Monday, April 2, 2007

A New Home

Today we left Rock Hound.

It's kind of sad, we've been in this area for a couple of months and it is one of our favorites. Also, this means parting from our good friends Beth and Andy. Beth is going west and Andy is staying at Rock Hound, but we really want to see the Trinity site, so move we must.

We always think that we'll never find a place we like as well as the place we're leaving, but once we get on the road, a sense of excitement creeps in as we see new sights. The trip today was different from most in that a lot of the area we passed through is familiar to us. We left Deming, went through Las Cruces (a town we will explore further at a future date) then on to Alamogordo, then north.

It wasn't till we left Alamogordo that we were in new territory. And once again, that eagerness took hold. The desert is truly alive right now, with flowers everywhere. It's a subtle kind of beauty but one I appreciate more every day.

We are heading towards the Valley of Fire, a BLM park just outside of Carrizozo, New Mexico. This is still part of the Tularosa Basin, which also contains White Sands, but what a different landscape! We spent some time slowly rising in elevation and the greenery increased. Then we saw why this place is called the Valley of Fire.

We're camping on a lava flow that covers some 125 square miles and is 160 feet deep at the center. Rather than coming from an eruption, this lava originated from vents in the valley floor. It's a beautiful spot where we're camped. We're on a rise and off to the east is a lovely valley which is mostly grassy plains.

Off in another direction we can see Sierra Blanca a 12,000 foot peak which is a dominant feature for this whole area of New Mexico. There are also mountains in virtually every direction.

As we had noticed so many flowers, I was somewhat surprised to see that so much of he desert floor is parched and cracking. This is truly a remarkable environment.

When we arrived, we were excited to see that there is a very long paved walkway that winds across the lava beds to the west. We will take the hike in the next couple of days and hopefully, take some pictures for the blog.

Before we had a chance to explore further, once again the sun was setting, and as readers know, I can't resist a good sunset.

When we were at Rock Hound, I despaired of ever finding a spot with such sublime sunsets. After this evening, I think we're safe in that respect, at least a s long as we stay here.

As usual, I shoot too many pictures, but I have such a hard time choosing. Maybe I should call the blog New Mexico Sunsets . . .

This shot was taken out the front door of Cholula Red.

And here's a shot of the rig and the Tracker. I get the feeling we're going to like it here.

Life is good.

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