Thursday, April 17, 2014

Silver City to Alamogordo + White Sands NM

South on 180 was pretty uneventful, it looked like this, but four lane. Same with I-10
What do I like about all these long straight roads in AZ and NM that are two lane black top?
Anyways it was uneventful into Las Cruses where we stopped at Pepe's and had Mexican for lunch. Then we went on over the Organ Mountains. I thought I had enough gas to make it all the way to Alamogordo but after the steep climb up the pass, the mileage calculator said I was going to be short, so we turned around and went back to get some gas. Back over the pass. This time we got to see down into Las Cruses.

After we got gas, we drove back up the mountain and this time stopped at the overlook into the valley that contains White Sands Army base and White Sands NM.

The little town is White Sands Missile Range Army Base.

We stopped at White Sands Army Base and went to see the White Sands Missile Range Museum. I had the golden pass, my retired military ID and they let us through the gate with no questions asked. Wish I had thought about that sooner because we could have gotten gas on the base instead of driving back over the mountain. That's what makes it an adventure.
The German V2 rocket. It was the basis for the first rocket tests done by the military. It is interesting to note that Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, labored in obscurity from the government publishing papers that became the basis for the German's V2 rockets. Goddard worked right up the road and never received recognition for his contributions to rocket flight until after his death. 

Original rocket control and guidance panels.

The Patriot Missile System

We left the rocket park and headed east again towards Holloman AFB where we would spend a few days in the FamCamp area. We stopped at White Sands NM on the way to the FamCamp and Patrick got a Jr. Ranger Book and we looked at the visitors center. We saved the trip into the dunes for the next day, 4/10.

Patrick displays his Jr Ranger Certificate.

The camera didn't want to cooperate doing the panorama shot so we have a black bar at the end.
After we toured the NM, we went back to the trailer to hang out. There was a forest fire up in the mountain.

I took a nap and Patrick worked on training the dog to catch treats when he tossed them to her.


No comments: