We continue our trek north. We stopped for an over night in Santa Rosa, NM and Springer, NM. We saw the gas station in those towns and that is it. Pueblo, CO was the next stop where we would spend a few days. Pueblo is an old industrial town that has not quite found it footing since the death of the steel mills.
The downtown has a newer river walk. It is quite cute. There is revitalization going on in that area. There were restaurants, art and work/life type buildings. Have you been to Pueblo? If so, what were your thoughts?
We stayed at the Holloman AFB FamCamp while visiting this area. It is a functional FamCamp. There are not a lot of amenities. The showers were clean and the picnic table was level. Would definitely stay again due to location of many fun activities to do within a two hour driving range.
There are many historical sites in this area for space travel, missile creation and the testing of the first atomic bomb. The Trinity Site (where the first atomic bomb was tested) is open to the public twice per year. We were within a few day of the spring opening. We needed to be in Colorado Springs by a certain date for an event Donna was expected to attended so we could not stay. The dates to visit the site are April 5, 2019 and October 5, 2019.
While we did not get to go to the Trinity Site, we did get to drive near the Missile Testing Site. You have to be careful driving up and down US 70. It can close for a few hours when testing is taking place. You can see why this location was chosen. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides. Not a lot of trees. The population was low. Still is quite low.
We were able to visit the International Space Hall of Fame. It is high up in the hills of Alamogordo. Ham, the world’s first astrochimp, is buried at this location. This is a very interesting museum. It has a simulator to learn how to pilot the space shuttle. Neither Donna nor I were any good. We both crashed numerous times. At least she crashed on the runway. I kept crashing in the woods. It also has pads that you can stand on to feel how what it is like to be launched by different types of missiles. There is a hands on area where kids can up close and personal with space suits. The best and most surprising is there extensive Star Trek exhibit. From the outside there is an impressive view of the White Sands National Park. We have been to many space related museums. We are both space junkies. I am so glad that we visited this museum. It should be on any space buff must see list.
I didn’t know a lot about New Mexico especially its agriculture. We kept seeing pecan trees. As former Georgians we know that Georgia produces the most pecans in the US every year. What we learned in New Mexico is usually second when it comes to pecan production. Who knew? This county has many vineyards, pecan and pistachio farms. While we did not have time to add wine tasting to your visit this time, we will next time we are in this area.
There are many great things about RVing. One is meeting a fellow RVer who has traveled certain back rounds that you have yet to travel. While we were in Deming, NM we sat and spoke with some our fellow RVers. One stated that instead of driving I-25 there is a parallel highway US 59 where you can bypass Albuquerque and Santa Fe and pick up I-25 near Las Vegas, NM. We are all about that because we don’t like to drive through big cities especially when you are not planning on stopping at one of them. Because of his suggestion, we found the most amazing Bureau of Land Management (BLM) site.
The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site has the most amazing prehistoric art that I have ever witnessed. There are over 21,000 glyphs at this site. The Jornada Mogollon people lived in this area. The assumption is that they left due to a drought when the three rivers (the dry beds are still visible) dried up. For what ever reason they left, the legacy of this amazing art tells us a story that they existed and lived a rich life.
We did not even go to through the entire site. There were more than a few rattlesnake sightings on the day we visited so we only visited the less strenuous part of the trail. It is rocky and uneven. If you have balance issues, I would recommend using a trekking pole. This is a place where you need sturdy shoes or better yet hiking boots. A hat and suncreen are a good recommendation since you get a lot of glare off the rocks.
Look forward. Look behind you. There is so much to see. We walked less than a mile but we spent more than two hours looking at glyphs. This is such an exciting place. As with any outdoor art, you only want to take pictures. Don’t touch or climb on the art. You could permanently damage it.
This site has two RV pull through areas. Those have power and water. No sewer. There is a picnic area and a very clean bathroom as well. It is 17 miles north of Tularosa, NM and 28 miles south of Carrizo, NM off US 54.
There is a nominal cost, I think $6. This is a place that accepts the America the Beautiful Pass. There is no further cost if you have present your pass with a valid ID. Have you ever been here? If so, what did you think?
We have started our slow trek to Wyoming. We have given ourselves six weeks to get from Arizona to Wyoming. We prefer the leisure pace when we can schedule it. Our plan it is to visit a few more National Parks before we start our seasonal work in May.
White Sands National Park is near Alamogordo, NM. It is off US 70. These dunes are made from gypsum. In fact, this is the largest gypsum deposits in the world. The sand feels quite firm so it is much easier to walk on than beach sand, in my humble opinion. We saw folks sledding on the dunes. We also saw many folks setting up a shelter on top of the dunes to eat lunch and enjoy the view.
We walked on the nature trail for the dunes. Word to the wise – at every trail head there is a thermometer and a water reminder. The day we visited it was about 78 degrees. Once we got on the dunes the temperature quickly heated up to 90 degrees. Yeah, we were stupid. We walked at noon during the heat of the day. Learn from my unwise walking. It was hot. I was glad I took the warning and carried lots of water. There is no water along the trails to drink. The only water is in the visitor center. I was glad we had an extra gallon in the car to continue to fill our water bottles. You only will have what you carry into the park. I also recommend plenty of sunscreen. I reapplied a few times. Neither of us got sunburn.
We continued through all three parts of the park. When you enter you will be on pavement. The pavement ends but you will continue on gypsum driving trails. The dunes have many private places so you feel like you are in the park alone. You can also see the signs of life. If you look carefully you can see the tracks from all types of wildlife.
This park can be closed during missile testing since it is very close to the White Sands Missile Range. I would recommend calling ahead before you plan your trip so that you are not disappointed by not being able to access this site during the hours you want to be there. During the summer months I would recommend visiting early or late in the day. I can only imagine how hot the dunes must get by early May.