We love great surprises. We left one not so ideal campground and ended up at the most spectacular location we have been at yet. It was really just a stopping point and we weren’t expecting much…but wow! Three Rivers Petroglyph Site campground lies at the base of 2 mountain ranges in Tularoso New Mexico, and in between lies thousands of petroglyphs carved into the rocks and old pit houses where the Indians used to live. We were one of 2 campers. We had the place to ourselves. (The photo with the pink sunset mountains in the background is our campground). We didn’t realize we needed the warm days to reset us after too many cold days. We ended up staying 2 nights because we just couldn’t leave the views.
It took us about 7 hours (including stops) to get from Carlsbad to Three Rivers. The drive was such a welcomed surprise. There was a tunnel carved in the mountain, amazing mountain views, and a petting zoo with an array of animals that was run by an old rancher who had lots of stories to share. The kids loved feeding the animals and at one point, I looked over at Mcree (where a sign read don’t put fingers in the fence..the zebra bites) and Mcree had his whole entire arm in the zebra’s mouth. This animal lover is afraid of no animal apparently. To get to where we were going, we had to drive up to over 8000+ feet to a town called Cloudcroft. THERE WAS SNOW. Not a lot but enough for us to park and frolic for a bit. A little ways from our campground was The Valley of Fires which was a massive lava flow (that erupted from the valley floor through vents). It was quite a sight. We also found out about a little falling apart church and apparently entered the local mexican church instead. We always love unexpected finds.
There’s this struggle with wanting to explore everything around you versus wanting to enjoy the campground and what being in one place offers. The kids always love right where we are. Yesterday they all climbed a pretty big mountain 3 times while Rad and I sat and talked. Those moments are so sweet to me and a good reminder to slow down and be still. There’s always something to do, something to clean, something to move around. I find those distractions lie in my “real life” at home too and I let them steal the moments right in front of me. There is so much I am realizing about myself on this trip. So much I want to tweak, and change and let God work out in me. I know it won’t be fixed in these short 45 days but I am thankful for the time to see them magnified and realize their impact.
Today (Saturday) we head to White Sands. We plan to be there through New Year’s and will visit one more park after that before heading into Arizona. We have loved New Mexico. It is beautiful here.