It was staying in the mid-80s in the Las Cruces / ELP area, and was predicted to get into the 90s. It’s comfortable enough in the 80s with the cooler running but I like to get outdoors and hike with Muffin. A look at forecasts and freecampsites showed a developed BLM campground outside Capitan.
This was the first drive with the new panels in place. The larger panels and steel runners in place of the aluminum (with steel supports) runners adds about 40lbs up high but I didn’t notice any difference in handling. There was also no increase in wind noise. That doesn’t surprise me because the windshield shape pushes air quite high over the van. I’ve mentioned before that the maxxfann snorkel is pulled up by low pressure above the van instead of being pushed down by windblast.
I stopped in Alamagordo on the way for some groceries and water. The only water kiosk I saw was 25c/gallon. Cheap in the big picture but I prefer free/10c/20c when I can find it. It was a bottle fill setup only (no hose) so I had to use the water bucket decanting method. Much slower than a hose but I got the tank and aquatainer filled in about 20 mins. No worries, I’m retired.
It was dark by then and I found a place to stealth for the night. Was driving again by 7am since I wanted to get to the small campsite early – there are only 4 spots.
For people used to camping among the cactus the campsite is fancy indeed: gravel roads, pull-throughs, covered picnic tables, trash cans (!), and a well-maintained vault toilet. (!!) The sites are consistent, not a lot of difference between them. At first only the “worst” spot was open – the picnic table was missing from the pavilion area. About an hour after arrival the “best” one opened and I took it. It’s nearer the toilet and furthest from the main trail:
One of the reasons I was looking forward to a covered table is to facilitate housekeeping; you can take stuff out of the van and set it down on the table, clean up / take stock and put it back in.
The Delightful Companion (DC hereafter) will arrive in a couple days after her current gig ends. The working plan is to stay here for the 14d (until Wed the 21st). Then start a relaxed return to ELP for my 2nd covid shot on Monday the 26th. She will head off to her next gig and we’ll make plans again after that.