Hildi leads us astray!

Today’s drive was an easy 2 1/2 hour drive from Deming, New Mexico to Alamogordo NM.  However, I wouldn’t categorize it as uneventful.  Al has chosen to allow Hildi to do the navigating.  Not wanting to get into an argument and second guess the wench, I leave the atlas in the backseat and leave the navigating to her.RV New Mexico

For those of you new to the blog and not sure who Hildi is you can click here for her story.

We leave Rockhound State Park in Deming, New Mexico, and continue on Interstate 10 toward the city of Las Cruces.

Hildi has us exit the interstate in Las Cruces and pick up Highway 70 where we encounter plenty of stop lights and road construction.  Way to go Hildi!  Finally we get around the city and we’re headed toward Alamogordo.  Traffic is light, winds are calm, and it’s a beautiful sunny day.

I can see tuffs of white sand dunes off in the distance.  Ooh, my excitement starts to build with anticipation as we get closer to a place I’ve wanted to visit for a very long time.  What’s this?  We need to stop?AlamogordoWhite Sands Why do these stops always make me nervous?  We watch the dog get a little excited around the mini van pictured top right and the driver was told to pull over into that spot.  RVingHmm, wonder what the little doggie smelled.  I nervously watch the dog as he quickly moves down the line totally uninterested in us or the RV.  Thank goodness.  After all, we have Colorado license plates (some places assume since the use of marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado, anyone with Colorado plates is in possession…. not cool).

We pull up to a guard and are asked if we are U.S. citizens? We respond, “yes” and are waved on. Thank goodness hubby kept his sense of humor in check and didn’t respond with a “Si, Señor”.  I sure would NOT want to find out exactly what kind of sense of humor these border patrol guys have.

After the inconvenient stop, we continue our journey and it isn’t long before Hildi has us making a right onto highway 54.  So far so good, but then she has us turn left a little too soon in my opinion.  There’s no brown sign noting Oliver Lee Memorial State Park and although paved, the road looks narrow – not what you would expect for regular state park traffic.  I recommend we not turn and that we shouldn’t trust Hildi.

Garmin GPS

Are you sure you want to trust Hildi?

Al turns.  We continue down this little residential street and when it ends Hildi has us turn right…. right onto a gravel road.  Mind you, we’ve traveled on rougher roads, but this is not what Al or I expected.

Oliver Lee

Hildi leads us astray!

We eventually make it to our destination:  Oliver Lee Memorial State Park.  We’re a little dustier and dirtier but no worse for the wear.  We get settled into an electric/water site with the help of our Lego leveling blocks.Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

RV parking in Alamogordo

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Alamogordo, New Mexico

I slap together a quick lunch rushing Al.  We have some exploring to do …..   I’ll do the driving and we’ll leave Hildi at home!

White Sands National Monument

I’ve long wanted to visit this place!

Camco 44505 Leveling Blocks – 10 pack
New Mexico Road & Recreation Atlas (Atlases)


59 thoughts on “Hildi leads us astray!

  1. It’s so bizarre that the GPS units sometimes take us on great (direct) routes and other times pull the shenanigans like yours did, with dirt roads/residential streets/etc. So weird!

  2. What a gorgeous view from you site! We bought a Garmin before our trip to VT this past summer and I have to say it only led us astray a time or two. 🙂 it actually was pretty helpful around Cleveland because there was bad construction and detours and it had us get off the turnpike and we questioned why but then realized it was taking us around the mess, which was a good thing. But we did learn if we questioned its directions it would be a good idea to check with the atlas! 🙂

    • She was very helpful navigating us around San Antonio. I think she does better in more populated areas as opposed to remote locations. I do normally double check with a map though 🙂

  3. We’ve thought about staying at Oliver Lee SP many times on our travels through Texas, but for one reason or other haven’t — after seeing your photos, we will definitely make it a point to go there! Love the photo of you dancing across the sand. 🙂

    • I think you guys would really enjoy Oliver Lee SP. There’s some nice hiking trails in the area as well. And then of course, you can’t pass up the White Sands NM. It is so worth going a little out of the way from I-10 🙂

  4. Our Randy also used to do that and as big and long that we are we can’t let him be in control. And when things go astray I usually let the driver make the call and I shut up…When we were there in Alamogordo, there were lots of constructions even right in front of our campsite.
    Anyway have fun at White Sand NP.

  5. Just 16 miles or so east of Alamogordo on US 82 is Cloudcroft, one of our favorite summer stops. In fact, we’ll be camp hosts at the Saddle Campground in the Lincoln National Forest this summer. It’s a beautiful area at 9000 feet. It’s a little cool up there by now though. Travel safe!

  6. Great shot of you Ingrid. Not sure if you’re ecstatic because you’re in Alamogordo or because Hildi got you there in one piece. We have 3 GPS systems & I don’t trust any of the Three Amigos completely. We use them, but like you, I always have my road atlas & truckers atlas within arms reach. Anyway, all that white sand looks beautiful. Enjoy your stay & looking forward to hearing more about your visit.

    • Thanks Gayle and yes I don’t think it wise to totally rely on those GPS systems ….. 3 Amigos LOL. Ecstatic because we made it to the campground unscathed and happy to finally make it to White Sands National Monument. New Mexico was a wonderful
      stop(s) 🙂

  7. The areas around Alamagordo & Deming and Oliver Lee & Rockhound SP — are among my favorite places for landscape photography in the US and are all filled with incredible and diverse beauty. I truly enjoy traveling along on these great adventures of yours which bring back fond memories and help me in creating next year’s photo shoot schedule. Thank you Ingrid. ~ Rick

    PS I saw the tile you chose for the RV’s kitchen and l-o-v-e what you’ve done to the place. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Rick. I’m awed by the state of New Mexico and it’s hidden beauty. I can see why it’s a favorite of yours. Always nice to hear from you 🙂

    • The camp host sites were available, but we opted for a site with better views (not that any of the views were bad). We really enjoyed the entire area and plan on stopping here again for a longer visit. And yes, the hiking was nice 🙂

    • Thanks for the recommendation. Our stay was way too short. We’re hoping to return and stay longer to take in even more of the sights 🙂

  8. Ours is dubbed Carleton..as in the Rhoda show..Maybe you’re too young to remember. I love the photo of you doing cheers in the white sand! So fun to go to places you have never been.. As for the Border Patrol’s sense of humor..they have none . We walked across the border at Roma (don’t EVER cross there), and on the way back across to the US I took a photo of the border crossing. The BP guy yelled at me and threatened to confiscate my good camera!. I guess I can’t blame them..Theirs is a VERY dangerous job!!

    • I tried to snap that photo really quick so the BP guy didn’t notice. It is a dangerous job indeed and there’s nothing funny about it …. but some people can’t help themselves 😉 Heading to Goliad SP tomorrow and can’t wait!

  9. After a few adventures finding parks I try to see what directions the park recommends. Hope to make it back to White Sands one of these days, such an interesting place to explore.

    • White Sands isn’t too far out of the way when heading to Phoenix. And we really enjoyed the drive from Apache Junction to Globe to Lordsburg and by passing Interstate 10 through Tucson.
      Hope you’re staying dry. The rain here in San Antonio hasn’t let up in over 24 hours….. grrrr! Wondering why we didn’t stay in AZ 😉

  10. I’ve had more than my fair share of bad navigators — the human kind. It’s not that the electronic are much better. Love when they tell me to make a U-turn in the middle of a downtown street. Like that’s going to happen without bringing home at least one ticket.
    Even so, with or without Hildi’s help, you sure are driving through some gorgeous scenery, 🙂

    • Yes, it is definitely beautiful country. I remember many years ago sitting in the backseat of a car, when the driver made a U-turn on a side street in downtown Chicago. A police chase ensued. Fortunately, all ended well and unscathed…. police never caught us 🙂 No U-turns in IL for me!

  11. Love the areas you’re traveling through! Not privy to the technology, a road atlas has always been my guide throughout. Unsure I want to give that up even if I could. Either way…enjoying your adventure through New Mexico on your way to my home state.

    • I too favor a road atlas although I must admit the GPS has come in handy from time to time. I am currently sitting in San Antonio housed in the RV as the deluge continues. Perfect time to get caught up with blogging 🙂

  12. Hildi… Ours is named Gertie, but she hasn’t seen much use lately. I, as the navigator use all means at hand and don’t rely totally on electronic means to get us where we are going. I love AAA maps… It’s the main reason I have a membership. And, during the last year, I have embraced WAZE for most navigating. It’s an iPhone or iPad app and is also accessed on your laptop. Limitation: only works with internet, when you have a signal. (Times like that, Gertie comes out.). Plusses: it saves you a lot of time and annoying slowdowns by updating traffic and hazards along your route and suggests changes to bypass them.

    The beauty of Waze is constant updating of any hazards and slowdowns along your route. Drivers, or passengers, send in updates about road construction, accidents, bumper to bumper traffic, etc they encounter and then Waze may tell you to change to a different route. We used it out west last year and this summer and Waze never steered us wrong. Give it a try, Ingrid, and check it out!

    • Thanks Holly for sharing the info on Waze. However, I’m always having to watch our internet data thus wouldn’t want to use too frequently, but I will definitely check it out. The GPS has let us down regarding traffic etc. so always good to have back ups. Thanks again 🙂

  13. Yep, GPS will steer you wrong from time to time. Good to hear you did not end up in a real tight spot.

    Say, while you are there check out Riverbend Hot Springs. just a quick trip to TorC and you will not regret it.

    • Yes, very glad we didn’t end up in a tight spot. We’ll need to check out Riverbend on our next time traveling I-25. We’re already in San Antonio…. wondering why we left AZ as the deluge hasn’t let up in 24 hours 😉

  14. Those border stops are always interesting. I hadn’t thought about the Colorado plates making them suspicious. Kind of like us with Texas plates crossing the Canadian border and being repeatedly asked about having guns on board.

  15. Oh dear Hildi did a no no… mine is beginning to smoke and scream at me… I’m waiting for her to say “Oh go to hell and do what you like” … she is getting tired of recalculating and asking me to do a U turn….

    • Oh my goodness…. sounds like you have quite the battle going on LOL. Technology can be so interesting. Sometimes good and sometimes not so much. Safe travels to you 🙂

  16. Ingrid, you handled this so calmly! I am sure I would have just gone with the argument by the time we got to the neighborhood. But you are right about State Parks being found off very strange roads.

    Enjoy your stay. Looking forward to your future posts on this beautiful area!

    • After 3 years with this RV, we’ve gotten into some hairy situations. Now it takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. I don’t freak out like I used to and since we weren’t on a gravel road on a ledge 200+ feet above a river with tight switchbacks, I had nothing to worry about. Ah, the beauty of experience LOL!

  17. Good thing you did not get into a tight spot. While you are there, consider a trip to Riverbend Hot Springs, just a 100 mile drive over to TorC, well worth it.

    • I tried to tell hubby ….. Next time he’ll heed that advice – look for the ‘brown sign’. All worked out in the end and it was a nice state park.

    • I’ve tried to visit White Sands NM the past 3 years and it’s either been scheduling or weather that has curtailed my plans. So yes, I was very happy to finally visit 🙂

  18. We visited Almogordo 3 years ago. it was a lot of fun and we visited the white sands and some of the sights in the area. We stayed in Las cruses NM and drove from there. If you havn’t already when in Las Cruses visit Mesilla NM the oldest town in NM.

    • Thanks Mel for the tidbit on Mesilla. No we haven’t visited yet so we’ll need to make a note of that on our way back through in the spring. We too had a fun visit to Alamogordo 🙂

    • We lucked out with one day of fantastic weather with very little wind and made the most of it. A very special place that we too loved 🙂

  19. Well even if that wench Hildi took you on the scenic route what you arrived to was stunning. I LOVE that last photo Ingrid. It could be a poster of ‘Happy Traveler’

  20. We visited the area when our son was stationed at White Sands and really enjoyed it, especially the NP. I look forward to learning more about the area via your visit. As a map person and seeing the routes the Garmin sometimes chooses, I never trust the route to it but like having it to remind me that I have a turn coming up and which lane I need to be in. Since it’s often not the turn I plan to make, we hear “recalculatiing” alot 🙂

    • I love maps and have been know to study a map of a new area. Thus, it doesn’t take me long to figure out my way around. I’m fortunate to have inherited my dad’s sense of direction and hubby ‘usually’ listens to me. We really enjoyed White Sands as well and were fortunate to have good weather during our stay 🙂

  21. Glad you finally made it ok, despite Hildi. lol White Sands is awesome! Looking forward to reading more about your adventure there.

    • You are so right about White Sands. I’d love to go back for sunrise. The next 2 mornings during our stay had gusting winds thus I passed not wanting to damage my camera 🙂
      We’re sitting on high ground in San Antonio and I’m so done with this deluge that I’m wondering why we left AZ 😦

      • Meant to suggest to you and others to follow Texas Storm Chasers at their website and or Twitter daily. They are now on the best place for weather updates, for sure. Have lots of advance notice for our area. Good luck!

      • Meant to suggest to you and some other winter Texans to follow Texas Storm Chasers at their website or on Twitter. They are very good and gave lots of advance notice on this storm, well ahead of our local weather guys. Good luck!

    • I did the trail along the creek first and then went part way up Dog Canyon trail. Next time through I’d like to get even higher. I got a late start and didn’t want to get caught as the sun was heading down or I would’ve gone higher on that ridge. We would stay at Oliver Lee SP again in a heartbeat 🙂

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