MARCH 19, 2016
Forty miles east of Bowie on I-10, we cross into New Mexico right after I find the mountain top silhouette of a Native American gazing into the sky. (As we were leaving Dwayne’s I stopped to chat with 2 gentlemen at the dumpster. The man from NM told me to look for the face in the mountains to the south. This must be his lower case cursive “r” experience I wrote about yesterday.)
(I also learned yesterday that cropping the pictures I take from my iPad doesn’t necessarily make the photos post as close-ups. If only you could see the original pics on your devices…)
Here are some highlights of our travels to Alamogordo, NM.
Yuccas and more desert…
Sleeping dogs we let lie…
Passing through Las Cruces we continue on Highway 70 and drive by the White Sands National Monument.
Wave-like dunes of gypsum sand crystals engulf 275 square miles of desert creating the largest gypsum dunefield in the world. (nps.gov) Gypsum is rarely found in sand-form because it is water-soluble and rain dissolves it as it is carried out to sea. The Tularosa Basin, however, is enclosed so the rain that dissolves the gypsum either sinks into the ground or forms shallow pools that eventually dry out. The gypsum is left in a crystalline form, called selenite, on the surface. (en.m.wikipedia.org)
This area is also home to the White Sands Missile Range, which includes the Trinity Site used for the first atomic bomb test. According to the nps.org web site, missile testing periodically requires the closure of Highway 70 or the National Monument Park.
Part of the Manhattan Project, started in 1942, the first atomic bomb, code-named, Trinity, was tested on July 16, 1945. Twice a year the site is open for tours, the first Saturday in April and the first Saturday in October.
As mentioned above, missiles are still tested, but more importantly today, the White Sands Missile Range is one of the most sophisticated testing facilities in the world for measuring whether or not a developed product can perform the job for which it was designed. Products include tactile missile systems, automobiles, telephones, and even rat traps. (wsmr.army.mil)
Another Border Patrol Checkpoint…
And we arrive at Edgington RV Park in Alamogordo, NM…
Sam welcomes us and invites us to the pond for a picnic lunch. It’s her daughter’s birthday. She is turning 3!
We settle in and salute the sun…
A Bit About Alamogordo:
- The city grew up around the construction of the El Paso and North East Railroad in 1898.
- It is an example of a planned-community.
- Charles Bishop Eddy designed the city in a grid. Streets running east and west have numbered names. Streets running north and south are named after the states.
- In 2001 the Christ Community Church held a public book burning of the Harry Potter books, among others.
- Alan Hale of the Hale-Bopp Comet grew up in Alamogordo. (en.m.wikipedia.org)