Monday, November 3, 2014

Socorro New Mexico and into Lorenzo Canyon

November 1-3, 2014:

On the road at 10 AM taking route 25 south to exit 256 for Lemitar, NM where I catch up with Twinkles at the Phillips 66 service plaza.  We leave the RV at the parking lot and take the Jeep north on the frontage road to county road B90, although it is not marked as such.  The sign heads us in the direction of San Lorenzo Canyon which is our first potential campsite.  The road is plenty rough, the sign says "high ground clearance recommended", not good for the RV.  We do find a decent RV parking spot just off the main road however which was our second choice.  Hopefully the broken bottles, shell casings and broken clay targets aren't a problem latter.  So, it's back to the service Plaza and then back to the campsite to set up.  This is BLM land although I see no signs.

Out in the wide open spaces

We then go to the historic nearby towns of Lemitar and Socorro to explore.  These towns are really old, originally founded by the early spanish explorers in the late 1500's. The original spanish road, "El Camino Real" passed through along the Rio Grande River near this area.  Lemitar isn't much to see, except for an old church and many old adobe buildings.  Socorro on the other hand is a bustling town, way more so than I expected.  Socorro started as a Spanish Mission in 1598.  There is a a definite Spanish flavor to it with a beautiful central Plaza and Gazebo surrounded by several nice shops and businesses.   Adjoining the Plaza is the  Heritage Park with a pictorial history in beautiful tile works of the 400 year history of Socorro.  This area does have quite an interesting history, first were the Piro Pueblo Indians who offered assistance to the early Spanish expedition traveling through.  As a result, the Spanish named the town "Nuestra SeƱora de Perpetuo Socorro" or (Our lady of perpetual help).  A Mission was built with Indian labor between 1615 and 1626.  In 1680 the Pueblo uprising took place whereby the Spanish fled to the south.  It's wasn't until the early 1800's that the Spanish returned to the area and rebuilt the church.  It then became Mexico and finally the United States. 

Sign for El Camino Real

Ancient church in Lemitar

Street sign in Socorro

The Gazebo in Scorro

Socorro Coffee shop

Wheel of History in Socorro

San Miguel Mission sign in Heritage Park

Famous Socorro lawman

San Miguel Mission

Originally was  the Knights of Pythias

The Socorro Opera House

They were having a Democratic party benefit in the Plaza while we were there for the upcoming elections.  It was totally bi-lingual with free food, a live band playing, people dancing and well attended.    

On Sunday, we had planned to go hiking in the San Lorenzo Canyon, but the road into the canyon involves driving in a wash (dry stream bed) for much of the distance and the weather forecast was calling for a 50% chance of thundershowers in the early afternoon.  It is not advisable to hike in canyons or be in washes when rain is forecast as flash flooding can occur without warning.  So, we went there anyhow, but we didn't stay long, mostly because of the dark threatening clouds.  We also started getting nervous about the RV sitting out in the open unattended after we saw the scary, undesirable druggie types hanging around the Canyon area.  Safety and security is always a concern with boondocking and if the "hood" seems to be inhabited by those types, it's best to move on.

The way into the Canyon can become a a river when it rains

Many interesting rock formations

Weird geology here

A Chola cactus with rock formations in background
We then went back to the RV and moved to the Walmart in downtown Socorro.  It's not scenic, but it's safe, secure and free.  This is the first time we have ever stayed at a Walmart as they are mainly for one hight stands and we usually stay places longer.  Several light rain showers did actually materialize in the afternoon, but it was mostly dark clouds and wind.  

We had seen a fundraiser advertised for a Enchiladas meal at the local "Knights of Columbus" and thought that might be good, real authentic Mexican.  It was interesting, was authentic, was spicy, was friendly, kind of fun to get the local flavor, but not particularly good.

Monday and we are back to San Lorenzo Canyon for a hike.  We must have done about 5 miles, but except for getting over one trail obstacle, an easy walk through a wash.  It was an interesting hike, great rocks, rock formations, vegetation and trees.  It helped that it was a beautiful day.   

You can see the slide marks in these rocks from eons of uplift

Lots of mineral content in these rocks

Looks like Quartz crystals

Water is flowing underground through here

Going into a narrow section of the canyon

Where we find a small stream and waterfall

A small stream of water flowing above ground

Nice Cactus view

Another view in the canyon

Art work under a Rio Grande River Bridge

Native Rio Grande Pride at work

We have made reservation at a campground in Phoenix for the Thanksgiving week to visit my Mom, my Sister and family.  This gives us three weeks from now to meander around, so we trying to sort of fill in the dots on our travel plan. 

Next stop is the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico;

Twinkles and Slick 

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