Looking for a place to vacation in the future? Let me recommend the desert of New Mexico. The Sonoran desert is a fantastic place with so much to do. We only touched on the possibilities but I thought I would share them with you here.
We left the heat of Texas and headed for the heat of New Mexico. It really is a different kind of heat! We stopped in Carlsbad first to visit Carlsbad Caverns. Because we wanted to see the bat exit and hike the cave, we planned to stay overnight here. We saw the bats on Monday night. If you don’t want to hike the cave, it is free to see the bats. It was a good exit that night and it was exciting to see and hear. You could hear the bats wings with how silent the viewers were. Tuesday we came back and hiked the cave. It was a long hike for the girls down some very steep walkways but, now that it is over, they have fond memories of it and I am really glad we did it.
If you have never been in a cave, this is a good one to visit. It is accessible (via the hike or an elevator to the big room) and there are a lot of different types of formations in the cave. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I was thrilled to be back there after so many years!
We stayed near Ruidoso and enjoyed the comfortable weather. It was hot for there but compared to Texas, it was cool. No bugs. Lots of birds. Lots of flowers. Green due to recent rains. Lots of scar marks from the Little Bear fire that went through last year. But what a joy to just sit on the porch all day long enjoying nature and the beautiful earth we live on.
Thursday, we drove down to White Sands. It was hot but lots of fun. If you have never been to sand dunes that are not at a beach, you need to go. If you have never been buried up to your chin in the sand, you need to experience it. If you have never jumped or slid down the side of a high, steep sand dune, you need to. All this fun in the sun! (And for now, there are no pictures because my sweet sister took them all so I didn’t have to drag my camera up in the sand. I’ll get some from her and add them soon.)
The girls learned at lot, as well. At both Carlsbad and White Sands, there is a Junior Ranger program offered by the National Park Service. I highly recommend these programs at any place they are offered. The girls completed a set number of requirements, learning about the plants, animals, and landforms at each of the places. When complete, the ranger signed a certificate for each of them and gave them a patch from the place. A tremendous souvenir.
Sunday, we attended The Last Escape of Billy The Kid in Lincoln, NM. It was a play performed by the locals. We had talked with girls prior to the play about Billy the Kid and what he was known for. We talked with them about how some things are known for sure and some things are covered in legends regarding Billy the Kid, who he was, and what he actually did. It was a fun, though VERY HOT, afternoon. After the play, we walked the streets of Lincoln and walked through the building where Billy was held and escaped from. It is now a museum. We walked down to the torreon, where the settlers took cover from Apache attacks. We walked by the store and peeked in the windows to see the shelves stocked with era-accurate items. It was a fun afternoon.
There is so much more to do in those areas as well. We will be visiting the Living Desert Zoo in Carlsbad sometime in the future and going swimming in the Pecos River, I hope. In Alamogordo, near White Sands, there is a Space Museum and a zoo and twice a year, the White Sands Missle Range opens up the Trinity site for visits. All of these things I would love to do with the girls in the future. And that is just a small corner of New Mexico. For now, though, we are back. At Home.