After Coyote Creek camp ground we decided to leave and go to Clayton Lake State Park. To do this we drove over the pass using route 434, when we started about 8am the clouds had rolled in and it had begun to sprinkle. Within about five miles from Coyote Creek the road narrowed quite a bit and then it began to snow, just a few flakes at first mixed in with what was now a drizzle. When traffic was coming towards the rig you could see that the other drivers were giving our rigs a wide berth. The ascent got steeper and I had the accelerator flat to the floor a few times to make it to the top one or the other hills. Each time we topped a hill I thought we would be going down to the valley, but then there was another hill and another hill. Finally we did get to a flatter spot and took a right on route 120, everything looked okay till we ran out of asphalt road. The road ahead was gravel as far as we could see. We had a quick conference and decided as we had no knowledge of what lay ahead on the gravel road we should turn around and follow 120 through Angle Fire. This we did and eventually we found a restaurant open called Zek’s and had a lovely breakfast there while listening to the snow melt on the metal roof of the building.
We continued on to the 64 and passed through Cimarron State Park the part that followed the river there. The fishing looked good and someday I will return and fish that river. We continued on 64 towards Clayton NM. About 40 minutes out side of Clayton I heard a bang and I checked my mirrors to see if there was any evidence of a flat tire when I saw that my awning arms were loose and flapping. This could get serious fast, so I pulled over on the shoulder and went out to examine the situation. At the time there were winds 30-40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph! That and eighteen wheelers passing the rig made for a rather difficult situation. It seems the wind had gotten under the awning roller and forced the arms out of their mechanical locks. In that wind I couldn’t unroll and roll back up the awing to tighten it and the mechanical locks sure weren’t going to hold the awning arms and the whole apparatus could get caught in a gust and rip it off the rig causing damage to my rig and maybe to a passing vehicle. So I had to improvise a solution on the spot. I tried tying the arms together with rope that didn’t work, I couldn’t get the rope tight enough to insure that the awing would not unravel. I looked in my tool box looking for perhaps vice grips when I spotted the friend I needed; Duct Tape! Who ever invented that stuff I thank you! I taped up the arms as tight as I could manage, then proceed on my way slowly driving along so as not to put more pressure on the awning.
About that time Samantha arrived on the other side of the highway and we had a conference about the problems I was having and what to do next. We decided to meet in Clayton and we parted and later met in Clayton NM.
By the time we got to Clayton State Park we were tired found our campsite and hooked up for a stay. The wind kept blowing until after dark and then it was peaceful again. The park is an older one laid out in the fifties so many of the spaces are small and most of the electric spaces are reserved spaces. We got lucky and got two spots that were not reserved. It seems there are only two unreserved spaces there and they seemed to always be occupied.
The showers were nice in that they had regular shower heads not the mean ones that shoot a stream of high pressure water at you like some of the parks have. I got the awning situation under control when the wind was cooperating in the morning. It seems no damage was done.
We had no WiFi at the park or cellphone coverage unless we walked up a hill that was rather steep. I hadn’t called or been on line in days so I made some calls to let folks know that I was okay and tried to get in touch with our real estate agent (no luck). I ended up walking up that hill three times one day making calls, huffing and puffing.
We knew the holiday weekend was coming up and tried the reservation service and found that all the reserved sites had been taken in the local area that we were in so that meant another conference and it was decide to head to Deming NM to our clubs RV park and hide out for the holiday weekend safe and sound off the road and amongst friends. So the next day we packed it up and headed to Deming NM.