Coming from the Petrified Forest (will write about this separately) in Arizona, we took Highway 180 on our way to New Mexico. Per GPS , the trip to Roswell is at least 8 hours. We were not in a hurry to be there, so we just took our time and enjoyed the scenery along the way. I am glad that we didn’t rush through it because this was nothing but a beautiful trip.
Arizona side of the road trip.
The hubby and I loved this experience because it wasn’t stressful. No traffic, no crowd , it was so quiet and peaceful. Except when the rain caught up with us and pounded loudly on the roof of our car.
I remember asking John if it wasn’t dangerous. Which he replied with – “you are in America dear. There’s no danger here. ” I said – what about serial killers. (That’s the “paranoid” me talking) . He said – this is where the serial killers kill themselves because of boredom. There is no one here to kill… ha ha ha
Look at my picture below, it just shows a vast empty space. And I find it so impressive to have a well maintained road in the middle of nowhere, which may or may not be used. Awesome right?
But then again, the hubby is right. I shouldn’t be surprised. I am in America, after all. These kind of roads are common there. Taxes well spent.
Finally, after an hour or so, we saw another vehicle on the road. 🙂
Big blue sky. Beautiful mountains from afar. Relaxing view…
Welcome to New Mexico. The Land of Enchantment.
That’s exactly what the sign said. I wonder why?!
More of the long , winding and empty road… 🙂
And we found the rain in this part of New Mexico.
And then the rain stopped. 🙂
At the Plains of San Agustin.
We were surprised to see these large dishes beside the road.
These are called the Very Large Array, one of the world’s premier astronomical radio observatories, consisting of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km (22 miles) across, with the sensitivity of a dish 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter.
The website of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory , https://science.nrao.edu/ , gives more information as to what they do and what they listen to. I wonder if they ever heard anything from aliens? ha ha
We found The Valley of Fires Recreation Center, a few minutes later.
And the Malpais Nature Trail.
Explanation from their website – http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/roswell/valley_of_fires.html , is shown below.
Imagine that. The earth’s crust in this area is thin. And so the Lava extruded / thrusted out from under the ground through the lava vents. And this is just 5,000 years old.
We had Mt. Pinatubo explosion in the Philippines years ago. And it changed the area’s landscape. It created a lake , among other things. But this is the first time I’ve heard of lava flowing through vents on the ground. Earth never cease to amaze us huh?!
Miles and miles of lava rocks.
The camping ground.
The Visitor Center. We got fliers and brochures here, for free. 🙂
Yellow and purple flowers in the desert.
Wear appropriate shoes if you decide to venture into the lava field. The lava rocks look sharp. Correction, they are sharp. So be very careful.
The Recreation Area Fees:
From there, we proceeded with our road trip. Our next destination, a place to rest to stay the night. Our Atlas Map shows a big town. Note – data is kinda choppy in this area. So the Atlas Map comes in handy oftentimes. If you want to road trip, buy one. Don’t rely on GPS all the time. 🙂
More of the beautiful scenery. I like this part of New Mexico.
Antelopes beside the road. 🙂
Smokey Bear Historical Park.
Smokey Bear was found after the Capitan Gap Wildfire, sometime in the 40’s. He was an orphan cub with burned paws. And rose to fame as icon for Forest Fire Prevention. He lived at the National Zoo in Washington , D.C. for 26 years. And when he died, he was laid to rest in his hometown. Hence, this Historical Park.
And oh, have you heard of Billy The Kid? If not for the hubby, I wouldn’t have heard of him either.
The Town of Lincoln is where it all happened.
From Wikipedia – It was once the largest county in the United States. In the late 1870s the so-called Lincoln County War broke out between ranchers and the owners of the county’s largest general store. William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid, became involved on the side of the ranchers after his friend and employer was killed. In the end, Bonney killed the deputy that killed his friend, another deputy, and the county sheriff. Several other people were slain in the conflict, which included the other leader of the rancher faction. His death ended the conflict. In 1878, the new territorial governor, retired Union General Lew Wallace, offered an amnesty to the combatants in order to bring a long-lasting truce between the factions.
If you like Western Movies, then watch Young Guns. Billy the Kid was portrayed by Emilio Estevez.
Photo Credits by Wikipedia.
This is why we love road tripping. Our adventure to the unknown brought us here. I’ve learned a lot from this portion of our travels. Awesome! 🙂
So where have we been? Check the google map below. Maybe you would like to explore this part of America as well. And I really hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.
Finally, we have arrived. Our home for the night, The Best Western Pine Springs Inn.
Note – I booked this online while we were on the road. I couldn’t book in advance though because we had no idea where we will be spending the night. But I’m glad we decided to stay in this hotel.
The bed was comfortable. The room was large. The location had easy access to restaurants, etc. Plus it came with free breakfast.
This has been a beautiful day. Thank God for his protection and for the fun this trip brought us. 🙂
Lea C. Walker