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Cochiti Lake, New Mexico…

Posted by on October 17, 2017

SOMETIMES WE WANT TO BE TOURISTS. Since we left home more than four years ago to begin our Great American Adventure exploring America, we’ve more often that not wanted to be tourists…to see all the places in this great country that we’d never had a chance to see until now. But having been on the road for so long, there are other times we enjoy finding a place to relax and just enjoy the surroundings, far from the hustle and bustle of modern America. We decided to take a week and enjoy such a place at this point in our travels, and we located Cochiti Lake in New Mexico to do so. It’s a perfect place to relax and unwind. We’re in a Corps of Engineers park at Cochiti Lake, about mid-way between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Our site is in a setting surrounded by vast open spaces and natural landscape plateaus in the distance. There are only a handful of other RV’ers here and it’s so quiet you could hear a pin drop!  It’s almost eerie, and we realize how much noise pollution is the norm in our daily lives. The sun shines brightly all day long with temperatures in the mid-seventies. And the night sky, oh my gosh! It’s black as ink but thousands of stars stand out sharply against the backdrop. My words don’t do it justice. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.” -Anton Chekhov. I wish I could find words like that.


We’re staying at Cochiti Lake, about mid-way between Santa Fe and Albuquerque.


View of Cochita Lake from our site.


Another view from our campsite. Look at the mountains in the background. Beautiful.


See what a neat site we’ve got here? A beautiful spot with a small gazebo, cement table and benches with a nice grill right on the patio. Water and electric, no sewer, but only $10 per night. Can’t beat that with a stick! 


These beautiful wildflowers punctuate the landscape where we’re staying.


PUEBLO DE COCHITI. The CoE park is surrounded by an Indian Reservation called Pueblo de Cochiti. Certain regulations are in place in keeping with Indian beliefs and traditions. Some areas and tribal buildings are strictly off-limits. The Pueblo de Cochiti requests that respect be given for the privacy of its members, for the rules and regulations for visiting the Pueblo, and for Tribal Officials. In turn, the Pueblo offers a wide variety of experiences to visitors including recreation areas such as the one we’re enjoying, pueblo dances and sometime access to pueblo artists. We’re here in the off-season, so the Indian dance exhibitions and activities ordinarily open to the public are closed. However, Tent Rock National Monument is accessible and it’s breathtaking. The “mood” in the campground and the surrounding reservation is reverent and quiet. Respect for the land and its Indian inhabitants is expected. The sanctity of this land is palpable, similar to the feeling we experienced years ago when we stayed at Valley of Fire in Nevada.


Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument at Pueble de Cochiti. Formed by volcanic explosions during the last million years, these cone-shaped rock formations range in height from a few feet to almost a hundred feet. 


OTHER RULES ON RESERVATION LAND. Sketching, recording, picture taking, and any other means of audio or visual reproduction is prohibited within the Pueblo. The Pueblo de Cochiti belief is that when an experience is unforgettable, the experience is maintained in one’s heart and mind, and cannot be reproduced unless experienced first-hand. This gives the opportunity to re-visit the Pueblo de Cochiti and bring friends and family to share those experiences. The use of cellular phones in the reservation is also prohibited. I don’t know if folks observe that “rule” but it’s kind of refreshing to know that certain places are “off limits.”


Day’s end at Pueblo de Cochiti. 


WHAT’S NEXT IN NEW MEXICO. We’ve got about two weeks before it’ll get extremely cold in this part of the state. Before we depart for warmer climes, however, we’re going to take a good look at both Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Check back in a few days to see what we’ve found. Or better yet, subscribe to my blog and you’ll receive email notice each time there’s a new post.


I’ll continue with my story next time.

One Response to Cochiti Lake, New Mexico…

  1. Jon York

    Great post!

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