We stayed in an RV Park several miles out of Silver City while in the area to see the Gila Cliff Dwellings. We happened to be in the area the same weekend as a Blues Festival, so all the parks in town were full. We stayed at the Burro Mountain Homestead which was at the end of a 7 mile dirt road, but we were so happy to see how beautiful the area and the park were. We were at about 6,500ft there, so it was cool where we’d been in hot weather for a few months. Here’s my Yelp review of this park: click here
We hadn’t been parked for more than an hour when 3 deer wandered past our home, just a couple feet from our big window. Laddy was quivering with excitement at being so close, but he didn’t make a sound so they grazed for a few minutes before moving on. Good boy!
We stayed in the southwestern area of NM for a few days so we could visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. WOW! They built some impressive structures in some large natural caves, what impressed me most was the fact that they were high up on some vertical cliffs. There was a stream at the bottom of the cliffs and lots of useful plants for the natives to use, including lots of wild grapes that we could see where starting to grow (late May). The cliff dwellings were not inhabited for very long, maybe about 70 years, and carbon dating of some items left indicate they inhabited the caves around 1200AD. A ranger said that the theory is that they also didn’t inhabit it full-time for those years as there wasn’t as much ‘trash’ or as many dead bodies as would be expected from about 70 years of full-time life. These cliff dwellings could have been a summer home or possibly a ‘refuge’ in case of emergency.
We hiked the 1-mile loop that took us along the stream through the trees and then up about 175 feet to the dwellings themselves. We were able to walk through a few which was great! The area is at about 5,900ft so the hike and the incline felt strenuous to us sea-level folks!
While in Alamogordo we visited the New Mexico Museum of Space History that covers all of the space program with special emphasis on the work done in this area. It was very interesting and informative, here are some pictures Jeff took:
We stayed in Alamogordo NM for a few days and visited the White Sands National Monument while here. I was surprised that it is a sand dunes area; for some reason I thought it would be like a dried up lakebed, flat and crusty. It was very impressive! There is quite a bit of vegetation living in the dunes and some plants have adapted to the constant shifting of the sands by putting out a large web of roots so when the dunes shift, they hold onto a small pedestal of sand and stay put. There are lots of animal life as well, we saw lizards and bugs during our trek through the sands. Laddy caught the scent of animals but we couldn’t find them and he had to stay on leash.
We’re visiting Roswell, NM for a few days. The downtown area has lots of shops related to the alien crash that allegedly happened here in 1947. We visited the Roswell UFO Museum and Research Center which had lots of stories and affidavits from people who were involved in the crash, the military takeover of the area, the removal of the debris and bodies and the subsequent coverup about it. The stories, news articles, affidavits etc. do tell a compelling story. A local rancher noticed a brightly lit object in the sky and saw it crash onto his land. He drove out to the site and saw wreckage that he didn’t recognize. He picked up a small piece of debris and drove to a neighbor who had a phone to call the sheriff. The sheriff and other people went to the site and described in their affidavits what they saw. The military showed up really quickly and cordoned off the area, debriefed the locals and apparently threatened them and their families if they told anyone about what they witnessed, removed all the debris and bodies. A nurse at a nearby hospital who saw the bodies (and apparently one that was not dead) and an undertaker who was ordered to supply child-size coffins told stories about what they saw too, and then were threatened. Several military personnel as well as the locals told deathbed stories that seem to match – what they saw, what the military did, the coverup and threats etc. Interesting! We also visited the Roswell Museum and Art Center. It contains lots of southwestern motif art pieces and a large collection of historical items from the 1800s including lots of weapons, uniforms and items of clothing, saddles etc. It also includes lots of native american artifacts, several full headdresses, beaded clothing, weapons, bison hides etc. Very interesting, and what I found the most interesting was that it was ALL from one man’s collection. WOW! We found that there is a small series of lakes just a few miles out of Roswell, called the bottomless lakes. They aren’t really bottomless, but are instead a series of sinkholes that are fed under the ground from a mountain range several miles to the west. Most are about 30 feet deep, the largest is about 70 feet deep and has a shallow ‘lip’ that has been used as a beach for swimming and small boating for over 100 years. There are several covered pavillions with picnic tables for parties etc. We visited it on a Sunday and it was crowded! Here’s the website about this state park: http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/bottomlesslakesstatepark.html
Here are a few pictures of the bottomless lakes that Jeff took:
We had a 1-night stopover in Pecos on our way to New Mexico, and we just happened to get to a gas station at the same time as a huge group of motorcycles was there for a stop on their way to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. They are part of the “Run for the Wall” effort to raise awareness and money for wounded warriors of all wars and actions.
There were probably over 200 motorcycles parked at the gas station. They were all standing around listening to one man speak, possibly giving them instructions for the next leg of the journey. There was a police escort; the police blocked one entrance to the station and was forming a loose perimeter around the group so we couldn’t just walk up to someone and talk to them. When they were ready to leave the police blocked the road going both ways so the motorcycles could all go out as a group.
I caught a couple of pictures with my phone (see below) and here’s a link to the website for the event: http://www.rftw.org/
We’ve left family in Miss. and are headed towards N.M. for the start of our summer travels. Our first stop is Comfort, TX which is about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio. We stopped one night in Beaumont, TX as we don’t like to travel more than about 6 hours in a day.
The first night we were here a severe thunderstorm struck about 11pm. And I mean SEVERE! Continuous lightning and thunder close by so it was extremely loud. And, it hailed as well, not more than 1″ but heavy and for almost an hour. It was really loud on the roof of our 5th wheel and really scared Laddy…me too!
So much rain that the cavern was closed as it was flooded. We were told to call back the next morning to see if it would be open. No such luck as it rained the following night too.
We did get to see the Museum of the Pacific War in nearby Fredericksburg. It was very interesting and had lots of information, photos, and some planes and artillery on display. Below are a few pictures that Jeff took.
We can’t stay longer here as we have made reservations, so the cavern will have to wait for another visit. Oh well!