Thursday February 20,2014 Comfort Inn Socorro New Mexico Rm 203 7PM MST
Today we started by removing everything from the car, since for the first time since Tupelo we were staying in a motel with outside entrance to the room. The project was two-fold: try to find the Geek Squad folder and reorganize the trunk and back seat by consolidating where possible and replacing items in their original spots. I then called every motel we’ve stayed in since Lafayette to see if my folder has surfaced in any of them. So far, no luck. If only I could remember precisely what is in that folder besides the receipt for my computer and the code for the Office Software that has been loaded onto it.
Oh, well, got a late start but since Socorro was only a short drive away it was okay. If you remember some of yesterday’s pictures you may have noticed the haze at the foot of the San Andres mountains being created by the blowing white sands of Alamogordo. Well,what goes up must come down and the car was covered in white dust this morning. Headed out to the National Monument and as you can see from the flag the wind was pretty strong.
First stop the visitors’ center where we bought a calendar that was 75% off and a book on the Lincoln Wars as well as another called Billy the Kid : Beyond the Grave by W.C. Jameson. The fellow at the register, Toby, said it is very interesting and he thought pretty convincing that Garrett did not kill Bill and that they may have split the reward. Toby said he’s love to know what we thought about it and I said I’d email him. Billy the husband is starting to read it tonight. Got some post cards too—mostly for my photo album but a couple to send.
The people before us were checking out and Toby asked if they were teachers or retired teachers. They were: lady had taught special ed and now supervises student teachers; her husband had taught high school art. With them was another lady, the woman’s mother, also a retired teacher and the couple’s daughter is studying to be a teacher. They were from Minnesota. Of course, we shared the information of our teaching assignments, that Betsy is also becoming a teacher and we were from Vt. By the time they left Toby had rung us up and gave us the 15% educational discount that National Parks give and which I always forget to request. He and Bill laughed when it seems Bill paid 47 cents for the calendar since it was on sale at 75% off and with the additional 15% discount it was 90% off!
There is nothing to say about the White Sands—this is my fourth and Bill’s third visit. He doesn’t care one way or the other about revisiting it but I just love the place—it is so amazing and beautiful to me. It is like nothing else I’ve ever seen before and you forget you aren’t surrounded by snow. But it is gypsum—hydrous calcium sulfate—dissolved out of the surrounding mountains years ago and still. Deposited in an ancient lake long since dried up and now just blowing along, engulfing everything in its path—making it really hard for any creature to survive without adaptations found nowhere else. Fascinating.
To by pass downtown Alamogordo one takes the Relief Route!!!! to Tularosa, past St Francis De Paula which I’ve photographed a zillion times through the years. Then we went with God past pecan and pistachio orchards and the Tularosa Speedway to Carrizozo, 53 miles away and lunch at the 4 Winds Family Restaurant which looks exactly like the picture on the menu. I had the senior two beef taco plate and coffee since the temperature was nippy 50’s. Bill had Salisbury steak and sweet tea. Only place in town to eat and we’ve stopped there before –hasn’t changed a bit over the years, except the metal roof was intact this time, having been partially blown off five years ago.
Turned Westward once more across the Valley of Fire with its huge lave beds. There are lava beds out near Gallup also and north of Flagstaff Arizona there is a huge volcanic area.
The road twists, turns and climbs and then twists, turns and falls into several wide valleys before finally arriving at the Rio Grande valley and the town of San Antonio. At one of the heights the temperature dropped to 48 and then on the wide valley floor rose to 54, neither of which were terribly warm though the sun shone brightly. 20 miles outside of Socorro we passed Trinity Site. The government used to open it to the public twice a year, once in fall and once in spring. Toby said that they’ve reduced that to once a year—the first Saturday in April. We are always long back into Vermont by then. I’m not sure there is much more to see than the desert along the road that runs perpendicular to the access road.
Arrived at the motel early to find that while all the white sands had blown off the car, my rooftop graffiti remains. I stayed in to wash my hair and blog. Bill went down to K-Bob’s for dinner. He brought me back a salad an hour ago and a chocolate lava cake for dessert. The Pepsi is warm and I’m starved. Chatted with Bets somewhere along the line since arriving. Now it is dark, and I’m starved so it is so long for now from The Land of Enchantment.
Tomorrow we are getting up at 530 to go to the Bosque del Apache. It will probably take us at least two hours to drive through it slowly –looking at the wildlife, the mountains, and watching the changing light. Then it is up to Belen to visit with our good friends, Bud and Gloria, transplants from New Hampshire. Not sure when I’ll get the chance to blog again or even where we are heading next. Taos, Santa Fe, Gallup , all three???? Until next time—take care all of you. Hugs KandB