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Random thoughts and pictures from our travels in a LazyDaze motorhome.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Three Rivers Petroglyph

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The Three Rivers Petroglyph site has over 21000 petroglyphs, which is simply amazing. The Jornada Mogollon people produced the art over 600 years ago. The circle motif accounts for over 10% of the petroglyphs at this site. In Mesoamerica, the circle and dot is related to Quetzalcoatl, other researchers suggest the the dots represent corn or a population count.

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The artist often incorporated rock features into their work. Here, a rock nodule is a bighorn sheep’s eye.

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An animal pierced by an arrow, along with a bear track.

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Peace.

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The body of a bighorn sheep filled with a Mimbres-style geometric design and pierced by three arrows.

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Here, the rounded portion of the boulder is used to add dimension to the face.

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At work, chopping trees?

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Forked tongue…a pretense of things to come?

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Looking southwest towards White Sands. The site is a narrow ridge of rock about 150 feet high.

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Looking west, a shot of the Tularosa Basin with the lava field in the distance. When settlers first arrived, water was more plentiful than now.

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Looking east.

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The zoom on this camera is amazing. See if you can find this spot in the previous image.

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The parking area, room for five RVs, two with electric.

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With some magic manipulation, I was able to coax some color into this shot to aid in identifying this bird. Any ideas?

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A shot of the lave field from the west side, looking east at Carrizozo. We will be hanging here a bit longer, probably through the weekend. The SuperBowl is coming up and the rates are dirt cheap with our new Senior pass.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hanging around Carrizozo

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Taking pictures takes power. So, you need a battery charger, and a cable to plug in. I actually looked at the charger cable in the drawer, and wondered what the heck is that for. So, it still is in the drawer, back home. I rigged a fix.

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Today we did a short hike through the lava field. Since I look up a lot, I noticed these fine wavy cirrus clouds, probably around 35000 feet. You can see the small puffy development, almost like cumulus streets, but on a much much smaller scale.

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This the ropey lava, or pahoehoe (pa-hoy-hoy), Noctice all the colonizing plants. For small animals, mirads of places to hide and stay cool.

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Trees actually grow in the field, mostly junipers.

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The oldest plants in the field are the junipers, some 400 years old, not the dude though ;)

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A sotol plant. Illegal to harvest.

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After a snack of chips and salsa, we headed east to check out the mountains, and several small towns. This is a shot back toward the Tularosa Basin with the lava field just beneath the distant mountain range. We are around 7000 feet here.

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We continued on to Ruidoso for groceries, which is up in the pine trees near 7500 feet. We then took the road to Fort Stanton and Capitan. Near the fort we saw this cemetery, actually in the middle of nowhere, with two small signs. This is the only stone monument.

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It is dedicated to Merchant Marine Veterans. We still could not figure out the link as to why this cemetery was here, in New Mexico, hundreds of miles from anything merchant marine.

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This was its original Raison d'ĂȘtre.

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…and the connection finally dawned. WWII internment camp, including Axis Merchant Marine.

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I believe this is the parade ground, surrounded by buildings. This is looking southeast.

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Looking southwest. If you were an Axis prisoner, where would you run to? At this point in your career, why would you even try? On the way back through Capitan, we spotted a recommended eatery, which already had a filling parking lot. Also Capitan is noted for rescuing a badly burned bear cub in 1950, who eventually became known as Smokey and the mascot of the U.S. Forest Service. We did not see any bears, but did note school kids running home with happy faces.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valley of Fires

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This is another shot of Santa Rosa Lake from near the dam. The campground is just left center out of the picture. The low this morning was 8F and it was around 20F when I took the picture. New Mexico has an alluring beauty to it. On down the road…

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From Santa Rosa to Carrizozo is 120 miles. This little diner is in Vaughn, about midway. They are open 24 hours a day to support the railroad crews who sleep in the various small motels here. Otherwise, there is not much here. But, the food was decent. Elevation is pushing 6000 feet here along Highway 54, which we got on at Wichita, Kansas.

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This is the Valley of Fires Recreation Area, our camping spot for the next couple of days. Note we are all by ourselves, the way we like it. To the left is a large lava field, only 5000 years old, and the second youngest in the continental U.S. The youngest is around 3000 years old near Grants, NM. This is a very well maintained island surrounded by lava with 19 campsites. This view is looking northward.

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This is an east southeast view, looking back to Roswell beyond the mountain range to the right. Carrizozo is in the distance, about 4 miles. Distances in New Mexico are deceiving.

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A view of the lava field. The lava here is pahoehoe (pronounced 'paw-hoey-hoey") and aa (pronounced "ah-ah"). Both are basaltic lavas that are very similiar to those in Hawaii. The field is 160 feet deep in places and 44 miles long. Check out the links to get a view from space. In the foreground you can see a walkway into the field.

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This is a view to the west, and to a location just across that mountain range, 30 miles away, the first atomic bomb was detonated. The Trinity Site. Due to budget cutbacks, you can only visit it once a year now, instead of twice a year. Since I was born in Las Vegas, NV, while above ground nuclear shots were still common; I would like to visit the site, but you have to wait until the first Saturday in April. That valley has an apt name, Jornada del Muerto (Spanish for "single day's journey of the dead man" hence "route of the dead man" was the name given by the Spanish conquistadors.

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The kid on her way back from dropping off our camping fee near the entrance.

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I believe that is Carrizozo Mountain around 9000 feet. The town of Carrizozo has quite an interesting history. We will be checking it out!

Monday, January 27, 2014

BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Yes, we are back!! I know, I know, its been a coon’s age. Tell you the truth, I fell out of love. Yes, folks, love of taking pictures and writing about it. There is more to it, but heck, its boring. So, we have been racing out of the midwest ahead of a butt-cold airmass. Our home plate had a high today of 1F. The front caught up with us last night while camped in southwest Kansas at Meade SP. Rocked the rig for awhile. This pic is on I-40 just west of Tucumcari. Carla took the shot through the dirty windshield. I tried to talk her into hanging her head out the window, but the temp was around 22F. No guts.

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A shot looking north. The vegetation has shifted from crap brown short grass and brownish dirt in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles to cacti, short greenish-brownish shrubs, near dead Mesquite trees and more golden brownish short grass and reddish dirt. But, the terrain is interesting. Oh, lots more rocks! If I had to live in the panhandles of TX and OK, I would live underground. Just depressing IMO, except for the stratospheric summer thunderstorms!

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We left Meade SP before sunrise, so we had been on the road long enough. Thanks to New Mexico State Parks for providing a convenient stopping point at Santa Rosa SP. This is actually a US Corp of Engineers lake. Sorta reddish brown water color, but the lake seemed fairly full! We wanted to travel farther down the road where it was forecast to be warmer, but our butts said otherwise. A low of 10F tonight.

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Our lonely campsite with Skye and Pilot. Skye turned 106000 miles just before arriving here. She keeps on rolling.

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My better 5/8ths. We had just returned from a two mile walk along the lake. Its about 34F with a breeze. Balmy for us. It will be interesting to see what the morning temp will be in the rig. Stay frosty!