This 4th of July we went car-camping.
I’ve slept on the ground a lot. I used to backpack, hiking into the Gila Wilderness occasionally, and once down to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
I’ve logged thousands of miles as a bike tourist. Sometimes after dark I’d just push my bike to the edge of the right-of-way and drag my sleeping bag out and sleep in the dirt, rough sleeping. It was easy to fall asleep after pushing the pedals all day and a couple of beers. In the morning I’d ride to the next cafe or truck stop, wash my face, and eat a couple of breakfasts.
I guess I’m too old for that now. And we’ve got the kids. So now we go car-camping.
There are more than a hundred places to car-camp within two hours drive from El Paso. If you want to stretch your range to three hours then there are more places than you have nights left in your life. In the summer you can go to the mountains. The Lincoln National Forest is vast. In the winter there’s the Guadalupes. Three Rivers. All that BLM land in New Mexico.
On the third of July we drove up to one of the campgrounds outside of Cloudcroft. The US Forest Service charges $20 for a campsite, with toilets, water, and a picnic table. Not too bad. Of course you can pitch your tent practically anywhere in a National Forest, but the amenities are cool, and $20 is not too bad.
Car-camping. Another great feature for people who live in El Paso.