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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Monday, March 6, 2017

On The Way to Socorro,NM

Well, hello Trekkies! To start tonight, I think my friend Jane sent an email a bit ago with some really interesting questions about how Vermont is different and/or special in comparison to where we have traveled. She send the email to the group and I think that is really good, since several of you live/ or have lived in places other than Vermont or the Northeast or have traveled a bit throughout the country. I've responded to Jane that I want to think about her questions and organize my thoughts before answering her, but I think it might be interesting to see comments from you as well. I'd ask that you not send them, until I write to her, since I don't want to be influenced by your take before I think out mine. We could share all the emails on the topic with the group--it would be really fun, I think. As for today, we only traveled for about 2 1/2 hours today, primarily stopping here because we so enjoy going to the Bosque del Apache at sunrise each year and driving for over an hour just relaxing in the loveliness of it. For those who have had any interest in the map I included last night, we basically drove north out of Alamogordo to Carrizozo, took a left hand turn to San Antonio on the Rio Grande and a right for 10 miles into Socorro with the "M" mountain. Taking a tangent here, watching the news--Amazon is going to charge NM sales tax--oh, well, they are charging Vt now,too! More upsetting --big fire up near Rio Rancho, not far from the area we are going to tomorrow! High wind gusts and warnings in the area. Going into the 20's tonight. But, a warming trend coming --Wed 68 --a 15 degree above normal temp for the day. We'll take it. Anyway, the first shot of the day is of our own Matterhorn across from the motel in Alamogordo--in the Sacramentos. As we travel north the Sacramentos are on our right all the way. When we reached Tularosa I saw a vintage shop and since my POD prompt for today was " Vintage" I did make Bill turn around so I could photograph it. When we did I caught a glimpse of a side street that looked as though it may once have been a main street. That is the problem with traveling when there isn't finite time to explore; you pass through a town on the highway, year after year, and never take a look at the whole town. Since we had plenty of time today we drove along a few of the streets and was really touched by the unusual buildings with a definite Spanish touch. I like Tularosa better now than ever. Have always enjoyed the Vaya con Dios on the back of the welcome sign when you leave. Not far out of Tularosa on the left side in the plains a very distinct wide black strip shows up. It is the beginning of a 40 mile long lava flow. This area of the country in both New Mexico all the way west into Arizona was extremely volcanic. There are wide stretches of land called Malpais--literally " bad land" which is black lava. Louis L'Amour wrote of this area and spoke of the fact that the ankles of the riders horses were cut badly by the sharp lava rock. Bill said walking on it is almost impossible, it is so rocky. Just outside Carrizozo is the Sands Motel--I always get such a kick out of the sign since it is exactly like the one in Santa Rosa but, even more funny, like the old sign in Las Vegas, Nevada--the place where the Rat Pack used to perform. Turning another curve there was some more vintage--old trucks behind and to the side of the tiny Bike Shop. We stopped for gas and decided we had to try some of the Carrizozo cider we'd been seeing advertised since Artesia. Well, it isn't being made right now--seasonally wrong--but there was a cherry drink and a red raspberry drink by the same orchard so Bill picked up a bottle of each. At this corner--which is where the Capitan road joins the road we were on and actually becomes the route on which we made our left turn to head Westward once more toward San Antonio. The wind was blowing like mad at this crossroads where two roads converge after descending from mountains into this flat plain. Even though it is a plain, we ascended 1000 ft from the White Sands. Within minutes we were driving through a lava flow--about three miles wide along this road. It is interesting to see the variety of flora growing on it although it is taking a long time to totally cover this thousands of years old rock. Then we passed through more sand hills though lower than those west of Artesia. Far in the distance we could see the next chain of mountains that border this Tularosa Basin, the Oscuro Mtns. In time from about 25 miles or so away we saw the famous "M" on Socorro Peak. The history of the landmark is quite interesting and if you care about that sort of history here is a link that will tell you all you'd like to know and maybe more! http://www.nmt.edu/m-mountain-a-history-of-a-socorro-landmark Within ten miles we crossed the Rio Grande River--yes, that Rio Grande--into San Antonio--no, not that San Antonio. But this San Antonio is the birthplace of Conrad Hilton who founded the big hotel chain, a farmer's son who used to rent out rooms in his parents' farmhouse to soldiers and hunters and others who passed this way. Can't find any info about the house so suspect it is gone. Doubt that his grand-daughter Paris ever saw the old homeplace. It was at this point in our travels that Betsy called so my picture taking ceased for a bit. Although I did get a shot of The Owl which has a delicious big hamburger that we try to eat at least once while in the neighborhood. Maybe breakfast tomorrow. And then, ta da, we were in our motel. Bill went out to have chili--made with pinto beans and having a salad on top--that's what he said. I've stayed in as planned and not that it is 6 pm, I'm going to make my tuna and pile it high into my Italian bread and pig out. Tomorrow we will go to the Bosque and then head up to Belen to visit with our friends Gloria and Bud. This is a favorite stop each year and other than a couple of pictures, all electronics are put away. Soooo, we'll get back together when we are on the road again. In the meantime, take care. KandB

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