Yesterday, we uprooted ourselves, and headed for Alamogordo. This is a relatively short drive, less than 200 miles.
After hitting the road about 9 a.m., we drove southeast along US180 to Deming. From Deming, we made a side trip down to Rockhound State Park. Rockhound is one of the few parks where you’re encouraged to pick up and take home rocks… up to 15 pounds per person! The lower trail is just loaded with jasper of all colors, perlite and… well, bunches of rocks!
There’s an upper trail at the park where one can find geodes, thunder eggs, opals, and… well, bunches of rocks. Scott and I are fascinated by rocks. The problem is… we wouldn’t know a jasper if it stood up shook hands and said “Hi! I’m Jasper!” Nevertheless, we did spend about an hour on the lower trail, and picked up… uh, bunches of rocks. I DO know that a handful of the rocks I picked up were called “black perlite”.
The problem I had Thursday with heat, continued to effect me yesterday, and apparently Thursdays hike had taken a toll on Scott’s hips as well, so we decided to forego the upper trail, and left the park about noon.
We stopped in Las Cruces at an RV Service to see about getting our hot water heater fixed, but they won’t be able to see us until Monday, so we’ll head back there then. From there we drove on up the highway to Alamogordo. The road out of Las Cruces is about the steepest we’ve been on yet. If I recal correctly, the name of the mountains we passed over is the Organ Mountains (lots of spires that remind one of organ pipes.) If you’ve ever been on steep roads and gotten stuck behind a truck or RV, that was us yesterday! Fortunately there were three lanes, and we pulled all the way over to the right and just plugged away. We finally made it to the top, and from there until about 15 miles outside Alamogordo, I don’t think I used the gas pedal, as it was all downhill, and just as steep as the uphill site! Of course, we had to go through an Immigration Inspection site.
This eastern side of the Organ Mountains (I’ll do some research later, and post a correction if the name is wrong) is home to White Sands Missile Range and the White Sands National Monument. Dunes upon dunes of gypsum sands (gypsum is the stuff dry wall is made of) cover the area. Sci Fi movies are filmed in the area because of the desolate, almost alien appearance! Once you get away fromthe highways, the vegetation dies out, and there’s just white powdery sand. People in the area actually go sledding in the middle of summer on this stuff!
We passed Holloman AFB on the outskirts of town, then finally arrived about 3 at our destination. After setting up, we drove over to Mudder n Pops… that’s Scott’s Mom & Dad… where we had a nice chat, then all drove over to Terry’s new house. Terry is Scott’s sister-in-law… Bruce’s wife. (For those who may not know the story, Bruce… CPT Bruce Hays… was killed in Afghanistan on September 17, 2008) Wow! What a lovely home she has. I’m turning green just thinking of it! (from Envy, duh!) We ate dinner, then talked more. We finally got back to our little home on wheels at 10 and headed straight for the sack.
Sorry, no pictures yesterday!