We’ve just spent ten days at the South Monticello Point campground, part of New Mexico’s Elephant Butte State Park, but some ten miles north of the better-known parts of the park. Why? Several reasons…
 Kelly and I both love water views, and we stayed in Campsite #25, with one of the best views. We had to use the telephone reservation service and pay an extra fee for our days there, as all the spots with the best views were reservation sites, but it was a luxury we were very happy with.
We were parked not far from the edge of the butte overlooking the lake:
And here is one of the views that mesmerized me:
 There was good hiking for our twice-daily long walks with the dogs. We could go down to water’s edge at the currently-closed boat ramp, and Kelly found some more adventuresome ways to explore the edges:
I preferred more of a trail, and at one end of the campground there was a nice gravel trail outlined with rocks that went for miles. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of it. It was great dog walking and we went out that way with our friends Art and Suzan… and with another friend we made…
 Jennifer is one of the many women traveling on their own. Well, she was not quite on her own.. about three months earlier she had gone to the remarkable Best Friends Animal Shelter and had left there with her new buddy, Zef. They were traveling in a little trailer, and I caught them coming out one morning:
Once out, Zef was full of energy. Here, Jennifer was trying–unsuccessfully, as it turned out a moment later–to keep Zef from giving me a great big good-morning slurp.
He’s part Pit Bull, and has the loving nature characteristic of the breed. Jennifer mentioned that he wouldn’t have been welcome in the town of Elephant Butte, one of many places around the country that have passed unwise breed-specific legislation. Heck, even our precious, gentle, kind-hearted Rottweiler Lola isn’t welcome in some places due to the same kinds of misguided fears. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, considering how many ways human beings have of fearing other humans!
 Kelly and I are both working on books on this trip. I hadn’t found it easy to hunker down and finish my third novel, a cozy mystery called The Dog Barked Murder. I worked like a fiend while we were there, and on the evening of the last day I sent the final draft out to half a dozen advance readers. Here’s the cover… that is our dog Nicky on the front, and the librarian is our library director back home in Colorado. Both have been photoshopped!
It was a great place to get a lot of work done!