Alamogordo, New Mexico
After a very rainy start to our day in Deming, on Monday, we had to head back down the 6 miles of dirt road, which was now 6 miles of mud. Needless to say, all of our rigs were now a light shade of pink instead of white!
We had all hoped that the rain that day would wash off all the mud we had accumulated, but as you can see from the pictures, we all had to wash the mud off one side of our rigs when we arrived here. Of course, it was still raining at the time.
After we got all dried off and had lunch, 5 of us headed off to the New Mexico Museum of Space History. This complex sits high on a hill on the outskirts of the city. There were 4 floors of rockets, space suits, pictures and many exhibits regarding the exploration of space. We all tried our hand at landing the space shuttle and we all crashed. To our dismay, a kid who tried after us, landed the shuttle on the first try. Guess we all need to play more video games. We all felt that it was worth the price, $2.50, but in no way did it compare to the museums we had seen in Washington D.C.
After that adventure it was off to the trekies refueling station, better known as Wal-Mart. We all stocked up on supplies and then it was home to rest.
We have been pretty lucky so far to take advantage of the Passport America parks, and this current park is also part of that group. With the current price of diesel, $3.33 here, we are trying to save money where ever we can. For instance, here in Alamogordo, we are paying $10.50 per night. Now, it is not a "resort" park, but it does the job for us.
On Tuesday, we were glad to see the sun shining and the rain had stopped. We all headed out to White Sands National Monument. I (Diane) had stopped here as a young child with my family and had fond memories of it. It was one of my stars on the map.
This is a giant sea of sparkling white gypsum sand. It covers nearly 300 square miles. In spite of the desolation of the area, there are many species of lizards and small animals living there. They have all evolved into a paler or white version to blend into the sand color.
We also learned that the first atomic bomb was detonated in this area in July 16, 1945. This also is the site of the White Sands missile range and the astronauts train here.
The dunes have been used in many films, such as Star Wars. You can sure see why. It really does look like an alien landscape.
We were all impressed with the vastness and the beauty of the place. Of course we all got out and climbed all over some of the dunes. Rocky especially liked it and he got to run and frolic in all that sand. None of us felt brave enough to try to slide down the dunes in a snow disk. Guess the thought of broken bones and torn muscles were too much to handle. We did see some folks slide down.
Because of all the rain this area has had in the last few days, the sand was somewhat wet. So, it was pretty packed down and it wasn't as white as it normally is. But, we all felt that it was well worth the stop and the 8 mile drive out into the dunes.
Alamogordo is also home to Holloman Air Force base, home of the Stealth F117A bomber. We saw several flying overhead, but they eluded capture on film.
After a great lunch of pretty spicy mexican food, Larry and I decided to head for a frozen custard place for dinner. Juliann, don't worry, it wasn't near as good as Custer's in Wisconsin. We will keep looking though.
Tomorrow we all head off to Roswell.. We will post pictures and encounters with those little green men in the next few days.