Monday, January 28, 2013

Roswell, New Mexico to Tucson, Arizona -Day 2

For whatever reason, I had trouble sleeping yet again last night.  So, when 5:00am rolled around, I decided to get up and start getting our French Press coffee stuff out and ready.  Scootard decided that after my turning on two lights, that it was time to get up as well.  We managed to get a decent breakfast and head out early again.


there is something to be said about a sky that does not have the challenge of "light pollution" like we have in big cities and towns.


The colors are brilliant and ever changing.....



And it always makes me feel so blessed to see the magnificence of it all....



You have to take the shots quickly because everything changes so fast and is never the same twice...:-).  There are lovely skies in the west where the land seems to be so unmolested by humans and "progress".  The moon was slowly dissappearing giving way to the day....:-)



As the day began to break, we continued on toward the town of Tularosa, New Mexico where we had hoped to get some lunch.  the road went on FOREVER.....


but it was a great view although very chilly when we would let the windows down to get the pics we wanted....



The whole area was dotted with various characteristics that would slightly resemble somewhere else; but not really.....

 
I was fascinated with the occasional "tumbleweed" that would come rolling toward our car. But they always came and went so quickly that I could never get a shot of one.

  

We finally came upon a gas station and decided not to press our luck by traveling on these "endless highways" and playing it to close to "E".  This time we filled up at 3/4 tank full...haha.  I know it sounds paranoid, but hey.... I got a thing about being stuck in the middle of the desert; with tumble weed!



Made it to Tularosa, New Mexico and was astonished that the people there must have been on a perpetual fast!  The place was so small that this is the only shot either of us have...haha.  No lunch here!




We decided to keep going and see what happened down the road.  And what do you know!  We came upon the US Army Military firing range called "White Sands Missile Range" in White Sands, New Mexico.  When I was in the military, some of my friends who were stationed in Oklahoma had to come here every year to fire practice rounds as well as a live missile for training called a "Lance Missile".  I had not personally been here before, so this gave me a slight view of what they came to every year.



And when we pulled up, the white sand dunes were very prominent and striking.



It was beautiful, and there was a whole history has to how they became so much whiter than the sands around them.....

of course, we were not allowed to go there, but here is a sign of the direction of the missile range.


 there was a visitor's center that we took advantage of and decided to go inside to see what was what and to use the rest room, of course...:-).  This is a shot of what seemed like a small courtyard in the middle of the facility.  Scootard has often mentioned that he likes the Southwestern design and wouldn't mind living in a house that was made like this.  - Uh, me on the other hand; not so much....:-(.  Nice to visit, but I surely wouldn't want to live in it.




the visitor's center was quite small with a tiny gift shop and a movie theater inside that showed a 17 minute film of the history of the "whiteness" of the sands.  How they start out brown, but through the shifting of the sands and the wind, they turn white over a long period of time.  There are 275 square miles.




The sands get so fine at times that they take on the texture of talcum powder....you can even rent sand sleds to go sledding as if on snow.  If you can see the person in the third picture, you will notice the big saucer like thing that they are using for a sled. ....:-).  I'll be the "clean up" after is horrific for the person who dared to do it!

 

these building (I think) were being used by the workers out there.  The place is very remote even though it is off the main highway.  There were porta potties every couple of miles.  That ought tell you something about how remote everything is out there in the desert.



This is a Yucca plant.  The desert is scattered with them.  We learned that what you see is a very small part of the plant.  There could be as much as 30 more feet below the sands!  Wow!




ok, time to go!  We STILL have not eaten yet!  ugh!!  By now, we are starving...haha



When we got into the city of Las Cruses, we were surprised to see how large it was.  I have no idea why we didn't stop to eat here, but we didn't.  It was an interesting place to pass through....



We saw a Subway sandwich shop and decided to pass on that......



so, away we went once again......."blue skies...smiling at meeeeeeee.  Nothing but blue skies...do I seeeeeeee......do- do- do- la - laaaaa- ladi- dah- dah--ladi- dee- da -da -da...from now on!"



and then it happened!  We were coming upon what was supposed to be a weigh station for trucks, but it has been diverted (converted) into a check point by the US Customs and Border Patrol.  I was shocked as I was sure we were in "New Mexico" and not Mexico!  AND I had grapes and cheese in the car....haha.  Scootard said; "you might lose those grapes".  So, I prepared myself for the guard telling me that I had to throw them away.  I was still reeling from the confusion of having US Customs at a weigh station for trucks.

Anyway, the guy asked if we were both US citizens.  I said "yes"!  Not remembering that Scootard is actually Canadian!  Sheesh....and then he said "No"! hahaha......oh boy.  then I gave Chris the passports and decided to keep quiet in my confusion....haha.   Good golly.  What a moment.  The guys looked at both of us and said, "your're alright.  Have a good day.  I guess we didn't look Mexican...???



We traveled on through town and I spotted this on the way....this place was so tiny that they had to "make a town" to make it look like a town was really there....hahaha



Finally, we made it to this little place.  And it lack anything interesting to eat as well......:-(.

I began to wonder if anyone ever ate anything any more besides us! And I really don't like buying food from gas stations......YUCK!  We decided to get some gas and keep moving through the town to see what was what.....

 

this is the main street of Deming, New Mexico.....




and this is their court house.  At first glance, I thought it was a church......



and they had this cute little gazebo and a little park in the middle of town.....:-).



and the next thing you know, we were headed for the Continental Divide.....with NO LUNCH!



thank God for snacks that we had in the car.  We still had grapes and cheese in our cooler from the day before as well which came in handy.....
 

Scootard was happy now.....:-).  I was happy too.  I was sure I starting to feel my stomach touch my backbone!



Several minutes later we hit the state of today's destination......yay!



we jumped out at the rest stop to stretch our legs and get some air.  It was cold outside and very windy......



here was a little write up of the area that I didn't take time to read....ha.



and they had a nice sitting area outside, but it was much too cold for that and WINDY!



and to my amazement, not long after entering Arizona it began to rain......


and rain........


and then a few miles later.....we saw this......




and then I was sure I was seeing dinosaur poo!  Look!



We saw a gas station a little ways down the road and decided that we would get some gas for the last time today so that we would not have to do it in the morning....



Scootard is such a good "gasser"  ...hahaha.....




uh huh!!  I knew it!  Here is the culprit......ha.  See him?  trying to hide in the trees.....



 Well, we were at our destination and was glad to be there after a long day of travel.  We were greeted by palm trees and cactus....



looks like an over grown pineapple thingee- eh?



When we got to our room, we were pleasantly surprised by this view outside of our patio area......



They even had "bigfoot".......:-).



we settled in for the night with great anticipation for our road adventure tomorrow.

Stay tuned for the road trip from here to Palm Springs, California!
Goodnight..

19 comments:

Scootard said...

What a wonderful writeup. Yes, we did cover some miles today. And now it's hieing off to the west. Looking forward to a little warmer weather.

Just noticed that our home in OK is under a tornado watch currently. WOW!

Maybe we'll get some lunch today instead of just snackies...

Trobairitz said...

Wow a checkpoint while still in the USA - how odd. Good thing you had your passports ready.

Loved the picture of that stately courthouse. All that beautiful brick.

Hope you see some sun in Palm Springs.

Patricia Carpenter said...

Well, we are currently in Buckeye, Arizona at a McDonald's jut to get a WiFi signal. It is cold today and I'm glad we have some winter clothes!

bob skoot said...

Pat:

Today I felt like I was in the car with both of you. I was getting hungry and I thought I told you to turn around when we saw that Subway . . .

sure looks cold for AZ, almost looks like here at home

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Patricia Carpenter said...

Hey, Bob..
yeah, I had to pass on Subway as I am not a big fan of bread and the thought of a sandwich when I was that hungry did not appeal to me....:-).

livin'itup! said...

I love the pics of the sunrises and sunsets...and all of that open road! Wow...

Patricia Carpenter said...

I Love the open road as well. But it would have been a bit brisk and windy to ride my scooter on. Glad I was in a car!

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