ELEPHANT BUTTE LAKE STATE PARK, FEBRUARY 21, 2017

Location: Elephant Butte Lake State Park, Elephant Butte, New Mexico

Gosh, why am I so tired?  Could it be because I had to get up in the middle of the night and take the dogs out?  Dogs that wouldn’t go potty until I let them off leash which means I have to put on clothes and shoes, strap on a head lamp, take them down the steep, dark hill hiding pointy plants, jaguars and bouncing baby bunnies.  They don’t want to potty.  They want to sniff every darn bush.

elephant-butte-rattlesnake-island-2017-feb-20With the morning, we want to go wandering.  We drive the truck around. Uh-oh soft spot.  SOFT SPOT!  Thank you four-wheel drive.  We drive over to Rattlesnake Island which is no longer an island.  Logic tells me to watch where I put my feet.  We head over to the Marina Del Sur.  It’s a little confusing getting to it because the paved marina road doesn’t go to the marina.  As the water depth decreases, the marina on floats, is moved to deeper water.  We have to drive on a sand road and drive through a washed out spot.  I wander over to talk fishing with the friendly marina employees. They sell the usual marina stuff: drinks, ice, fishing and boating supplies.  Then again, they are almost out of stuff, because it’s the off season for a couple more weeks.  There was an awesome propel kayak on a stand.  It has foot pedals to turn a manual prop.  I can’t believe how expensive they are.  If ya got an extra $1500-2000…

The fellas tell me the unhappy truth.  It is still too cold for even mediocre bank fishing.  The fish are still in the deep channel which can’t be reached by bank fishermen.  There’s a half dozen vehicles with boat trailers so somebody might be catching some.   They also tell me the water is rising.  About two or three inches a day.  Knowing how huge the reservoir is, that is a darn lot of water coming down the Rio Grande.  If I had to guess, I’d say snow melt from the Enchanted Circle.

We meet the neighbors, John and Margaret.  They are 10 months into a ten year trip up and down the U.S.  He and I talk rigs because they have quite the heavy set up.  They are pulling a 28′ trailer, 7000 pounds empty, with a Ford F150 V8.  It dwarfs ours so I think it’s 31′ from tip to end.  Two slides.  A small motor and the trolling motor are tied on the extra shelf above the propane tanks and next to the generator. I ask him how far his truck sags when hooked up.  He says minimal after the addition of four suspension stabilizers from Torklift.  We shimmied under his truck just a bit as he pointed them out.  There’s a camper shell on back of the truck full of fishing rods and stuff.  On top of the camper is a 90 pound boat.   Man, I want to see them hook that puppy up.

The wind picks up.  Sand is everywhere even though we have a small rug to wipe our feet on.  Margo has been using her birthday present from me, a hand vac, more than she wanted.

elephant-butte-slope-2017-feb-20We go on a ride about and let the dogs play in the water again.  HappyDog is supremely happy.  With our encouragement, she swims in water over her head and learns to fetch and is so proud.  DotDog, who remains near the shore, is pea green with jealousy and tries to intimidate the stick away.  Nothing doing, Busterette!   We break it up before it comes to a battle.  I guess the last time HappyDog was in water over her head she was just a pup.  It was like her genetics just kicked in this day and she knew what she was put on the earth for.  Couldn’t keep her out of the water.

So, so glad we have a seat protector over the back seats.

Arrived back at the site as the first rig pulled in.  Ready, set, toddies.

Ah, yes.  Quite the life.

After dark we decided not to start a fire in the fire ring.  Instead we hooked up the new TV.  Darn, the video cable tip is broken off so we can’t watch DVDs.  At least we can watch local TV.  The trailer has a signal booster that looks sorta like bat wings.  It is awesome.  We pulled in 6 clear channels from Albuquerque, 130 miles away.

I remind myself that I promised to buy some wireless headphones so either of us can watch TV or listen to the player without bothering the other person.

Tomorrow, I will fish.

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