Las Cruces, NM
Leasburg Dam SP
Ah, back into the warmth and sunshine. Finally. As we drive west leaving Carlsbad we head for Leasburg Dam campground just north of Las Cruses. It's a pretty drive with many mountains to drive past.
|The towns water tank was nicely painted.|
There was a little Visitor Center and playground.
Lots of little trails that wind all around the campground. Some have markers that tell you the names of the different cacti and bushes & trees.
|Interesting rig. Looks custom made.|
|This is what a typical site looks like.|
Our site, # 19. This is a small park and very, very well kept. Only two loops, all pull-throughs with W/E. Most will hold large rigs. Lots of privacy and space between sites. Again, only $14 a night. Right next to the Rio Grande River. It was dry when we were here though. They have a lot of little trails that wind through and around the park. Beautiful sunsets here!
|The Organ Mountains|
|Another nicely decorated water tower just outside of town.|
|While it doesn't show well, there was a large granite point |
to this range that I dubbed the "Hershey Kiss".
There was a small indoor museum and an outdoor missile display area. I'm not a big military fan, but I really find the missiles fascinating.
|This is an Oryx from Africa. They were introduced to the region at one time. There main predator was the African Lion. Since there aren't any in this area, their numbers have increased and there is now a lottery draw to hunt them.|
|The Fat Man Bomb Casing|
After the first plutonium bomb was tested at the Trinity site, the next
completed weapon was the Little Boy, which was dropped on Hiroshima.
|That's a lot of missiles!|
|The MK5 Guided Missile Launcher, 1977.|
The first and only medium range ballistic missile deployed by the Army.
|Athena, a single stage, solid-fueled rocket.|
It could reach 200 miles before descending.
|The Hound Dog was named after the Elvis Presley song and was|
the precursor to the Cruise Missile.
|Redstone was the largest surface to surface ballistic missile.|
|The Crossbow is a long range cruise missile designed|
as an anti-radar missile. It was home in on hostile ground radar systems,
dive at near sonic speed and detonate on impact.
It was the Army's only deployed nuclear armed surface to air weapon.
|F-4 Phantom Jet|
Steve used to work on the Electronic Warfare Systems when he was in the Air Force.
|Lacrosse was the Army's first surface to surface guided missile.|
|Honest John |
was a free flight rocket that carried an atomic, high explosive warhead.
|Huey Helicopter UH-1M|
|Another shot of the Hershey Kiss|
All that rocket admiring made us hungry. We stopped in a KFC for a quick bite and sat a bit with the Colonel. He wasn't much of a talker but looked pretty good for his age.
Later in the week we spent the day at White Sands National Monument. We used our National Parks Pass. It's $80 for a year and gets you into almost all National Parks, Monuments, Grasslands etc (can't be used for camp fees). A steal if you are going to be in a few as it can cost $25 or much more to get into one park.
|Sure looked like snow. They even have to plow it to keep the road passable.|
First let me say that my I-phone simply cannot capture the beauty of this place. The sand is so white and it's hard to capture the depth of field in the pictures. Some of these dunes are huge. Considering that it hadn't rained in a few days, we were surprised to find the sand somewhat wet and quite packed down in some areas. In others, it was soft and deep.
|Hurley loved it. He was on-leash but I dropped it while taking|
a picture and he just bounded up and down, having a ball. (dogs are permitted, but must be on-leash)
|These kids were having a great time sliding down the dunes on sleds.|
|Almost looks like a palm tree.|
And finally we wanted to visit the Museum of Space History and the Hall of Fame. It was a nice time. We're not huge space buffs but we still enjoyed it.
We liked the Hall of Fame a lot. It was very interesting to see which countries the astronauts were from, which flights they were on and what capacity they served.
First woman in space, first woman to walk in space and first American woman in space.
I was surprised that there were so many women who have been up in space. Here are just 3 of them.
It was a long day and on the way back home we stopped at McGinns. We sampled many flavors and walked through the gift shop. I chose the Dark Chocolate Habanero Pistachio Brittle. Very good. Steve couldn't make up his mind between the Atomic Pistachio Brittle, 3 Nut brittle and the Chili Pepper Pistachios. So he got all three.
|Worlds Largest Pistachio|
|Newly planted pistachio trees.|
I took this picture because the sun came out of the clouds just enough to shine on Alamo Peak in the Sacramento Mountains. It really doesn't show how amazing it was though. And of course having the phone line and RV park right smack in front of it didn't help either.
Next Up, spending time with RV Friends!!