Thursday, August 11, 2011

Camping Trip to Villanueva, August 5-6, 2011

Devery, Mason, Darren
Kayla and Tyler
Kayla, Tyler, and Mason at the playground
Dion at the playground
Tyler, Kayla, and Heidi
At the playground
On the main road through the park
On the bridge crossing the Pecos
Dorine and I

These photos (and the video) are from our one-night camping trip to Villanueva State Park, New Mexico, on August 5-6, 2011.  We went with Heidi and her husband Dion (and their kids Kayla and Tyler), and with Devery and her little boy Mason.  We pulled into the park early on Friday afternoon, just as the camping spots along the river were filling up, and immediately the lady in the site next to us warned us of nocturnal bear activity and strongly advised us not to spend the night in tents.  However, we, never camping more than a couple of nights a year, only have tents (or "white trash trailers," as Dion calls them) for camping, and we certainly didn't drive all the way out there not to spend the night, so we ignored the warning.  (I also got the distinct impression that the lady was a little bugged about having little kids in close proximity and would say anything to get them to go away.)

Anyway, we did spend the night and, fortunately, weren't bothered by the juvenile black bears that, per the ranger, had been overturning trash cans every night.  Our campsite was very fortuitously located across the road from the park playground, and the kids all had a great time playing on the various slides, monkey bars, and other jungle-gym equipment there.  Villanueva has become sort of like our "family camping spot," even though we only go there once a year; the combination of accessibility (while still being off the beaten path) and physical features (Pecos River, hiking trails, and hills) makes it ideally suited for our purposes.  If I had my way, all of our trips there would be for two nights instead of just one, but "one" beats "none"!  I'm hoping to get in a second camping trip in October down at White Sands National Monument and Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, both of which are near Alamogordo, New Mexico, and perhaps we'll even get in a second night down in Carlsbad so that we can take the kids to see the Caverns.