Days 13-17: Coyote Creek State Park, Taos

Friday, August 13, 2021

After leaving Eagle Nest Lake State Park, we had a short 29-mile drive to our next destination, Coyote Creek State Park near Guadalupita, New Mexico. This is a park we we visited once before, so we were familiar with the location and the facilities.

We were also familiar with the 5-mile stretch of very narrow road that we would have to navigate between Angel Fire and the park. Highway 434 runs south from Angel Fire directly to the park, and for the most part it’s a perfectly fine two-lane highway. But there’s a 5-mile stretch where the road narrows significantly–in fact, there’s a sign prohibiting any vehicle over ten feet wide–and that section is very winding with blind curves and little-to-no shoulder. You’re fine as long as you don’t meet a large vehicle coming the other way, but of course you have to be prepared.

And sure enough, just as we were about 4/5 of the way through, we met a log truck coming around the curve, up the mountain toward us. I was driving the car behind the RV, and I held my breath as Andy moved the RV as far to the right as he could, so that the outside dually on the back was hanging off the side of the road. The log truck and the rig S-Q-U-E-E-E-E-E-Z-E-D by each other, I exhaled, and from there it was fine the rest of the way.

They really need to do something about that stretch of highway!

Anyway, we got to the campground a little after noon and got settled into site #11. When we got there, we found out this was an ADA site, but there’s nothing on the reservation system that identifies it as such. It was the last site with electricity available when I made the reservation, so maybe the system makes it available to anyone if all the other sites are filled. Anyway, it was a very nice spot, especially since it was on an asphalt (not dirt/gravel) pad, and it was separate from all the other electric sites which are arranged side-by-side close together in a parking lot arrangement.

Site #11 at Coyote Creek State Park

And those other sites filled up quickly that Friday afternoon, as a large group of campers showed up all at the same time. These folks obviously all knew one another as they helped each other get set up, pooled their firewood into one large pile, and the kids all headed to the playground together. We were a little worried that it might get rowdy, but they were all just having a good time, enjoying each other’s company while being respectful of the quiet hours in the park. The perfect kind of campground neighbors!

I was just in the beginning stages of my summer cold, so I took a good shower in the park bathhouse which made me feel a little better. Andy was still pretty congested, so we both went to bed early.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

I got up feeling a lot more congested the next day, but no fever. Andy was feeling a little better, and since his COVID test had come back negative, we decided it was safe to drive to Taos for a little excursion. It was about an hour’s drive from the campground, and we were able to find a great, free parking space when we got there.

Inside The Alley Cantina in Taos, NM

We ate lunch at The Alley Cantina just off the plaza, which is one of our favorite spots. We noticed that they were having a farmer’s market on the plaza, but by the time we finished lunch the market was over and all the vendors were gone. We wound up just walking through some of the shops on the plaza where we picked up a few items–some cool face masks that were on sale, some local honey, and a T-shirt for Andy. We also dropped in to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some ice cream.

It was pretty warm that day, and it was also crowded downtown, so we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in the area before we headed back to the car and drove back to Coyote Creek. It’s such a beautiful drive from Taos down to Angel Fire through the Carson National Forest, I never get tired of it.

We just took it easy for the rest of the day.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

I woke up the next morning feeling a little better, but we were running a little low on cough drops and tissues, and I wanted some Nyquil. When nothing else seems to help my cold symptoms, that stuff ALWAYS works for me. So Andy made the drive back to the Family Dollar store in Angel Fire to restock on our summer cold supplies.

While he was gone, I pulled out one of the small 300-piece jigsaw puzzles that I keep onboard the rig, and took it outside to our picnic table under our shelter. It wasn’t windy that day, so it was nice to sit outside and work on the puzzle, although the glare from the sunlight wasn’t exactly helpful. The puzzle is called “Wanderlust”, and it was a lot of fun to put together while watching the weekend warriors pack up their rigs and pull out.

Completed puzzle, the first one I’ve ever done outdoors. Notice the nearby tissue box! 😉

But later on, I paid for that time spent outside as my coughing and congestion got worse in the afternoon. We also got a little rain that made it very comfortable for a short nap. Later that evening, I took a dose of Nyquil, set up the dinette bed, climbed in and conked out.

Monday, August 16, 2021

After sleeping over 10 hours, I woke up feeling much better, less congested and more energetic. In fact, I felt so good, after breakfast I decided to go for a hike on the trail through the woods overlooking the campground. It’s a beautiful trail that takes about 45 minutes to complete. There’s a geocache hidden close by, but I had already located it the last time we stayed here, so I didn’t stop to look for it again.

Just as I was completing the route, some dark clouds started to roll in, and shortly after I got back to the rig it started to rain. We got about two hours of rain, nothing too serious, just a light mountain shower that cooled things off and settled the dust.

We both got showers that afternoon, and then just enjoyed the peace and quiet of a near-empty campground as the stars came out that evening.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

It was time to move on to our next destination. Since it was only a 43-mile drive, we weren’t in any rush to get moving, and we were finally ready to pull out just before 11 AM.

Coyote Creek, with our rig in the background

Before we left the park, Andy drove the rig over to the dump station to empty the tanks for the drive. The dump station is located at the back of the park, so I waited for him up at the entrance. When he returned from dumping, he let me know that on his way back from the dump, he had met a large rig coming toward him, so he had moved over to let the other rig pass. In doing so, he had brushed against some overhanging branches. As I followed him out of the park, I saw some leaves blowing off the top of the rig, so I knew something up there had made contact, but I didn’t see any visible damage from my vantage point.

We would find out later that we didn’t get away scot-free.

So, just what happened on that roof?

Stay tuned for the next post!

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2 thoughts on “Days 13-17: Coyote Creek State Park, Taos

  1. Pingback: 2021 Wrap-up: State Parks, Boondocking, Family Thanksgiving | Just Call Us Nomads

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