On a side note, we left Wilson-the-volleyball at the Carlsbad KOA recreation center; he needs to move around and he’s difficult to carry around on hikes – I’m sure he’ll be happier there playing with the kids.
We headed out to boondock at the Tumbleweed diner in Magdalena through our Harvest Host membership (pretty much out in the middle of nowhere).
But first we decided to make a stop in Roswell to check out what all the hype was about. We decided to tour the International UFO and Research Center. Despite the kitsch most of us associate with Roswell, this center was well put together with extensive research on the Roswell incident and the ensuing cover up. It’s fascinating that this incident needed to be covered up – I mean really – it wasn’t War of the Worlds and if aliens landed and were just checking us out why all the fear?
The research and witnesses lent a lot of credibility to what happened and as far as we know it’s probably happened elsewhere. Otherwise it was a fun adventure along with an entertaining mock up – a lot of effort went into all of this!
We also decided to stop for a Sunday brunch at the Cowboy Cafe – if you are ever in town check it out – they also have dishes with my local favorite – you got it…..green chili! My choice with the “Alien Omelette.”
We proceeded to our final destination through more high plains still wanting to know what people did out in this rather desolate land. When we got to Magdalena and the Tumbleweeds Diner it certainly turned out to be a bright spot with it’s fantastic murals (note the spaceship that is ditched in the desert!). It’s about twenty miles from the Very Large Array (those big satellite dishes made famous by Hollywood) but unfortunately the visit center was closed so we decided to skip it.
We overnighted in the diner parking area which is pretty much just an extension of the surrounding desert, it was super peaceful and we were streaming the Oscars but even that connection gave up after a while and all you could hear was the breeze. In the morning we headed for Albuquerque and the Enchanted Trails RV park on Route 66. It was close to the I-40 but it didn’t affect our sleep – you will find that is the case with most of Route 66 which is basically the I-40 anymore.
We headed out early to get to the Petrified Forest with a stop in Gallup along the way. I wanted to check out the Perry Null Trading Post as it has authentic art and I know the Navajo work and help run the place. I found a lovely turquoise pendant to add to my collection; the piece is inlaid with beautiful silver work and stamped with the artist’s initials and authenticity. I wound up paying half price – I probably didn’t notice the sale sign. Collecting authentic pieces gets the funds back to the Navajo. I’ve gone into these other “trading posts” and have found southwest-themed merchandise made in India and China – no thank you!!
After two weeks touring New Mexico and all of its wonders we bid farewell. We have seen so much of this enchanting state and it certainly delivered. My only complaint would be the vast empty plains and the accompanying wind that was unrelenting, but the other endearing qualities along with the people certainly made up for it.
Thank you Santa Fe, White Sands National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, Shiprock, Bisti Badlands, and the Tumbleweed Diner for all the great memories.