Thursday, October 4, 2007

New Mexico No More

We had a three-prong attack planned this morning. Prong 1: White Sands. As we rolled into Alamogordo, NM, we read that the road leading to/from White Sands is often closed so the military can safely bomb everything that surrounds this national monument. We were feeling lucky that we made it throughout without any road closures and saw the Sands, which exceeded expectations (thanks for the recommendation, Emily!) It was bizarre to be surrounded by huge white sand dunes after hours of driving through the mountains. Charging up the dunes, you realize just how quiet everything is—the sand muffles all sound. But what could improve this experience, you ask? Coming over a dune to find three Japanese body builders stripped down to Speedos photographing each other in the middle of the dessert. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this photo—we tried to capture how surreal and enjoyable a moment this was…

Prong 2: Gila Cliff Dwellings. We wanted to see some cliff dwellings at some point on this trip, and these cliffs near the New Mexico and Arizona border seemed to fit the bill. The map showed the ancient dwelling about 40 miles north of Silver City, NM, up in the Gila National Forest. It’s difficult to explain why the road to Gila made Dennis think that the characters in Deliverance might have just been well-adjusted but misunderstood. After about 5 miles up Deliverance Road, we saw a sign explaining it would take us an additional two hours to reach the cliff dwellings, which incidentally also closed at 4 pm. It was almost 3:00, so we decided to turn back and pursue Prong 3: Ghost Towns.

We saw on the atlas that there are two ghost towns near the border of NM and AZ. While the nearby towns looked like ghost towns we had the brochures to prove there were really old timey historical ghost towns nearby. The first town we visited closed at 2 pm. Ugh. We decided to call the second ghost town to make sure we could walk around the grounds before driving a bit out of the way to get there. Apparently, it’s only open on the weekends, and a nice family lives there the rest of the time. So we left NM with only one of our three sites seen. Having said that, we’ve talked too much trash about NM already. We really did enjoy what we were able to see there, and it’s definitely unlike any place we’ve ever been. Maybe one of these days, we’ll make it back and get to see more.
-K & D


tracy said...

really, i think that picture makes up for all of the misses that made up your visit to NM. it at least put a grin on my face. -TB

Chris said...

Is it an accident that you wrote dessert rather than desert whilst describing the Speedo-clad bodybuilders?

Think not, pal.