Travel Log 1/13/2019

Denver to Raton

jan 6

We left Cherry Creek State Park on Sunday, January 6 and traveled to Raton, New Mexico. It was a pretty easy drive. We stayed at the KOA campground in Raton.

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The park was pretty empty, as expected during the winter
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We had a section all to ourselves
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I’ve spent a lot of time in the west and absolutely love the wide open vistas and drier conditions

Raton to Albuquerque

jan 7

The windy conditions today (January 7) made for a little bit of a challenge. Nothing major, but we took it a bit slower today to compensate. We stopped at Blake’s Lotaburger for lunch. When we go to New Mexico, I always enjoy eating green chile cheeseburgers. Blake’s is a New Mexico chain which has them (and it was conveniently placed for a stop).

Our night was spent in an RV park operated by the Isleta Pueblo Casino south of Albuquerque. This was a very nice park that was landscaped nicely and had nice (but frozen, of course) fishing ponds.

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Each site has a covered picnic table pad. The park was only about 20% full.
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The fishing lakes are stocked and you only pay a modest fee ($5) for a tribal fishing license. I didn’t fish, but probably would if we come back this way in warmer weather. Nice covered fishing benches all around the lake and on the two islands.

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Albuquerque to Las Cruces

jan 8

On Tuesday (January 8) we completed our journey down to the end of I-25 in Las Cruces. We spent a week at the Hacienda RV Resort. It’s a very nice park in an area that we always love visiting (Old Mesilla).

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The sites are very wide and well-groomed. Each pair of pull-through sites are separated by privacy fences and shrubbery.
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They have a nice, long off-leash dog area!

Las Cruces Area

While we were here we explored several places.

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

This was the first national monument that I’ve been to that was not operated by the National Park Service. That’s a new learning for me. There are 130 national monuments operated under 8 different federal agencies. We didn’t do much there but just drive around. The government shut-down has, of course, hampered visitor access.

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Sunset a few days later

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Veteran’s Memorial

Las Cruces has established a very nice Veteran’s Memorial park.

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This wall listed every war since the Revolutionary war and listed the names of all New Mexicans who were killed or MIA.
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This was a sculpture honoring the survivors of the “Death March of Bataan
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This sculpture honors women in 6 service branches

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This is an amazing tribute to New Mexicans involved in the Vietnam War

Museum of Nature and Science

The city of Las Cruces operates four museums (Branigan Cultural Center, Museum of Art, Railroad Museum, and the Museum of Nature and Science), all with free admission. I was most interested in seeing the Permian trackways which are on display here, collected by Jerry MacDonald at Prehistoric Trackways National Monument (see separate section below).

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The museum also had several displays of local desert life.

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Clyde Tombaugh was a resident of Las Cruces. Clyde used math to predict the planet Pluto’s location and then was the first person to observe it.

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Clyde built his own telescopes and mounted this one on a lawnmower chassis for transport to local schools.

Prehistoric Trackways National Monument

Another National Monument operated by the BLM in this area is a wilderness area in which trace fossils from the Permian age (about 280 million years ago) have been discovered.

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The information signs tell about the trackways, but none are visible or accessible to the casual visitor.

Watch a youtube video about the guy (Jerry MacDonald) who has made the majority of the fossil discoveries here.

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Scooter loves going on “saunters”. John Muir is credited with saying, “I don’t like either the word [hike] or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not ‘hike!’ Do you know the origin of that word saunter? It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre’, ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”
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We didn’t get very far (because I pooped out), but this is definitely the time of year to “saunter” here. I bet it’s hot in the summer!
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The Rio Grande has very little water in it right now. It has been dammed and diverted a lot upstream. It is the 4th longest river in the U.S. (after the Missouri, Mississippi, and Yukon). Flow usually increases as water is released upstream in anticipation of snowmelt.

First Baptist Church Las Cruces, Sonoma Campus

We had the opportunity to worship with the congregation of FBC, Las Cruces. They have two campuses – one downtown and one in the newer suburbs northeast of town. We chose to visit the suburb campus. The pastor preached a very good sermon on Faith based on Romans 1:16-17.

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They had a nice gathering area outside the main lobby of the worship center…
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… with a gorgeous view to the east!

This week we plan to head into west Texas. We’re investigating the possibility of working for a few months as gate guards/keepers in the Texas oil fields. More on that later!

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