Saturday, October 18, 2014

2014-30 Roswell to Alamogordo New Mexico

an old hunting camp next to the state park

Roswell New Mexico

Campground:  Bottomless Lakes State Park.  Water/Elect. 50 amp.  Free wi-fi.  8 over the air tv channels.  Cost:  after paying the $225 yearly camping fee, I’ve counted the 20+ days that basically uses that fee.  I’m now paying $4 a night only for the electric.  My camping in NM state parks is now free except for that electric fee.

Campground:  Oliver Lee State Park.  Water/Elect. 30 amp.  Cost: $4.00

Distance Traveled:  103 miles

Well that was an interesting drive along New Mexico 20.  A rough two lane road through 49 miles of prairie grass ranch land.  I passed two cars the whole distance as I bounced along this remote route before finally hitting hwy 285 a 4 lane smoothly paved road leading into Roswell.

sinkholes formed along the canyon walls

I’m staying at the Bottomless Lakes State Park, the first state park in New Mexico.  When cowboys first came through the area, they tied their lariat together to determine the depth of the lake, having never reached bottom, so they called them the Bottomless Lakes.  The deepest is actually 90 feet deep.  Many of the state parks including Bottomless Lakes were developed by the CCC’s back in the 1930’s along with the WPA.  Many of those structures are still in great condition and are being used today.  The lakes are fed via an underground river that travels as far south at Carlsbad NM.  Quite amazing to see the large craters that were formed by the sink holes formed when the roofs of the limestone caverns collapsed, creating the lakes and the large holes on the sides of the escarpment.  The Pecos river flows nearby but does not feed into the lakes.

Panhandlers are starting to show up in the towns

The UFO Museum

the aliens move their heads when you walk on by

Roswell, the U.F.O. Cover-Up a great movie to learn
about what happened here in 1947

the research library

I had to go to the UFO Museum and International Research Center in Roswell.  This is a must for any UFO junkies, it’s like going to the mother ship so to speak.  The reason it is hear is that back in July 4th 1947, Mac Brazel, a rancher on the Foster ranch about 75 miles north of Roswell heard a loud noise but different than a thunder clap.  Two nuns at St Mary’s Hospital in Roswell saw what they believed was a plane crash.  The tower at the base tracked and reported a descending flash that they tracked on radar……

The next day, Brazel was riding on the ranch property with his 7 year old son and discovered the debris field.  300 yards wide (3 football fields) and ¾ of a mile long.  He picked up a sackful of the “stuff”.  The story goes on, with the military threatening the locals if they say anything about what they’ve seen or heard.  A great movie was done about the incident called “Roswell the U.F.O. Cover-up”.  One of my favorite country music singers, Dwight Yoakam has a lead part in the film.  

I thought I’d check with one of the librarians about a recent U.F.O. sighting that was mentioned on the news about a week ago and she recommended a web site for information:  MUFON .  A link is provided if you’d like to check the sites out.

I’ve been able to talk to a couple of the locals and they tell me that Roswell has become quite the Dairy capital out here.  Seems that the land got to be too expensive for farming in California and most of the dairy farms have moved here to Roswell NM as they have lots of good farm land for hay and cattle feed.

On another note, it’s kind of fun to see the snowbirds (and yes I’m one too) coming in to the campground, usually later in the day, setting up and then heading out a day or two later.  Eager to get to their winter stomping grounds.

The camp host here at Bottomless Lakes takes her “job” very seriously.  Now, keep in mind, she does not get paid and it is actually called “volunteering”.  When I talked to her the other day, she informed me it was a job.  That was right after she told me to stop washing my truck.  Opps.  My bad.  I’ve seen her walking back and forth all after noon, stopping to give “helpful” advice to all the incoming campers.  Actually when you think about it, as a New Mexico resident, after paying the small yearly camping fee, she would normally only have to pay the $4 a night for the electricity.  So in effect she is getting her campsite (cost $4) a night for the 4-8 hours she puts in each day.  Doesn’t sound like a very good deal to me.
How did it happen.  It’s already Thursday and I could have sworn it was only Wednesday. Somewhere along the way I’ve lost a whole day.  So I’ll be heading out tomorrow to my next stop, Alamogordo.  Maybe aliens abducted me for a day... hmmmm

Distance Traveled:  150 miles.
Alamogordo New Mexico

Oliver Lee State Park is about 15 miles south of the town of Alamogordo.  A western town with a military base close by and White Sands National Monument.  It’s fall type weather with the daytime temps now in the 70’s and evenings are a warm 50’s.  I’ve explored this area before, but will visit White Sands once again in the coming week that I’m here and will report on any interesting finds next week.  

views from Oliver Lee State Park

views from my campsite

and I have these views for a full week
more photos on Picasa

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