What an amazing day we've had.
This morning was just beautiful and we went out for a walk. All the cactus are blooming, it's a pretty impressive sight. Terry took this picture of one of the blooms out behind the rig. Remember that you can always click on any photo for a full sized version.
We continued our walk up into Dog Canyon, which runs into the mountains behind Oliver lee Campground. It's a lovely riparian zone running along a creek right here out in the middle of the desert. It's surprising to find lush green ferns, columbines and soft springy moss in an area so well known for heat and sand and cactus. The columbines are among my favorites.
These beauties are named Apache Plume and they are all over the desert. They're so delicate, it's hard to believe that they can thrive in this harsh environment, but thrive they do. There are areas where the whole desert takes on a soft pinkish hue due to these flowers.
Earlier this week, we took a trip out to the White Sands Missile Range Museum. Ever since we visited the Atomic Museum in Albuquerque, our interest has been piqued by the whole White Sands area. To reach the museum, you travel out in the desert and take a road for about six miles, at which time you reach the guard gate to the base. After checking in (bring your ID, car registration and proof of insurance or they won't let you on the base) we proceeded to the museum.
Outside the museum is a missile garden. It's hard to reconcile the beauty of the surrounding area with these missiles of destruction, but we've decided this is an important part of this countries history, so we are trying to take in as much as possible.
I liked this shot which shows small red planes and missiles, against these beautiful mountains.
Here's a close up of these tiny planes.
And here's a photo of Terry standing beside a real "flying saucer". The plaque for this one reads "Aeroshell Flying Saucer - This spacecraft was a section of the Voyager Balloon System which was launched near Roswell, New Mexico and landed on White Sands Missile Range. These bright shiny Areoshells projected an illusion of flying saucers. Aeroshell was designed for slowing down a missile for a landing on Mars. This display is believed to be the only one "in captivity."
So what do you think? Are these what started the whole Roswell Incident?
This morning, we got the chance to meet our new neighbors, two ladies named Kae and Cokie and their dog Bo. They are full timing in a 23 foot Pleasure Way and we've had a grand time comparing rigs and getting to know each other.
This afternoon, it got really warm (92 or thereabouts) so we all retreated inside with our air conditioners going full blast. All of a sudden we noticed that a hellacious wind had come up, a real rig rocker. It was pretty unusual since it was still about 90 degrees outside. Then all of a sudden, it started to rain, REALLY hard. It was so strange, the light was an unreal kind of yellow gray, the wind was blowing, the rain was pounding and it was still really hot.
Then, just as quickly as it started, it stopped . . .
We've gotten used to changeable weather here in Alamogordo. Off in the distance we can see White Sands. In the morning, it is almost always a serene sight, with the sands lying at the base of the mountains. Then in the afternoon, the winds start up and we lose the horizon, with a kind of fog obscuring the mountains. But instead of a fog, it's the White Sands, once again being kicked up by the winds. This is how the dunes advance blowing around a bit at a time. It's a pretty intense phenomenon, and one we enjoy observing.
With the drifting sands providing a daily show, we were surprised at the totally different weather show we got this afternoon, but that's not to say it wasn't enjoyable.
Finally, here's a shot that Terry took this evening. It's taken in the direction of White Sands. You can see the clouds that will undoubtedly bring a bit more rain, and also see the sands blowing. A wonderful sight, No?
We feel do much closer to the elements out here, it's like a never ending classroom, and we are eager students.
Our lives are indeed very good.