Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Las Vegas, New Mexico

We spent two weeks at Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas, New Mexico. We had been to Storrie Lake before and were shocked to see how low the lake was compared to our previous visit. Shortly after we arrived, a wildfire broke out nearby and we thought we might have to leave. We were not in any danger but it was very smoky the first day and a lot of people did leave. I'm glad we decided to stay because the park was pretty empty while we were there and we found a lot to do in, and around, Las Vegas. We only smelled smoke occasionally after that first day but we watched the coverage of the fire closely to make sure it didn't spread. It's really sad how badly the southwest has been effected by the recent drought.

Storrie Lake

Storrie Lake before a thunderstorm

Dry lakebed

Just one of several dust storms we experienced while at the park

Las Vegas, New Mexico is an interesting town. It has a rich history and many famous wild west characters, like Billy the Kid and Doc Holiday, passed through there or even lived there for a time. Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders held their annual reunions there at the Plaza Hotel. Las Vegas has such a diversity of geography that it is a very popular location for movies. Easy Rider, No Country for Old Men, All The Pretty Horses, Red Dawn and many other movies were filmed in part, or entirely, in Las Vegas. The Plaza Hotel is featured in several movies and has a prominent role in No Country For Old Men.

 There is still a big mural in town that says "Welcome To Calumet!" that is from the movie Red Dawn. Red Dawn was set in the fictional town of Calumet, Colorado but was filmed entirely in Las Vegas. I noticed that this movie was on one day while we were there and decided to watch it. At one point, I was looking out my window and saw the exact scenery that was on the screen. I thought that was pretty cool. Driving around town, we recognized a lot of locations from that movie and also from No Country For Old Men. This is a picture of the Calumet Mural...
We took several day trips while staying at Storrie Lake. We drove to Villanueva State Park one day to check out the park to see if we wanted to stay there next. It was a pretty park in a great location but we thought it would be better  in the fall. Here are some pictures we took on our drive to Villanueva...
Pecos River at Villanueva

Pecos River

 This past Sunday, we took a drive to Mora, New Mexico  in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. That was another beautiful drive and we definitely plan to go back there some day. While there, we visited a raspberry ranch and an alpaca farm. We also stopped by Morphy Lake State Park to see if our motorhome would fit there but they have an 18' limit. This was such a great Sunday drive.The raspberry ranch was a really nice surprise as they had a beautiful garden you could walk through and a really nice store with a variety of raspberry products. Below are some pictures from the gardens, the alpaca farm and Morphy Lake...
Garden at Raspberry Ranch


Garden Path

Alpaca Farm

Alpaca Farm

Alpacas that had been recently sheared.

Beautiful Old Church Near Mora

Morphy Lake
Sorry this post was so long but we haven't had a very good internet connection lately and I wanted to take advantage of the good connection we have now. We left Las Vegas yesterday and drove to Tijeras, NM on the Turquoise Trail. We plan to stay here about a week, exploring the trail, before starting to make our way back east.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I love New Mexico as I moved here from Indianapolis in 1996 from Indianapolis. However, it's too HOT in the summer, so I'm leaving soon to travel to the Pacific Northwest! :-)

    1. It was surprisingly cool last week in Las Vegas for a few days. We even used our heater one night. I envy you going to the Pacific Northwest. We might do that next summer. We're heading back to Maryland to see family and clean out a storage unit so we're resigned to having a hot summer this year. I'll read your blog and try to stay cool vicariously through your travels. :-)

  2. Hi there! Saw your link at Desert Diva and thought I'd pop over. I'm looking for all the New Mexico ideas and info I can find! I'm traveling on my own for the first time ever, and I've chosen New Mexico as my own personal proving grounds.


    1. Hi Roxanne,

      We've talked before, here and on your blog. I think the New Mexico State Parks will work good for you and Spud. We've stayed in three, so far, and visited several more to check out for future stops. Feel free to ask any questions. I was just reading your post on Oliver Lee to see if we wanted to go there next. Manzano is closed due to fire :-(

      Take care,

  3. Love the "naked" Alpacas!! We are watching smoke from a big fire about 30 miles west of us. The fire is moving north so we don't have any worries, but we hate to see these fires for the second year in a row.

    Safe travels!


    1. I was wondering if you and Teri were close to the fires in Colorado. I hope they can get them contained soon. Stay safe.