This past weekend we took a short camping trip to Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico. I have honestly never been camping before, but I was definitely excited. The idea of being out in nature again is what made me the happiest. To take some time off from the city, the computer, the stuffiness of my room, was a chance I immediately took.

The trip itself was quite sudden. I wasn’t told we were going to Elephant Butte until the same week of. But, we quickly put everything together and headed out early Friday morning. It took us around two hours to get there, which may feel longer if you were inside a crammed truck like we were. Once there, we unpacked and set up our tents where we would sleep for the weekend.

WildlifeElephant Butte Lake Stake Park is really a beautiful place to camp out at. Yes, it gets very hot, around 105°F while we were there, but having the lake there to swim in makes it worthwhile. A lot of the land is pure desert with many quails and rabbits scattering about. The lake itself is full of fish, which is why it attracts so many fishermen. It is also very big and from the time the sun comes up, many boats are already sailing its waters.

The first thing we did was actually get on one of these boats. I had never been on a motor boat before, neither had my cat, but we both made it out safely. Even while Sophie had been meowing non stop in the truck on our way over, she was pretty peaceful while on the boat. The fresh breeze and the waves rocking you this way and that made it very relaxing. I loved it so much that the next day, I actually drove the motor boat myself! With supervision of course, but it made me feel accomplished in some way. After all, I can’t even drive a car, but I did manage to drive a boat smoothly! 😉

The heat was pretty hard on us. Both my mom and I were burnt pretty bad, but we didn’t mind since heat means we can and should go swimming! Well, just float in the water really, since I don’t know how to swim.~ I honestly just sat there at the edge of the lake, taking it all in. The lovely scenery, the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore, the perfect water temperature. . .

Elephant Butte Lake | Airam Velarde

Everything was beautiful . . .except the weather. It was very unpredictable. Our first evening there was accompanied by huge gusts of wind that kept knocking our tents over. Unfortunately, at the time only my mom and I were at camp, so we kept running back and forth nailing down the tents again and again. The night, however, was very still. The sky cleared up and you could see such big beautiful stars. I took this chance and walked around with my cat at night stargazing while she hunted for insects. We quietly enjoyed ourselves never knowing that we would be on the verge of a panic attack on the second day.

That afternoon, clouds gathered and a storm started brewing. Before we even had dinner ready a very sudden and heavy rain started falling. We all ran back into our tents. My tent had been very sturdy before, so I never imagined that I would almost fly away with it. Wind gusts knocked it this way and that as I tried in vain to keep the sides from collapsing in. My cat had already taken refuge under Camping at Elephant Butte Lakethe cot we slept on and only looked at me with panic in her eyes. It got so bad I decided it was better to take a chance out in the rain than inside the tent. As I was taking Sophie up in my arms a side of the tent fell in. The rods holding it up knocked me on the side of my head, but I made it out quickly.

Just as soon as that rain had come, it left us. I stood there with Sophie bundled in a towel in my arms and my tent completely knocked over on its side. I thought, “if this is going to keep on happening, I don’t want to stay another night.” I was afraid the tent would fall again and one of the rods hit my Sophie. However, as we made S’mores by the campfire that night, everything calmed down. No wind, no rain. Everything was very still during our last night camping. So, we slept soundly until morning and woke up to a beautiful sunrise.

Sunrise over Elephant Butte Lake | Airam Velarde

Even though I now have a bruise on the side of my head, I still had a lot of fun. It was a great experience going on my first camping trip. I definitely recommend going to Elephant Butte lake even if just for a day. There are many things to do in and around the lake to have fun. But, you can also simply relax while taking in the beautiful scenery.

~Airam

P.S. Here are a few videos that I took while on our trip. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

 

 

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