With our bellies full of fine Mexican food we began the hour and a half journey northward.
There are two state parks in the area, one of which had primitive camping (no electricity or water hook ups) down along the shoreline. Unable to make much sense of the online reservation system Amanda called and got a prerecorded message - “No beach or primitive camping is permitted due to COVID-19 safety concerns.” She was livid! “We might spread COVID cooties in the sand or contaminate the lake water.” Not only that but all restroom and shower facilities were closed due to COVID-19. So we would be forced to make reservations for full hook-up sites, pay twice or three times the fee to be packed close in to others rather than disperse camp far away from your neighbor. There must be some misguided logic there in the COVID prevention decision making of the New Mexico State Park system but we failed to see it. We didn’t bother with their silliness and went elsewhere.
This is COVID safe camping.
After checking out a camp area outside of town that charged $10 for a shelter, a picnic table and nothing else, not even a water faucet (the non-existent cell service was the deciding factor) we backtracked seven miles to a dispersed camp area along the Rio Grande River. It was free, had real good cell service plus the added bonus of nearby highway noise and people driving in at 2 a.m. doing whatever people do at 2 a.m. in the dark. I don’t know because I slept through it but Amanda did not.
This is not COVID safe camping.
Now to say we camped along the Rio Grande may sound enchanting but the poor river itself is not. The water wasn’t something you’d want to splash around in. We’ve stayed in worse places in our separate travels over the years so this was okay for a day. At least we wouldn’t be exposed to COVID-19 spreaders here.