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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Alamogordo - great place to visit


Had a busy day today. Lots of interesting stuff around here.
After breakfast we drove out to White Sands National Monument.
The San Andres Mountains in the background.
What a beautiful area. Of course I love any thing to do with the desert – ugly scrubby to magnificent views. Especially the unusual plant life.
Stopped at the Visitor’s Center and picked up t-shirt and a pin and read about the area. The area is the northern most part of the Chihuahuan Desert. The wave-like dunes of gypsum sand cover 275 square miles. And is the largest gypsum dune field in the world.
It looked like we were driving into a big snow covered area. The sand is so white and very fine. A panoramic view – as far as you can see. (I like the way my newer camera takes these shots.)
The dunes surrounding the road.
The black spot in the middle is Bill climbing up on one – I walked out into them on a boardwalk. So incredible to see.
Another panoramic view from the end of the boardwalk.

Rain and snow in the mountains dissolve the gypsum from the rocks and carry it into the Tularosa Basin. The mountains in the background.
 
Following the road further into the park. The pavement ended and we were driving on the hard sand. It looked like we were driving on a plowed road of snow!
 
A short video of the experience- has music with it.
video

After leaving White Sands Monument we went back into town and visited the New Mexico Museum of Space History. It sets up on the mountain over the town.
Some of the rockets on exhibit outside the museum.

A Mercury Capsule – hard to believe how small it is. What would prompt a grown man to get into it and be shot into space?
Some of the “space food” aboard the ships. Looks delicious doesn’t it.
Check out the modifications to the pop cans.
Lots of interesting information about rockets and inventors and the twenty eight countries who participated in the conquest of space.
After the space museum we got gas – at $3.19 a gallon. Then went back to Jennie for a while. Had the AC on again…..Bill is very happy about the warmth.
Later we went to visit some of the pistachio farms. A big Pistachio Nut – the guy driving the semi was asking where he could find a TexMex restaurant where there was parking for his truck. Wonder if he found one.
Interesting but we missed the tour of the farm so basically they were just gift shops. And I shopped. Got some watermelon twisters and pistachio brittle and a “free” bag of pistachio nuts for spending money there. They sure do have a lot of flavors of pistachio nuts. Garlic, chili, jalapeƱo to mention a few.
This guy was outside of one of them. He has a brother who looks exactally like him in our little town of Nashville – who would of thought?
Saw this and thought it was kind of interesting.

Ended the day by having dinner at IHop. We were there at the right time - between 3 and 6 daily Seniors can get one entree free. Sounded good to us. And the meal was very good.
Tomorrow we'll leave here and head further south and west. Towards Arizona. No plans on how far to go.
Our prayers and thoughts are with everyone on the East Coast.
Was just looking at the picture in the heading and thought about the beautiful fall folliage just before we left home and compared it to the amazing white sand of the desert here. What a contrast. How lucky we are to be able to see both. And even more wonderful sights in the future.

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