Sunday, January 31, 2010

City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico

We picked Sunday’s destination according to our time-tested formula: a state park at the correct distance and in the proper direction. Except that we checked it out in the AAA book and found it omitted showers. So we switched to City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico. Amazingly it featured volcanic rock formations that were strikingly similar to those at Hueco Tanks.

New Mexico is undergoing budget stress [big surprise]. They are wisely dealing with it by closing the state’s parks periodically for one or two day periods. This requires all campers to leave for the closure. I guess nobody ever thought that expelling paying customers might possibly cut into overall revenue and increase costs by far more than the temporary savings – managing state budgets can be soooo simple.

We arrived around 5 PM and the office was already closed, so we were on our own as far as finding a site and figuring out how to pay for it. At least the $14 rate was commensurate with the level of service received.

As the Sun was setting, we hiked the monoliths and botanical garden and got some decent pictures of the amazing rock formations. We were also treated to a stunning Moon rise and brilliant stars in a very dark sky.

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