Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sunset on Percha Flats

Yesterday was good day, and so too the day before. At the end of yesterday I hiked an area called Percha Flats, where primitive camping is allowed, to watch the transformation of the sky and mountains as the sun set. I was not disappointed.

Life in a Volkswagen Bus has its pleasures, none greater than seeing the world and meeting new people in it. Two of the finest I've met in a while are fellow bloggers, Sue Sorenson and Brian Kemsley. (Links to their blogs.)

It was a hot Tuesday.  We sat and drank ice water and discussed the affairs of the world, and in particular of Truth or Consequences, the little town that used to be known as Hot Springs, New Mexico. It is a town of human scale and human proportion. And above all, human. There is good affordable food at restaurants, and one can walk the downtown in 10 minutes.

Beneath the town hot artesian water flows. It is a town that time forgot a long time ago and is only now beginning to rubs its eyes and remember the spas, streets, alleys and sleepy stores -- some closed for the summer.

There are no chain stores in downtown TorC.  And only a few at the north end.

Back to Percha Flats at sunet.

I walked up an old asphalt road to the entrance, and then down a gravel road to the sprawling flats below that lie along the south tip of Caballo Lake. There were a dozen or so RVs grouped together near the water. Dinners cooking on outdoor grills. Kids and dogs splashing in the water. But my attention was on the sky and the too-big-to-be-hills, too-small-to-be-mountains that rise above the lake to the east.

The entrance to Percha Flats.  For $8 you can camp there.

Soon the sky began to darken.

As I watched and waited a breeze of 20 to 30 mph blew in steadily from the east. It brought a flotilla of clouds and damped down the sunlight. Suddenly a large rainbow sliced through the sky in clouds to the south above the still-glowing sunlit flats across a shallow inlet.

Then storm clouds rode in like Valkyries atop the hills.

But only a while.

The furies spent, they disappeared, leaving a clearing sky.

All grew still. The shoreline bathed in gold.

And toward California all is quiet on the western front.



  1. Nice! It looks like one could have a lot of fun in that lake on a hot day.

  2. Beautiful photos, John! Loved the rainbow and the storm clouds. Isn't it amazing how quickly the sky can change around here? I watched the sunset last night, with the sky full of clouds, and they changed many different colors in the few minutes that it took for the sun to go down.

  3. As always, incredible photos! How lucky to be there to catch that beautiful rainbow.