Last Days at Percha Dam – April 2019

The days of Thursday April 18 through Tuesday April 23 are busy with the myriad of projects Clifford and I have going on while we are camped at Percha Dam New Mexico State Park. Some projects are Carnicom Institute related, including completing the newsletter (finally!!!) and sending it out to our email list. Clifford’s focus is on the presentation he will be giving at the conference in Santa Fe in just a few days. Miscellaneous projects include watching hummingbirds and creating a collage cover for a new journal.

I spend time walking along the river, though the wind and the Easter weekend crowds somewhat limit my desire to be outdoors.

Vertical reflection
Horizontal reflection

Most days are sunny, but one particular day, cumulus clouds built up and a dark storm moved in. However, like the previous storm, we get only the wind and dust, but no rain. Another day, while I’m at the river, a really fierce wind comes up, seemingly out of nowhere, blowing dust and causing the trees to weave about. I walk back to camp as quickly as I can with my sweater over my head to protect my eyes.

Dark storm clouds from the east as the afternoon sunlight lights up the trees

Occasionally we sit outdoors to eat and once we took a dusk stroll together, but for the most part, due to the wind, our projects are done inside.

A dusk stroll

Being at this state park with electricity has been very productive for us, but it is time to move on. We are looking forward to the conference where Clifford will be speaking, as well as seeing friends from the years we used to live in Santa Fe.

Artistic rendition of moonrise at Percha Dam at the moment of sunset
A moment later, as the sun sets and the moon rises, the glow leaves the buttes

Hiking along the Rio Grande – April 2019

Wednesday April 17: I go for my usual morning walk at Percha Dam New Mexico State Park where Clifford and I are now camped. The Rio Grande draws me, as the water, the reflections, and the great trees all feel good to my soul.

Reflections on the Rio Grande
The walk bridge at Percha Dam campground

Back at camp, Clifford and I take care of CI business, most especially the CI newsletter, which has been rather time-consuming. My daughter Becka calls, and it is good to talk to her. I even have time for playing the viola.

The afternoon light is quite nice, so Clifford and I decide to hike the trail along the Rio Grande, even though it has remained quite breezy today. With the nice lighting, I get photos that I like of the river and the light on the west-facing buttes reflecting off the river. It was especially nice hiking with Clifford.

Hiking along the Rio Grande
Clifford at the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
Reflections on the river
Once a mighty tree

I had started chili earlier, so by time we get back, dinner is ready and we sit out at the picnic table in spite of the breeze, glad for the stone-walled shelter that protects us a bit.

Sunset at Percha Dam State Park

In the evening, I start going through the photos that I took today, culling some and sending a few texts with photos to family and friends, a good way to end the day.

Percha Dam – April 2019

Friday April 12: It is calm this morning at City of Rocks New Mexico State Park where we have been camped for over two weeks, our leaving having been delayed by extremely high winds in New Mexico. Since we have a ways to go today to get to our next destination, we skip part of the normal leaving routine, taking time only to finish packing and to make a thermos of tea for the road. We are on our way by 9:15, almost a record for us.

We arrive at Perch Dam State Park about 11:30 and there are only a couple of electric sites left. The first one is too tight for us, but the second one is fine. The sites here are quite close together, but all are pull-throughs around a loop with a view outward rather than toward a neighbor. We have a nice big tree by our shelter and are grateful for electricity.

Cougar at Percha Dam New Mexico State Park
Artistic view of trees at our campsite

Saturday April 13: It is sunny this morning as we make a trip to the nearby village of Arrey, picking up our general delivery mail and sending a birthday card to my daughter Merri.

Back at camp, I work on a CI fundraising campaign, take care of email, start the next CI newsletter, edit photos, and write/post another blog. Being here with electricity and decent cell service means we can take care of things that have been brewing on a back burner.

In the afternoon, we see increasing wind and big storm clouds building up. It looks like it could dump a ton of rain or hail, but all we get is wind and blowing dust.

Storm clouds moving in
Looks like heavy rain or hail about to dump on us

By evening, the storm has passed on.

Setting of the sun at the close of the day

Sunday April 14: As I do a morning walkabout, I see that the campground has been improved and is looking quite park-like. I call Merri for her birthday and send a photo of flowers by text.

The campground looking park-like

We make a trip to Truth or Consequences, the nearest town big enough to get supplies. Back at camp, we take advantage of the power and cell service here by working on a variety of projects: more CI business, another blog posted, and so on. Clifford is quite focused on the talk he will be giving in Santa Fe, as it is only a couple weeks away.

Wind and scummy skies continue throughout the day, so not many photos are taken.

Monday April 15: Today is mostly centered around domestic chores of cleaning and food preparation, as well as working on the CI newsletter. We make ANOTHER trip to T or C, as Clifford needs something that he didn’t know he needed yesterday when we were there, so we also pick up door mats to cut down on the dirt being tracked in.

Kitchen corner is home for herbs, sprouts, kombucha, and tea tins

Not a very interesting day photo-wise.

Tuesday April 16: I walk to the Rio Grande first thing this morning to take photos of reflections on the river. I can only imagine what this river was like before dams and irrigating stole its essence.

Rio Grand was once a great river

Today’s focus is the newsletter; I also send a few text with photos and post another blog. Clifford works on his talk. In the evening after dinner I play viola awhile. Although the days here are not too exciting, it is a productive time.

Winter Journey – More Percha Dam Days – December 2016

Sunday December 11th, 32 degrees this morning and calm – perfect for a campfire. By mid-day the temperature is in the low 70’s, a lovely day and very pleasant to be outside.

Evening light on the mesa to the east

Monday December 12th, about the same temps as yesterday, but windy.

Morning light

 Today we go to Truth or Consequences for groceries and sundries, then stop at the Arrey post office to pick up our mail. Clifford has received a monster-size book “The Principles of Internal Medicine,” which will become part of his reference library. Not sure where we are going to store a book of that size in Terry.

Moon rising near sunset

Tuesday December 13th is laundry day. Of course, photography comes first.

Almost sunrise, glowing through the woods

The machines at the nearest laundromat are not commercial size, so it takes a LONG time to get our laundry washed and dried, and I even end up hanging some things on our clothes line when we we finally get back to camp. We needed to get this chore done, but I certainly didn’t expect it to take up so much of the day.

 Wednesday December 14th is our last day here. I enjoy having a campfire first thing this morning and take photos of the brilliant sunrise and the more subtle setting of the moon.

Brilliant sunrise at Percha Dam

The more subtle setting of the moon

After breakfast, Clifford and I go for a bike ride around the lower campground – the less developed area. Play cello outside, even though it is a bit windy, as the temperature has reached the low 70’s by afternoon.

Campsite at Percha Dam

The usual editing and blog writing takes up the evening hours, along with packing up as much stuff as I can to get a head start on the morning. Moving is always a big deal, easier this time because it is only a few miles away, but even so, everything has to be securely in place before we pull out.

This has been a pleasant stay

Winter Journey – Percha Dam Days – December 2016

Sunrise in southern New Mexico – looks like the clouds are being pulsed this morning

Tuesday December 6th, I sit by a little campfire with hot yerba matte in a thermos and my journal after taking photos of the sunrise. Great way to start the day.

Still some autumn colors even thought it is December

Later, as the wind picks up, I do inside projects: editing, checking email, and cleaning out the storage closet. It is too windy to play the cello outside today. In addition to his ham radio studies, Clifford is studying flavins, as they may play a role in detecting disease. This knowledge will tie in with his CI work.

Wednesday December 7th, I had a very good dream about Mom before I woke up. I saw her in the camper and I said “I wish you were really here” and she answered “I am really here,” and then I gave her a hug. There was more to the dream, but enough said. As well as the usual daily activities, we do some home repairs: reinforcing a shelf that looks like it might come down, fixing the toilet lid, making a cover for the outdoor outlet, and such things.

Thursday December 8th, I take photos of the rising sun showing through a break in the clouds, but it too windy for a campfire this morning.

The sun rises, silhouetting the old cottonwood trees

Even though the sky clears by afternoon, the wind continues all day, so I can’t play cello out.  However, it is a far warmer cry than where we were a year ago at Three Rivers, New Mexico, not all that far from here.

Clearing of clouds

More editing, write another blog, and clean storage shelves today. In tiny homes, such as RVs, everything has to be stored just so, or it doesn’t fit. There is always some area or another that is ready for reorganizing.

Friday December 9th starts out as a chilly 21 degrees, but it is calm, hooray, and sunny.  I try to get photos of the cranes as they fly overhead from wherever they spend the night to nearby fields, but my camera doesn’t focus as fast as I need it to, so I miss a lot of shots.

Cranes overhead

We make a trip to Arrey to see if we have mail and get a couple of items at the grocery store. On the way back, we check out Riverside, the lower part of nearby Caballo State Park to get a sense of the layout, as that is where we plan to go next.

I have a nice long session with the cello in the afternoon as the temperature reaches into the low 60’s. More editing, blog writing, and answering emails in the early evening, along with chatting with my daughter, Becka.

Saturday December 10th is sunny and calm in the morning. After breakfast, I clean the fridge, and then Clifford and I go for a walk in the woods along the river.

Rio Grande River below Percha Dam

Walking in the woods

Carol and Clifford in the woods along the Rio Grande River

Good-bye to the river

We flush lots of birds, I’m guessing flocks of quail and doves, see abundant deer tracks, and best of all – we see a beautiful fox run across the little meadow area where we are walking. Back at camp, even though the wind has picked up, I play cello outside – a 5-clothespin day, which means I have to use 5 big clothes pins to hold the music on the stand, but it is warm enough to be doable. More editing in the evening. Being at a campground with electricity sure is a convenience.