Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Mexico - Southern

New State....New Mexico

It is the fifth largest state in area (behind Alaska, Texas, California and Montana) with less than 2 million people. Our first destination was Las Cruces near the Texas border. It was an accidental find as we had enough driving and happened upon a good KOA with a good view. Not far from a small town; Mesilla, we visited for a day trip. This was a great opportunity to see a plaza, a mission-style church and lots of adobe houses, stores and restaurants. One little restaurant was Little Diner and Tortilla Factory on the border. The menu offered a full gamut of New Mexican cuisine so we sampled gorditas, enchiladas, tacos and great rice. A newspaper clipping on the wall touted the most famous visitor; George W. Bush, when he was Governor of Texas.

The next stop was Alamogordo where we visited White Sands National Monument. The park is 275 sq. miles of white gypsum sand dunes. This was an opportunity to hike on the sand that feels like icing sugar.

The roads are ploughed because winds can blow and cover the surfaces. At one point Don was driving and when he braked he forgot it wasn't snow.

The Alkali Flat Trail was a 7.4 km. loop with a view of White Sands Missile Range in the distance. Occasionally the Park has to close when they are testing experimental weapons and space technology.

Alamogordo also boasts the New Mexico Museum of Space History. We toured the faciliity which was an educational experience of space travel in the past and future exploration. We did find Marc Garnieau's picture hanging in the Space Hall of Fame.

We camped at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park and hiked up Dog Canyon Trail in the Sacramento Mountains. From the top we had a great view of the Tularosa Basin including White Sands National Monument.

The next day we visited Three Rivers Petroglyph Site which has over 21,000 petroglyphs left by the Jornada Mogollon natives over 700 years ago.

We travelled on to camp at The Malpais - Valley of Fires Recreation Area. It is the site of an ancient Indian legend that the "malpi" country was once a "valley of fire". This is true because the black lava covers 125 sq. miles and is more than 160 ft. deep at the

centre. A great paved nature trail gave us opportunity to explore. However, we have learned that weather in this area can change quickly. While hiking we were snowed upon and an hour later the sun was beating down and providing a wonderful warmth.

Off to Albuquerque tomorrow.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It's been 3.5 months since we published a blog but we're back on the road and it's a little easier now.

What have we been up to? Well..... we left California to enter Arizona and made two stops in Tombstone and Bisbee before settling ourselves in Tucson for a week.

It was a great introduction to the Arizona lifestyle. We camped in Catalina State Park and took the opportunities to run,
bike and hike on the great trails in the Santa Catalina mountains. One of our first hikes was Romero Canyon Trail where you see Don checking out the saquaros.

A bonus to our stay was renewing acquaintance with Mary and Phil (running friends from back home). They are snowbirds who introduced us to some nice people, took Don for long bike rides and a great hike up Pima Canyon.

But Canada was calling. We stored MoHo for our 3 month absence and headed home to family and friends for Christmas.

Then January 4th came all too quickly and we set off on another type of adventure; Southeast Asia. This will be a separate blog entry with highlights of our exciting two month adventure. It was then back to Canada for a week with Kirsten/Jeff/Stella and Erin/Brad as well as a quick pitstop in Guelph.

We returned to Catalina State Park in Tucson to get reacquainted with the RV lifestyle. It is very easy to settle here as this picture from our RV indicates.

We've pledged to spend more time in Tucson in future years. However, ten days have past and it's time to move on as there is still a lot of country to explore. New Mexico is our next destination.