Still in New Mexico, quickly becoming one of my favorite-ever states of the union. Its warm and windy and pretty perfect weather the last week, so I’ve been enjoying the outdoors.
The water at Elephant Butte Lake is beautiful in different light as the days pass, and this one became my favorite shot.
At twilight, I walked by a guy’s boondocking camp and got a shot that kind of captures the spirit of vagabonding.
Yes, those are indeed antlers on his pickup truck. It’s New Mexico, people, home of the free spirited.
On Saturday, I drove by an outdoor auction, so I turned around and went back to watch for while. It was the physical manifestation of the old saying “one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”
If you ever get to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, do yourself a favor and book a hot springs soak.
I did the hot springs twice at Riverbend and it was lovely, right on the banks of the Rio Grande.
Not sure you would want to stay here, but, dude, you might have to check it out. (And yes, the smaller sign does say “Parking for The Dude.”)
On the way home, I caught the sunset. New Mexico has amazing sunsets; my friend, Lorinda, is totally right about that.
Monday I moved southeast a bit, near Alamogordo. I took a slightly longer route so that I could go down a new road with two highlights. The first was this. Doesn’t look like much but just south of where I was is the Trinity Site, where on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was detonated. The site is open to visitors twice a year, if you’re interested in seeing the actual Ground Zero land.
And then coming down out of the pass, you see black streaks amid the usual brown. That is the Valley of Fires in the Tularosa Valley. This malpais or badland came from nearby volcanos about 500 years ago, covering an area 4-5 miles wide, 160 feet thick, and covering about 125 square miles. That is a lot of lava, so no wonder it’s clearly visible from higher up the valley.
At the handy scenic viewpoint, there are many rocks you can examine close up. There are two kinds of rocks — the ropy pahoehoe (top) and solid blocks of aa (bottom) — so it looks like a bit of Hawaii in the middle of the New Mexico desert. The earth is always serving up geological delights for us.
Now I’m next to the rugged and stately Sacramento mountains, and seeing them so close can make me smile every time. This is the view from the road just south of the campground loop.
I’m here through the weekend, so will probably try to see the more touristy parts of Alamogordo (and yes, they do have them) as well as enjoy the abundant warm sunshine. And the moonless skies at night. Got my telescope set up and looked around last night, been a while since that happened.
I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world that I have ever had. It certainly changed me forever. …In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico, one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the wold world gave way to a new.