Guadalupe Mountains NP and Carlsbad, NM
March 16, 2015
On our way from Las Cruces to Carlsbad on US Route 62 we found ourselves approaching a US Border Patrol checkpoint. It's a large, regular stop, with all traffic routed through it. As we approached, we noted two officers and a dog, and wondered what might happen given the big Airstream we're towing. They simply asked our country of citizenship and sent us on our way with no further questions. We're guessing the Washington plates and our incredibly American accents quickly convinced them we weren't running a cross-border operation. Lucky us!
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
This is a spectacular bunch of mountains, which under the covers are actually a huge fossil coral reef. It's also a sacred place for the Apache who used to live there. The route to the park is a great road, though it gets pretty steep in places. US Route 62 continues up to and past the park, and on to Carlsbad, New Mexico. We took a few photos during a brief visit to the park, and moved on, as we had to make it to Carlsbad for the evening so we could take in Carlsbad Caverns National Park the next morning.
Carlsbad RV Park
After a long and interesting day of driving, we stopped for the night at this RV Park, which proved to be interesting. Campgrounds are few and far between as you get closer to Carlsbad Caverns. There's no camping in the park at all. The closest RV Park is...well, we'll let you read the reviews for White's City RV Park. Worse, the park doesn't take reservations. So your strategy is to drive to the middle of nowhere and hope they have a spot. Not gonna happen.
So, we targeted the second-closest camping facility about 20 miles away, the Carlsbad RV Park. Reviews for the latter were somewhat mixed, but at least they weren't universally terrible, and this place actually takes reservations.
Once we got there, we found it to be a clean gravel-based campground with a bit of landscaping around the edges. Typical desert fare, really. The hosts were kind, and the place was spotless. Bathrooms / showers were clean, though dated. Lots of long-term residents working the surrounding oil patch near Carlsbad. There's a lot of oil-field activity here, that's for sure.
This is another of those places that was perfectly fine for a single overnight, especially since it's the best available near the Caverns, but it's not a place I would stay any longer than necessary. For us, it was a quick overnight - we left for the Caverns before 8:00 the next morning.
In the meantime, we had a lovely New Mexico sunset here.
Meanwhile, good night to all, and to all a good night, from Skipper and Rocinante.