A Great Vacation: A Photographic Exploration of New Mexico
Welcome to New Mexico!
A few years ago my wife, Michelle, took a travel nursing assignment at a hospital in Roswell, New Mexico, so the family could visit some of the most beautiful places this state has to offer. The first thing that most people think of when they hear the words New Mexico is, of course, the Roswell UFO Crash. Oddly enough, we never went to the International UFO Museum and Research Center even once the entire time we were in Roswell. In retrospect, I regret not having gone.
Living Desert State Park, Carlsbad, NM
The first place that we went to visit was the Living Desert State Park in Carlsbad. We were very fortunate that our visit corresponded with their annual rock and mineral show. As a geographer, I love a good rock show . . . musically, too! There was a really great trail that took you through their zoo and garden exhibits as well as through some natural desert landscape features.
The next sight we went to see was the famous Carlsbad Caverns National Park outside of Carlsbad, New Mexico, near White's City. There was so much to do here and a LOT of walking to be done. We hiked through miles of caverns, ate lunch in a subterranean cafeteria, and sat in the amphitheater to watch the bats fly out of the caves at sunset. For a donation, you can even symbolically adopt a bat. We learned so much about the caverns, ecosystems, and local plant and wildlife. I would love go back some time!
Ruidoso, New Mexico
Before we went to White Sands National Monument we spent a weekend in Ruidoso, New Mexico, at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino on Mescalero Apache tribal land. We spent a great weekend there with a lakeside view. I got to play slots in the casino and the family got to go horseback riding at the Grindstone Stables. We also got to experience a small pioneer town, authentic live western music, and chuckwagon dinner at the Flying J Ranch. All in all, it was an awesome weekend!!!
White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo
Eventually, we made it to the great white dunes of White Sands National Monument outside of Alamogordo. We went into the visitor's center and learned all about why the sands in this region are actually white. Without giving away any spoilers, what we learned was really fascinating . . . and I'm not just saying that because I'm a geographer, either! We rented sleds and bought sled wax and got to sled down the great white dunes . . . it was truly awesome!!!
Bottomless Lakes State Park in Roswell
There were many weekends in the desert heat where we went to cool off swimming in the saltwater lakes at Bottomless Lakes State Park just outside of Roswell, New Mexico. These lakes were created when salt caverns collapsed and created sinkholes which filled in with water from springs and rain. The landscape around the lakes was spectacular and the views from the rim road were breathtaking!
Until Next Time, New Mexico!
We had so much fun on our trip to New Mexico and saw so many wonderful sights. We got to do some amazing activities, meet new and wonderful people, and experience different cultures and traditions. I hope to go back someday and experience even more sights and lands!
© 2019 Billy W Mitchell