When the confusion of the first months after birth began to pass, and we were again able to perceive their environment not only from the standpoint of "feed-wash, change clothes," habitually knocked in the head the idea of traveling. Traditionally, Christmas and New Year holidays we spent outside the home. And this year did not want to make exceptions. Well, what if in the hands of us now was the chest baby. Not only that if people travel with such crumbs ?! Of course, had to be postponed for the time settled style of "savages-in-exotic places," still babe was still too small for extreme feats, and we would greatly worried.
Having estimated that some may need to travel, it became clear that aircraft flights are canceled. In the "right" things for the baby I have exactly 23 points, and was somehow doubtful that any airline permit to transport everything planned. Another thing is that most of the things we nafig not needed, but the trip seemed to need everything. Thus, we gradually come to the concept of the cruise.
Yes, I know that before we see this kind of holiday is absolutely unacceptable for themselves, preferring to plan trips on their own, without the obsessive group excursions. But in the present situation cruise seemed a good alternative, especially since the recent suburban Houston - Galveston, steel ships float in the Caribbean waters. That is, we did not have to go by plane to the harbor, which in itself is a huge plus. All would be nothing but a well-established habit, I went to stock information and useful tips on the Internet, namely cruise forums. And it played a crucial role: after studying there the same time, I felt sick. No, not so, and vomiting. People actively discussed types of animation on the ship, some vulgar competitions, shows; asked how you can have fun company of 9 people relatives. It was so far from the rest, to which we are accustomed, and gravitated, which caused an instant reaction of rejection. I do not exclude that in the future (maybe) we still swim in the cruise, but while it seemed very big step down.
Once in the upset of the Internet, I began to think about how to teach the nicest husband thought that the ship we sail but everything happened by itself. With the cry: "I knew that you zabrakuesh cruise" - husband gave: "So we're going on vacation
RV!" - RV ??? !!! These big clunkers, which romp American retirees ???!
- That's it !, - happily said her husband, and began to list the pros of such a journey.
First, you can stop wherever and whenever you want, and feed a child under normal conditions. Secondly, we wee refers to the mind to go to sleep with a half-turn in the car seat when driving on the highway (less traffic, mother!), And can be in the butt a few hours. On the ship, most likely, would have it most of the time in the cabin. Third, we are seriously save on hotels and at the same time could take all the things on my list (and even more), without having to worry about the weight of luggage. Fourth: at the time, we nakolesili US tens of thousands of miles, watching and studying 34 staff. Although recently preferred to travel to South America, but not forgotten that experience, which begins - from US roads.
The more we studied the issue of RV, the more light up this idea. On Netflix and w-tube were watching the video and movies from the fact that such a beast RV, what it eats, and how to care for it.
RV - Recreational Vehicle, and simply - "home on wheels", are very different in the first place in size. We chose a cross: 88220 & model; Sunseeker "(" Sun Seekers "), 26 feet (8 meters) in length, with six beds, some of which had planned to use a rather big luggage (remember the list of the 23 points :). Inside the mobile home was equipped with everything necessary: hob, extractor, microwave, coffee maker, refrigerator with freezer, TV, DVD player, toilet, shower, heater, air conditioner, weight lockers.
Interior RV: bedroom.
Rent cost $ 90 a day, and trailers have not in all offices. Ie can not be so out of the blue to come to the nearest office of "Hertz" or "Budget" and said, Let me hire camper. Her we ordered at the beginning of November, in a small private company, "Smith RV Rentals", located in the north of Houston. The guys were very polite and professional, explained the different nuances (eg the fact that the central rear-view mirror in the RV - practically useless accessory, you need to get used to focus only on the side mirrors), and after an hour lectures manual was released to the world. To control the right RV special category do not need quite normal.
There was the big question: where are we still going? We had to decide - or east through Louisiana to Florida, or to the west, across Texas to New Mexico. And there, and there we already happened, not even once, but the choice was made in favor of New Mexico. Back in 2003, it was possible to visit Carlsbad Caverns in the south of the state, but the further north we do not climb.
Beautiful still thing Google Earth! How much easier it has become now plan trips, you can not even use the guides. For several weeks, in the evenings, after putting the child, we wandered through the virtual New Mexico, looking at the strange pictures, estimating distances and polishing the route. We have been 2 weeks, which should be enough not only for the detailed study of New Mexico, but even nip a piece of southern Colorado National Park Mesa Verde. By the way, in Colorado, we never were, somehow managing to go around his side, so he did not miss the chance to add this mountain state to your list at number 35.
As always, the focus of the journey made in the natural component, intending to give full-time national parks and reserves, only slightly hooked capital Santa Fe and Roswell alien. Thus, the route to New Mexico was like a big loop to go clockwise, and a small "eye" in southwestern Colorado. Route (2,880 miles): Carlsbad Caverns (Carlsbad Caverns National Park) - White Sands (White Sands National Monument) - the town of Truth or Consequences - Elephant Butte Lake State Park - reserve "Les Apaches" (Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge), shooting Sandhill Crane - superheavy masses (Very Large Array, radio telescopes) - town of Cortez (Colorado) - Mesa Verde (Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado) - Heath Bisti Wilderness - Santa Fe - Roswell - the road across Texas in Houston.
New Mexico - one of the eight mountain states of the USA bordering the south of Mexico. The landscape is diverse, from the broad desert and rugged lava fields to high snowy mountain peaks. The northern part of the state, despite the drought, is covered by forests, while the southern presented steppe and desert flora and fauna. Traveling to New Mexico in the winter from the bottom up, we gradually moved from the golden autumn with its comfortable 12-15 ° C, up to the present snowfall and sub-zero temperatures in the north.
The roads were all decent quality, even minor and groundwater in the reserves. RV good to keep the speed of 70-75 miles per hour, consuming gasoline at 10-12 miles per gallon. I was surprised to learn that it appears to most US gas stations have an upper limit on the purchase of gasoline at the pump, without painting. That's $ 75. In everyday life, with, of course, did not face. Yes, gasoline burned at $ 600. I want to warn you that almost all offices rental RV, there was a limit on milyazhu. In our case, provided 100 free miles per day + Free 8 hours a day on the generator. For every extra mile took over 25 cents. If you rent by the week, then provide some discounts.
Overnight, too, no problems were observed, even variants are possible:
a). Stand where you want, such as any of the rest areas along the highway. Without connection, but free. On some Freestuff have wi-fi;
b). Overnight in state parks (State Park). Costs about $ 15-18, with a connection to the light, water. Sewage is not usually at each site, and one for camping (dump area);
c). Overnight camping in a civilized system of KOA (Kemping of America. Remember: it's not camping. It's Kemping). The most expensive option, $ 30-60. At each location there is a connection (hook-up) to water, electricity, sewerage. Free internet. At very advanced KOA pristutstvuyut cafes, swimming pools, filling propane (needed for heater);
g). Numerous private RV parks (trailer parks) in cities and towns. A standard set of services, prices - slightly lower than the KOA.
But with the food was all the more easy, the kitchen somehow brought with them, prepare what you want. But of course, it would be a sin not to join the local culinary traditions.
While living in neighboring Texas, we have long been accustomed to so-called Tex-Mex (Tex-Mex) - adapted version of many Mexican dishes to South American tastes. However, the New Mexicans are proud that they have adopted a real "Mex-Mex", without any concessions there and discounts. The main element of the local cuisine is, of course, chili, also called "Hatch chile" after the city in the south of the state, the center of pepper industry. When harvested in the green chili stage, it is fried, and then frozen to be used in the future as a whole chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers), or cut into pieces and pyuriruyut for sauces and as a basis for the traditional green chile stew (ragout of green peppers) .
The rest of the fruit is left to mature, then dried in the sun, which is why they are dark red and leathery. Dry red chili pulverized, or strung on a rope (the design is called "ristra"), to further consume salad dressings and marinades. In this regard, the standard question in the New Mexican restaurants when ordering food: "Red or green?", I mean "What variation prefer red or green?"
Chile local cooking usually always goes paired with someone of Indian trinity: corn, squash or beans. Plus, the added another New Mexican favorite product - sopaipillas - small squares of dough, which swell as pillows during heat treatment. From main dishes they eat a bit of sugar as bread, and dessert simply pour honey. Well, the official state sweetness - bizcochitos, small biscuits with cinnamon, is also worthy of mention.
How did it all taste chilli variety, if you hardly even carry a light hint of pepper in my mother's borscht? You can seize sour cream (Texas version, local pomorschatsya). Also help the above sopaipillas, starch, which quickly absorbs some of the chili oil. But in any case, do not drag to the glass with water, it will only make worse, different hot peppers around the mouth. Better "Margarita". Or two. Or even three, after which you have asked to add "pepper";-)
So, after finishing with the planning process, we drove home, RV, and then download it for two hours. Many things, especially kitchen utensils like pots, pans just moved from home kitchen cabinets right into RV-shnye, nowhere packaging. The same fate befell linens, toiletries, but almost all things. Very fun to go on vacation without luggage! Child car seat was attached to the dining section that flick of the wrist turned more into a single bed, it is - a game for the baby. There were doubts on the bill, whether to take a full-size chair for feeding. But as space allows, and seized him, that certainly make life easier.
In fact, for the child we really useful only 2 (two!) Things, of course not counting the diaper wipes, diapers, raspashenok. This nibbler and Baby Bjorn. With a shove nibbler piece of banana or pear, could provide a relatively quiet 20 minutes to eat or do something urgent, without being distracted by screaming children. Well favor Baby Bjorn simply can not be overestimated, it is necessary to put a monument to the inventor. Can wear it and dad and mom; he perfectly captures the baby on the breast, while maintaining good back support (we model Synergy). Wee can move your head from side to side, studying the world around us, and when tired - it simply falls asleep in a normal, not gnarled pose. So much so, that we are for all journey only once used the stroller for a night out at one of the campgrounds. And then, in theory, it was possible to do without it. And so, all the time Baby Bjorn.
Finally, at five o'clock in the evening, the wheels of our home-mobile rustled on the 10th highway to the west, towards the border with New Mexico. The road was very familiar, I even find it difficult to say how much time we spent on it. Steer decided to 5-6 hours, and then get up for the night at the first decent recreation area (rest area), which would be the icon "24 Hour Video Surveillance" ("round the clock surveillance") just in case. This is the budget option, since you do not pay a penny at all, but had to spend their own water and electricity. Trailer driven into the same part where truckers sleep in their trucks. One of them was included engine all night that lacked a little, but slept more or less, let alone a child say nothing at all - it is still a place to sleep, as long as my mother was there.
In the morning, tried in cooking stove, microwave oven, electric kettle - all functioned perfectly. On the sides are still stretched Texas, working with neftekachalkami, windmills, and vast expanses. The speed limit has increased to 80 miles per hour (130 km / h), but for trucks and trailers remained "pathetic" 75 mph. The town of Fort Stockton arrived completely without tension, but instead of the usual turning south to Big Bend, took the opposite direction to the north of Carlsbad, located in the New Mexico.
Stretched around the desert of rubble, pretty studded with cacti and yuccas. Highway raced straight, occasionally passing through the abandoned settlement with the US the common name "ghost towns" ("ghost towns"). Leave the city - the category of geographical features, the former settlements, residents abandoned for various reasons: because of the downturn in economic activity, wars, natural or man-made disasters. In contrast to the Ghost Town, ghost towns to retain most of its architectural appearance; buildings and infrastructure objects are in a state close to the time when the city was abandoned. In the CIS examples of such settlements are Soviet town of Chernobyl and Pripyat, Halmer-U and about 20 cities in the north of Russia. In the US, the most famous Lost Colony in North Carolina and Bodie, California.
At the border states welcomed the merry green sign "Welcome to New Mexico", and after it was replaced and the road surface - from the bustling concrete on the quiet rustle of asphalt.
The first control point of the route was listed National Park "Carlsbad Caverns", the study of which was planned for the following day. Today, we just wanted to move as close as possible to it, to spend the night at the nearby White's city. The idea is that the town this - a typical provincial hole, with a dusty museum - a collection of junk, mediocre restaurant, gas station with high prices ($ 3 per gallon, despite the fact that everywhere for $ 2.49), and a gift shop that fall under the capacious definition of "hlamolavka."
At the hotel "Walnut Inn" could accommodate RV, which we did, paying $ 30 with connection to water, sanitation and power. In the lobby, by the way, was caught free wi-fi.
By shifting the inevitable attack by the staff and some visitors away under the motto "a-hto-is-here-we-have-a-halёsenky-sitting", walked for some time in surroundings, scaring a couple of deer and large, tailed fox in cacti. Dinner in the trailer as a white man of good home-made food, and sleep. Tomorrow we go down to the caves.
Day 2. Route: study Carlsbad Caverns - moving to Alamogordo - White Sands night.
It's nice, after all, traveling with their own kitchen! Literally from the first days we loved RV-shnye breakfasts. Imagine a window in the car still flecked with frost at night, and you're inside, tёplenkie, just waking up, for both cheeks tuck into hot steaming buns, washed down with a generous cup of coffee or tea. Lyapota! And when the windows go in search of deer food morning, becoming quite good.
Prior to Carlsbad Caverns was only 7 miles on a fairly winding road, which, however, RV defeated without problems. Left him on a special parking for caravans along the curb (yes, I'm from St. Petersburg;-); little girl dressed in a favorite backpack Baby bjorn (with strollers in the park can not), and by paying $ 6 per adult, rushed into the cave. Price, incidentally, has not changed since our last visit six years ago that pleasantly pleased. If the last time we went down for a long time under its own power through the branches and crannies with bats, then this cost high-speed elevators, which for a moment lowered into the ground on 75 floors. The child is, of course, did not like, but saved the situation Ranger Park, who was present in the cockpit. She advised a little pinch baby nose, and whisper in your ear "shhhhh ...". It worked without a hitch.
In the caves we were not in season (December), there were very few people, so nobody can fumbled, take your time and do not stumble on a tripod. Chose the simple route around the perimeter of the Great Hall (Big Room) counterclockwise, and calmly walked for two hours in relative silence (the child fell asleep in 10 minutes), broken only by the occasional releases the shutter cameras. Excerpts equal to 8-30 seconds, and certainly under the ground without a tripod to shoot completely pointless. Illuminating the stalactites built-in flash, you may get a faint image nozzle-jelly hanging from the ceiling, without the scope and depth of the shadows that are important in the cave photographs.
In the early 19th century, the cave opened local settlers, seeing bats somewhere departing in the evening. People immediately realized that just have a mouse with wings, there must be a waste of their life, that is guano, which can be sold for good money by selling it as a natural fertilizer.
Much later, one such guano-diggers became a cowboy named Jim White. And let his hands were stained in ... this very essence of cowboy pushing the exploits. Jim began to explore caves, meter by meter, step by step, the clock disappearing underground. Cowboy told friends about the strange beauty of the cave, but few believed him. Exactly as long as one White, Ray Davis, did a series of black and white photos in the ground. These photos of the town of Carlsbad in 1915, created a furor. Willing to look at the wonders of the underground became rife, and Jimmy turned into a first guide through the caves, that not expecting. His group, he descends into the Big Room in the same basket, which previously drew guano :)
In 1923 Carlsbad dungeons were declared a national monument. Jimmy White, who went on to explore the cave for most of his life, became its first ranger. And seven years later was established and a national park.
Stalactites and stalagmites tinted with green, yellow, white, blue. The Rangers still swear that the lamp does not embellish the underground education, they say, because they reflect light. Totems, columns, bottomless hole - all present in abundance.
There were also unusual formation. For example, "Niche with popcorn." Funny balls on icicles - aragonite, unstable phase of calcium carbonate, which is for a period of 10 million years is altered to calcite.
Or "Lily pads" - mushroom-like stalagmites, "living" on the surface of small reservoirs. Invariably attracts the eye and giant rock Rock of Ages, coated and from "mycelium" in the manner of oplyvshey candles.
In fact, these caves are much more than you can imagine. In the same Big Room calmly put several transatlantic airliners. But let underground is not everywhere. There are special sections, which can be accessed only with a guide. And there are completely closed to the public places where specialists from NASA arrange experiments on the human psyche in abnormal conditions. But also those areas where allowed to go quite dazzling.
In this it was time to finish our underground adventure. At the output of a group of tourists counter nodded at the sleeping baby: "You'll have to take it again." Yes, we are happy, it would be a desire on the part of the child :)
Once on the surface, easy to lunch at his house without getting tired to enjoy the convenience of movement in the house-on-wheels, and headed for the city of Alamogordo (168 miles).
After Artesia highway made a sharp turn to the west and flowed beautifully among the mountains covered with a thin layer of snow. On the slopes it here and there flashed chalets, and the whole place is inspired by fond memories of the Italian Alps, where we were just in December a few years ago. Began slopes, small, 4-6%, but nevertheless took them to downshift. Permanent warning signs about the possible presence of deer is also not allowed to relax. In the area of the ski resort of Cloudcroft (2,600 meters) on the side of the highway was actively trading mountain apples and hot cider that had to be very helpful.
In Alamogordo we entered a big way, right from the mountains to the plains, where a half-hour before sunset. In the same way, passes and temporal boundaries - mountain time zone. For most tourists, the city is just a transit point when visiting the reserve "White Sands" and the former landfill in Alamogordo, where he was made first in the history of mankind atomic explosion in 1945 (let visitors only twice a year - on the first Saturday April and the first Saturday of October). The city is full of military, as located in the vicinity of two major US military bases: Holloman AFB nebezysvestnaya and missile range "White sands".
Nowhere without stopping, we flew straight toward the "White Sands" in the hope of capturing them in the last rays. Money for entry into the territory of the reserve is not taken, and understandably so, because 20 minutes later it became quite dark. But a couple of shots already done, and wonder, how is it that the gypsum sand like the snow, especially when spread along the road under light wind gusts. Necessarily have to come here in the morning!
Back in Alamogordo found on the GPS nearest RV-park in the city center. Office when it was closed, but offered to fill out a short questionnaire to make $ 30, and throw the whole thing into a special box with a slot to pick up a ticket payment. Then allowed to stand on any available space, and connect to water / electricity. I must say that on arrival in the RV-camping, on a piece of paper entry (car pass) is normally present such an inscription: "This park is inspected at 5 am each day and occupants of all vehicles without car passes will be awakened for payment" ("This Park inspected at 5 am every day, and passengers of all vehicles without an entry pass will be awakened to pay ").
In general, as you may guess, in addition to those methods overnight while traveling on RV, that I have listed in the first chapter, is added as follows: if you go to the parking lot when the office is already closed (usually open until sunset), and leave before dawn, before dawn, it really sleep for free, with the connection to the benefits. Naturally, it's not fair and ugly, but nevertheless this is a loophole there. And to use it or not - decide how conscience allows.
By the way, there is such a moment: if the advertisement RV Park mentions the word "internet friendly", it does not mean that you will have free internet. The inscription should be understood that there is internet, but you have to pay (usually $ 5 per day). That is, unless otherwise indicated "free internet" or "free wi-fi" count on a freebie is not worth it.
The time was still early, around 9 pm, but with a small child has to consider his regime, and not to light up to three nights, as in the past Times;-) But in the morning and get up more easily, which can be very useful: White Sands at dawn promised to make a lasting impression.
Day 3. Route: White Sands Reserve - Truth or Consequences - night on the shore of the reservoir Elephant Butte Lake.
Reserve "White Sands" (White Sands National Monument) was the second of the obligatory places to visit during our trip to New Mexico house-on-wheels. And if in Carlsbad Caverns, in which out of town the day before, and have ever been before, the white sands, as well as all further route became an absolute novelty.
In the park arrived at dawn (yes, with the baby for a long time you must lie not;), but to get to the territory could not, because path is blocked by a barrier. Minutes through 15 show car ranger who keeps track of the order in the area. Decided to exploit the situation by persuading aunt to discover us park for half an hour earlier than usual, arguing that desperately need to take photos of dunes with the right lighting. Ranger pretty quickly agreed, saying only to pay for entry ($ 3 per person) on the way back to the info-center. Thanking the good woman, we slowly entered the realm of white sands, still untouched by any wheels cars, no human footprints in the early morning.
Photograph white dunes is best at low sun at dawn or at dusk, when the shadow of the most beneficial stress relief sands. If you are using the default camera settings, the dunes are likely to get gray, the camera in such conditions is readily mistaken. Treated is very simple - one or two stops overexposure. And if we cheat a polarizing filter, and then the sky "does not fail," and will stand out nicely through volumetric clouds and rich, delicious colors.
Sand in the reserve White sands are so white that the photographs, many people take it for snow. Ordinary gypsum (calcium hydrogen sulfate; CaSO4 • 2H2O) is rarely to be found in the form of sand, because it is very soluble in water. Rain and snow washed away from the mineral stones in the surrounding mountains, carrying it through the valley of Tularosa basin. Under normal conditions, the dissolved gypsum would be carried away by the waters of the sea, but no Tularoze rivers. Therefore, water with gypsum and other sediments trapped in the basin.
In the rainy season gypsum deposits are modified to selenite - beautiful crystals with an iridescent sheen. And then, under the influence of a succession of weather conditions in the form of freezing, thawing, wetting and drying, selenite crystals are broken down into particles the size of a grain of sand, and then easily carried by the wind in all directions. So formed gypsum dunes.
Once you reach the end of the 8-mile road through the park, known as Dune drive, we decided that it would be nice to walk along one of the trails by the result Alkali flat trail. Before going on this path should be noted in the log (attached to a small pole) - how many people, and when gone. In the park there have been cases where people have lost among the dunes. Now the trail is marked by orange posts edges higher, but because wind constantly moves the sand, on the pylon rely entirely impossible. Better use of GPS or clock with compass.
Than further away from the parking lot, the less vegetation. Park and so it can not boast too much, still pretty harsh conditions for wildlife. Even the plates placed in rare shrubs, such as at the Abron (Sand verbena). In winter, of course, we did not see colors, but they look like during the spring bloom could be seen in the picture.
To walk on the white sand is very easy, it's pretty tight, the legs do not fall much. Soon saw before him a kind of gypsum rock: this is some enterprising bush zahapali more sand entangled its roots, and now in any did not want to part with such a "house".
Periodically swept over the head of military aircraft. The northern part of the park given to the military under rocket range. When there is a carry out tests (quite often), then Highway 70 overlap, should be checked in advance.
When the sun was quite high, and photogenic shadows began to disappear, turned back. White sand sparkled better than diamonds after cleaning with the jeweler, and mercilessly beat on the eyes.
Wee quiet, peaceful snoring in the cold air, prigrevshis under a jacket in the saving backpack. An hour later, the path for the next dune seemed roof RV, harmoniously blended into the surrounding color. After a morning frost promenade soul asked pancakes with hot to tea, coffee, chocolate, and this was easily done. What a pleasure to travel with your own kitchen!
Awesome breakfast with a gorgeous view of the dunes, we took the opposite course, slowing down a couple of times in a particularly scenic spots. People explicitly added that the park that the info center where honestly paid the promised Ranger $ 3 x 2.
Develop practical maximum speed for RV 75 miles / hour, quickly overpowered section 70 of the highway passes through absolutely desert, framed on the sides of the mountain range. Periodically top slyly winking glass telescopes through which fighters tracked their missiles launched from the landfill White Sands Missile Range.
Control point of the route was appointed city Las Cruces, is just 40 miles from the border with Mexico, at the intersection of Interstate I-25 . This Interstate laid almost parallel historical path El Camino Real (Royal Road), built during the Spanish colonial period for trade between Mexico and Santa Fe. Basically, it transported by animal skins and silver in the center of Mexico, with subsequent transportation to the seaports. In 2010, the Mexican section of El Camino Real, the length of 1400 km, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In principle, the 25th highway is not much would be different from their counterparts, the road and the road, if not a huge amount of warning signs the dangers of drunk driving. From stukacheskih "Report drunk drivers" ("Report on drunk drivers"), to anti-motivating: "Drink, drive go to jail" ("drunk - got behind the wheel - a prison"), "DUI - you can not afford it "(" drunk driving you can not afford it ")," Under the influence, under arrest "(" A "fly" - under arrest ")," You booze, you cruise, you lose "(" Drunk - gone - lost " ), etc. Apparently, in New Mexico is a very big problem, which is indirectly confirmed by the numerous crosses on roadsides, as is customary in Latin America to put in place the fatal accidents. Those drivers that have survived, but was now hunted by mobile bright orange sign "Inmates working next 5 miles" ("Over the next 5 miles prisoners work"). The result of their labor were neatly folded garbage bags.
In this joyful atmosphere we reached the village with a very strange name Truth or Consequences (80 miles from Las Cruces). "Truth or Consequences" - the so-called popular American radio show, broadcast in the middle of the last century. In honor of him and was renamed the town, which was called before a "Hot Springs". Now the Americans themselves do not remember about this show, except that the older generation (maybe), but T or C, as it was called the local population in the amount of 6,500 people, and did not think to disappear from the USA map. And all thanks to the hot mineral springs spa and affordable attracting retirees from the cold Minnesota and Dakota.
If soaking in hot vodichke not your chip, it can be like ... the spaceport? Yes, yes, there is in those places and such;-) And you thought the cultivation of peppers and other crop - all, what good New Mexico ?! But no. New Mexico Spaceport, more popularly known as Spaceport "America" - the private spaceport, located 25 miles south of T or C.
In December 2008, the spaceport has received from the Federal Aviation Administration license to send and receive private spacecraft designed for sub-orbital fly. The first official user spaceport "America" was the company Virgin Galactic. It is now known about the five suborbital launches from Baikonur this.
In January 2012, was carried out test launch STIG-A, created for the needs of space tourism; the maximum height the rocket exceeded 80 kilometers. Virgin Galactic has already sold 520 tickets at $ 200 million each for suborbital flights, which are scheduled in 2013, the year. Also, the organization agreed suborbital science experiments, different educational missions, and even launch into space cremains, at the request of relatives. High-speed travel between countries is also considered.
But back to the cosmic heights to the more mundane things. In the info-center T or C, we recommend the restaurant "La Piñata" on the main street, with its traditional cuisine of this area. Took takeaway tortillas with beans and cheese, a big bowl of guacamole ($ 12 for everything), and buy a bottle of wine along the way, went to be occupied in the camp. As has been selected Accommodations Park Elephant Butte Lake State Park. Apparently, the tendency to the original name of the local population in the blood. After that, among us for a long time walking joke: "It was possible to somehow we spend the night in the" ass elephant "... In fact, the" ass "(" beat "rather than" batt ") in this context referred to a rocky islet in the midst of a huge lake.
At the entrance to the park rangers are very kind have provided a useful card with a list of all the RV-camping in New Mexico, and took $ 14, was allowed to stand at any place you like to connect to the water and power supply. Dump area (sewage discharge) was assumed to be one for camping. The people were very little, RV-ists do so only three of them, including us, so we got right on the beach, with a lovely view of the lake. While it was the best camping in relation quality-price.
Underfoot in the loose scattered quail Gamble - plump, gray-blue birds with enticing pen on top. Communicating, they made a very funny sounds like gurgling part bag with water. Hares in the evening jumped like peas on the road, but when he saw us, hastily hid in the bushes; once flashed bushy tail coyote in juniper. Vegetation were widespread in the southwestern US cacti Cane cholla, and some bushes with mummified, amber, translucent berries, which we gained full pocket as a souvenir.
On television, drove pugalochki saying that from Arizona to Albuquerque rushes whether super-storm, or mega-blizzard, which caused mass hysteria on local television channels. And we are just at the other side of tomorrow; So watch out for the weather.
Day 4. Itinerary: Reserve Bosque del Apache - Cranes wintering - radio observatory superheavy masses - accommodation in Albuquerque.
The morning of a new day in the park dawned cool and very quiet. The air was spreading only birdsong, but in the bushes busily sheburshali hares. After breakfast we went to the dam across the Rio Grande - the creator of the reservoir Elephant Butte Reservoir. As she passes the upper level two-lane road, but that day it was closed due to the work of surveyors, so that one eye glancing in their direction, we hurried back to the 25th highway.
The reference point of the route that day was listed reserve Bosque del Apache, stretched 55 miles from T or C. The name "Bosque del Apache" is translated as "Les Apaches." Indians often camped in the woodland, and a group of Pueblo peoples all lived here since time immemorial, long before the Spaniards. In the 16th century, through the lands of Bosque del Apache held the famous Camino Real - The Royal Road leading from Mexico City to Santa Fe. In part, it has been preserved and is now, and we even managed to drive it a little (Hwy # 1).
Since the end of November to February, the reserve for the winter fly about 10,000 Sandhill Cranes (Sandhill Crane), as well as tens of thousands of species of geese Ross (endemic to the United States), as well as geese. Neither one nor the other had not ever seen in large numbers, so do not want to miss the opportunity to admire them in the wild.
For the main migrant - Sandhill Cranes, workers Reserve sow the fields of grain annually to the guests had something to eat for the winter. These cranes, with a wingspan of about two meters, live with one partner for life (about 35 years), and are considered symbols of romance and fertility.
In the information center from the machine took $ 5, instead of issuing a card vehicular through the park, and the local newspaper with the determinant of birds. The reserve laid 15-mile Ring Road, which can be easily seen surrounding fields and reservoirs. In addition, the machine is also a kind of refuge, allowing fairly close to the chosen animals.
In general, the space around the desert-like Big Bend, and only Bosque del Apache stands against this background green spot, more or less tall trees, weighing dams, bolotets and small reservoirs. From the height of RV neighborhood viewed very far. In addition to cranes, geese and geese, almost immediately noticed a couple of bald eagles - symbols of the United States, with a straight face sits on the branches of a tall tree. Other predators - whether Sarich, or hawks - is rapidly worn over the fields of grain, snatching careless mice, and even small Pichugov.
Besides us, the park has four wheel car, all the pictures from the heavy tripod, long stop at every review site. I must say that every day at this time of year the birds put on a show, well-known among enthusiasts as "The Puff". Mostly at dawn and dusk, thousands of geese _odnovremenno_ and very quickly fly up in the air, uttering at the same time some incredible sound. Not even a sound, but a whole symphony, composed of high gurgling and flapping wings working. Video Yu-tyuba.
Cranes are allowed to approach close enough, glancing at the strange people with tripods yellow, intelligent eyes. Grain they dug and pecked at a rate of hammers, with a dull "t-t-t ', periodically kurlykaya by overflying relatives. In numerous branches of the road were built these shelters (blinds), through the loopholes which could be nice Photoshoot.
Problems with food was not: standing on the shore of one of the most beautiful bodies of water, we baked pancakes on the RV-shnoy kitchen, got laid up out of the house pickles, and elegant lunch "with a view" is not worse than in beloskaternyh restaurants. Away from the reserve took off another lake, densely filled with geese, and finally sated feathered, headed to the next attractions New Mexico.
A few years ago, traveling to the Caribbean Puerto Rico, we were literally fascinated by the huge Arecibo radio telescope hidden in the heart of the jungle island. Therefore, even at home, planning a trip in New Mexico, it was decided to include in the route something similar, namely - Very Large Array.
Very large-scale array (VLA) - one of the best in the world astronomical radio observatories, situated on the plain of San Augustin in a very lonely place in New Mexico, as they say "in the open field." Since the early 80s, this group of telescopes is extremely productive scientific instruments. Astronomers around the world use it to study objects from our solar system, and up to the edges of the known universe, billions of light-years from Earth.
The highway leading to the observatory, beautifully descended into the plain, surrounded by hills after a small settlement Magdalena. That here and there across patches of snow in the shade, but in general, the plateau was covered with yellow crested bushes, and very reminiscent of the Chilean altiplano. Antenna viewed from a distance, and with the light lucky - in the evening overcast sky brightened, the sun's rays passing just in the right direction, it is advantageous illuminating white giants. Strong winds also played into the hands, stratus clouds dispersed, and without touching the cute fluffy, which are now successfully spread to blue, sky high.
Travel to the territory of the radio observatory can anyone, no special permission is required. For visitors to a museum, observation deck, and a couple of paths leading to some plates "laid up".
But despite the apparent openness to go where you want to fail; prohibiting signs scare from all sides. This is very much in the spirit of the United States - on the one hand, and the show seems to be secret or military facilities, they say, look, we all transparent, and on the other - precisely control your movement.
Total 27 plates, each 25 meters in diameter, with a total resolution of the equivalent antenna diameter of 36 kilometers! Specifications:
Sometimes it is necessary to repair the antenna. Then they were driven along the rails into the hangar with the help here is a strange orange contraption, a maximum speed equal to the speed of the pedestrian.
All 27 plates are placed on the rails in certain configurations. From the standpoint of pictures is the most attractive configuration "D", when the antennas are a row with minimum intervals between them. Check the current arrangement, or plan a visit at the right time, you can here on this schedule.
By the end of 2012, the ultra-large array will be converted to Advanced superheavy masses (Expanded Very Large Array) - a research tool exceeds the current sensitivity VLA 10 times. I do not know whether the time is still free access to the antennas, but the place is very interesting and intriguing. Who will be in those places - have a look, you will not regret.
Relegating soul into photographing plates in a variety of angles, and without seeing the path of a single machine, and not one person went way back to Albuquerque. The original plan to spend the night in the same Magdalena was rejected due to an impending storm. I thought that if the road will bring, the better will be selected from a larger settlement - will clear faster. Under these conditions stints town Socorro, but they absolutely do not like the RV-park, which is a cluster of any suspicious-looking persons from the category of "white trash". (For reference: the "white trash" - a rough term, often used in everyday speech in the United States to refer to the underclass of white Americans, often living on unemployment benefits, in rusty trailers, characterized by low social status and level of education. This category of people often suffers from alcoholism , prone to delinquency and antisocial behavior. Synonym vulgarity, "zhlobstva" that are difficult to deduce. Calling someone a "white scum" - means to accuse him of social, financial, educational, or bankruptcy).
Meanwhile, the weather deteriorated rapidly, from the beautiful cloud was gone, the air overflowed dull, whitish light. According to the brochure, received the day before from the Rangers, we have chosen the RV park in the heart of Albuquerque, included in the system KOA.
Kampgrounds of America - is a network of 475 campsites scattered across the United States. It was founded in 1962 by entrepreneur Dave drama from Montana. First AMD built the first camp on their own land, equip it with hot showers, toilets, and adding a small shop selling essentials. The place was well chosen, and soon the business began to pay off.
Drum came to camp every night, interviewing guests for what they would like to see more on this kind of parking. Taking into account the wishes of many, a businessman and his two partners a year later began to create a network KOA, which by 1970 the ninth year included 262 camping. Today KOA annually inspects each of its camping on 600 points, which is the most stringent test of this type of business.
Prices for parking in KOA about a half to two times higher than conventional urban RV shelters, or in public parks, but the service and more. Often, in the territory of a swimming pool, restaurants for guests, washing machines and dryers, plus all sorts of different local "baubles", like volleyball and golf courses, sauna, bike rental or rental DVD.
Choosing a huge Albuquerque RV KOA Central, consisting of 90 seats, we are self-registered (office is already closed), stood on the selected patch, and connected electricity and water. On TV continues to the atmosphere at the expense of the storm, accompanying information on the closure of the airport and overlapped in some places the road. Bracing morning dug out of a snowdrift, dinner household supplies, and sleep.
Day 5. Route: the north-western part of New Mexico - Rock Shiprock - border with Colorado - accommodation in Cortez.
In the morning, as expected, everything was in the snow. No, it would be better to write "snowballs", because it fell on the strength of three centimeters. But as pumped media before, prophesying almost another Apocalypse. Ugh!
This day we had planned a leisurely drive to the side of Colorado, through small towns and Indian reservations. From Albuquerque 40th highway cheerfully led to the west, where we still see the effects of the storm: the curb completely iced over, and the farther away from the cities, the more they met inverted tracks 18 Kolesnikov. Then left in a ditch lay helplessly deliveryman mail, the right driver of another changeling actively sparred with someone on the phone, gesturing frantically. But most of all willing to help put together a huge truck loaded with beer. Part of the cargo pobilas and rich aroma of hops persecuted us somewhere else with a mile.
In the intermediate town Grants refueled on the standard $ 75 (no more paintings do not give), and having left him, immediately hit the tail of the storm. Weather deteriorated sharply, began snowstorm, a strong wind howled outside the window, swaying body mercilessly RV. It seemed an offshoot of the highway, which was scheduled to reach the following attractions New Mexico - namely, Bisti wasteland. But seeing that the road was completely cleared, and severe sky on the horizon is not encouraging, we have rejected the idea, thinking that'll pick on wasteland after Colorado. Thus, the 40th highway took us to control the town of Gallup.
Gallup is well known in film circles, and was especially popular in the 50s of the last century among manufacturers of westerns. Of the more recent movies filmed here "Natural born killers", as well as the Gallup appeared as a scene in a good sci-fi mini-series "The lost room". In this interesting city does not end, because here originates Highway # 491. So what, the reader will ask, you never know the roads in the world ?! But the fact is that until recently, this highway passes under the number "666" and another as "the devil's road" was not called. Satanic shade combined with a high mortality rate in this part of New Mexico inspired the locals thought that cursed highway. In addition, the authorities problem was exacerbated by constant theft of road signs with three sixes, with subsequent resale at online auctions.
The fear of the number 666 is called "Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia." I do not express it, it really is the name :) If you're constantly doing addition and subtraction of numbers, checking if it will result in three of the six rooms bus ticket or football, from the date of the birth, and even from the ratio of the serial numbers of letters of the alphabet names of friends, then all you have it, hexa-tram-pam-pam-phobia.
In general, when all around this heresy "diabolical highway" reached its climax, the road was renamed the neutral 491. Meanwhile, the number of accidents immediately came down. And do not say that passing renovation and expansion to four lanes played a role; number is important.
A side effect of renaming felt the ... Navajo, whose territory covers the northwest corner of New Mexico and a bit of neighboring states. Previously, they complained about the small number of tourists Christians who avoided dealing with them, repels unattractive rooms of the main road running through the reservation. Now the Indians had built on the edges of the casino and shopping plazas. Due to the fact that reservations different legislation, Indian casinos enjoy significant tax benefits.
In the late 80's, Ronald Reagan signed into law, which affirms the right of tribes to open casinos on their lands, and there are three types of games: 1) traditional Indian ceremonial; 2) lotto, bingo, instant lottery cards; 3) roulette, slot machines, card games with high stakes and games at the races. The first two types are not licensed, fully profit from them goes to the tribes, but it can only be spent on social or charitable purposes (do not know how this can be verified). It is estimated that the turnover of Indian gambling is 34% of total revenues of gambling in the United States. Indeed, Ronald Reagan - other Indians :)
Curiously enough, the development of the gambling industry contributed to national self-determination of the indigenous population of the USA. If in 70 years, according to the census, there lived 792,000 Indians, then by the beginning of the 2000s, this figure rose to 2 million people. "Population explosion" occurred not because of the increase in the birth rate - just many Americans, eager to join the millions of gambling, remember our roots, which previously were ashamed. Indian now be fashionable, but in the richest tribes still very profitable, because their members are from the activities of a casino solid dividends, scholarships for children in elite universities, and other social benefits.
Here on such interesting places we quietly moved toward Colorado, do not forget to have lunch and buy some souvenirs in any of Gallup. By the way, gasoline Indian reservations are usually cheaper by 20-30 cents per gallon than the surrounding gas stations.
The terrain is a boundless plain with vidnevshimisya somewhere cliffs single-locks. Classic Wild West! King among island mountain-Monadnock was Shiprock, sacred to the Navajo rock. These rocks are only possible on the high plateau, but they are on all continents. Due to the fact that the rocks have a different breed, they are often given a sacred or mystical significance as, for example, the famous rock Uluru in central Australia.
Shiprok seen, probably a hundred miles in each direction. She also served as a benchmark and on the way to the American settlers in the Wild West, and subsequently played a variety of roles in various films about Indians.
Rock appeared on the horizon like a huge, just landed a spaceship and just did beckoned. The Indians call it Tse bit, that is "inspired by the stone." And yet there is often seen UFOs. The first ascent of Shiprok height of 500 meters, has been committed in the 30s of the last century, but it was extremely negatively perceived by the people of the Navajo. Currently, rock climbing is prohibited.
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Indian legend says that once the tribe was attacked by enemies, and the people had no choice but to pray. The gods have heard of people at the ground beneath their feet were wings, and she soared into the air, moving all standing on it in a safe place. "Inspired by the stone" and has remained ever since in the desert. Saved by the Navajo began to live in it, down only for water and for planting crops. One day, when men worked in the fields, lightning split Tse bit, leaving in its place only impregnable rock. Men could not return, and the women and children were not able to go down and died of starvation. Indians still believe that their remains still lie at the top, and do not want anyone to disturb ashes of their ancestors.
Unfortunately, many climbers are not considered the feelings and beliefs of the Indians, and strive to climb the mystical rock. Many of them died, as reported didactically memorial plaque mounted on the way to Shiprok. 7 is now known routes for climbing. They are all routes of the highest complexity.
You can drive up to Shiprok on broken-down, side road, about 5 km from the main highway. Near the rock produces a powerful impression, suppressing their community by all and sundry.
Gusty wind still continued to torment RV, swing it to the side, and we decided it was time to get out of this open space somewhere in a more comfortable place.
Drive through the unremarkable town having the rock one name for two, we finally crossed the border to a new self-Colorado Springs. In 10 years of traveling to the US, he became our 35th where it was possible to go (the ones that just passed in passing, do not count). Landscape instantly changed: the mountains as if grown in the eyes, yellow steppe covered with high grass silk, beautifully shimmering under the energetic wind; and horses, a lot of horses. Even before darkness had access to a small, but very nice town of Cortez, is conveniently located on the outskirts of the National Park Mesa Verde, scheduled for tomorrow.
With the move found a lovely, quiet RV park called "Sundance" ("Sun Dance"), and become acquainted with the owners who lived here in one of the trailers, cast anchor. Place a cost of $ 30 with full benefits of connecting to, and even issued a password for the Internet. Later in the afternoon a walk to the nearest supermarket across the road to restock products, and then accidentally found a wonderful coffee house "Spruce Tree Coffee House". Oh, what there was hot chocolate and espresso with steaming buns, mmmmm! The atmosphere is very cozy: a few rooms for visitors, shelves with books, where you can leave your read, and instead take another; movie rental, free wi-fi.
Baby, calm prigrevshayasya a backpack, always attracted the attention that is that earlier in the store. She had behaved extremely well, giving mom and dad enjoy a cup of hot coffee, we certainly appreciated. How little, it turns out you need to feel human again, not by service personnel for demanding baby :)
Back in RV was found that from the air conditioner draws only cold air. Have got to find out, and found that we ran out of propane, you need to work the heater. That's what a lack of travel experience in the home-on-wheels! The level of gasoline should be out of habit, but about the propane we absolutely forgotten. It could be to get on conventional gas stations, but the next already were closed, the people in the province to go home early.
On the revenue came camping host, who gave us completely free of your personal portable heater, saying that he had no right to freeze a little girl, Send in a long journey. On the street, it was already minus 10 Celsius and the night quite expected frosts. Thus, we were saved by responsiveness to local residents, and with a calm heart went to rest. But the adventure did not end with the RV, in front of us waiting for more serious problems, as I'll discuss in the following chapters.
Day 6. Route: National Park Mesa Verde - accommodation in "sun dance".
Catholic Christmas could bring about changes in our plans puteshestvennicheskie, because most businesses are closed on these days, especially in small towns in the province. But finding out in advance and received confirmation from the national park rangers Mesa Verde (park maps for printing) that he would be open and available, we sent the wheel-mobile home on the east of Cortez (only 9 miles).
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For all familiar with the Spanish language, not be easy to translate the expression "mesa verde" as "green table". Yet it is a literal translation; actually refers to the "green dress" - so in the 18th century, the Spaniards called the vast highlands in present-day Colorado, discovered while searching for overland route to the Pacific Ocean. As you know, the southwest United States is famous for its red and orange hues in the landscape, it is not surprising that suddenly emerged in front of eyes of Europeans green coniferous forest, immediately attracted the attention.
Although in this case, it would be better to call the place "mesa blanca" ("white dress"), as well as all around covered fresh Christmas snow. At the entrance to the park to pay $ 10 and get a map of the area as usual (already scored collection, though!), Slowly crept into the mountains on a trailer, swinging heavily in the gusts of crosswind.
In winter, several info-center of the park was open only one - Chapin Mesa, but the museum. There you could sign up for guided tours, arranged 2-3 times a day to the nearest podskalnym settlements. People in the park was at least, so when we asked the ranger at the museum on the subject of what we want to stake out a place in the group, he nodded with a smile - they say, everything is recorded, come at 13:00. Thus, in our possession was a couple of hours devoted to the study of which the 10-kilometer loop Mesa Top loop, with stops at all the interesting places.
For the sake of Mesa Verde, we gave a short detour to travel outside the route to New Mexico, and all in order to see the unusual, "podskalnoe" housing ancient Indians. Cities in the rock discovered in the 19th century, the local cowboys, while searching for stray cows. Exploring the area for several months, they found a total of 182 settlements in the rocks. Point of household items cowboys sold to museums and private collectors.
Despite the extensive excavations, scientists are not able to learn much about the people who lived in these cities. It is known that they have settled here in the 6th century, and lived happily ever after for 700 years, and then suddenly left the territory (presumably due to drought). Archaeologists call people "Anasazi", but this term is now considered politically incorrect because in the language of the Navajo word anaasazi means "ancient enemy." Therefore, more and more often in the literature can be found the expression "ancient pueblo."
Before the Indians have mastered the technique podskalnogo construction, they lived in dugouts (pithouse), consisting usually of two rooms: a hall - for storing tools and food, and living room.
Around 700, they began to build the house of stone and adobe. So begins the era of "Pueblo" ("villages") - huge multi houses hundreds of people. Pueblo Indians erected a mountain plateau or in river valleys. By the time they have already mastered pottery by making the characteristic white with black-painted ceramics.
Anasazi stuck in the stone age, the metal was unfamiliar to them. In the summer they made a fire for cooking only, and winter fires burning around the clock. Until now, sooty walls and ceilings are reminiscent of the cold, in which people lived for six months.
All unnecessary - scraps, rags, junk - simply thrown out of the windows on the slopes of rocks. Gradually, at the bottom of the canyon accumulated a rich cultural layer, from which, in the main, and the richest archaeological collection of the local museum. That is to say, "one person's trash is another's treasure" - a saying in action. When will the next time holey socks to throw away, imagine that after 500 years, they can show off under the glass on a place of honor in the collection of any enthusiast and researcher "ancient" 21st century :)
Ancient Pueblos have left no written records of his stay, so the idea of their way of life compared to similar populations of the same time. Niche in the rocks gave protection from the weather: it was cool in the summer and the winter is not as cold as in the windswept plateau. The wooden stairs, hanging over the abyss, the Indians were chosen from the houses on the plateau, to the gardens and corn fields.
Homework inhabitants were mainly on the street, in a small, fenced stone wall courtyards, adjacent to the rooms. Women wove baskets and sandals, spun, sewed patterned blankets made pottery. In clay jars for the winter harvested corn, beans, smoked meat, berries, nuts, acorns and dried flowers, spices served. A man made of stone and bone tools various - knives, axes, awls, scrapers. Hunters hit deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, whose skins, feathers and fur were on winter clothes.
But it is so to speak, "old", the original version. According to modern concepts, based on more detailed excavations, it is believed that the Indians lived on the plateau in the dugout, and in the niches under the rocks they were built warehouses food and round, ceremonial structure (kivas) for religious ceremonies.
Anasazi building walls made of local gray-yellow sandstone is cut out of the blocks the size of a modern brick, then fastened them soaked in water clay.
At this point, many "podskalnymi palaces" can be admired only from afar, from the opposite edge of the canyon. Especially good in this respect, an observation platform Sun Point View - you can see a lot of things and far, and the weather a series of "frost and sun wonderful day" could not but rejoice. Using once again the advantage of mobile self-catering we fry pancakes and absolutely gorgeous to pass the time remaining before the tour.
By one o'clock in the museum were about 15. The museum, incidentally, is quite pretty, with an exhibition of drawings Pueblo bottle of ancient drugs and medicines, stuffed native fauna, and photos of the most impressive rock dwellings. Guide we got a specific, even thought at first that he was drunk :) But as it turned out later, just a manner of speaking a person was such that required some getting used to, but then no one else and did not want to listen. Sorry, I forgot the name of a comrade - in and of itself is a separate there the attraction.
Sprawled in the chain by one, we began the descent to the Spruce Tree house. This is the third in scale settlement in Mesa Verde, was built by Indians somewhere in the middle of the 13th century. It is believed that lived here for about 80 people, and all excavated 130 rooms, apartments and 8 KIV. Because of the large overhanging stone canopy, the settlement is very well preserved to the delight of archaeologists. Ranger allowed to climb on some of the ruins, go down to the reconstructed kiva (whose tendency to claustrophobia better not!), And half an hour later completed a pretty informative tour.
Coming in from the cold to the warmth and comfort of RV, we have all worn out wildly. The baby fell asleep instantly, well, mum and dad, season with hot tea, crept slowly towards the exit. By the evening the wind increased even more, driving snow drifting snow across the movement. We drove very slowly, though the road was completely cleared, but pretty cool, with lots of turns.
Reaching the Cortes, decided not to go anywhere else, as pondered in advance and stay in the same camp "Sundance". The city was closed absolutely everything (Christmas), except for a single distillery shop where we bummed surprisingly good bottle of Australian Shiraz.
In the morning, again head for New Mexico and try to stop by the Beastie Heath from the north.
Day 7. Route: study wasteland Bisti - accommodation in the vicinity of Albuquerque.
In the morning we were waiting for new challenges with the RV. For non-working due to lack of fuel heater was added inadvertently broken waste pipe that through frozen overnight. Painting directly from second-rate horror movies where some hapless hero pour liquid nitrogen, and then break off his hands and feet. Only in this case, instead of the body parts were home-on-wheels. Now, no heat, no sanitation, and water pump with something began to act up. Jaunty journey! But we do not lose heart, but decided that the new pipe will buy into the first Wal-Mart'e, and propane - at first got a gas station; so that it was fixable.
After completing a small foray into Colorado, we deployed the wheels to the south, back toward New Mexico. Through the pine forest, wrapped in snow, quickly got to the 371 th highway, the very thing which is not caught in the south two days earlier due to heavy snowfall. After about 36 miles from the town of Farmington, showed a pointer to the Beastie wasteland - the main point of the route that day, and drive a couple of miles on the dirt, the old road, our RV was anchored near the barbed wire.
It was felt that people here are not common. Even in the design of the welcome sign was used typeface adopted already in the 60s of the last century.
Squeezed through a narrow passage left in the thorns, we were left to themselves - no trails on the heath not, go wherever you want. But savvy some useful information from books already knew what direction you need to keep in the south-east, so constantly reconciled with a compass on the GPS. By the way, visit the wasteland is worth only when the forecast rain is not expected (at least for a couple of days before the expected date). Otherwise, all this is already soft and easy to press down the earth turns into an impassable gryazyuku.
Bisti Wilderness area - a unique place, seeing that, it was the time to begin to doubt - and at home we, in general, the planet ... Time and natural forces, created this fantastic world of rock formations and fossils. Bisti Badlands, or as they are called - Bisti badlands, represented by clay hills consisting of thin seams of coal, shale and solidified sludge with different hardness and color, mixed with sandstone. And he in turn erode under the influence of the environment, and as a result turns into thousands naistranneyshih "sculptures", from the arches and ending unreal, alien mushrooms on thin legs.
Rather dull landscape is slightly diluted with creosote bushes. They are widely distributed in the deserts of the southwestern United States, and have been known to grow their roots up to 100 meters to get to the water.
But now, finally, it seemed, and the first cluster of whitish hoodoos. With the concept of "hoodoos" we already knew well, having visited many years ago, the National Park Bryce Canyon NP in Utah. And although the forms were similar, but the colors are completely different.
Often, people find among these strange statues of ancient pieces of petrified wood, fossils, and even - oh, joy! - Teeth and bones of dinosaurs. I must say that many US states have humorous slogans, which is reflected, what is the state of proud and famous. For example, in New Jersey, is: "You Want af # $% ##! Motto? I Got Yer f # $% ##! Motto Right Here! "(- You need this [beep ...] motto? Schaz get your [beep ...] motto!)
In Hawaii -" Haka Tiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru "(- Death of debris from the mainland, but leave the money
!), or Vermont laconic: "Yep!" (- Duc!) :)
And in connection with this dinozavromaniey immediately remembered a funny slogan North Dakota: "Um ... We've got ... Um ... Dinosaurs Bones? Yeah, Dinosaurs Bones! "(- Uh ... we have Th ... eeee ... A dinosaur bones we have!)
In the first half-hour walk from the canyon there is another one where you can climb, going down from the top on the mound. Wander among the strange formations interesting, if somewhat dangerous - they are fragile themselves, easily broken, and the soil is unstable, it is easy to sink at every step a couple of centimeters.
Especially picturesque hudus look in low light at dawn or dusk. But, unfortunately, we did not have the luxury of that time in the form of free time. But there was a reason to visit the wasteland Bisti again, in these harsh, but these attractive places.
Back went straight across the plateau, struggling with a very strong wind in the face. Most of all we were afraid to freeze the baby, which subsided in his backpack, as if realizing that now is not the time to be put out to the outside. Shook her top back in scarves and jackets overpowered still crossing the inhospitable valley Bisti for half an hour, having met on the road a couple of the same muffled people. And in the trailer waiting for hot apple cider, and dinner, and in general it was nice to sit in comfort when the storm was raging outside the windows ...
Not far from the wasteland Bisti is another, with an exotic name De-Na-Zin. But we decided that today adventurous enough, so I just kept heading toward the highway US 550 somewhere to the east. Write "somewhere" because it went almost at random, knowing only the direction; GPS proudly flashed virgin screen. Once even had to go to the Indians (around Navajo Indian Reservation) to show the exit on the highway. I must say that they are usually quite unfriendly to white, but we encountered were quite accommodating, and soon with their help we have dealed with a primer on normal, smooth coating highway.
RV glad to develop the maximum speed for themselves 70 miles per hour , and quickly got us in a northern suburb of Albuquerque, the town Bernalillo, just in time for sunset. As an overnight camping again chosen system KOA. Came an afterthought, it would be nice to subscribe to the "AAA" (American Automobile Association) before the trip - members of the organization often have discounts on parking, and various other bonuses.
Camping was well equipped (sparkling showers, hot water, extreme cleanliness around) I had to be very helpful - something your convenience, we have not yet repaired. We will deal with them the next day.
Day 8. Route: a walk through Santa Fe - accommodation for Las Vegas.
Pull repair parts fallen off RV was too late, so the day started with a trip to Wal-Mart, where he acquired all the necessary passing experienced slight culture shock .
All sellers were white, and the store reminded mixture Kroger + HEB + Target + Lowe's. For us living
in the Mexican ghetto on a deep American South, it's like an impression of reality from another planet, or at least from another country. Eyes so accustomed to Mexicans or black in the service sector such that the white man for this kind of work is very eye-catching. Yes, and Wal-mart is not like Houston: very clean, polite people, without constantly fonyaschego "muchachas-mucho-más-barato".
Initiative in no time all that was needed (repair took about 15 minutes), we headed for the capital of the State of New Mexico - Santa Fe, located just 45 miles north of Accommodations. Santa Fe is often jokingly referred to as "Fanta-Se", referring to a magical flair present in the urban atmosphere. Almost 50% of the population in one way or another, have to do with art. It is a city of artists, architects, writers, and other musicians joined them. In addition, Santa Fe - the second oldest city in the United States, founded in 1609, the year, just 44 years later Florida St.Augustine, holding the first place.
The district is still inhabited by Indians who settled here long before the arrival of the Spaniards. Connect the two cultures was not peaceful, to recall the Pueblo Revolt in 1680 year - a number of tribes Pueblo revolt against the Spanish colonizers. The Indians then cut almost half a thousand "aliens", including Franciscan friars missionaries. In memory of this event on one of the hills of Santa Fe erected Cross of the Martyrs - Cross martyrs, to which we went first thing after arriving in the city.
The cross itself is nothing special, but views of the city from the bad. On icy roadsides in a variety of packages adorned with brown cardboard with sand and candles inside - left over from the Christmas celebration.
In the narrow streets of the city went without RV former ease, so we decided to leave it in a public parking lot near the central square, and then move on foot. By the way, this plaza ended famous road Camino Real - the trade route from Mexico, with a total length of about 2600 km.
Frozen employee parking lot, looking at wrapped in overalls, and pretty sitting in Baby Bjorn rebyatenka, with a sigh, stretched out: "I wish I was her right now "(" I'd like to be in her place "). The weather was sunny, though, but easy 5-degree frost mercilessly pinched the exposed areas of the body.
Just around the corner towered Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (19th century). The first thing caught my eye in the absence of the spiers of the church. How to read later on some explanatory plate tower is really supposed to build 49 meters high, but there were no funds. And is worth more than a hundred years, obesshpilenny.
Near the cathedral, in a small park, located very beautiful bronze statue erected in honor of Kateri Tekakwitha - the first Indian woman canonized blessed in the Catholic Church. In the hands of a statue holding eagle feathers, and on the neck and in her ears she wore a turquoise.
Along the perimeter of the area was an active Christmas shopping all kinds of things, from old books to the vats with spices. And, of course, everywhere rustled softly ristras - bundles of dried peppers.
At first glance, Santa Fe seemed a sort of mixture of Merida and Campeche, provided that the tourists replace the Mexicans, and the prices decrease every five.
In many shops selling products, the creation of local Indians. In the windows of jewelers - turquoise in silver, in fabric stores - multicolored striped blankets and mats, leather jackets, belts, ponchos and moccasins in a china shop - samples of Indian pottery and wooden roosters with thatched tails. Everywhere hung iridescent feather headdresses worn by generals usually Indian tribes, and the wonderful wooden Indian idols - Kachin.
With us went home a real, well-made drum Pueblo - sided, with leather webbed. American Indians believe that the drum itself - it is the whole universe, and it measured a strong fight - it's the pulse of the heart beating in her heart. Our daughter was absolutely agree with that :), in connection with which I recalled the phrase: "If you want to quarrel with parents? Give their child a drum! "
And flew for several hours. We just wandered through the narrow streets of Santa Fe, looked at the signs, came to interesting shops and cafes - sugrevu for hot chocolate. On the streets, though some were almost tourists, but all are smiling, relaxed and having a good time in this charming, quiet town with a pronounced "Spanish good looks."
Later in the afternoon once again plunged into the RV, and headed for the reserve Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, located 65 miles to the east. To the famous casino town he has nothing to do, just sharing with them a common name. As far as I remember, in the United States typed almost a dozen of "Las Vegas" ("meadow" - in Spanish), different caliber and significance.
Preserve Las Vegas is located on a direct path for migrating from north to south (and vice versa ) birds, so they had to be there by the thousand, at any time of the year. Officially recorded 270 species, including visitors from Central and South America. But on the day we absolutely nobody met, as the lake in the reserve dried, and with water left and livestock.
On the night rose again in the camp of KOA ($ 32), and the registration of this time has passed quickly - we've spotted in their base. In RV staged a nice dinner with goodies and wine; tomorrow turn to the south.
День 9-й. Маршрут: форельная ферма - Fort Sumner - Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge - ночлег в Розуэлле.
Основные достопримечательности маршрута остались позади, поэтому с утра совершенно никуда не торопились, лениво завтракая на RV-шной кухне. Изучив карту местности, наткнулись на заманчивую надпись “Santa Rosa trout rearing station”, то есть “ферма по разведению форели”, и решили туда заглянуть. С середины 80-х годов прошлого века здесь занимаются выращиванием форельного молодняка, чтобы впоследствии выпустить его в окрестные реки. Всего на территории располагалось около десятка бассейнов-резервуаров с рыбами разного размера. Форель ни секунды не стояла на месте, отблескивая серебром чешуи при каждом движении стаи. Им очень не нравилось, когда на воду падала тень, будь то человеческая или от облаков; рыбины тут же стремились выйти из тёмного участка. Сверху над резервуарами проходили транспортерные ленты с сетчатыми мешками на торцах, при помощи которых производилась рыбья кормежка.
Further road south on Highway # 84 was held on a fairly deserted places. Field, fields, fields around, occasionally flashed neftekachalki, but rarely raced oncoming cars. Distracted by viewing captured images on a laptop, I at some point looked out the window and was surprised to find that next to the RV scratching some goat. And so good cards, at a decent speed. Runner turned pronghorn (American pronghorn) - the world's second run speed animal, second only to the cheetah. Can reach speeds up to 67 km / h, while making jumps 3 - 6 meters in length. Fixed speed record - 88.5 km / h.
Slightly ahead of the instance, noticed a group of his relatives, as well practiced in the race. Pronghorn - the most ancient of prey in North America, inhabited the steppes from Canada to northern Mexico. Pronghorn well adapted to rapid movement through the trachea thick, bulky light and a big heart, which quickly drives throughout the body oxygenated blood. A male pronghorn heart twice as much at one with him ram weight.
Soon, the wheel house-mobile crossed the city limits Fort Sumner, a welcome sign at the entrance: "Yes, we've got the kid!" What do they mean? The fact that here found their final resting place Billy the Kid (Billy the Kid), he is William Henry McCarty, alias Henry Antrim, aka William Bonney - American criminal of the 19th century, who killed 21 people during his short, 21- year life. It is believed that the first murder he committed at age 12, then nine years old hunted in an organized gang, engaged in theft and looting. Was shot in the territory of the local sheriff Fort Sumner (Kid fans notice that was shot in the back, because of the angle), thanks to which, oddly enough, Billy the Kid has become known throughout the then America, as Sheriff wrote something like a memoir on the subject. About Kid shot many films, the most famous of which is probably the Western "Young Guns" Christopher Kane.
And this is where what Americans prefer not particularly spread - concentration camp for 9,500 Navajo and Apache during the Civil War. Now in its place erected a memorial.
Before Roswell - Accommodations alleged, had some 150 km, so we decided to make a little detour and look into the reserve Bitter Lake NWR. Maybe there will be a bird so rude ignored us in Las Vegas ... This reserve, established in 1937, protects the meadows, dunes and wetlands around the river Pecos river. And animals do not let us down.
A lot of snow geese flying wedge, warming up, preparing to migrate; huge flocks of "generals" (Red-winged Blackbird) both rose into the air, creating a wild buzz around. In lakes croaked, Meca, chirp and conclusions roulades frog brothers. From the ring road in different directions departed trails, but they were blocked by a gate at this time of year.
In the evening we drove into Roswell, the largest city in this part of New Mexico, with a population of almost 50 thousand people. World-famous Roswell acquired in connection with the "Roswell incident" of 1947, one of the most famous incidents involving UFOs. He now lives and now due to hype around the aliens. Bars in it called exclusively in space: "In a beautiful saturyanki," "Jupiter", "Tender alien from Mars." In the shops sell rubber toys aliens, and the main avenue is called the "Highway of aliens."
Once a year there is arranged "alien festival", during which march through the streets of aliens - the townspeople and visitors dressed in fancy costumes. Even the street signs installed in Roswell at such an angle to be seen from the air the alleged visitors from outer space. Street lights mysteriously wink almond, alien eyes, but what's there - he McDonald's - and that is designed in the form of a flying saucer. It was felt that the topic of aliens in carefully maintained and cherished holitsya.
On the night got up at 5 miles from the center, in a private "Town and Country RV park", supper own supplies, and sleep.
Day 10. Route: UFO Museum in Roswell - return to Texas.
Located in Roswell - the place where there was a "Roswell incident", we certainly could not look in the local museum dedicated to those distant events. The alleged UFO crash near the town in July 1947 was the cause of bitter arguments and conspiracy theories, primarily because of the unclear nature of the detected object.
According to the official position of the US Air Force, found object was a weather balloon that was used as part of a secret program "Mogul", designed to monitor the testing of nuclear weapons in the Soviet Union.
In various journalistic sources is popular version, according to which the object was extraterrestrial ship and its pilot was an alien , which the US government seized and sealed. This event has become one of the most famous elements of American pop culture, and, thanks to him, the name of the city of Roswell is often associated with UFOs.
Initially, the incident was quickly forgotten, remaining unknown for 30 years. Then, in 1978, physicist and ufologist John Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel, who participated in the investigation of the events in 1947. Marcel was convinced that the military discovered hidden alien spacecraft and four dead bodies of aliens. His story was widely spread among the fans and UFO researchers, and later joined the few documentaries devoted to this topic. In February 1980, "The National Enquirer" took his own interview with Marcel, which further spread the glory of the Roswell incident.
In the Soviet press ("Evening Leningrad" for 1987) it was suggested that the Roswell crashed rocket, launched from the landfill White Sands, New Mexico, and witnesses saw the corpses of rhesus monkeys that were in the main compartment of the rocket.
In general, it is clear that there is still no clear :) The museum itself is small ($ 5 entry), to failure clogged clippings from old newspapers, copies of military archives, photographs and cartoons on the All-American UFO craze of those years. Was submitted to the department of fashion, inspired by the alien theme: hairstyles as tight antennas, skirts as flying discs, the dominance of silver tissue and strazikov.
The museum's exhibits are constantly replenished with paintings by local artists on the same topic, photographs of flying objects at high magnification (there are quite clear), photo circles of unknown origin in the fields around the world; speculations about UFOs in ancient cultures (Egyptian pyramids as copies of spaceships, visiting the Earth). The last room on the walls adorned with posters of movies about aliens (X-files, Roswell, Men in Black), and has been exhibited doll mummy on the operating table and was featured in one of the films.
In general, the museum is so-so, children under 12 years will not exactly exciting. But if you seriously take the UFO topic, this museum - something like a place of pilgrimage for true devotees. As discussed in the unforgettable "X-Files": "The truth is out there" ...
After the museum we have wandered around the neighborhood, looking at the passing shops. In the windows of mannequins as aliens showed T-shirts and swimwear; zelenenky Santa Claus holding out a bag with gifts; a wedding salon bride with blue face and tail reptiles trying on a wedding dress; Four Beatles zealously play musical instruments all three pairs of arms and legs (they are also there, yes;-)
This is our familiarity with Roswell, and along with the entire state of New Mexico, came to an end. After two or three cups of coffee in one of the lovely cafes, we took the RV from the parking lot with the word "UFO parking only" ("Parking only for UFO"), and turned toward Texas.
The road stretched monotonous, through endless cotton fields, where just cleaned the third year for the harvest (and this in December!). Landscape little animated tens of hundreds of windmills between the towns of Big Spring and San Angelo, very syurno staring at sunset sky background.
On the night stood in the park San Angelo State Park for $ 18, in a very quiet and peaceful location.
On the morning of San Angelo poured rain the river. For myself glad that day is scheduled road, and do not go in bad weather. While a series of rural roads were chosen by the 10th Interstate leading to Houston, and even sleet went that rarely happens in our area.
After San Antonio made a stop at the traditional Lyulinge for unmatched barbecue in town "Luling City Market". Anyone who lives in Texas, is quite good and affordable spoiled meat - specificity, with, as well as the ability of local chefs to create out of his incredibly delicious things. But the barbecue - this one, and barbecue Lyulinga - is quite another. Anything close in terms of price-quality-vkusnota yet could not be found either in the state or beyond. If anyone is in those parts, be sure to check out the little Lyuling, it's worth it.
The moment of returning home from a trip is always exciting, enjoyable. On the one hand, is already present slight sadness to leave, on the other - how cool was back in his native walls, where all your familiar and habitual. This trip was very special: the first three of the journey, and even at an unusual vehicle. Despite some minor problems with the RV, I still believe that with a small child, and even more so - infants, the best way to travel is not. It may not be as cost, appears at the beginning (the cost of gasoline at the parking lot, she rent the house-on-wheels is not cheap), but the convenience outweighs everything, even the money issue.
The State of New Mexico has left most enthusiastic impressions: unusual, sometimes strange, sometimes wonderfully handsome, staying in one of harmony and balance that we really appreciate when traveling.
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