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Camping in the Great Wide Open!

We continued east.

Freddy still thinks he is a wild burro and he wanted to do burro stuff like walk through the desert and check out the cactus. So I obliged him in Arizona where we spent the night at Pichaco Peak State Park.

Burro-1 Burro-2 Burro-3 Burro-4

He tried making burro sounds and failed miserably. I explained what it meant to be a burro. First, he would have to wear a pack and carry our gear when we went on hikes. Second, he wouldn't be getting bowls of clean cool water, puppy food, or scooby snacks anymore. Burros, I told him, eat off the land. He looked at me. Cats? Nope, no cats. And burros don't get to write blog posts either or play with squeaky toys.

He thought it over and decided to be a puppy again.

I gave him a rawhide chew and we watched the sunset.

Sunset-2 Sunset-3

We stayed at Percha Dam State Park in New Mexico for a couple of nights. I was last there in 2010 when I took pictures at all their State Parks.

New Mexico has a great deal for campers. A resident can buy an annual pass for $180, non-residents pay $225. This fee gets you one year of camping in the state campgrounds. Electricity runs an extra $4 per night.

Without the pass, my electric site cost just $14, less than half the $30 Arizona charged me.

Freddy reminded me that he is a puppy again and puppies like to play in the water, so we walked over to the Rio Grande adjacent to the campground.

Rio-Grande-1 Rio-Grande-9 Rio-Grande-2

Then we played "fetch the stick" for a little bit. I would toss a small stick in the water and he would come back with one. Rarely the same one I threw.


Usually a lot bigger. He is an over-acheiver.

Rio-Grande-4 Rio-Grande-7

I said it was time to go so he followed me back to our camp.



He decided to play "Super Doodle" and bounded about in the river.


Then it was into Texas, the Great Wide Open.

Once you pass El Paso on Interstate 10, you get 500 miles of scrub until you reach San Antonio. Yeah, there are a few small towns interrupting the desolation and one of them is Junction, about 350 miles in.

Just outside of Junction is a nifty spot called South Llano River State Park.


This is a very popular campground less than 2 hours west of the San Antonio area. There are 58 sites with water and power, along with some walk in and hike in spots.

The campsites are large and most offer some privacy. About half had shade shelters.

Good examples are 23, 25, and 33.

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There were only a half dozen campers when I visited. Why? Because the water was shut off for pipe repairs. So no flush toilets, no showers, not even any drinking water. The only place to poop was in a composting toilet in the walk in camping area. And I was still charged full price. $20 for camping and $4 for entry. You can buy an annual entry pass for $70 like I did in 2014 when I visited two dozen Texas State Parks.

There are great hiking trails available and one leads down to the river.

Trail-Running South-Llano-River-Trail South-Llano-River-View-1 South-Llano-River-View-3

Freddy spotted a small beach and had to go swimming.

Scout-Puppy Wet-Puppy

And find sticks to chew.

Rafting and tubing are main activities here and there are put in and take out spots inside the park.

A small catch and release bass lake rounds out the fun.

For humans.


For Freddy, fun was these creatures.


He was fascinated by the armadillos. Couldn't get enough of them.

Armadillo-3 Armadillo-1

Here is a crop the pic above. You can barely see the 'dillo in the background.


I could have taken more pictures but I was too busy laughing at his antics. He wasn't sure what to do when he caught one. It would roll up in a ball and confuse him.

As the sun started to go to bed, he jumped on his chair and told me his thoughts about them.


"Hard shelled cats."

"Say what?"

"They are like cats with armor. Reminds me of a joke I read."

"Freddy, you can't read."

He ignored me and continued.

"Why do polar bears like igloos? Cuz they are crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Like these hard shelled cats."

I shook my head at him.

"That is lame and you cannot read."

"Can too. I can read that sign over there."

"What sign?"

I followed him over to a sign I had not noticed before.


He got me on that one.

Regards and happy camping, Park Ranger


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