I had hoped to just run straight up north to Carlsbad but found out that the highway that runs straight there is a very dangerous death highway with many fatal accidents and a ton of construction going on along the way. I had to go way out of my way to get around it by going east to pick up another road north through Jal, New Mexico and then back west to Carlsbad. The drive was nice enough but long. In Jal, I blew out a tire on my trailer. I noticed a metal piece sticking out of the trailer in my mirror and stopped to check. The trim was damaged and the tire was completely gone but no other damage. I called the emergency roadside service but it would be two hours before they could get anyone to me in that remote area. I ended up changing it myself and paying for it that night with back pain. Oh well. At least I got to the park north of Carlsbad in Lakewood before the sun fully set.
The office was closed when I got there. I drove on in to their boondocking area known as The Corral. Just as I finished backing in to a spot, several residents came over to greet me and complement my backing. Not that hard to do in a wide open area actually. They called over the night guy who once he heard I was staying awhile, moved me over to a regular space with full utilities. He was fantastic at giving backing directions! He knew his stuff. We finished just as the sun disappeared.
In the morning I checked in and decided to pay for a month though I had no idea if I would be there quite that long.