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Camping with ticks? No thanks! We’re off to New Mexico!

We bailed out. Skedaddled. Vamoosed.

Through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The heat and humidity were bad, but even worse were the ticks.

A relatively mild winter combined with a wet spring brought out the ticks in groves.

Now don’t get me wrong. The midwest does have some positives, one being that they are at the forefront in the technology race.


At one campground I discovered they offered a nifty way to make a phone call from inside your own vehicle. Crazy, huh? Check it out.


You simply park next to the phone, stretch out your arm, grab the handset and make a call. Hopefully you don’t drop any quarters…

Anyway, we decided to take a break in New Mexico and let the dry air heal our tick bites.

New Mexico offers an annual state park camping pass for $225 for non residents, about the cost of a week at a California state park.

Just over the Oklahoma border is Clayton Lake.

Clayton-Lake-Sign Clayton-Lake-View Clayton-1

Freddy approved.

Clayton-2 Clayton-3

The park offers both standard and electric sites. We liked site 6 in Cove Loop for the former and site 7 in North Point for the latter.

Clayton-Lake-Cove-Loop_006 Clayton-Lake-Electric-Loop_007

We only stayed one night, but that was plenty of time to whip up a batch of tasty burritos using locally produced salsa and tortillas. The beef might have been local as well for all I know.

Burritos-1 Burritos-2

Having them ready to just heat up greatly reduces cleanup time after each meal.


From there we bounded northwest to Sugarite Canyon near Raton and the Colorado border.


There are two campgrounds here, Lake Alice and Soda Pocket.

Lake-Alice-Sign Lake-Alice-View

Lake Alice offers electrical hookups but is near the road. Site 3 is a typical example.


Soda Pocket is up a two mile well graded dirt road.

Soda-Pocket-Sign Sugarite-3 Soda-Pocket-View

We stayed in site 1, my favorite.

Sugarite-4 Sugarite-6

Plenty of room to toss a tennis ball for Freddy.

Currently there is no water here but it is available at Lake Alice. Several hiking trails leave the campground towards Lake Maloya which stradles the NM/CO border.

Lake-Maloya-View Sugarite-1 Sugarite-2

100 miles southwest near the town of Las Vegas is Storrie Lake.


That is Las Vegas New Mexico for the geographically challenged.

There are plenty of sites like number 12 that offer a shade shelter, some with electricity.


But if you get lucky, like we did, you can nab one of four spots in the Gallinas River loop.

Storrie-5 Storrie-6 Storrie-7

They offer three sided stone shelters and a full bathroom with showers along with electricity. We are still here, charging up batteries before heading out tomorrow.

New Mexico charges very reasonable daily rates for it’s campgrounds.

$10 for a standard site, $14 for power, $18 for power and sewer. Subtract $10 if you have an annual pass.

Then there are primitive sites for $8. Usually an open area and a short walk to the poopers.

Freddy pointed out how popular these were over Father’s Day weekend.


You can literally put your wheels in the water.


The folks on the far left did just that.

We left Storrie Lake and headed north to Cimarron Canyon State Park, my favorite in New Mexico during the summer.


It is about 40 miles east of Taos along US 64. The elevation and location keep the temperatures down, a welcome respite from the 90’s we had been experiencing.

There are four campgrounds in the park located alongside a nifty trout filled river, but only Maverick has a lake as well.

Some of the reservable sites are right on the shore, like numbers 36, 37, and 39.

Cimarron-Canyon-Maverick_036 Cimarron-Canyon-Maverick_037 Cimarron-Canyon-Maverick_039

We ended up staying for two weeks, leaving the 5th of July.

Regards and happy camping, Park Ranger

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