Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Friday, May 6, 2016

Lake Cochiti and Tent Rocks

Hi all,
Rolling right along we left the Four Corners area and camped at Farmington, NM county fairgrounds. This stop was to catch up on wash and some serious grocery shopping after hitting so many little towns in Utah. OH boy! Walmart! I told Wendy she should have a book like the national parks and get a stamp for each new Walmart.)
 We are still traveling with Tim and Renee and funny that we were the only ones staying at the fairgrounds today. They have over 575 RV sites plus some dry sites, how crazy is that?
 So a couple days there and a little more planning for our trek north. Our next stop was Cochiti Lake a Army Corp of Engineering Park. Located on the Rio Grande about 50 miles upstream from Albuquerque, NM.
 Cochiti Lake borrows the name of the people that have been present here over 700 continuous years. The dam that has created the lake is one of the 10 largest earthfill dams in the U.S. The length of the spillway is 5.5 miles and 251 feet high. Interesting also the 1,200 acre lake is a no wake lake so make sure to bring your paddle board when you come.)
Darker area is the dam
 We have found most corp parks to be extremely well laid out with plenty of space between sites.

 But the best thing Wendy was reading about the area was Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. This is one of the newest monuments in the west being formed in 2001. And it was only a 5 mile ride to check it out.
 The monument or KKTR area actually covers over 4000 acres but some is still privately owned.
 She had read there was a 1-1/2 mile loop trail that she wanted to do. Sadly Tim had been a having a leg giving him some problems they had us go on our own.
 So off we went on a beautiful sunny 80 degree day for the short hike, or so I thought. We walked along admiring view after view of amazing spired rock the map showed a spur off the loop that entered a slot canyon and who doesn't want to hike a slot canyon?

 Our plan was to just go up the canyon a bit and turn back if it got to steep. We went along pretty good and the impressive views just seemed to get better. We did pretty good I finally called it as my water was getting low as we only planned on the 1-1/2 mile and were now doing over three and mostly up. Wendy went up a bit further and got a couple more pics.

 The return trip was nice( down hill) and we finished the loop going past a cave that was dug in the soft stone and still exhibited smoke stains on the ceiling from prehistoric times.
 Not done yet, there was a 3-1/2 mile drive to a scenic overlook down the road. We contemplated not doing this as the road had turned to gravel and a small stream crossing was at the start. But heck we got 4WD why not. Turns out other than getting a bit narrow in spots we made it easily and were glad we did getting more great views of the area.
 I want to give a big thanks to John and Rita fellow RVers from WI for giving us the idea of including a stop at Lake Cochiti.
 And last but not least a big Happy Mothers Day to Wendy and all mothers for all they do and have done. RIP mom, love and miss you.

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