Just for Fun

Our second day in Alamogordo, New Mexico, consisted of plenty of wind. Wind around here is normal and expected.  After all, it is the wind that helps form the sand dunes at White Sands National Monument.   That’s why I scheduled a minimum of a three-day stay in the area.  Weather is not always accommodating.Cloudcroft New Mexico

So just for fun, we headed off to the small mountain town of Cloudcroft.  Not only did we want to explore this little mountain town, Al and I wanted to check out the road to see if we would be comfortable pulling the RV via this route.  Several folks highly recommended against taking this road with the RV but we’re from Colorado and seem to be a little more comfortable with elevation changes and mountain passes so we wanted to lay our own eyes on the route.Lincoln National Forest

Our starting point was Alamogordo, New Mexico, at an elevation of 4,335 feet and our destination was 19 miles to the east.  Cloudcroft sits at 8,650 feet in elevation.  Thus there’s a 4,315 foot elevation increase in less than 20 miles.  Yep, that’s quite the pull and although there was nothing scary or intense about the road, we would probably avoid driving it with the RV just to refrain from straining the truck.

Ranger Station Lincoln National Forest

Can you guess what day we visited the Lincoln National Forest?

Once in Cloudcroft, we stopped in at the Lincoln National Forest Ranger headquarters (on Halloween I might add) to pick up maps and info on the area.  The campgrounds were already closed for the season and it was definitely colder than we anticipated.  As a matter of fact, colder than our hoodies would accommodate.  A quick drive around town and we were on our way back to warmer temps LOL.Old Apple BarnOn our return trip, we stopped at the Old Apple Barn.  It’s fall and anything ‘apple’ gets my attention.Cloudcroft High Rolls New Mexico

Old Apple Barn

The Old Apple Barn was a fun stop. Hmm, pie and coffee???

Back in Alamogordo our next stop was a pistachio farm. McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch was recommended to us by friends and this too turned out to be a fun stop.  There was plenty of sampling to hold our attention.

pistachios

This is one large pistachio!

McGinn's Pistachio Tree Ranch

First we started with the sampling of pistachios followed by wine tasting.  And of course, there were a few purchases made.New Mexico wineries

Our friends particularly enjoy the Chocolate infused Cabernet by Arena Blanca Winery and although good, we opted for a bottle of their red wine called “Outlaw Red”.  It’s a fruity red that is actually served chilled.

Back at camp, we made short order of the bottle of wine and bag of nuts.  The pistachios turned out to be some of the best we’ve ever eaten and we regret not having bought a larger bag…….  yet another reason we’ll be returning to Alamogordo, New Mexico.New Mexico wine tasting

Precision Kitchenware – Luxury Corkscrew and Wine Stopper Set – PK002
Keurig K130/B130 Brewing System

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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)