know there is a Springtime CG!

Plus, it is time for Survivor!

See you later.

23 comments:

  1. What did Yuma think about the snake???

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    1. I didn't let him out of the Jeep, so he didn't see the snake. Sure he would have tried to sniff it. Not good if it had been a rattlesnake.

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  2. Amazing photos !! The scenery, the longhorn cattle, the cowboy (now THAT'S a hat), and those oh so blue New Mexico skies. One of your best posts ever. Sure glad you took the jeep on that adventure. I was worried when you didn't reply to comments - I was afraid Chupacabra got you ! 😱😈😵

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    1. Thanks, Moonfly. Fun drive. It wasn't too bad but very long. Not being sure where a road goes is always a stress factor. Never saw a soul the whole time I was on the forest roads.

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  3. Looks like a nice area you are in. We would spend more time in New Mexico if they had warmer winters there.

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    1. It is not a place I would recommend. I'm staying in an open area with cow paddies all around and very dusty. The mountains are great, but the accommodations stink. Can't get to the campgrounds in an RV around here. Lots of State Parks in the area but with Spring Break they are too crowded for me.

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  4. Now, that was a real cowboy on his old paint horse. Really something to see! I hope he found his cattle. There seemed to be a lot of cows out and about on the roads you were on. What beautiful mountain scenes, but they looked rugged. Gorgeous snake! So glad you saw Him! He didn't seem in a rush. You need to meet people who give better dire tins, so you don't have to go in one big circle! Poor Malcolm!

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    1. Yep. A real cowboy out looking for his cows. He came back I the evening and said he hadn't found them. I took my walk this morning and saw them again. Hopefully, he comes by this morning.

      Poor Malcolm. He was shocked!

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  5. It sounds like you have been on quite the adventure. The pictures of it are beautiful.
    Tom and I are looking forward to reading the rest of the story tomorrow night. Stay safe.

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    1. Thanks Tom and Deb. The San Mateo Mountains are beautiful and rugged. Having a wind advisory today so I'm rocking a little.

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  6. Well Doug I think you are a magnet to adventures. Cowboy on horse, pointing him in the right direction, long horn cows,beautiful photos...and throw in a snake at the end.Way to go! R

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    1. Thanks R. Turned out to be a pretty eventful day. Long drive but fun.

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  7. An very interesting drive you did today, and some more wonderful photos.

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    1. Thanks, George. Lots of cows and a couple of snakes along with beautiful scenery.

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  8. I enjoyed your drive today, trying not to be worried that you'll get into somewhere you can't get out! The snake is pretty .... in a picture. Not my favourite things, glad I didn't see any down here this year.

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    1. Thanks Patsy. Traveling alone, it is always in the back of my head that something may go wrong and Yuma will have to go for help. Hope he is as good as Rin Tin Tin. Dating myself now.

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  9. Looking ahead to Albuquerque on WeatherBug - High winds today and Friday gusts 50 mph ! But, starting Saturday absolutely Glorious with sunshine and oh so blue New Mexico skies. Yuma and Doug - the happy adventurers - travel safe. 🌞🌎🌞

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    1. Hi Moonfly. Yes, they are calling for high winds here. I'm going to stay put and just roll with the RV. May just check out the ghost town of Chloride today.

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  10. Hi Doug! Your jeep needs a wash! :) It's looks about perfect for all the dusty travels you've been doing! What are monteros? Are they used to collect water? I've never heard that word or seen those in the rocks before. Springtime CG looks like a pretty place. Can't wait to hear more about it! I love you!

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Monteros are holes made by Indians when they would use a stick to grind their grain. It would, overtime, make a round hole in the stone. You're right about the Jeep. It is very dirty. Needs a good washing, but that will have to wait till I get home. Nothing worse than a clean Jeep in this part of the country.

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  11. The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lot of information is helpful in some or the other way. Keep updating the blog, looking forward for more content...Great job, keep it up.
    goldenslot

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  12. Its a beautiful place. As long as you stay on the main roads, you won't have any issues.

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    1. You should check it out after monsoon season. With the green and all of the wild flowers.

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