The price is $125 a week plus electric. The campground may appear to be no more than a gravel parking lot but it is extremely well maintained, the sites are huge and the owners are delightful!
Tuesday we made our way to the premier attraction of the area. That would be the White Sands National Monument. It is the world's largest gypsum dune field covering 275 square miles. Most other dune fields are made of granulated sand. White Sands "sand" is closer to talcum powder. Very soft and not as easily warmed by the sun. Very unique and gorgeous!!! If you didn't know the difference you would have thought it was snow!!!!! We did a 5 mile hike through the dunes plus 2 more miles of hiking on two different nature trails. A great day!
|Looks just like snow!|
|Aaaah! How sweet!|
|Fun with shadows|
There are two distinctive crops in this area. They are pecans and pistachios. So on Wednesday we went to a local pistachio grove (Eagle Ranch Heart of the Desert) and took a tour. These folks plant the trees, harvest, process, package and ship all things pistachios. The tour was fun and informative.
|How'd you like to have this job? These women picked out the "bad" nuts by hand!|
|This is where the nuts are roasted, salted and flavored|
Next, the Climbing Cloud Rail Trail which for us was 3 miles of trails following the former route of railroad tracks. This also includes numerous remnants of tracks and trestles. If you 're a train enthusiast this is a gold mine.
Lastly we did 4 miles of the Rim Trail. This trail covers about 15 miles so we just went out and back 2 miles each way to make miles and enjoy the scenery. All of our trails included beautiful scenic views. We repeatedly speak of how much we would miss if we didn't hike and we're thankful every day for our good health that allows us to do so. By some standards our hiking is tame but it sure gets us into some gorgeous places!
|View of White Sands from Rim Trail|
After we got back to the camper Debbie did her walking DVD. I decided to do some aerobic walking with a little running on my own. I left the camper about 6:15pm. Sunset was scheduled for 6:23. Debbie asked if I was taking a flashlight. Naw, don't need one. My plan was to go out 3 miles and back. I went out 3 miles and turned around. But holy moly it was dark! I mean not a shred of moonlight, star light, nothing! So, because I'm such a smart guy, on the way back I take a wrong turn. It's so dark I don't realize I've taken the wrong road for about a mile. Eventually I decide that I need to backtrack to find my way home. Did I mention it was PITCH BLACK! I didn't have a light, a cell phone, a piece of ID, nothing. I'm a little worried. I don't want the Friday night drunks to run me over or coyotes to drag me off into the desert. Plus I'm figuring Debbie may be somewhere between worried and really mad. Consequently, I worked mighty hard to get home as quickly as I could. The result was a 5 mile return trip, total of 8 miles and a great workout. Humble pie is tasty. Next time I'll go a little better prepared.
Saturday we had a wonderful outing with a couple we met while we were at the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. They also were in a Montana, camped right beside us and they live here in Alamogordo. So we got together for a nice 2.5 mile hike to of all things in the desert, a waterfall! Mighty pretty! We then had a delicious lunch at a Mexican restaurant. So Barb and Ken if you're listening, it was sure great spending time with you!!!
Sunday we chilled. Debbie spent much of her day researching our upcoming trip to Cozumel, Mexico (timeshare). Later she did her walking DVD and I again did my aerobic walk, BEFORE THE SUN WENT DOWN. I also walked across the road to take a picture of the "Worlds Largest Pistachio" for our South Dakota friends Lee and Belinda who we know love these unique roadside attractions. Hope you're out there! Miss you!
Before I close, I also wanted to mention that I recently had the great pleasure of talking to a high school friend that I hadn't spoken to for at least 35 years. So Tom if you're listening, it was great to talk to you after all these years!
Yesterday we drove 340 miles (far more than we normally do in a day) to Fort Huachuca, AZ. I think we'll like it here.