Down time

Day 13

After our time with the kids in Texas, we hit the road. My original thought was to stop in west Texas, half-way to our next destination, but we were making good time and Oma found a state park outside of Roswell, NM that we could reach before dark. Although it was a long travel day, it gave us time to check out Roswell for a few hours the next day before heading onward.

Day 14

We spent the morning in Roswell. It was a rainy day, so we spent much of our time at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, one of a handful of Federal Museums. Admission was free. The art was mostly modern, but they did have an exhibition of Peter Hurd and some Henriette Wyeth as well. Besides the art, there was also a large collection from Robert Goddard, the rocket pioneer, and an assortment of cultural displays. Well worth the time we spent, especially on a rainy day.

Apparently R2D2 also landed at Roswell and took over the post office
Apparently R2D2 also landed at Roswell and took over the post office

We did wander through town some, but the weather wasn’t extremely cooperative and it didn’t seem like there was that much to see. We did enjoy the mailbox at the visitor center. By this time it was noon, and we had to get out of our campsite before check-out time and hit the road so we could arrive at our destination before dark.

The drive over to Elephant Butte Lake State Park was a little rainy, definitely windy and mostly overcast, but the scenery was still pretty. We got in late, after going to the wrong campground, but managed to get the trailer parked just before dark.

Day 15-18
Looking across the reservoir
Looking across the reservoir

I had been nursing a cold / allergies / bronchitis since our trip down to Texas, and at this point it really caught up to me. For several days, I pretty much just chilled and worked on recovering. Which was too bad – there was a nice trail for biking and plenty of other things to do if I had been up to it. After a couple of days, Oma dragged me to a local doctor who basically prescribed more rest. Although just chilling at the campsite was not exactly what we’d planned, this was at least a very nice place to do it with beautiful views of the reservoir and mountains.

The entry to the Ralph Edwards wing of the museum
The entry to the Ralph Edwards wing of the museum

On our last day, I was feeling a little better so we checked out the museum in Truth or Consequences. This town (formerly Hot Springs, NM) changed its name in 1950 as part of the ten-year anniversary of the radio (later television) show Truth or Consequences. Ralph Edwards, the host, ended up visiting the city annually for the next 50 years and the museum has a Ralph Edwards wing that covers both town’s relationship with Mr. Edwards and the annual fiestas that are still held in early May.

Day 19
Part of the Very Large Array and the tracks that allow them to be repositioned
Part of the Very Large Array and the tracks that allow the dishes to be repositioned

Although far from 100%, the rest days had done me a lot of good and so it was time to move on to our first National Park of this trip. The drive over was mostly desert and was pretty easy. By chance, our route took us past the Very Large Array – twenty-seven large dishes that can be repositioned and function as a single antenna. It is quite a sight in the middle of nowhere. We did not have time for the visitor center, but we did take a few pictures.

By evening, we reached our home for the next two nights – a gift shop parking lot miles from the nearest city.

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