Saturday, May 02, 2009

Black, White, Ghosts (towns) and Bears

We went to 2 very different parks. White Sands National Monument where the sand was so white it hurt to look at it until we put on our sunglasses. It was fun watching the kids on the disks sliding down the hill and the sand is always shifting and we spotted this art work it had created. We also went to the New Mexico Space Museum. All the rockets etc were tested here in Alamogordo.

Another day we saw the other park, the Valley of Fires and it's a BLM park. 44 miles of black lava flow. There was a geocache there which we found. We drove around and saw some lovely campsites and these antelope.
On the way there we went to Three River's Petroglyph's. There are 21,000 of them. We didn't take pictures of all of them.

On we went to check out Ghost Towns. Bob got a great book and we saw 3 ghost towns on a forest road. This was the school and also the dance hall. A little hard to dance on that floor. The last one, White Oak, is being refound by artists. We looked for a geocashe
at the "No Scum Allowed Saloon".
We were thirsty and went in to meet the owners from Florida and a few of the locals. It was a welcomed oasis for a cool one.

Then we went to see the Smokey the Bear memorial park and we were there on the day of their festival. Saw the museum and saw his grave. Yes, He was a real bear. Originally it was an ad campaign but then a 5# cub was found clinging to a tree after a forest fire in the area and he became the symbol. He was moved to the Washington DC National Zoo. When he passed away he was brought "home" to be buried. There was a subsequent bear that replaced him at the zoo but they no longer do that.

We continued our drive to Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs. Got a delicious surf and turf dinner at the race track casino and headed down hill back to Alamogordo.


Diana said...

I remember seeing Smokey at the zoo when I was a kid. I didn't realized they took him home to bury him.

ladynomad said...

Indianapolis Falls, MN, also claims Smokey the Bear and they also have a park dedicated to him.