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Sat. Apr. 27 to Fri. May 3- Elephant Butte NM, Alamogordo NM, Rosewell NM and Las Vegas NM

Saturday- ( Elephant Butte) We had a good nights sleep, as it was nice and cool. We kept the windows open all day, since the temp was in the 80’s and 50’s at night. We went to Walmart in Truth or Consequences to grocery shop, as it was the only place in town, then stopped at McDonalds for lunch. We returned to the motor home and Bob worked on getting our new GPS, the Rand McNally, to work. The voice is not working. He is pretty sure that it is broken. We sat outside reading our books. After dinner, we took a nice walk around the park.

Sunday-  A quiet Sunday for us. We did our usual Sunday bill paying and budget updating. We went to Truth or Consequences, the closest town, to return the Redbox movie we had rented yesterday. It was Parental Guidance, okay, but pretty typical.

We stopped at the Sonic and had hot fudge sundaes then returned to the motor home. We sat out and read our books, ate dinner, walked the dogs.

Truth or Consequences changed its name from Hot Springs to Truth or Consequence, March 31 1950, after Ralph Edwards, the host of the game show, called for any town in America to do so in celebrations of the show’s ten year anniversary.

Monday-  We left Elephant Butte Lake State Park traveling south to Truth or Consequences to enter I-25 and backtracked south.

Elephant Butte Lake State Park

We had changed our plans, due to the weather in Denver. It’s snowing! Bob’s first MD appt. is 5/8, so we decided to spend a little more time in New Mexico. Our destination for the night was Alamogordo.

We left I-25 in Las Cruces  and traveled on Rt. 70. This section of the highway is the Bataan Memorial Parkway. We traveled through the Ft. Bliss Military Reservation, climbing through a pass, and Bob was pretty upset that on the way down the other side of the mountain the signs said that we could not use our engine brake. Huh? We were out in the middle of nowhere!

We had to pass through another Homeland Security/ Border Patrol Inspection Center.

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We continued past the missile sites to the White Sands National Monument. We pulled into the parking lot and parked behind another RV.

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We were a little early for the 11:30 movie, so we wandered through the gift shop and the exhibits. At 11:30, we watched the 17 minute movie, that showed us how the White Sands were formed. The great wave-like dunes are formed by gypsum and cover 275 square miles of desert. It is the largest gypsum dune field in the world. The dunes are a brilliant white and are ever changing. They grow, crest, then slump but are always advancing. The dunes move because they are driven by southwest winds. There are different animals who live in the dunes, but due to the heat, they only come out at night.

We returned to the motor home and ate our sandwiches, put the dogs in the car with us, and drove the 16 mile road through the dunes.  We stopped at the boardwalk through the dunes, but the boardwalk was so hot we had to bring the dogs back to the car.

Boardwalk White Sands National Memorial Park

White Sands National Memorial park

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The workers have to ‘plow’ the roads to keep them open!

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We left the park and continued on Rt. 70 to Edginton RV Park. A Passport America park, $15 for the night. The book said we needed to call ahead for a site. I did, and the owner, John, said he was not there, just pull into site 23. So we did. It was pretty tight, with us facing north and the two Rv’s beside us facing south. If anyone snored, we would hear each other.

We walked over to the Book Exchange building, and put our money in the slot labeled #23. Then traded some books at the book exchange.  John the owner came over and gave us some brochures about what to do in Alamogordo and to welcome us. We did  numerous loads of laundry, ate dinner,  walked the dogs and went to bed. There was the ever present, at most RV Parks, railroad tracks nearby, but we they did not blow the horn, so it was pretty quiet.

Tuesday-  We continued northeast on Rt. 70, through the  Mescalero Apache Reservation.

Scenery on Rt. 70

We went up over the mountain, reaching 7951 ft. in the Lincoln National Forest.

Rt. 70 through NM

The town of Ruidoso had 8 chain motels and 3 casinos. plus a horse racetrack! Amazing for a little town. It also had about 10 RV parks! On the far side of the town we noticed the Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway Visitor Center.

On Rt. 70

On Rt. 70

They had a good idea. They had a ‘Mural class” and had the students paint the murals on the building. 

We picked up brochures and returned to Rt. 70, now the Billy The Kid National Scenic Byway. We continued  through several small towns. What a road, four lanes, with very few vehicles on the road! Awesome! The scenery was pretty in its own way, but  desolate!

We stopped at a ‘picnic area’ and found this sign.

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Missel Siloh

The white in the picture above is the missile hole cover.

We finally reached Roswell. If an alien comes from outer space, are they an illegal alien? Hmmm. …

We took the truck route around town, unfortunately running into lots of road construction. We continued on to Bottomless Lakes State Park. We passed one large dried up lake on the entrance road. We pulled into the park and disconnected the car from the motor home.  The Camp Host met us and directed us to a site with water and 30 amp electric. We had not made a reservation and were not allowed to take one of the reservation sites, since we are staying 3 nights. The rule is one night in a reserved site, if it is not reserved. So we took site number 6 and called Reserve America to reserve the site for Wednesday and Thursday nights. We could not reserve today, but it was okay with the Camp Host to stay the one night in the site. The cost was not bad, $44 for the two reserved nights, with FHU, 50 amp. The single night was $18 since we did not have to pay the reservation fee.

We set up, ate lunch and drove back to town. We got stuck at the main road, Rt. 380, waiting for the pilot car to pick us up when it passed by. We waited about 20 minutes. We continued into the city of Roswell. We can say that they really do get into this alien business!  Even the Walmart…

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Those pesky little aliens don’t know how to park their flying saucers in front of the Motel 6!

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Even the McDonalds got into the whole idea!

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Even Ronald McDonald is in a space suit!  Everyone is welcome at Arby’s.

Everybody's welcome

We returned back to the motor home, waiting two times on the highway for the pilot car. While waiting, Bob noticed that we could go around the park loop the other direction and not have to drive so slowly through the park. So we now know how to go the other direction. Unfortunately, this is past the construction, so we still have to go through that to town.

We settled in on our lounge chairs outside.  Bob walked the dogs at 4 PM. We think they went out of their way to find burs to catch in their fur! We BBQ ‘d some chicken and ate a nice dinner. We walked the dogs around the park. This is the park from the lookout above the RV park.

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This is Lea Lake, the largest lake still left. Are they really bottomless? Not really, they are a chain of eight lakes that are actually sinkholes, that range from 17 to 90 ft. deep. They were formed when circulating water dissolved salt and gypsum deposits to form subterranean caverns. Eventually, the roofs of the caverns collapsed from their own weight. Sinkholes resulted and soon filled with water and formed the existing lakes. With the drought, they do not have a lot of water in them anymore.

Wednesday- We drove into town, taking a back road around one of the construction areas. Our first stop was at the UFO Museum and Research Center. The museum was incorporated on Sept. 27, 1991 as a 501(c)3.  Everything we read stated that the museum was free, but they charged us $5 each. There is a timeline of the events which occurred in 1947 as well as a short movie about the aliens. The museum was interesting.

UFO Museum Roswell.

UFO Museum Roswell

We left the museum at about 12:30 and went in search of lunch. We ended up at a restaurant called Farleys, since it had a lot of cars in the parking lot. They also have a alien theme.

After lunch we searched for the Visitor Center. Nothing else very interesting. A couple of doors down was a wine tasting room, so we went tasting! I ended up buying a New Mexico Summer Peach Wine and Bob bough the Alien Imperial Stout.

 

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There was also a large Scrapbooking store, so I went in and browsed.

We returned to the motor home. The wind started picking up at this point, so Bob quickly walked the dogs and brought in the chairs, table and BBQ grill. We won’t be able to use them again before we leave. We had been watching the weather forecast, so we were expecting the winds and have planned on staying put until they pass.

I made some pasta salad and we read our books, ate dinner, watched TV and went to bed.

Thursday- the motor home rocked all night with the wind howling. The wind is continuing all day, so we are having a quiet day at home. We made reservations for Saturday night, checked to make sure that Bob’s retirement check made it to NFCU, and made some phone calls. We do not have any internet on our our system, but fortunately the park has WiFi.

Bob cooked the dog food and I baked some cookies. We took a nice nap in the afternoon. The winds started to diminish, so Bob was able to take the dogs for a long walk. We ate dinner, watched TV, read our books, and went to bed.

Friday-  the wind was mostly gone this morning. We left Bottomless Lake State Park at around 8:45 and drove out to the main highway. The road out was very bumpy, so Bob had to take it pretty slow. The construction had moved past when we turned onto Rt. 380. Both of the construction sites seemed to be on hiatus today, possibly because of the cold. It is chilly, 40 degrees.

We spotted two different hot air balloons. The “Old Timers Balloon Fest” is in Roswell this weekend.

DSCN0216  Roswell NM

We turned north at Rt. 285 and drove north to Rt. 20. We turned onto Rt. 20 and rapidly realized this was a mistake. Our plan had been to take Rt. 20 to Ft. Sumner, then on to Lake Sumner State Park. We had planned to visit Ft. Sumner and Billy the Kid’s gravesite.

Rt. 20 was so rough. We would have had to travel 46 miles, but at mile 7, we were able to find a place to make a U-turn and we returned to Rt. 285 north. This was our second NM state road. Not impressed! The US roads are nice, but NM state roads do not seem to be! So I pulled out the map and our 2011 Trailer Life Campground guide to check were we could go and how we could get there.

Rt. 285 was a nice drive.

US 285

In the town of Vaughn(a speck in the road) we stopped for lunch and switched drivers. We went northeast on Rt. 54, to state road 219, which was okay, and once it passed over I-40, became US 84. We continued to I-25 in Las Vegas NM to the third exit and followed the directions to Storrie Lake State Park. Interesting, no one at the gate, no camp hosts, just pick a site and pay with a check ($14)by placing the money in a drop box. There was a park map, so we chose a site with electric and water. There were only three and one was taken. There are sites which are reserved and sites with just water. So we lucked out finding one of the ones with both. The lake is pretty dried up due to the extreme drought in the west.  We think this used to be a very busy park when the lake had water. It looks like a very nice place, but like all of the southwest, life has changed with the lack of water.

We set up camp and went back into town. Not much to see. Las Vegas seems to be a poor town, although they are attempting to clean up the ‘old town’. We stopped at the McDonalds for an ice cream cone and Walmart to pick up something for dinner. It is the only grocery store in town and was pretty busy.

We returned to the motor home for me to discover that we had no water. Told Bob and he went looking for the problem. Seems to be our problem, not the parks, so he is going to have to figure out what is wrong.

He filled out tank and we turned on the pump, so we have water, just not directly from the water spigot. Bob also washed the windshield.

We ate dinner and took the dogs for a nice walk. The wind seems to have picked up again, just not as bad as yesterday. There were a total of 4 RV’s here,including us!

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