Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Rockhound State Park is located about a dozen miles southeast of Deming, NM.

It is on the western slope of the Little Florida Mountains and is one of those rare public places that encourages you to dig around in the dirt.

And why would you want to do that? Rocks. Pretty ones.

You can find quartz, agate, common opal, jasper, thunder eggs and geodes. Limit your take to 15 pounds so there will rocks available for future generations.

The visitor center is chock full of great information.

Impressive, huh? Well, if you turn around...

It's like a miniature museum. Very educational. But there was no mention of the giant horned fang-toothed rabbit Freddy and I would later encounter.

The restroom is state of the art. Many campers told me it is the best in the park system. Since my trailer lacks a bathroom, I really appreciate nice clean facilities.

There are two camping loops, well, there are supposed to be just two loops but in reality the park is so popular that five areas are used.

Site zero is off by itself on the right.

One, two, and three offer privacy at the top.

For some reason Freddy dragged me towards site three on the left.

He found another Goldendoodle named Porter.

They did the Doodle Dance.

We stayed in site four. Site five contained the Airstream below us.

The electrical loop contains the only reservation sites, 12, 15, 17, 18, and 21. It also contains the restroom, dump station, and potable water.

Now for the other three areas.

The group site is used as overflow for four additional electric sites.

The day use area can provide four more dry spots.

And when all those all full folks camp alongside the entrance road.

Ranger Robert told me that the electric sites were 99.7 percent occupied in February and the dry sites 113 percent hence the roadside.area.

Here is a look down at the campground from a hill near the lair of the giant rabbit. My little trailer is almost right in the middle all by itself.

Two miles away is the day use park called Spring Canyon.

There is a reservable group shelter and quite a few shade ramadas for picnics.

It is a popular spot to hike but the trailhead sign could use some more information besides Freddy's plea. Which he almost recanted later.

Two trails can be found back at the campground. The Thunder Egg Trail starts at the north end of the campground between sites 13 and 14. It terminates at the day use area after 1.1 miles.

There is a short spur trail that leads to a prime geode spot. Freddy liked the bench.

The Jasper Trail starts at the day use area and loops around Giant Rabbit Mountain to the visitor center.

Being located on a mountainside, the campground offers gorgeous views. My site offered up beautiful sunsets.

Not too shabby. We found cool views of the sunrise from the Jasper Trail.

Yeah, don't fence me in.

But it was near the top of Giant Rabbit Mountain that Freddy made his discovery while I was taking a morning photo of the campground.

"Hey Greg, what is this?"
He pointed his nose towards a pile of some substance. It was the size of a basketball.

I looked closer and sighed. I had hoped that they would not be found here. The puppy was not ready yet. Not for these beasts.

"It's nothing Freddy. Just a mutant mushroom."

He sniffed it.

"No way. And there are bones in it. And hair."

I told him the truth.

"There have been sightings of giant mountain rabbits in this area in the past, but none recently. They are big, bigger, than you, maybe three of you."

He scratched his ear.

"I want to find one."

"Freddy, they have sharp pointy horns and teeth. They are not something to be played with."

He pulled me on his leash up towards a dark hole in the rocks. Looked like the entrance to a cave. And it smelled damp and rotten and there was no way I was going to enter it. Freddy stuck his head inside. He gave a startled yelp and jerked back. Something large moved deep back in the cave and started towards us, making wet chuffing sounds.

We scrambled backwards, turning briefly to look as the creature reached the entrance and stopped to glare at us. I raised my camera.

It was back at our campsite that Freddy came up with the name Big Rabbit Mountain. I asked him if he was done with rabbits now after the close call we just had.

"Oh definitely, no more rabbits for me."

He scratched his belly.

"I mean, not today anyway."

Silly puppy.

Greg and Freddy


  1. Pretty good photo of the Big Rabbit for one convulsed in fear, Greg.

  2. I’ve heard of these guys. At Carlsbad Caverns National Park we referred to them as “brain sucking hodags”, which were common in the “Left Hand Tunnel” area of the cave. Basically, I was safe in entering Left Hand Tunnel, the lack of sufficient brain made me undesirable for their insatiable taste. They looked very similar; however, they were able to fly and lived hanging upside in that part of the cave. Tomorrow we will visit Rockhound State Park, I look forward to seeing Freddie’s friend.