Magdelena, NM, was founded in 1884 and now has a population hovering around 1000 according to the census. There are no gas stations. Bummer.
I drove up to Datil, another 50 or so miles and pulled over. The wind was bellowing. In front of me, a little old lady climbed out of a Hyundai and her wig blew off. I waited 10 minutes for fuel. We head out again, this time stopping in Quemado. I realise we’d stayed in a small motel here some three years ago when traveling to AZLRO spring gathering in 2012. I’d been in a 1959 Land Rover and found a tire splitting. Opposite the motel was a tire shop. The dad of the girl running the motel. Yep, small towns. He set me up but overinflated everything. I’d driven off that time, pulled over and released some air before carrying on. This time, I took south turn and drove 15 miles towards Quemado lakes. Back on the NF roads, it was first Apache NF and then around the last corner at the lake it was Gila. I wanted to settle in for the night so we drove past the reservoir and headed back into the forest.
I’d driven 280 miles in 7 hours. Oh well. I always wonder when I finally stop why it took me so long. This was well worth the wait. A primitive campsite, El Caso, free, pit-toilets, no water but for a creek, firepits (but it was too windy to dare). I let the dogs roam free and made frito pies for dinner. Followed by a beer and peanuts as I checked out the maps for the next day.
The dogs are so good on these wanders of mine. They listen, stick close, pay attention, and take naps after dinner. Good dogs.