Monday, May 1, 2017

Moving East - Datil Well

I am writing this entry on May 1 from Bottomless Lakes SP near Roswell, NM. We are now less than 500 miles from our planned camping spot in the DFW area. We are planning to arrive on May 9, so we still have some time to move at our normal pace. We are planning to stay here for 4 nights. Now, back to the travel log...

We really enjoyed our 2 days at Petrified Forest NP. When we got back to the rig, I looked at the weather forecast and saw some problem weather coming in over the next week. We had a decent weather day the next day on April 23, so we decided to make some miles east. We amazed ourselves by being on the road at 8:03 AM. I had looked at a couple of campground options, but did not know for sure. My first option was about 140 miles in the town of Pie Town, NM. Yep, that is the name of the town and they do have a pie shop in town.

It is called Pie-O-Neer Pies. Unfortunately, it was closed. I was bummed. They have a free campground right across the street.  I saw a few rigs that looked like they had been there for a while. It has no improvements, not even water. We had filled our fresh water tank two stops back, so we were good for a day or two, but we were wanting to stay longer to wait out the coming weather. We had seen a sign for a BLM campground about 25 miles in front of us. The information I had said they had water. We decided to move on to Datil Well Campground.

Just after we left Pie Town, we saw a sign saying we were crossing the continental divide. The elevation was about 7600 feet. It should be all down hill from here to Texas.

We drove on through the Cibola National Forest. We saw some nice rock formations and beautiful pine trees, but no good camping options for us.

We pulled into Datil Well Campground and were immediately impressed. The area was nicely treed with a mixture of Ponderosa Pine and Juniper. The sites were nicely spaced and there were water hookups all over the park. The cost per night was $5. Not bad at all. I got the solar panel out and hooked it up. We stayed for 3 nights and I never had to fire up a generator. With all of the trees it helped to have a non-mounted panel. We did not have good cell signal, but they did have weak wi-fi at the front of the park. The only problem was the camp host was gone the entire time we were there and I could not get the password.

This campground is a good distance from the road and is very quiet and secluded.

One of the best features of the park are some nice hiking trails leading out of the campground. These trails were built by local Boy Scouts for their Eagle project.

The first morning we were there, I decided to head out and check out the trails.

I decided to walk the entire loop including all of the overlooks. The first mile was uphill, but not too steep. This trail has nice views, but not on the level that we have seen in the recent past in National Parks, but I still liked it. The best part is that I did not see another person on the trail. Here are a few shots to give you a feel for the trail and the views:

The scouts had placed signs along the trail pointing out interesting features in the flora, fauna or geology. Many of these features I would have missed if not for the signs. Very well done.

I ended up walking close to 4 miles in a little under 2 hours. I did not rush and just enjoyed the peace and solitude. That was a great day!

The following day, I convinced Kim to go with me for a shorter version of the hike. She was enjoying the hike and we decided to do the entire loop until the weather started turning bad. We had to take the cut-off and rush through the last half of the trail to beat the rain and wind. We still had a good walk and she said she enjoyed it.

It was then that the storm hit. This was not the big one that was forecast for a few days later, but we got a pretty good rain and some wind. The temps stayed warm and we were fine tucked in our site with trees all around.

On April 23, we decided we better move along. There was a big storm coming and we were still at nearly 7000 feet in elevation. They were even predicting snow. I will write about our next move in my next entry.


  1. We were in that area last fall. I heard you didn't miss anything at the pie places. What a great job the scouts did. Sounds like a nice place to be for a couple days.

    1. We see the results of scout projects in many places around the country. Thanks for the comment.