If you are confused by my amazing title, I refer you to Part 1 of our New Mexico journey for an explanation.
While we were parked outside of Carlsbad, I discovered that if we swapped up our travel days and our route just a tiny bit, we could explore the burial place of Smoky the Bear. This is exactly what we did.
Part of changing up the travel route meant we got to spend the night in Roswell! It was so much fun driving into town and seeing all the alien statues, paintings, and figurines. We stayed the night in the Walmart parking lot, so nothing fun to report there. BUT, the Roswell McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts totally take the cake on knowing how to play to their audience. Of course, we snapped zero photos of this, so you will just have to travel there to see it yourself. Or spend time finding them on Google.
Smoky the Bear’s Burial Site
Our night in Roswell’s Walmart parking lot enabled us to stop here on our way to our home for the week! We only spent about 30-45 minutes exploring the small park where Smoky the Bear was buried, but it was neat. Covid-19 actually almost made it so we couldn’t get in. Apparently they are only allowing New Mexico residents in, but we got lucky and they let us in.
The whole town of Capitan, New Mexico totally plays into the fact that Smoky the Bear was buried there. The restaurants and street use his name. We were happy we got to stimulate the economy of this tiny town. Oh and the drive through that area was worth the trip. It was beautiful!
We stayed a whole week in this little town. It was a neat place to explore. We got to enjoy a brewery for the first time in a year. They had live music and 100% outdoor dining and all the tables were 6 feet apart too. The brewery was called, 575 Brewing Company. There beer and pretzel were good, but the food truck that served pizza was pretty terrible. It was still so awesome to sit down and drink a cold draught beer. The only image we have of this adventure is the pretzel piece and beer cheese.
We also had fun at our KOA campground. We constructed and painted a bird feeder, so we could feed the birds on our travels and get a better look at them. We also participated in National Flannel Day and National Cream Cheese Brownie Day. They fall on the same day (February 10) and pair so perfectly, I naturally had to make sure we celebrated.
White Sands National Park
The main reason for our journey to this part of the state was to visit White Sands National Park. This place was pretty spectacular. The sledding was a huge let down for us, though others have had great success. The 3-year-old mostly played in the sand at the top of the dunes, while the 6-year-old delighted in rolling down them. Looking out at the landscape, it is almost like you are in a completely different world. It is so different from anything we’d ever experienced before.
Three Rivers Petroglyph Site
While I loved White Sands, this was the real gem of the area. Seriously. There are over 21,000 petroglyphs in the area the trail meanders through and they are in plain sight and so neat to see. As we meandered the easy to navigate trail, we played “spot the petroglyph,” and then before we looked them up in the handy brochure, we tried to guess what they meant. I for sure had more fun than the kiddos. This is a place I would absolutely, hands down, venture back to.
Oh and this is probably the last place where my kiddos will wear these amazing matching hats. The 3-year-old’s hat somehow didn’t make it back into the truck. I have no idea what happened or how we lost it. But I am super bummed about it.
Salado Canyon Trail
Looking for something to do, I decided to hike into a canyon to find an old railroad trestle. It was a bit warm, the hike back was up a mild incline, and the kids were grumpy. But we found a small stream and the train trestle turned hiking bridge. It was a neat area and it was fun to explore.
After leaving Alamogordo, we ventured on down to Deming. We were planning to stay at a nearby state park, but New Mexico closed pretty much all the things to anyone who is not a resident of New Mexico. So our reservation was cancelled. At the last minute we booked a spot at Little Vineyard RV.
Some times things just happen for a reason. Little Vineyard was a delightful RV park and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a place in the area. They have a heated indoor pool (though the room itself is not heated, so its a bit cold getting out), they have a small playground, a rec room, nice laundry facilities, and friendly staff. Also, right outside our rig was a propane fire pit, which we oddly only enjoyed once. But it was a good time!
Anywho, fairly soon after we arrived, it snowed. The next day, the whole RV park was ice. So we just stayed home and played in the ice and snow. I wish I could post videos, because the kids loved slipping and sliding on the ice and it was fun to watch.
We also decided to make ice cubes outside by putting water and food coloring into our muffin tin. Then we set it outside and waited for it to ice so we could play with them. It was one of the cold weather activities I’ve seen on social media and hadn’t been able to do because we avoid freezing temperatures as best we can.
We also made orange juice snow slushies. Fun times all around.
Did I mention the heated indoor pool. This is pretty much where Doug and the kids lived every afternoon.
Because pretty much everything was closed off to us nonresidents, including all the trails within the state parks, we ran out of things to do pretty quickly. Deming is a small town. So I decided to take the kids on a tour of the local playgrounds. It was actually quite fun. We only made it to three before they were ready to go home, which surprised me. I thought we’d be busy all day.
And that is a wrap for New Mexico! AND even more exciting is I am now 100% caught up to our current travels! I am so excited to be sharing more current information with you all.
We are currently exploring the Tucson area of Arizona, so except a post on that next week!
CURRENT ADVENTURE STATS:
On the road: 19 months
Miles towing our home: 16,779
Campgrounds visited: 94
Breweries visited: 39
National Parks visited: 21/62
National Monuments/Seashores/Historic Sites/etc.: 9
State Parks visited: 28