In August I take my Jeep, Zed, back to New Mexico. I head from Carlsbad to Queen, and from there I attempt to head back into Texas to check out Dog Canyon Park, but find the road is closed about three miles from my destination. My back up plan had been to circle back to Carlsbad, through the Guadalupe mountains, and to Pine Springs, but finding the road closed is totally demoralizing. My jeep started acting up again just outside of Carlsbad, and for the last fifty miles I’ve been telling myself that I will deal with it calmly as soon as I get to the campground. I think the issue is with my battery connections, but it’s intimidating.
I have to make a choice here, and in my head it’s a major decision.
- I can turn around and go home.
- I can circle around to Pine Springs.
- I can head into the nearby Lincoln National Forest, and attempt to dispersed camp.
Option number one would have been the end of the road. It would have been two failed attempts to do this, and my confidence would have been so shaken that I would not have made a third attempt. I am keenly aware of this as I am standing in the middle of the road staring at a road closed sign in the rain.
Option number two is going to turn into option number one. I’m going to backtrack fifty miles to Carlsbad, stop for fuel, and then end up heading home.
Option number three makes sense. Dispersed camping is way cooler than camping in a campground, with water and electricity and other people. I turn around, and take a left onto the trail I’d hit back in July. I tell myself that I will take the first turn off of that trail, since I hadn’t seen any really promising camping sites, and that if I don’t find anything in a couple of hours I can always head for home.
The Lincoln National forest trails are awesome. I find a great camp site immediately, and after about an hour of exploring on foot, I pitch my tent, open up an MRE, and settle in for the evening.