Sweet Oliver Lee

After spending my longest stretch ever with no hookups, including three national parks, a couple of Walmarts, and a road side rest area, I am really ready to get back to “the pole.”   Not only have I been battling depleting batteries, but I had a slight meltdown with my DC outlets.  Lesson Learned:  Always check the fine print on the handy apparatus left behind by the previous owner (Max. 5 A) before plugging in an iphone AND  a dead laptop to charge at the same time!   Of all the systems in my rig, the electrical continues to be the one that perplexes me the most.  SOME DAY, I am gonna “get” V x A = W!!

My DC adapter melted!  Thank goodness it "ejected" before it did any damage to the port.

My DC adapter melted! Thank goodness it “ejected” before it did any damage to the port.

It’s now the last weekend of my vacation, and I want to spend my last Saturday night on a high note, rather than back in the Alamogordo Walmart parking lot, as level and quiet as it may have been.  I have seen the Oliver Lee Memorial State Park on my Allstays App, but I figure being so close to Alamogordo, they will not likely have an opening for the weekend.   Since it is only 7 miles out of my way to my next destination, I decide to go for it. The man at the desk says he doesn’t think there are any electric sites left (they reserve only eight, and the remaining eight are first come, first served.)  He tells me to go on down and check.   “If you find one, park it!  Come back and do the paperwork later!”

Overview of the sweet little campground below, from the Dogwood Canyon Trail.

Overview of the sweet little campground below, from the Dogwood Canyon Trail.

IMG_1335I get the last remaining electric site in the park!   As soon as I get myself level, I jump out, grab the power cord, jam it into the pole, and Eureka!  Thus ends my fourteen day streak of “complete self-containment!”    I must say, it is a treat to cook dinner by electricity rather than candlelight for a change.   (Did you know if you place a flashlight up next to a gallon jug of water, it glows like a lantern?  New batteries are definitely in my future!) IMG_1315 The sweet little Oliver Lee campground is really nice.  The sites are spread out a respectable distance from each other, and all have a phenomenal view of Dogwood Canyon.   And as an added welcome, among the friendliest campground hosts I have experienced, all for $16 per night (less with a parks pass.)

I only have one day here, so I quickly get myself settled, and take off for the 6 mile RT hike up Dogwood Canyon.    I am thinking, this seems more taxing to me than the Guadalupe Peak climb!  First of all, it is steeper.   And it is a little warmer here.  But the worst part, it seems a swarm of relentless flies is determined to hike with me!  I just keep wondering, are these the same damned flies that are following me up the mountain, or does a new swarm lie in wait?

On the way up the Dogwood Canyon Trail

On the way up the Dogwood Canyon Trail

IMG_1367The trail is up and up again, with only two small flat stretches.  One of these is through a bizarre  “cholla meadow.”   It is beautiful, seeing all the vibrant green “trees” with their bright yellow tips, but also very daunting, knowing how painful one wrong bobble on the path could be.

The "Cholla Meadow."

The “Cholla Meadow.”


Gotta watch your elbows on this part of the trail!

Gotta watch your elbows on this part of the trail!

The hike is gorgeous, but extremely tiresome due to the flies and late afternoon heat.  But I persevere to the Line Cabin, an old ruin at the bottom of the canyon.   There is a group of Boy Scouts camped right inside the ruin, so I visit with the Scouts for a few minutes, then make that my turning point for the day, taking my time back down the mountain to enjoy the sun now dropping low in the sky.

Note tiny Boy Scout camp at the bottom of the canyon.

Note tiny Boy Scout camp at the bottom of the canyon.

IMG_1372IMG_1384I fall asleep in the Sweet Oliver Lee campground with the laptop still glowing on the pillow on my lap, feeling both indulgent as well as appreciative that I don’t have to constantly monitor the battery level for a change…

Sweet Oliver re-LEE-ief!IMG_1401IMG_1325

7 thoughts on “Sweet Oliver Lee

  1. Well it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t jump on the opportunity for a joke but it’s funny that the depleting of the batteries and thus the power source for the water pump and shower they provide would coincide with a fly attack??? 🙂

    Sis, here is a page I added to your blog that I hope explains the issues with amps and how something can burn up if the current is too high.

    Don’s Blurb on Basic RV Electricity

  2. We LOVED Oliver Lee State Park – spent several weeks there, and never tired of it. One afternoon, three soldiers took a hike up Dog Canyon, but strayed off the trail. One of them fell – long story short – he was retrieved, but there was a search party with lights that night, winding up that trail. Also, a helicopter started searching before it got dark, but continued far into the night. Seemed like a very brave thing for the pilot as the canyon is pretty narrow in spots, and it is mighty dark out there.

    Hope you get a chance to go back and do some more exploring there.

    Virtual hugs,


  3. I admire you for tackling that hike. I was daunted by it and didn’t even make an attempt. I was content to stare at the peak from my bedroom window. I liked that park a lot. It was cool to see the lights of the town at night from on high. And watch a train go by – seems like it took hours to make
    the journey from my left to right.

    Doesn’t having electric make you feel positively decadent? It makes me want to burn all the lights at one time. I’m with you on the mystifying electrical equation. I get it, but then I forget it.

  4. Getting caught up, Suzanne… ! OH LORD! the Caverns … no. I didn’t want to go each time I’ve gone by there… still don’t. not my thang. I can see the pictures… fine enough for me.

    What a bummer… I know good and well, I wouldn’t take the elevator DOWN 75 stores… holy freaking moly … and my GOD in heaven… visualizing your chip fry … is beyond. Hahaa… I mean it’s funny but not teehee funny but mumbling Jehoshaphat funny . and noooooo body thought to help…. sigh

    Holy crap with the THE OBJECT … man. Don was going to ‘get em’ with a shotgun? right … I went by Roswell again too … just … as I’ve said many times… not a desert kid .. for any length of time and by the time I got to Carlsbad and any of that part … I had been driving east or west through too much desert. BUT … now… that green chili cheeseburger… with garlic fries? if I’d known about THAT!

    Now, I did go to White Sands… had to see that! I was not disappointed. What a surreal experience. haha love your sled picture… I stayed until the last minute because of my OLD eyes… I bet the star gazing would have been out of this world there… well? maybe on your way back? Absolutely breath taking pictures! you do know that it’s gypsum not sand, right? I tried to walk on it… but faw down … lol

    I never thought about vodka having gluten… used to like a little vodka with lime in the summertime. BUT I tried free hand charcoal drawing after lining up my Irish coffees at 3am at an artist friend’s condo… HAHAaaaaa… oh, baruther … your watercolors are masterpieces compared to my candle. looked like a kindergartner drawing… HAHaaaa BUT I surely did like your prep!

    LOVE my Allstays App… and Sweet Oliver? well? missed that too ~ just don’t do heat and flies. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again … yer flipping amazing!

    Great pictures all the way through …. loved it

    • Dave — I am 5’8″ tall. Most everyone is “tiny” to me. 😉

      Carolyn — I have missed your colorful comments. In a funk. No trees at Elephant Butte. I needed the boost. Thanks as always for the laughs!

      TinyCamper — Thanks for following, and leaving a nice comment!

      Kim — YES! I said “I’m leaving the light on, just because I can!” haha! I missed the train though. That would have been cool to watch from above.

      Judie — I loved that story about the rescue! That must have been fascinating to watch!

      Don — Had I not just amused myself by showering in the Alamogordo Walmart parking lot, you may have been on to something…

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