Year 1 Day 27 Boondocking In The BLM

This morning we both slept in a bit.  It was great!  However, by 0900 we had bundled up the RV, stopped at the park’s dumpsite and discharged our grey and black water tanks and were on the road.  Our destination was the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land near Pilar, NM.   It is called the Orilla Verde Recreation Area and is located within the Río Grande Del Norte National Monument and is along the Río Grande Wild and Scenic River. Nestled along the banks of the Río Grande and within the steep-walled Río Grande Gorge, the two campgrounds which can house RVs of our size are next to the fast-flowing river.  The river offers great rafting trips with a number of rapids and whitewater.

Our route today was about 2/3 freeway (I-25N), 1/6 divided 4 lane road (US 285) and 1/6 windy, two land road (NM 68), totaling about 270 miles.  During today’s journey we gained about 2000 feet in elevation as Pilar is about 6000 feet above sea level.

Once again, we rotated drivers with each of us getting more and more used to driving LeuC.  Mary Margaret was rock solid in keeping LeuC within her lane and at the end of her shift, she felt very confident in the skills she is quickly developing.  I am so comfortable with her driving that I am now ready to nap while she drives.

Along today’s journey, Mary Margaret snapped a number of photos of the scenery that we were driving through and I will post them so you can get an idea of the raw beauty we soaked up.

As we drove north, we passed the well-known scenic and historical towns of Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  We didn’t have time to stop and explore these destination towns this time but they are on our list of “must sees”, so we know we will be returning someday in the near future.

For lunch, we stopped off at one of the Indian Casinos and enjoy a big bowl of refried beans covered with carne asada, grilled peppers and onions, Spanish rice, lettuce, diced onions, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, and guacamole.  It was so large that we both only could eat about half of what we were served.  The rest was saved for dinner.

Before we reached Pilar, we also stopped at a Lowes that we spied and picked up a number of things that we had on our “need to get” list.  This included some fire wood for our campfires at our campground.

Here are some views along Route 68 before we reached Pilar.

When we reached Pilar, we turned left and entered route NM 570, a very narrow two-lane road that was canopied with beautiful trees.  We were pleased that we did not come up against a car or another RV because if we did, the passing would have been extremely tight on this curvy but scenic road.

We decided to check out the first of the two campgrounds that could take RVs.  This campground is called the Pilar Campground.  We found a wonderful site and decided to take it.  I will post photos of this campground and our site so you can see for yourself.

We feel we are in heaven, not only because of the raw beauty of the gorge we are in but also because our site has 50 Amp service and water.  Whoo Hoo!  Such luxury for such a remote area!  Plus, our cost for the two nights is just $15 because we have the National Park Lifetime Senior Pass.  Double Whoo Hoo!

As night crept over our site, I grabbed a Cuban, some scotch and my lighter.  Soon I had a nice fire going and settled down to a wonderful evening of relaxation.  I love watching campfires as the flames dance up and over the firewood, licking up toward the sky.  It’s mesmerizing.  Life in a RV is good!

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