Friday, August 12, 2016

On To Ruidoso, New Mexico

Organ Mountains
We left Las Cruces early Tuesday morning, so that we would have time to stop at White Sands National Monument on our way to Ruidoso.  Heading out on Hwy 70 we traveled east towards the Organ Mountains which are the eastern backdrop of Las Cruces.  While in Mesilla, the old town near Las Cruces, we met a fellow pastellist in the town's art co-op and she told us that just about every Las Cruces artist gets around to painting the Organ mountains at some point.  
Tularosa Valley
On the other side of the Organ mountains is the Tularosa Valley, which is largely uninhabited by people as a good portion of it is used by the White Sands Missile Proving Grounds where the first atomic bomb was detonated about 100 miles north, in 1945.  And 275 square miles of the valley is taken up by the White Sands National Monument.  
Here we are out in the middle of White Sands.  I had never been here before and Allan had not been there since he was a child.  What is really interesting is that these are the largest gypsum sand dunes in the world and it is located over a shallow water system which means that in the more level areas, you can see pools of water sitting on top of the gypsum.
Soaptree Yucca with Roots Exposed
 In these areas, plants have an opportunity to take root and grow, however when the winds start to blow, the sands shift and dunes form which either cover the plants or cause the plants to lengthen their roots.  Then later when the winds blow the sand away the roots are exposed and the plant dies. 

 Leaving White Sands, we continued East towards Alamogordo and then up into the mountains to Ruidoso.  The photo shows the clouds building up over Ruidoso and no sooner did we arrive at the Pine Ridge RV Park, than the clouds opened up and dropped all of their moisture in a tremendous gullywasher of a rain.  Next thing you know, we have a stream of water coming into our living area from the inside sill of the back window.  
Sculpture at the Inn Of The Gods Hotel and Casino
Nothing to do but try to staunch the flow until the rain stopped and then Allan got up on the roof and caulked all the seams along the roofline and around the back window.  Well, no one felt like cooking dinner at that point, so we went to the Inn Of The Gods Casino and had a nice buffet dinner.

 It was not as nice as the buffet we had in Las Vegas, but there was a large selection and most of what we had was fine.  Especially the bread pudding for dessert.   We could have opted for the fancy restaurant which had a view out to the Lake, but if you look out the window in the photo, you will see the lake and forest beyond.  It was a good ending to a long day.

No comments:

Post a Comment