Saturday 25 March 2006

Sort of a Busy Saturday!

Sunset at White Sands

If you look really close you can see the ripples in the sand

Pretty dunes! Looks kinda like waves

Bib accompanied us to White Sands but mostly stayed in the truck

Sandra standing beside a yucca with the dunes in the background (Note-no coat!)

Wow! What a beautiful day today. Sunny with a few clouds and about 77F.

As I’ve mentioned I’ve had trouble breathing the last little while and not being sure what it might be, I’ve sort of done nothing about it but stopped all allergy medications that I’ve been taking. I’ve taken Actifed at night for years but you can’t buy it down here so I’ve gotten other things and they just don’t work the same. So last night I was thinking if I wasn’t better today I should probably go to Emergency. I decided last night to take a Benadryl and send in the big guns. This morning I woke up very groggy but as the day went on I seemed to be feeling better and wasn’t having as much trouble breathing so no Emergency Room for me today. I just lay on the couch all morning and watched two Julia Roberts movies.

So, this afternoon I decided to go for a walk since I hadn’t walked this morning. I walked about ½ mile to the Dollar General Store and then back to WalMart to get groceries in preparation for us leaving on Monday for Albuquerque. I called Gordon when I was finished and he came and picked me up with the groceries and then we drove to the water kiosk to get our water jugs filled. Then back home to find a place for groceries. It always amazes me how much groceries I buy when all we seem to eat is stew, lunch (sandwich/wraps) and breakfast (cereal/grits).

At about 5:00 p.m. we left for White Sands National Monument to take late afternoon and sunset photos. I got quite a few good ones, I think. The ones I took during the day this week didn’t have any shadows so tonight I got lots of shadows and depth in my photos. Sunset wasn’t wonderful but okay.

On the way back we stopped and had dinner at Taco Bell. Now it’s TV time!

By the way, in case anyone is interested, did you know that Alamogordo means fat cottonwood in Spanish? Just a bit of trivia for today.

Friday 24 March 2006

Trip to Ruidoso

Sierra Blanca

Sudderth Street, Ruidoso with Sierra Blanca in the background

Gordon at outside cafe at Ruidoso

Today was bright and sunny and reached 66F. Gordon got up early and went out for sunrise photos at White Sands again. This time there weren’t closed for missile testing.

He got back around 10:00 a.m. and we decided to drive the 48 miles to Ruidoso, NM. We were there last year very briefly and thought it was a cute little town. It sort of reminded me of Lake Placid, NY.

Ruidoso is nestled in the Rocky Mountains of southern New Mexico. Towering above the village is Sierra Blanca (more on that below) and the New Mexico ski resort, Ski Apache. Ruidoso is a year round resort with skiing, casinos, bicycling and a multitude of other things to do there.

Anyway, I packed a lunch and we headed out arriving there around 11:30 a.m. On the way, we stopped and took photos of Sierra Blanca, shown above. Sierra Blanca is a complex ancient volcano, rising more than 7,300 ft above Tularosa Basin to peak at 12,003 ft.

We parked just off Sudderth St. which is the main street in Ruidoso. I looked in the shops in about a two block area but didn’t see anything that tripped my trigger. On our way back out of town we stopped at a small indoor flea market, again nothing very interesting but a huge mothball smell which was making breathing difficult. Needless to say, we didn’t stay long. It was a bit cooler in Ruidoso but better than earlier in the week. They had snow this past Sunday and Tuesday!

On our way to Ruidoso we went through Tularosa, another little New Mexico town. Gordon had taken a photo of the church there last year but the sun wasn’t in the right position so we stopped there again on our way back to Alamogordo. He took various photos of the buildings and the church again and we stopped at a little shop called Del Sol. We had bought some things at Del Sol in Mesilla last week and this shop is owned by the same people. We bought a couple more items and then headed home.

Time for reading and my nap again. This is getting to be a habit!

I got my second wind around 5:00 p.m. and walked over to WalMart to get some strawberries for my cereal tomorrow. I also got an extra pillow as I’ve been having trouble breathing and I need to prop myself up for sleeping.

After dinner, we watched Deal or No Deal and various other shows before turning in for the night.

Thursday 23 March 2006

Trip to Cloudcroft

View of White Sands from 8000ft

Downtown Cloudcroft

This morning was sunny but cold, only about 36F at 7:30 a.m. Gordon went out before sunrise to photograph the White Sands again but I got a phone call late in the morning from him indicating that White Sands National Monument was closed this morning for missile testing so he had gone to the Dodge dealer in town to get our service done so that’s out of the way for a few thousand miles.

When he got back we got ready and drove to Cloudcroft. It’s a small town about 16 miles away from Alamogordo but that 16 miles takes us from 4500 ft to over 8000 ft. I had heard that Cloudcroft was a cute little town with all kinds of shops. It wasn’t as cute as I had expected and while it did have some shops, some were also closed. It had snowed there recently as was evident more outside the town that in the town itself however some of the sidewalks were very slippery.

When we got back we stopped at the Visitor Center and found out that Hwy 54 which heads toward Albuquerque is a decent road so rather than returning to Las Cruces to pick up I-25, we’ll take Hwy54 to Hwy380 which will take us to I-25, a distance of about 209 miles. We haven’t made a final decision yet on returning to Ohio by going through Albuquerque but it looks like the weather at least in that area is good next week.

On our travels around Alamogordo, we found another adobe double wide modular home so we stopped in to see it today. It’s exactly the same as the one we saw near Benson a couple of weeks ago, made by the same company except it’s $80,000 not $109,000. Quite a difference! However, we’re still not sure what we’ll be doing down the road so right now it’s just looking.

When we got back I settled down to my book and a nap and Gordon went out to White Sands again for sunset. He was quite happy with his photos. His White Sands Gallery can be found here:

That about sums up today’s events!

Wednesday 22 March 2006

Boring Day!

It was cloudy and 44F when I got up this morning. The forecast had said it would be cloudy today however the sun came out late in the afternoon.

After walks and breakfast, we watched TV for a while. Around 11:00 a.m. I decided I would walk over to WalMart. It was looking very dark and cloudy and I had just made it to WalMart when I heard someone say that it was raining mixed with snow. It didn’t last long though as when I came out after about an hour, it had stopped and there was a bit of sunshine.

This afternoon, I watched TV and took a couple of brief naps.

Other than my walk to WalMart we didn’t go out all day. Very boring! The temperature only got up to about 53F.

Yesterday when we were at White Sands there was a front loader moving sand off the road. They have to plough the road to keep the sand off it just like snow. It’s so white it looks like snow. The photo above is of the front end loader moving the sand.

White Sands National Monument

Yucca in the sand dunes

Walking on the dunes in bare feet

Sand dunes with mountains in the background

Today dawned bright and sunny again. It was in the high 40sF at about 7:30 a.m. We decided that since it was nice morning and was supposed to cloud over later in the day that we would go to White Sands National Monument this morning. We walked a short ways on one of the trails and I got to take my shoes off and walk in the sand. The sand is so white but it’s a different consistency than the sand in Mexico Beach, Florida. It’s so silky there.

Walking on the dunes is interesting. You’d think you’d sink in sand up to your knees but it’s actually hard packed sand. I guess all the loose sand blows off because the winds are pretty strong down here most of the time.

We left White Sands around noon and came back and drove through Alamogordo just to get the lay of the land and see what’s here. That didn’t take long, then we stopped and had lunch at Taco Bell which means I don’t have to cook dinner tonight. If we go out like that during the day, we just have a sandwich or wrap at night.

However when I got back I did make a pot of our favorite stew so that will sit an extra day to make the flavor better!

Contrary to the forecast it didn’t get cloudy so this afternoon I called my younger sister to see how things are with them and sat outside at the picnic table near the playground in the sun. It was about 66F then. There’s a breeze blowing making the new leaves on the trees look like they’re dancing. There’s a big cottonwood tree in the park where I was sitting so I watched it while I was talking to Margie.

Gordon went back to White Sands National Monument for sunset. I decided to stay home and have a shower and veg.

Since we had lunch out, I didn’t have to make dinner. YEAH! Then just TV and writing my blog!

Monday 20 March 2006

Moved to Alamogordo, NM

We left Las Cruces, NM at about 9:30 a.m. today and headed to Alamogordo, NM, a distance of about 67 miles. We arrived at White Sands Community RV & Manufactured Home Park in the southern end of Alamogordo. Again it’s not the prettiest campground we’ve been at and it’s a bit of a tight squeeze to get into our site but here we are! Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a 50 amp site so we’re functioning on 30 amp which means our electric heater can only run on low and we have to be careful what else we run at the same time. We do have cable TV with lots of channels and the internet satellite is working. We’ve booked a week here so hopefully the wind will calm down so Gordon can get his photos of White Sands National Monument.

It’s windy and quite cool here today. It was sunny with a few clouds when we arrived but turned mostly cloudy shortly after we got set up, around 1:00 p.m. I think it managed to get up to about 62F but it’s supposed to warm up as the week goes by.

About 2:30 p.m. Gordon decided he was going to White Sands National Monument and would probably stay for sunset so not wanting to be out that long I elected to stay at home. I watched some TV, did some interneting, had a nap and took a walk around the area. We’re right in the thick of US fast food heaven. There’s every kind of fast food imaginable within walking distance, also a Staples a short distance away and SuperWalMart right behind us also within walking distance. The nice thing about Alamogordo is it’s sort of a small town with a population of about 35,000 or so.

The campground itself is quite spacious though the sites aren’t. It’s obviously an older park made for RVs that were much smaller and had no slides. It does have a large laundry facility and a hairdresser on the lot and it’s quite large so lots of place for me to take my morning walks. I can also go out of the park and walk as well.

When we were here last year it was only for the day so we didn’t see that much of the town. I remember we stopped at Visitor Information and Verizon but that was about it. This is about the size of town that I like. It has everything that you need but the traffic isn’t horrendous.

The photo today is of our site S14 at White Sands Community RV Park.

Sunday 19 March 2006

Another Very Windy Day!

It must be Spring! Willow leaves are growing!

Organ Mountains

Hot Air Balloon flew over me on my walk this morning

Today dawned bright and sunny and the brown skies were gone. There was some cloud cover but still basically a nice, but a bit cooler day. Again it was windy.

Gordon had heard that there was a market at Old Mesilla today so we drove over there around 9:30 a.m. but no market to be found so we took a drive to the northwest of Las Cruces and found the Leasburg Dam. The viewpoint for the dam is in the Leasburg State Park and we found that they had rv sites with electric and water. They were quite nice pull through sites, don’t know how much they were but there was a train track that ran basically through one end of the park. Maybe next year when we hopefully have satellite TV, we’ll be able to take advantage of some of the state parks.

We headed back to Las Cruces and stopped again at Dripping Springs which is the foothills of the Organ Mountains then on into Mesilla again. The market was up and running if you call a couple of tables of jewelry a market so we just drove through and then back to the RV to get some lunch.

I called White Sands Community RV Park this morning and they don’t take reservations. She said she had one 50 amp site that might free up today but there would be no problem with 30 amp sites so we’ll have to take our chances if we want to stay at this park. It’s the closest park to White Sands National Monument and that’s probably where Gordon will be spending most of his time this week as long as it’s not windy. This time of year is usually quite windy in New Mexico as we found out last year when we stayed in Carlsbad.

When we got back I had a nap and watched some home decorating TV. Don’t do much of that anymore. I always used to have HGTV on at home.

After my nap, I went and got some groceries at SuperWalMart in preparation for leaving tomorrow. It was still really windy. I almost lost my favorite hat for the third time today!

Called my older sister, Betty. They are leaving for Florida this week and then going on a cruise of the Amazon. Lucky them!

Gordon went out to take photos at sunset but it turned out to be a wash.

Tonight’s one of my favorite TV nights!