Monday, March 30, 2009

Trip to Roswell, NM

Today we made a lunch and took the Honda to Roswell, NM, where we find out that Roswell is the ‘Dairy Capital of the Southwest’ not the famous UFO city. There was lots of evidence of milk cows.The Pecos River runs near Roswell so there is lots of irrigation.


Our first stop was the UFO museum. We paid our $5.00 each and saw lots of printed material but very little artifacts. We got exactly what we thought we were going to see, very little. But we enjoyed the morning.


In the afternoon we stopped at Roswell Museum and Art Center. This was well worth the time and was free.


I especially liked the Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard display and Teri loved there Museum displays of native clothing and equipment, Cowboy equipment, and Spanish soldiers equipment.

P3300811  P3300806

Wikipedia reference

Robert Hutchings Goddard (October 5, 1882 – August 10, 1945), U.S. professor of physics and scientist, was a pioneer of controlled, liquid-fueled rocketry. He launched the world's first liquid-fueled rocket on March 16, 1926. From 1930 to 1935, he launched rockets that attained speeds of up to 885 km/h (550 mph). Though his work in the field was revolutionary, he was sometimes ridiculed for his theories. He received little support during his lifetime, but would eventually be recognized as one of the fathers of modern rocketry.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area, NM

Today we went to the falls. Here is the web description:

Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area is an oasis in the desert featuring a 150-foot waterfall. The natural setting of rock cliffs, cascading water and riparian vegetation along with historic structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps attracts many visitors to this unique spot. Sitting Bull Falls is located in the Lincoln National Forest, Guadalupe Ranger District, about 42 miles Southwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico. Drinking water fountains, modern restrooms, rock cabanas, picnic tables, grills and trash bins are provided for visitors. Sidewalks provide easy access to the waterfall with a viewing deck near the falls for handicapped visitors who are not able to negotiate the steps to the water below the falls. Pets on leash are allowed.

The Photos

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

On the way to the caverns there is a diner with the name ‘No Whiner Diner’, love the sign but cannot attest to the quality of the food.P3280617

Off the the Carlsbad Caverns


We took the elevator down 755 feet to the ‘big room’.

Here are some photos:

The sunset bat watch does not start until next Friday.

Carlsbad New Mexico

Finally found some good weather and a decent campground.



We pulled in one the 28th and will be off to Carlsbad Caverns

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jenna and the Table in El Paso

Hueco Tanks State Historic Site near El Paso Texas

We visited this very interesting site today,

“History: Hueco Tanks State Historic Site, is located 32 miles northeast of El Paso in El Paso County. It was obtained from the county by special deed on June 12, 1969, and by purchase of 121 additional acres on August 10, 1970. This site was opened to the public in May of 1970. This 860.3-acre park is named for the large natural rock basins or "huecos" that have furnished a supply of trapped rain water to dwellers and travelers in this arid region of west Texas for millennia.

A unique legacy of lively and fantastic rock paintings greets the visitor at the "tanks." From Archaic hunters and foragers of thousands of years ago to relatively recent Mescalero Apaches, Native Americans have drawn strange mythological designs and human and animal figures on the rocks of the area. The site's notable pictographs also include more than 200 face designs or "masks" left by the prehistoric Jornada Mogollon culture. Hueco Tanks was the site of the last Indian battle in the county. Apaches, Kiowas, and earlier Indian groups camped here and left behind pictographs telling of their adventures. These tanks served as watering places for the Butterfield Overland Mail Route”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Museum and Historical House Tour

First stop is the US Border Patrol Museum

Second stop is the El Paso Museum of Archaeology

Last stop is the Magaffin Home, a 1875 adobe home.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Driving tour from El Paso to Las Cruces.

Today we went on a tour of old hwy 20 through wineries, pecan forests(farms), small towns and large greenhouses.P3220510

We stopped at the historic OLD Mesilla New Mexico. Some explanation of the history of the town that I copied of the internet.

“The Shops of Old Mesilla, NM invite you to step back in time to one of the oldest and most unique settlements of southern New Mexico.  Located off I-10, it is nestled in the Mesilla Valley on the banks of the Rio Grande.  Mesilla has been a part of the Kingdom of Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy, and finally the United States of America.  Mesilla has a rich history filled with prehistoric cultures,  Spanish explorers, Apache raids, the civil war, and the wild west.  Pancho Villa and Billy the Kid walked the streets.  The famous trial of Billy the Kid was held here and the Democrats and Republicans had a bloody showdown on the plaza.   It was the Confederate capital of Arizona and New Mexico during the Civil War. The Gadsden Purchase finally brought Mesilla into the United States.  Many residents are direct descendants of the original settlers.  Today Mesilla is a part of living history.  Great care has been given to preserve the original adobe buildings and the beautiful plaza. People from all over the world stop to experience the history, art, architecture, quaint shopping, and unique dinning that Mesilla has to offer.”





Henry Mc Carty, alias Henry Antrium, alias William H. Bonney alias Billy the Kid, lived a very short life , but made his place in history.  

Billy the Kid and many outlaws contributed to the wild side of Mesilla.  He was often seen in the bars or dances in town.  In 1881 Billy the Kid was tried in the building which is now the Billy the Kid gift shop on the southeast corner of the plaza.  He was sentenced to hang for the murder of Sheriff Brady. He was taken to Lincoln, New Mexico where on April 28th he escaped killing two deputies.  Finally on July 14th, Sheriff Pat Garrett shot him in the Fort Sumner ranch home of Billy's friend Pete Maxwell.  Be certain not to miss the Courthouse Building in Mesilla.  People say he still haunts this historic building on the southeast corner of the plaza.  


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Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Mission Trail in El Paso, Texas.

We stopped at El Paso to get Coach Care Cummins dealer to check the motor home, everything went fine for the motor home but the little Honda lost a transmission on the way to El Paso. So we stayed a little longer than planned. We rented a car and did all the sites. The first trip was the Mission Trail.

Mission Corpus Christi de La Ysleta

Also referred to as Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Mission del San Antonio, the Tigua Pueblo’s mission was a sanctuary for Spanish and Tigua refugees. The silver dome bell tower was completed 30 years after the present structure’s completion in 1851. The nearby Tigua Indian Cultural Center offers bread-baking demonstrations and native dances regularly.


Our Lady of Immaculate Conception at Socorro of the South

The recently restored Socorro Mission is the oldest active Roman Catholic parish in North America. It was completed in 1873 and features rustic, Indian-decorated vigas (ceiling beams) and an original statue of St. Michael.




Presidio Chapel San Elceario (San Elizario)

The chapel at San Elizario is not actually a mission, but a military chapel. Completed in 1877, its patriotic roots are evident with stained glass windows bearing images of the American flag and Seal of Texas. Other points of interest are the Los Portales Museum, highlighting 400 years of border history, and the jailhouse from which outlaw Billy the Kid helped a friend escape.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Forte Davis National Historic Site

Some interesting facts about Fort Davis, Texas:This is the highest town in Texas at 5,050 feet.Originally a military post established in 1854.

The National Historic site recreated part of the second Fort Davis set up to tame the west and the Indian wars. The fort was an all black recruits.

Some photos:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fort Davis, Tx and the McDonald Observatory.

Today we drove from Sturdy Butte, Tx to Fort Davis, Tx, a total of 103 miles.


We set up camp at Fort Davis then off we went to the McDonald Observatory.


We bought a Daytime and a Star Party Pass.

The Daytime Pass is great tour stating with an interactive presentation that includes telescope views of sunspots and flares. We find out the sun is in a very stable cycle for the next few years. Then off to a guided tour of the 12 foot mirror telescope. Great tour.


The Star Party Pass is an evening program that started at 9 PM. We started the party with a presentation in the open air amphitheater. The presentation was very well done. Then we got a chance to look at telescopes setup all around the amphitheater. We saw Saturn through a 22 inch telescope, nebulas in Orion’s belt through a 18 inch telescope and on and on. There was 18 telescopes set up this evening.

More photos:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Big Bend Ranch State Park and Fort Leaton State Historic Site.

We went west today through Big Bend Ranch State Park on to Fort Leaton State Historic Site then turned around at Presidio, Tx.


Just into the park we ran into the film set built for the ‘Streets of Laredo’. The floods last year left them full of mud and partially destroyed.


The film set is just behind the Rio Grande River.


The canyons in Big Bend Ranch State Park are almost as impressive as Big Bend National Park


Then off to Fort Leaton State Historic Park.



Then we turned around in the border town of Presidio and returned the same way. Great Drive!!!!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Big Bend National Park, Texas again

On the 15th of March we again went into Big Bend National Park. We started off with a drive to the Chisos Basin in the middle for the Chisos mountains. The Chisos mountains tallest peak is 7, 600 feet above sea level and the pass to get there get over 5,000 feet up.

This photo is looking west down to the campground.P3150263

Then we went onto the Rio Grande Village and Boquillas canyon. On the way we stopped for lunch under the cottonwoods at Dugout Wells.


On the way to the Canyon we took the turnoff to the Hot Springs. That is the Rio Grande River with Mexico on the other side.


The rock walls by the hot springs are full of flowers.


We finally made it to the visitor Center at Rio Grande Village and we are greeted by a roadrunner


Then off the Boquillas Canyon. P3150345

By this spot just to the left the kids young and old are sand sliding down the canyon.


The Rio Grande River at Boquillas Canyon is at 1,850 feet above sea level.  Here is the rest of the photos:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Today we went to Castolon Historic District and to the Santa Elena Canyon. We then took the back (dirt/gravel/rock/mud) road home. The day started off cold and damp but ended wonderfully.

La Harmonia Store:


Built in 1920 to house U.S. cavalry troops stationed here during the Mexican Revolution, This barracks building was never occupied by soldiers. Shortly after its construction, the Revolution ended and the troops were withdrawn, leaving the buildings available for purchase. In 1926 the application to open an official post office at Castolon was approved. The building houses the Vistor center in this area.

Then off to ‘Santa Elena Canyon’ on the west side of Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grande River.


Then we took a dirt road back to the campgrounds


More photos of the day:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Off to Big Bend National Park, Texas

On March 12th we are off to Big Bend National Park. We are parked a few miles out of the park in the Big Bend Motel and Campground in Study Butte, Texas.

On March 13th the adventure begins.


Rain today with water in the draws.



More Photos:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Judge Roy Bean Museum

On Wednesday we went to Judge Roy Bean Museum at Langtry, Texas just a few miles from Seminole Canyon. Of interest Judge Roy Bean was smitten with an actress, Lillie Langtry. He even told her he named the town after her. (Actually was named for an engineer that built the railway through this town)



On the way back home we toured the Pecos River area where the Pecos and the Rio Grande meet. A dam on the Rio Grande backs the water up this river. The boat launch is the old highway.



And the desert is in bloom


The rest of the photos:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Seminole Canyon State Park and Historical Site

On March 10th we continued on to Seminole Canyon State Park. It was very warm when we arrived at 2:30 so Teri stayed behind and I went on the Guided Tour of the Historical Site.


The campground is rugged:



Some 4000 year old rock art:


the rest of the photos:

Off to Laredo, then to Crystal City

On Sunday we were going to go to Lake Casa Blanca International State Park, but when we finally found the entrance the lineup to get into the Park was long! So we look at the map and went 100 miles more down the road to a small city called Crystal City and found this beautiful campground 3 miles off the main highway along the Nueces River. We were only going to stay the night but stayed two.


Site 99 in Triple R RV Park near Crystal City, Tx


In front of the motorhome across the “lake” they feed the deer at dusk every evening.


On Monday we went to the town of Uvalde for a little site seeing. All the museums are closed, but the city has lots of old oak trees in the middle of the street.


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