Friday, October 30, 2009

BROWNFIELD TEXAS-THROUGH THE APACHE PASS-TO TULAROSA NEW MEXICO

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A BIT OF SNOW IN THE APACHE PASS

It was the coldest night of our trip so far & we realized that when we couldn't wind our TV antennae all the way down this morning because of ice on the moving parts.  Told Kelly a hammer would make short work of that ice & she told me waiting half an hour for the sun to melt the ice would work batter.  We waited for the sun!!  Heavy frost on the cars windshield & I'm surprised our outside water hose didn't freeze up.  It was 8:20 when we waved good-bye to Brownfield Texas & headed west to-wards the mountains of New Mexico.

IMG_0973 OH OH….DID WE BREAK A WINDOW……NO, ICE OFF THE AWNING FROST ON THE WINDSHIELD THIS MORNINGIMG_0974  
IMG_0975FIRST GLIMPSE OF THE MOUNTAINS IMG_0998  
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It was 10:30 about 45 miles east of Roswell when I first caught sight of the mountains.  Came around a slight curve on the highway, over a rise, & there nearly a hundred miles away, low on the horizon barely visible, a dark object.  To the left of the highway many miles further south another peaked object but light colored.  Snow on Sierra Blanca mountain.  All the way to Roswell I watched these two mountains slowly growing.  The high snow covered peak of Sierra Blanca had a slight cream color & appeared as it would in a fairy tale painting.

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IT WAS IN THIS DIRECTION THAT THE ‘ROSWELL UFO INCIDENT’ HAPPENED!!

We had decided earlier not to stop in Roswell so at 11:30 we rolled right through town & out the other side steadily climbing into the foothills of the Sacramento mountain range.  It was a beautiful sunny day so we knew the roads would be clear in the mountains.  A scenic four lane highway led us through Ruidoso & into the Apache Pass.  We had been expecting to see snow piled high alongside the roads but there was barely an inch on the ground & it was melting fast.  This is probably the most we will see of winter this year & it was really pretty to spend the 20 minutes it took to drive through it.  Now that's the kind of winter I don't mind. 

The descent from the 7500 foot Apache Pass peak is a gentle glide to the Tularosa Valley floor below.  As we rounded a bend I could see the Oregon Mountain range in the far distant haze with the the white sands of Alamogordo stretching out before them in a long thin band from north to south.  This marked the true beginning of our return to the American southwest & I felt like we had finally reached our second home at last.  With the crossing of this mountain range comes the notable change in landscape, flora & fauna & by the time we reached the valley floor we were seeing agave, yucca, prickly pear cacti. trees, mountain ranges, & desert.  A total change from the past 3 days crossing the great barren flat plains of the American west.

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IT’S JIM FROM THE BOOT HILL RV PARK IN TULAROSA, NEW MEXICO

We had friends waiting for us in Tularosa.  Two years ago we met another RV couple at the HICKIWAN TRAILS RV PARK in Why, Arizona.  We have kept in touch via email & when John & Pat Mattoon knew we were headed their way they invited us out for supper.  The highway from Tularosa to Alamogordo runs about a quarter mile from their house & on that corner is large new RV Park which John helped the new owners to build. He had pre-arranged a site for us there close to the dog run.  We rolled into the BOOT HILL RV PARK  about 2 p.m. & met owners Cindy & Jim Livers.  This is one mighty nice park they have here & I will post a photo album of the park shortly.  Just not enough energy left to do it to-night. 

Jim led us to our easy pull through site & it wasn't long & I was headed for the camps showers while Kelly took the furry guys over to the spacious dog walking area.  The 2 shower rooms were a surprise because they were large & complete with toilet & sink.  And, lots of hooks to hang things on.  Everything was spotless & new.  The shower stall had a fold down seat as well.  Didn't take me long to have that boiling water just bubbling out of that shower head.  I had it so hot in there it peeled the paint of the walls & it took me over half an hour to find my clothes in the heavy pea souper of a steamy fog.  Yep, I was needin a good long hot shower fix real bad!!

Later took myself for a walk around the Park taking photos.  These folks have sure put a lot of work into this park & I would recommend it as fine stop if your ever traveling through this area.  The word 'quality' comes to mind here. 

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SIERRA BLANCA MOUNTAIN AS SEEN FROM THE RV PARK (with a telephoto lens:)

Our friends John & Pat just live around the corner so Kelly & I walked over to their place about 3:30 to meet them & their daughter Kelly.  Kelly is an artsy person & has used some of my photos in her artwork.  Two of them were hanging in the gift shop of the main RV park lobby.  Kelly takes the photos, has them printed in black & white & then paints them.  She does a terrific job & it's nice to know that I am a small part of the finished product.  I don't have a real good track record for doing things right but every once in awhile it's nice to see something I've done giving inspiration to someone else.  Had ourselves a visit & then everybody piled into Kelly's car & John drove us to Margo's Mexican restaurant in Alamogordo.  As most of you know I am not an adventurous eater so it took me awhile to scan the menu for familiar words.  Finally, after what seemed an eternity I found a 'gravy' word, then 'chicken steak.'  And what really excited me were the words 'Texas toast.'  When the waitress uttered the magic words, 'French fries' I knew I was home.  I don't know what all the other guys ate but it was kinda orange, yellow, green & soupy looking.  I'm sure they were all envious of my Texas toast & fries but it was too late for them......I wasn't sharing!!!!

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KELLY, KELLY, PAT & JOHN

We were back to our rig for good-byes around 6 p.m. & John hung around for a bit trying to help out with our non working hydraulic levelers but our coach set up was different than his & neither one of us could find the solenoid switches, power disconnects & stuff.  Power levelers....bah humbug, who needs em anyway!!  Said good-bye to John & we hope to see them in January over at Hickiwan Trails near Why Arizona.  All & all it was nice to see Pat & John again & to meet their lovely daughter Kelly. (kelsiphoto at etsy.com)  Nice folks & a big thanks for supper guys:))

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Ok, it's late & I'm wrecked.  These time zone changes have really zonked us.  I'm oughta here!!

GROANER'S CORNER:((  A car mechanic received a repair order that said to check for a clanking noise when going around corners so he took the car out for a test drive and made a right turn, then a left turn, each time hearing a loud clunk.When he arrived back at the garage he returned the car to the service manager with this note: 'Removed bowling ball from trunk.'

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The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now....AL.

6 comments:

  1. nice pictures and Blog!! Lots of Travel.... stay outta that ice!!

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  2. Al, staying in a high ender's park? And actually enjoying it? And recommending it?
    That Southwestern sun must do something to folks tolerances, LOL.
    We went thru there last year on the way out, and hopefully are not far behind you again this year. Maybe we'll get to try the new park out too. Gota be better than the one we stayed in in Roswell.
    Rod

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  3. Nice blog Al and thanks for pics through the Apache Pass and the Boot Hill RV Park! We'll be taking that exact same route next April and I was looking for a place to stay in Alamogordo - if I mention "Al sent me" will they still let us in? Looks like you're safely back in the desert - drive safely!

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  4. You might see more snow than you expect, Al. It snowed in Bisbee, AZ on Tuesday! My sister lives there - boy, were they shocked!

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  5. Beautiful! Love that Apache Pass. We went through it the other direction in 2008, and we would never hesitate to take it again, except maybe in a major storm. Gotta remember Boot Hill campground, but we did have a nice little rustic place in Roswell on that trip.

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  6. Hey Al, Haven't been by in a few so had to catch up on all your older post... Sounds like all is going well and you're having a great time... Boot Hill sounds like such a nice park I will keep it in mind when we are there next February... Have a great day!

    Happy Halloween
    Travel Safe
    Donna

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