As the middle of September came, and along with it a slower pace and cooler weather, we knew it was about time to move on. Although we looked forward to seeing all our friends in Yuma, we were reluctant to leave Bluewater.
Here are some of the highlights of our summer not mentioned before. Each day brought it’s own little treats, such as watching the wild horses near the park entrance or even at the front door of the office.
We had more hummingbirds visit our feeder than we’d ever had anywhere.
Ron worked hard to get a yard sale computer up and running to provide a slideshow for visitors to the visitor center. With the donation of a hard drive from the local computer shop, he was finally successful.
We were sorry to see the park manager, Kelly, transfer to another park. He was the one most instrumental in bringing us to Bluewater. The volunteers and employees gave him a little going away party.
The state is planning to build a new visitor center, shower house and office complex. It was exciting to see the first surveyor stake go into the ground.
We took a couple of drives during the month. One was to Mount Taylor, with its elevation of 11,306 ft. The road is asphalt for 13 miles beyond Grants, then becomes gravel. We drove until the road became too narrow and rutted, almost to the top. With the recent rains, the trees and wildflowers were beautiful. As you leave the bottom, you leave the desert topography behind, ascend through the pines, and at the top come into the aspen groves.
Visiting the nearby community of Thoreau was interesting with its horses roaming the streets. There aren’t very many communities any more where you can see them grazing at the street intersections.
The red rock cliffs near Thoreau are striking.
We also took a day trip to Gallup, where we also enjoyed seeing the Gallup Cultural Center Storyteller Museum.
A free facility in the old train depot, it contains some nice displays.
1928 Trading Post Diorama, along with several other miniature scenes
It was also exciting for me to explore Thunderbird Supply, a wholesale bead shop. I could have spent the whole day there, but restrained myself. :-)
Our last stop of the day was at the historic El Rancho Hotel. In the 1930’s and 40’s it was home to the movie stars who filmed westerns in the area. The entire second floor’s hall walls are covered with autographed photos of the stars and producers. The ground floor is a visual delight with its grand furnishings.
Although we were at Bluewater Lake for more than 3 months, it seemed as if we had just arrived when Labor Day came and went, and the summer season was over for 2013. The days began to cool rapidly, and when we got up on September 23 to a morning temperature of 37 degrees, we knew it was time to head west and south. Our Yuma season was soon to begin.