On Saturday we made our way to the eastern side of Las Cruces for a hike in the Organ Mountains. This rugged section of mountains contains spiky looking granite needles that have the appearance of organ pipes – hence the name. There are a number of trails that traverse the mountains, including some fairly technical (and scary) sounding climbs up the steep granite peaks. We’re more into hiking than climbing, so we chose a moderate 4.5 mile loop that took us up to the base of mountains. The Pine Tree Trail starts and ends at the Aguirre Springs Campground. We hiked up a series of mild switch backs to the high point of the trail (elevation 6,880) and enjoyed a view of the Tularosa Basin below. It was a perfect day for a hike with mild temperatures, little wind, and bright sun overhead. We’ve haven’t done too much hiking lately and it felt good to stretch our legs and lungs with an uphill work out. At the end of the hike we walked around the campground to see how it might work for a future visit. At only $7/per night, and a full cell signal, it seemed almost prefect. We did spot a sign on the drive up to the campground at the point where the road becomes a winding one-way loop that said no trailers over 23-feet, but Tim confidently claimed we could make it with the Airstream no problem. And the campground, could we fit in any of the sites? Yup. While a good number would only be suitable for tents or really small trailers, there were a few sites where we could have easily fit. This pull-though with an amazing mountain view was my favorite. A definite possibility for the next time we come through this area, but for now we are headed north. Not too far north though. On Sunday we packed it up and traveled about 45 minutes to Caballo Lake State Park. We drove through the nearly full electric and water loop before spotting a few RVs down by the water. The campground website says they have primitive beach camping ($8/night or free with our pass) which sounded right up our alley, so we headed in that direction. The first site we tried was at the end of the parking lot for the boat ramp. Great views of the water, but too much potential traffic from people going in and out of the parking lot. Out next stop was down a dirt road and out on a little peninsula. As soon as we pulled up I knew this was the perfect spot. Just look at that view!!! As you can see, even though we are technically in the state park, we’re completely alone. I’ll share much more about the campground after we’ve been here for a few days, but for now here’s some pictures from yesterday evening. One more thing – I forgot to include the updated spreadsheet detailing our costs at the New Mexico State Parks last week. So here it is with last week and this week added in. At the end of this week we will have been in NM for 27 nights. If you remember the first week I said it would take 22 days for the pass to pay for itself, which means it now has and then some. Also notice how the per day cost with pass has dipped below the per day cost without pass. From here on out the divide between these numbers will continue to increase.
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