Now what? What is the first thing you do the moment you have a millisecond of unoccupied time?
Did you just reach for your phone?
In any moment of un-critically-occupied time, we seem to grab our phones. Drinking coffee. Waiting in the checkout line. Sitting at a stoplight. Stuck in your vehicle during an unexpected downpour.
I check for notifications and open my social media accounts. I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I’m already scrolling through photos, double-tapping at random.
And when I’m stuck in my car during an unexpected downpour with no cell service… I think about notifications I might be missing.
But WHY?!? What could be so insanely critical that I had to know about it right that instant?
Nothing. Especially nothing I was going to find on social media.
Honestly, to answer that, I’d just be repeating what I heard on that podcast, so go give it a listen for yourself.
Trust me, it’s worth listening to. Because once the sun did come back out and I inadvertently found cell service while hiking, I resisted the urge to jump on Insta. I heard a few notification dings, turned my phone on silent, and challenged myself to only use my phone for pictures until I left City of Rocks the next day.
And I succeeded. Partially because I still didn’t have cell service throughout most of the park, but also because I wanted to change my relationship with social media:
Less shallow gratification seeking.
More fun sharing.
You’ll roll into the area on some quiet highways and paved roads, passing Faywood Hot Springs, a small resort with—yes, you guessed it—hot springs. City of Rocks doesn’t even appear until you’re practically right at the front entrance of this massive cluster of giant boulders melting into each other. This monolithic structure is volcanic rock. Wind and water etched the formation over time, leaving smooth, rounded surfaces.
They let me know they had spotted a mountain lion nearby the day prior and that elk and bear were in the area, so I should keep an extra close eye on my pets.
Of course, when they met Cool Whip and Herc later they realized we didn’t have quite as much to worry about than if they’d been small, snack-sized dogs. ;)
Campsites are $10.00 per night. You can make reservations for some campsites but others are first-come-first-served only. I wasn’t visiting during peak season and I didn’t need electrical hook-ups, so I relied on the FCFS options. Each site has a picnic table and campfire ring. There are garbage cans tucked throughout the campground as well as several pit toilets. The visitor center also has flush toilets and showers if you want to feel fancy.
Whether this is a destination or a pitstop on a larger adventure, I highly recommend it. We spent one night here after visiting White Sands National Monument and I’ll definitely stop again if I’m cruising through southern New Mexico.