Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, New Mexico – A Dog’s Eye View!

November 2018 – Hi Everyone. This is Buddy here.

I’m writing our blog post this week because Emily (she’s Mumma to me) has been very busy all week long working on a project for something called Tail or Life!

Puppy writes an RV blog post-min

She left her chair and her laptop, so I’m blogging this week!

Oh, wait. She just made a face at me and is saying something really slowly.

Oops! Ahem. It’s for something called Trailer Life.

Anyway, she has been glued to her computer for days to get it done, and she says she doesn’t want to sit in her chair or stare at her computer any more for a while.

But we recently spent a week at a really nice state park that you’ve just gotta go see. It’s called Oliver Lee Memorial State Park and it is about 12 miles southeast of Alamagordo in New Mexico, kinda near White Sands National Monument.

So, I want to tell you about it.

Riparian nature trail Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

The Riparian Nature Trail in Oliver Lee State Park

The best part about this park is that the main attraction — a beautiful hiking trail — goes into a place called Dog Canyon.

Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico Riparian Nature Trail-min

Dog Canyon is made for dogs!

If you run (or hike) past the picnic table that seems to be the end of the trail, you’ll find some fabulous rocks and a little stream that flows through them all. We didn’t find it the first time we ran this trail because we didn’t know the trail went beyond that picnic table, but it does. So don’t miss it!

Water in ravine Riparian Nature Trail Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

There’s a trickle of a stream in this pretty ravine.

One time we hiked this trail we saw a huge tarantula crawling around on the rocks. We found out later that the tarantulas were in their mating season, so they were on the prowl trying to find each other.

Mark takes a photo of a tarantula-min

A tarantula!

tarantula in Oliver Lee Memorial State Park New Mexico

Looking for love!

Photo shoot Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico Riparian Nature Trail-min

I’m more lovable than a tarantula.

This is such a great trail. Every dog that visits Oliver Lee Memorial State Park loves it. And why not? It’s Dog Canyon!

Puppy on Riparian Nature Trail Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

We hiked this trail everyday.

The other hiking trail goes up the side of a huge mountain. There are lots of switchbacks and some really fun scrambles. You can see the campground from some of the lookouts.

View on mountain hike Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

The hike up the mountain is steep and can be hot — bring water — but the view is wonderful!

About 0.6 miles into the hike the map said there was a place called the “First Bench.” So we went looking all over for a park bench. Little did we know that the “bench” was just a quarter mile long plateau with a fabulous view looking into Dog Canyon!

Canyon view on mountain hike Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

A dog’s eye view of Dog Canyon.

One day when we were out walking we came across a big snake.

Puppy sees a rattlesnake Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

A snake!!

While I was looking at it I cast my shadow across him.

Puppy sees a snake Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

What does that snake think of my shadow?!

If you go to Oliver Lee Memorial State Park in November, it can be warm and it can be very cold too. On the cold days I hung out in my fort.

Puppy plays house in RV-min

We had some rainy days and even got a dusting of snow. So I played house inside.

And sometimes I played peekaboo.



Sometimes in the morning it was only 42 degrees inside. So Mumma made me a special superman outfit from an old sweatshirt to keep me warm all night long.

Cold nights puppy wears superman outfit-min

My superman outfit keeps me warm on those cold nights.

One of the best things at the end of the day was watching the sunsets. They were spectacular.

Sunset over RV Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

We saw some incredible sunsets.

Puppy watches sunset Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

I like watching the sun go down.

Sunset over RV campground Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

Fire in the sky!

In the very early morning, the whole desert would glow pink and blue. Smoke from big wildfires in California arrived just as the moon got full, making it hazy near the horizon.

Full moon in California wildfire smoke Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

We had a full moon and it set just as the sky did its pink-and-blue magic in the early morning.

Full moon with wildfire smoke Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

The skies had been totally clear, but wildfire smoke that blew in made the moon a little hazy.

Desert sunset skyline Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

The New Mexico desert at dawn.

I’ve heard there was a famous photographer named Ansel Adams who took a photo in New Mexico that he called Moonrise over Hernandez. I don’t know where Hernandez is, but Dada got a cool shot of Moonrise over Alamagordo.

Moonrise over Alamagordo New Mexico

Moonrise over Alamagordo New Mexico

When the moon rose the next night it was huge and you could see lots of detail.

Full moon Oliver Lee Memorial State Park New Mexico-min

I’ve heard the moon is made of cheese… maybe so!

I’m a little bit of a fussy eater, and we have a huge bag of dog food I don’t like. One night I was told if I wasn’t going to eat it then it would go to someone else who would.

In the pitch dark I heard something outside and I woofed a little to let them know that the “someone” had showed up to eat my food.

It was a gray fox!

She didn’t stop eating, even with a flashlight on her. Later on in the night we went outside and I sniffed around and found out she had tiny baby cubs in the rocks on the edge of our campsite.

I’ve been told I look like a fox. I don’t know about that, but her cubs looked just like her, only much smaller.

Gray Fox at Oliver Lee State Park New Mexico-min

We found out a gray fox lived in our campsite and had some really cute cubs in the rocks!

Well, that’s my story. I hope you liked it.

I’m going to take a nap now!

Puppy sleeping

Thanks for reading!

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30 thoughts on “Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, New Mexico – A Dog’s Eye View!

  1. Loved Buddy’s blog, it was interesting seeing things from a dog’s point of view. I have a border collie mix, Bullitt, who I love to take places, fun watching him experience different things and places.

    • Buddy has been lucky to experience a lot of different things in his first year. We realized the other day he’s been to 15 states already. That’s a lot of sniffs and smells!! Bullitt would love Dog Canyon if you ever get that way in your travels. All the dogs we saw there had big smiles on their faces!

  2. Now that you have Buddy I can’t imagine stories without him!! Our Jack Russell, Mac, went to 48 states with us before he passed. We only went on a trip once without him over Labor Day weekend one year. At the time East Harbor State Park on Lake Erie had only one dog section and our friends we went with didn’t stay there so we didn’t either. I will never forget Mac’s face as he saw us pull out of the driveway with our camper while he was in our neighbor’s arms. I swore then that I would never do that again. From that point on he went with us on every trip. He would get so excited when we would bring our camper (at the time it was a pop up) into the driveway to get it ready to go. He would practically stay in there while I was getting it ready prepared – making sure we didn’t forget him I suppose.

    Isn’t it wonderful how they fit just perfectly into our lives? I love Buddy’s story and the pics are great too. The fox is beautiful and you might never have captured it if it weren’t for Buddy letting you know she was out there. Way to go Buddy! 🙂

    That tarantula though!! I would NOT have gotten that close like Mark did to capture that great picture. I would be afraid it would jump on me. LOL.

    • What great stories of your little pup Mac! I’m sure you miss his cute antics every day, Janet. Our lives have definitely changed since Buddy joined us, and we can’t imagine life without him now. We do see lots of things we wouldn’t have seen if his keen nose, ears and eyes weren’t around. Along with the fox cubs at our campsite he found a badger cub in another area in the same rocks. We had to look up the striped face online, but there’s no question it was a badger, and its tiny pink nose and small face gave it away as a cub. I hope your travels continue to take you to beautiful places. I’m sure Mac is with you in spirit!

  3. Dear Buddy,

    I DID like your story and you did an excellent job of writing it! And you are WAY more adorable than a tarantula! I hope you thanked Mumma and Dada for the beautiful photos they took for your blog post. I especially liked the one of you in your fort and the two closeups of the full moon. Now that your Mumma’s “Tail or Life” project is done, be sure to take her scampering outdoors with you. I’ll bet she’d be happy to have a lot of play time right about now!

    Your admiring fan, Mary

    • You are absolutely right, Mary. I just took Mumma out for a 50 minute run in the desert and she is soooo happy. Of course, I run rings around her. Literally. I run about 3 times faster than she does, but I cover twice the distance because I run ahead and then run back to check on her. And then I stop and smell the bushes and chase rabbits along the way too. It’s a great life! -Buddy

  4. Moonrise over Alamagordo is gorgeous. The moon looks as if it could rest right in that notch in the mountains below. And I envy your close encounter with the gray fox and her pups. Who can put a price on these lovely experiences? Give Buddy an attaboy from me. Such a multitalented pup!

    • Thank you for the compliments on Mark’s beautiful black and white moon shot, Julia. Ironically, as we were driving back to the campground the day before we saw the full moon rising behind the mountains in a blaze of golden light. Neither of us had a camera and we just stared in awe as we drove towards the glowing moon. It was cradled in a notch in the mountains and was just enormous. The mountain rocks were an orange/yellow shade and the whole scene made for a magical image we will always treasure in our memories. Those precious memories are what it’s all about, aren’t they? Some we can capture on camera if we’re lucky, but most remain as fleeting images in our hearts.

  5. I love that you have this adorable puppy journeying with you. Certainly your life is what dreams are made of but the addition of a dog to your crew of two makes it all the richer. And I love the idea of a book of Buddies travels. And your photos, of course, are always amazing!

    • We are truly blessed, Gale, and Buddy has been an extra blessing. Who knows, Buddy might pen a book about his travels someday. I wrote and illustrated several children’s books years ago (never published), so I might be able to help him as his ghost writer… 🙂

  6. Well it was refreshing to get the pups view of RV life. Loved the pics. Daddy was brave to get so close to that tarantula & snake! Good thing Buddy was there to protect him.

  7. Hey, Buddy! Thanks for sharing your adventures! We love New Mexico, so we’ll be sure to check out Dog Canyon on our travels. Stay warm and well. Hope to see you in Arizona in the new year.

  8. Dear Puppy Chow,
    Such stunning pictures and a great article. Some of us suspected you have been behind much of the writing and photography for the site over the past year, with Emily and Mark surreptitiously putting their name on your work. Your recent article confirms it. I guess it’s not enough that you maintain a constant watch to keep them safe from foxes, coyotes, wolves, tarantulas, snakes, and other dangers, but they even attempt to take credit for photos and articles! Hope you are at least getting some good doggie treats and an occasional bubble bath for all your efforts. Glad you finally showed us who is the “brains” behind the site. Look forward to more of your wonderful photography and writing. Would like to see an article covering “Photography Tips For Dogs” in the future. 🙂
    PS. Is it difficult typing on the keyboard and controlling the camera and tripod settings with your paws?

    • Hi Bob – I guess the cat is out of the bag. Or is it the dog? I am indeed the brains behind the entire Roads Less Traveled operation, but I get lots of treats and toys and freedom to roam, so it’s all okay with me. I do have some photography tips up my furry sleeve, so to speak, and I may write something about that someday. In the meantime, I’m up to about 20 words a minute typing with my paws, and putting a canine tooth on a camera button usually does the trick when my furry paws can’t get the job done. Chow! (ciao!) -B

  9. Buddy is one of the most photogenic pups I’ve seen! What a treat for everyone to see him on your adventures. Our girl Sunny 🌞 travels with us too but is a bit camera shy! She could take some lessons from your little guy. Always enjoy your blog. You have inspired our adventurous spirit!

    • How wonderful that we’ve given you and Sunny a little inspiration. Buddy is a ham and is very funny with the camera. I’m not sure what he thinks it is or does, but he often looks away just as we click the shutter! When we get our best shots of him, it’s just very good luck. He does love it when we get out our tripods, though, because he knows that he’s in for at least half an hour of sniffing and nosing between the two of us as we mill around and set up our shots. He’ll wander between the two of us and check on each of us to make sure we’re getting the best camera angles on whatever we’re shooting!! Enjoy your travels with your pup!

  10. Amazing how Buddy’s colors and personality complement the scenery !!!! Welcome to the new member of the RLT editorial staff – a pup’s perspective !

  11. You’re just too cute, Buddy! And you’re quite the writer – following in your Mom’s footsteps. We’re in Yuma. Headed to Los Algadones tomorrow. Then headed to Utah for Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and we hope our paths cross again.

  12. Thank you for this lovely article. We are full-timers, but do not travel with a dog, as my husband is very allergic. I did enjoy Buddy’s view on your travels and will follow your adventures in the future.
    I write a blog as well, but mainly for myself (to keep a good journal of our travels) and our friends and family. I enjoyed your style!

    • Congratulations on taking the leap of faith to go full-time, Keni. It is a great lifestyle. And thank you for reading and appreciating this article and the one Buddy wrote a few weeks ago. I’ve found that blogging is a wonderful way to process all we’ve seen. I like going over our photos and picking out the best ones to put online. It helps me relive our experiences and remember what was special about each place we visit. Whether your readers are friends and family or a wider circle of people, I think the effort of putting together each blog post helps cement your travel experiences in your memory in much the same way that creating a scrap book or photo album does. Have fun with your travels and with your blogging too!

  13. Teared up when reading Buddy’s review of the campground. I had dogs all my life (until now) and always wanted to write a book when I traveled in my RV’s. The title was to be TRAVELS WITH CHOPPER. Chopper was a Yorkie and the two dogs before him were Buddy and Sadie, both mini Doxies. Having a dog leads to a lot more exercise!

    • That is very touching, David. Pets bring such joy, but it is very hard to lose them too. I just came back from a morning run that I probably wouldn’t have done if it weren’t for Buddy begging to hit the trail — you’re so right about the exercise part! Thank you for your comment and blessings to your dear friends, Chopper, Buddy and Sadie.

  14. Carol and I met you at Organ Pipe National Monument a couple of years ago. So nice to see you at Oliver Lee. My parents and two sisters lived in Alamogordo and we have visited many times. We have stayed and really enjoy hiking at Oliver Lee and Buddy hit all the highlights of the park. After 15 years of full time rving we bought a place in NC and after working on it for several months we closed it up and left. It will be almost 10 months by the time we will get back. Not travelling isn’t in our plans but having a place to stop at and finally settle down at when the time comes seemed like the thing to do. We enjoy your blog and certainly your articles in Escapees Magazine. Hope to catch you again in the future, have a wonderful 2019. Maybe at Escapade in March?

    • So nice to hear from you, Leonard. I remember that you very kindly showed me your new Open Range fiver since I’d never seen one before and was very curious what they were like inside (very spacious and well laid out!). How fortunate you are to have had a place like Oliver Lee to go hiking when you visited your sisters and parents in Alamagordo. Beautiful park and area.

      I’m sure it feels great to have a true home base now in NC, but I’m not surprised you hit the road again once you had worked on it for a while. Both putting down roots and also seeking freedom again are such familiar themes with long-term full-timers.

      Thank you for reading our blog and articles in Escapees Magazine. I’m not sure if we’ll make it to Escapade in March, but I do hope we’ll meet again somewhere down the road. Enjoy your new digs and your travels too. Happy 2019!


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