After breakfast I did decide to drive around Cloudcroft a little bit to at least see what the town was like…Not much was open when I first got there but I did walk around a bit once I found what was either the “touristy” area of town or the actual downtown. By the time I walked around once the stores were open and things were getting busy. Yes…even the Western Bar had customers.
One area I drove through was the Lincoln National Forest in Alamogordo, NM….from the top of the hills I could see what looked like snow. It was at least 80 degrees out so it was unlikely to be snow. Though reception was weak I was able to google and find out it was White Sands. I had a new destination!
So, I put White Sands National Monument in Waze and off I went…turns out it was an hour away…in the wrong direction. Worth it! 🙂 275 acres of gypsum sand that looks like waves moving as the wind blows through…it was suggested to spend 2-3 hours there if you just wanted to drive around, play in the sand a bit and go to the visitor center. Because I was going in the wrong direction for where I wanted to be, I opted to stay for about an hour. It is beautiful! I got in free under a Senior National Park Pass…a gift from my sister many years back shortly after I “turned” senior. 🙂 It is about $25 but I heard it may have gone up.
Heading up to Santa Rosa I went through this town Ruidoso…there was a shop on the side of the road selling a lot of unusual things. I may have purchased an alien but my car already had chairs in the trunk and luggage, camera bag, and totes in the back seat but very cool kitschy kind of stuff. I guess it would have looked kind of cool traveling across country with me sitting seat belted in the passenger seat but someone might have decided to break the wind to take that handsome alien home!
Before leaving this funny spot I checked my apps to see what might be in Ruidoso and it turns out there was a spot with metal art horses called Free Spirits at Noisy Water at Ruidoso Downs…it was almost next door. I love horses…even metal ones! And these were spectacular. Note…the last picture should have been in the folder for Lincoln National Forest…aka Billy the Kid Scenic Byway…it runs through the forest.
Here are some miscellaneous images from the trip to Santa Rosa…mostly deer. They stopped to assess me when I pulled over but almost as soon as I raised the camera they started to scatter, not quickly but they certainly weren’t hanging around.
So…the day is nearly at an end. It is getting late as I pull into Santa Rosa. I drove by a billboard for a place called Joseph’s Bar & Grill. I no sooner pass that and a commercial comes on the radio for Joseph’s…and suddenly, there is Joseph’s coming up on my left! I’m not sure how far away my hotel is but I decided to get something to eat first and since the universe was pushing me to Joseph’s, I listened! Fun place! The menu is a 7-8 page newspaper so lots of choices but don’t tell them I told you this…don’t bother with the apple pie! Do you remember Table Talk pies? It tasted like that only drier!
My stay is for only this night…no surprise, a Hampton Inn. I will be moving on to Gallup, NM tomorrow with a few stops in the Santa Rosa area first.
I will be stopping to check out 3-4 places before heading to Gallup tomorrow. One of my favorite spots was the Blue Hole…be sure to come back for the beauty of this amazing spot!