I parked at the last picnic spot above the lake, layered up, and hopped out. And then immediately jumped back in. Definitely gonna need my vest out there!
I hopped out for attempt #2. Better.
And oh golly were the hounds excited!
For a long time New Mexico was simply a state I had to pass through going to and from Minnesota/Arizona. It did not impress me. Sure, there were a few nice views from I-40 on the western side of the state, but nothing that really called to me to explore. I’d also experienced some pretty freaky weather cruising across the state: sudden snow, torrential rains and wind, and the thickest fog I’ve ever driven through. Oye. This latest trip through, however, changed the vibe for me.
At our last gas station stop in Arizona I opened Google Maps and scanned New Mexico for traces of green within an inch of I-40 (meaning park or forest areas where we wouldn’t have to detour too far off our route). All sorts of options showed up.
Bluewater State Park was the winner. It was a 10-15 minute drive off the freeway and totally worth it. The place was empty -- understandably considering it was below freezing and there were those previously mentioned torrential winds blazing across the landscape. But I owed the hounds a solid bout of exploring.
Despite the cold, the place was beautiful. Deep green pines, red-tinged dirt, and a wind-blown, ice-rimmed lake. Skittering down the rocky hill brought us to a sandy beach. Not exactly the best weather for a romantic beach walk, but it worked for us.
Right before we left a band of wild horses meandered out of the trees across the way (the tiny black dots at the far side of the lake). Magical. Once they spotted us, I took that as our cue to head back up to the car. No sense in disturbing their peaceful vibes with a couple of manic hounds wanting get a sniff up close and personal.