Monday – October 7, 2013
Elephant Butte Lake State Park
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Another beautiful, brisk, sunny morning here at the Sandia Casino & Resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The blue sky is once again filled with hot-air balloons. The balloons rise and fall in altitude as the pilots adjust the flame, generated from their propane tanks, to produce heated air into the envelope of their balloons. They are at the mercy of the prevailing winds, and gently drift in the direction the winds take them. Three helicopters fly above and around them to keep the airspace free from private and commercial aircraft. We have wanted to attend the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque for several years now and are so happy that we finally made it. Another checkmark applied to an item on our Bucket List!
We departed the Sandia Casino at 9:50 a.m. for a state park campground near Las Cruces, New Mexico. But first, a stop at Walmart for new blue jeans is in order. Over the past month, I noticed my size 38 waist jeans were getting really loose on me. Even my belt, cinched to the last hole, could not keep my jeans tight on me around the waist. I figured I dropped around two inches around the waist, so I selected a size 36 pair of jeans to try on. Sharon suggested I try on a size 34 instead of the 36. Yep, Sharon was right! The size 36 were too big and the size 34 were a perfect fit. I was quite pleased that I had reduced my waist size by four inches. The last time I could fit into a size 34 was probably 40 years ago.
In June of this year we started a new diet that limited our daily sugar consumption to 100 calories. Our diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, rice, chicken, eggs, bacon and occasionally a ground beef casserole. No breads, potatoes or alcohol. We do make some exceptions when dining out though.
On to our destination! We arrived at the Elephant Butte Lake State Park in Elephant Butte, New Mexico at 2:55 p.m. This is the largest and most popular lake in New Mexico. It is located 84 miles north of Las Cruces. The campground has 173 developed campsites, 144 with water and electric and 8 with water, electric and sewer. Restroom facilities include flush toilets and free showers. The campground has two dump stations. It also has free WiFi throughout the campground. We also have access to the Internet through our T-Mobile service provider.
We selected campsite #91 that has water and electric and faces the lake. Two campsites down from us are a couple from Georgia that have a Casita Trailer like ours. We met them two years ago while camping at the Flamingo Campground in the Everglades National Park. They traveled here to visit the National Parks in Texas and Arizona and are now waiting it out here in New Mexico, hoping Congress will get its act together to end the U.S. Government shutdown.
Camping Fee: $14.00 per day. ($4.00 per day with New Mexico annual pass)
Total miles traveled today: 163
Tomorrow another adventure begins.