Monday, February 2, 2009

oasis state park, clovis points, LEDs,
and the snow moon





Stayed longer at Sumner Lake than I had intended. Except for the last few days, there was intermittent wireless coming from somewhere and was such a treat, I did not want to leave. Then a class A motorhome pulled into the site next to me even though there were other vacant sites not next to any rig. The gods were telling me to roll-on. Scooted over to Clovis before heading down to Oasis. I wanted to get supplies at a grocery store with more of a selection. Clovis is large enough that one could probably find whatever they need there.

This area has a number of dairies. I almost feel guilty with all the non-fat milk I drink. These cows are only milk-machines. Their black and white bodies are packed into large dirt pens with no room to roam let alone have any grass to graze. Not truly living—merely existing in perpetual black despair. There is a dairy two miles from the park and if there is no wind, one can easily smell all the cows and their waste early morning or evening.

The park offers 13 electric sites among cottonwoods. Three are reservation sites where one can only stay for one night without a reservation and a fourth site is taken by the host. The sites are pull-through and are laid out in-line so one can look out your side windows to the grasslands. If there isn’t a rig in the next site, there is a decent distance between RVs. Sure beats the standard side-by-side, sardines-in-a-tin layout. There is a network of trails (maybe a mile and a half) around the lake area and out in the grass covered dunes. No dirt roads to bicycle but the 2 mile road out to the highway has very little traffic so at least one can get in a token amount of leg work.

FINALLY—a hot shower! A long time coming—I was losing hope. Actually, it was a bit too hot. Never thought I would say that during the winter months. I ended up lookin’ like a boiled lobster. NM state park showers are not adjustable. Press the button and you get whatever comes out for twenty seconds.

Portales is 8 miles south. The library has a used book room with 25 cent paperbacks, 50 cent hardbacks, and $2 books-on-tape. It also offers wi-fi but it’s an old system so new laptops will not be able to access the web with it. The Do Drop In coffee shop (I won’t comment on that) a block away also offers wi-fi. Eastern NM University, at the end of town is another option. As you go into the library building, there are tables and outlets where you can sit down and access their wireless without going into the library. One can also drive back to Clovis which is only about 14 miles north of the park. The Clovis library on 7th and Main also provides wi-fi. One could probably blow their budget by staying in this park since there are so many places to spend money. The Portales laundromat is expensive but has plenty of machines and provides free wi-fi.


I walked on water. Well, I would have if there was water in the pond. As you can see from one of the photos—the pond is somewhat dry. It had a leak. A lot of leaks. The bentonite and red clay base became perforated after twenty years by crawfish, roots, and natural breakdown, letting the water drain through to the underlying sand. They worked on the problem last year, filled the 3acre pond back up, and the water drained out in two weeks. Next month they are going to scrape out 18” of clay, lay down a liner, cover it with the clay, and refill the pond. If it does not work, I guess they will be changing the name of the park.

The night sky is nowhere near as spectacular as it is at some of the other parks—too many lights off in the distance. A dairy out on the highway stays lit up like a ball field. The park is small and without the lake, it does not get much business. I like it for that reason; it’s quiet. During my first week, only one potential overnighter drove through, but then they continued right on out the park. The second week three rigs stopped, but only for one night. Didn’t even check out the trails.


Meadow, Onyx, and I are still going out for our half-mile walks at dusk. I attached a shot of one of our walks. Sometimes we just wander but mostly do an out-and-back or a loop. If we are heading out, Meadow is always in front. Once we start to head back, Onyx is ALWAYS in the lead. It’s a hoot. At least once during every walk, Meadow darts out of hiding along the trail, knocks Onyx over, and they tumble and roll along in the sand. I guess its payback since Onyx is always the one jumping on Meadow when inside the camper. Once they are in for the night they always get wiped down with a wet microfiber towel and brushed. Except for the first time out each morning at 5:00, the first thing they do every time they go out is roll in the dirt. The twits.


This shows where Meadow and Onyx frequently end up if the window cage is out. They jump up, grab the bars, climb up the side of the cage, and walk onto the roof. These two definitely keep toned. There is only one thing I do not like about them going up on the roof. If I am working inside at the bench and one of them jumps up and grabs the cage, it sounds like something large is slamming the side of it. It’s pretty loud and can have me starting to jump up off the stool. The twits.

The hosts fulltime in a Fleetwood Pioneer. When I was invited inside, I had a hard time believing the trailer is only 19’—it looks way bigger. As you walk in, there is a walk-around queen size bed to the right with a closet and a set of drawers all the way across the front of the trailer. To the left, the galley is on the far side with a dinette that seats four along the near wall. Across the back of the trailer is the bathroom with a tub and shower to the right of the bathroom door, sink in the middle, head to the left, and a 2-door closet at the end. The trailer rides on double axles so one can probably put a good deal of weight in it for extended travel. It has good ground clearance and three outside lockers. Very nice design. I’m kind of set on fiberglass trailers but the Pioneer might be worth looking into at some point.

Wish I had known about superbrightleds.com before I bought my LEDs a while back. Mine work okay but the prudentrver.com design does not make good use of all 9 LEDs on their lamps. I recently installed some Superbright LED lamps (1156-PCBxWHP9) in cool white. MUCH better. I also bought some LEDs from rigidindustries.com, their RV LED Retrofit lamps. The Rigid Industry lamps are rated with more lumens than the Superbright and have a warm (yellow) light. I don’t have a strong preference for one over the other. The cool white from the Superbrights brighten up the camper more than the Rigid Industry ones but I like the Rigid Industry lamps over my bench when I’m doing my silverwork. I do way too much reading under both types and find either one works well. So I can’t make a call on it when people ask me for my preference although I know many have strong feelings for one or the other. I relegated my Prudent RVer lamps to I don’t need serious light.

Figured it was time to work the brain cells a bit so I started putting together a new web site. It’s been years since I have used Dreamweaver and BBEdit and worked with nested tables and css. It’s been fun but definitely frustrating at times. Need to start doing more stuff like this again.


I thought it was pretty cool being so close to where Clovis points originated. The points are associated with the North American Clovis culture. They date to the Paleo-Indian period around 13,500 years ago. They are named after the city of Clovis, New Mexico, where examples were first found in 1929. Clovis points are often found within the remains of ice age animals. The completed spear was either thrown by hand or with the aid of the atlatl, or spear thrower. I have an atlatl and a couple of spears and if I had to hunt with it, I’d starve to death. If I was in a barn, I could possibly hit a wall from time to time, but that’s about it. At least I have some skill with my sling and longbow. Clovis points have hence been found over most of North America and as far south as Venezuela. Around 10,000 BCE, a new type of fluted projectile point called Folsom seemed to emerge, replacing the Clovis-style points over much of the continental United States. The Blackwater Draw Museum is pretty close to the park and covers all this. I was surprised to find that ‘fluted’ points were a New World invention. I have to look up Old World points to see what they were like.

Well, just about ready to roll on down to Bottomless.

February’s new moon is known as The Full Snow Moon. Usually the heaviest snows fall in this month. Hunting becomes very difficult, and hence to some tribes this was the Full Hunger Moon.

Everybody needs beauty…places to play and pray in,
where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.
John Muir


FOR INDEX OF POSTINGS GO TO JULY 2006

1 comment:

RyanMaureen said...

Spent February 2nd at Sumner Lake, looks like we just missed you. I was excited to run across your blog and am wistfully jealous, having just come back from 10 days bumming around AZ and NM. I haven't gone through all your old posts, but if you haven't tried City of Rocks state park near Deming, NM, you should. I wouldn't want to go there during the summer but last week it was pretty empty and had great night skies. Safe Travels!