Raton Pass


Central Missouri in June and July is not the place to be.  It is hot, humid, and totally miserable.  Take it from someone who should have known better.  We went out to New Jersey to see my son and grand-daughter.  It was even worse there.  The only place in the whole country that was cool was in the mountains, so after our visit we headed west.  We had never been to Raton Pass.  It is at about 8000 feet and and is delightfully cool and dry.  It is still monsoon season so it rains nearly every day but only for an hour or so.  We decided to stay a month.  We would need that long just to cool down from the Mid-West.







Raton, New Mexico, as you can see, is quite a bustling metropolis.  After New Jersey, a quiet little town suited us perfectly.






The campground we picked was Cedar Rail Campground.  It is located at the top of Raton Pass at an elevation of 7888 feet.  Raton Pass is in northern New Mexico right at the Colorado border.





The campground isn't large.  You can see nearly half of it in this view.  The drawings of bears on the side of the laundry serve to remind the campers that there are bears in the vicinity and to behave appropriately.  I can personally testify to their presence.






That's our new rig with the Jeep parked in front.  The park was nearly full when we arrived but we lucked out in getting one of the best sites in the park.





This is the view from our site.  This is what convinced us to stay a while; well, the view and the cool breeze that was always blowing.






When I took a short walk, I was reminded of the scarcity of flat places in the mountains.  It is necessary to use all of any that exist.  That's our rig in the middle.  We do have another table other than the one in the foreground.  When I returned to the rig, I checked to be sure the hand-brake was well set.






Did I mention that there were bears in the vicinity?  We noticed this little guy looking for an afternoon snack.  There are a number of oak trees in the neighborhood and the local bears find the acorns quite tasty.








Unfortunately, this was a small oak tree and a not-so-small bear.  If the bear seems to be leaning to one side, that is because the tree has just broken off and the bear is about to come down faster than he went up.






The trip down did not discourage him and he continued to gather the now more accessible acorns.  A neighbor told me that later in the afternoon, the bear came up onto the ledge just below our rig.  Fortunately, I did not see that.







This was our first trip to Raton Pass but we have enjoyed the area so much that we will return; perhaps in the next hot summer.