Elephant Butte is becoming one of our very favorite spots, so far. There’s a huge man-made “lake” and tons of free boondocking on the beach. We found this place by chance when we were looking for places to stay and explore on Reserve America. You see, we had purchased New Mexico’s annual camping pass for around $200 (I think) and that lets you camp for $4/night or for free if you’re boondocking (without hookups) in their state park system. We have definitely used our camping pass – it was worth every penny to us.
During out first visit to the Butte, we had met our dear friends Ira and Eshita. Blake had been hogging the diesel pumps when they drove up to fuel their 5-ton. Blake immediately moved out of the way for the big rig and continued to scope them out. He eventually made contact and interrogated them about their totally awesome military truck (they are EVERYWHERE down here). He eventually weaseled his way in and no less than 10 minutes later, we were going for a ride down to the lake in this big ol’ Army truck. 🙂
We soon became friends when we figured out we had a lot in common. They also have a toy hauler that they come to the Butte with AND jet skis. They were doin’ it right! Ha! Ha!
Within the next couple weeks we were hanging out almost every weekend. We went out on the jet skis and the 5-ton. They even convinced us to bring our 20,000lb toy hauler out onto the sand, right on the water. We immediately got stuck on our way down – which brings me to the reason why they had purchased the military truck… to tow themselves out when they get stuck in the sand! Brilliant!! 😀
About halfway through summer on one of our boondocking trips to the lake, Blake and Ira got the idea to buy some wakeboards. We were going to learn to wakeboard! I wasn’t as impressed as they were but I entertained the idea because Blake was SO excited.
Ira and Blake must have been out on the jet skis (yes, we pulled the wakeboard with the jet ski and it worked great – don’t be judgy) for HOURS! Neither one of them could get up on the board. So, after watching and getting frustrated for them (they literally didn’t move or go ANYWHERE) I decided to hop on the back of the jet ski and do the rope duties. After another hour or so, I decided to give it a whirl. It was just so damn frustrating watching them try the same thing, over and over again!!
It took me 2 tries to get up and going… maybe 10 minutes. It was HILARIOUS!!! I told them what I did, gave them pointers and then within the next hour, they both managed to get up on their feet and get going.
After they figured it out, you couldn’t get them off! I ended up getting a concussion after I hit a wave wrong and face planted – that ended my weekend of wakeboarding. I shall try again next summer.
Overall, Elephant Butte ended up being a wonderful place to spend some summer days with great friends. It’s the kind of small town where everyone knows everyone and people are (usually) always willing to help you out. Which is why we decided this was the perfect place to do a complete Airstream renovation. Elephant Butte is right next to Truth or Consequences, which is a slightly bigger town with some amazing hot springs. The area is a real gem minus the lack of good places to eat. I definitely recommend paying them a visit, taking a dip in the lake and soaking in some hot springs under the stars.