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Old 03-03-2018, 04:21 PM   #15
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Xochi Bookstore in T or C...
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:25 PM   #16
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More downtown T or C...
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:32 PM   #17
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More T or C...
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:46 PM   #18
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White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns...

We decided to check out White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns National Monument after a week in T or C. White Sands was on the way to Carlsbad and it's good for a day visit. The pavement ends not far into the park but the sand is hard packed and we were able to tow the Airstream all the way through. White Sands is different from the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado: the obvious color of the gypsum sand and the density of the white sands made climbing the smaller dunes much easier. But both parks are beautiful and unique geomorphic features and more evidence of the amazing spectrum of the West's geology.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:51 PM   #19
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White Sands National Monument, New Mexico...
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:17 PM   #20
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We drove to Brantley Lake State Park, just north of the city of Carlsbard. The lake is New Mexico's southernmost and is quite barren. I guess if you have a watercraft the lake can provide entertainment but for us, it was merely a place to stay with an affordable electrical hookup; I didn't even take a photograph of our campground site. The town of Carlsbad, for us, was a big zero - there is no "Main Street" for eateries, shops, and interesting tourist/traveler destinations...except for the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park in Carlsbad. We made a day of the zoo and found the rescue animals in good shape as well as an instructive walk-through of local fauna and a particularly interesting collection of cacti and succulents of the world.

We walked down the 800 feet elevation change into the caverns. As everybody knows, typical tourist photography cannot capture the dimensions and spectacle of the various caverns but for my own sense of worth, I have attached some of mine. It's a nice 2-3 hour visit but that's about it. We decided not to drive on to the Guadalupe Mountans National Park in Texas and returned to our campground. When we reached our trailer, we both looked at each other and said, "Hot Springs!"

The route we took between T or C and Carlsbad was on Highway 82, which climbed up and over the Sacramento Mountains and through the small town of Cloudcroft at 8,600 feet elevation. If the hot springs weren't calling, we would liked to have stayed up top but couldn't readily see any easy boondocking spots or any open campgrounds. It's a pretty cool looking tourist town with its own little ski mountain and reminded us of California's eastern Sierras.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:18 PM   #21
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I love your commentary, sharing, and photos. Thank you!
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:27 PM   #22
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The way out of the Caverns and The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park...
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:33 PM   #23
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We found our old spot from a week ago at EB State Park and drove into town. We dropped off a sweater for dry cleaning at Nu Way Cleaners and then walked up to the local post office. We discovered it was built in 1939 out of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a program of Roosevelt's New Deal. While the post office building also served as a local fallout shelter, we found the interior to be especially memorable; we full-timers typically look for the local post office and T or C's is something of which the town can be proud. It houses a mural painted by Boris Deutsch - a 5'x12' oil on canvas. "The Indian Bear Dance" was installed in 1940 under one of the federal arts programs using artists during the Great Depression (1929-1943); works like this came to be known as WPA Art. Deutsch had originally depicted the Native American chief dancing out of the path of a AT&SF railway locomotive but later inserted a mountain, deciding to instead represent the spirit of southwestern Native American rituals.

We took to the backstreets south of Main Avenue and Broadway Street to find the many other hot springs in town. The crumbling sidewalks are further historical evidence of WPA's imprint on T or C. The neighborhood has its desert character and the locals like it that way. We bumped into a couple who owned a 1969, I believe it was, Airstream Land Yacht. Steve and Jane moved down from Albuquerque to small-town life. Steve was taking his time refurbishing his trailer and uses it to boondock in the local mountains.

We walked farther down the neighborhood to the La Paloma Hot Springs and Spa. It's not as polished as Riverbend but we were just in for a 30-minute soak. The rooms are smaller and have rock-bottomed tubs. I can see why folks come from great distances just to spend a few days or a week to go "tubbin'" - the hot mineral waters really do soak away any stress and remind the lot of us how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy leisure time...the simple things in life.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:41 PM   #24
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Passion Pie and downtown T or C...
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:46 PM   #25
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The streets of T or C...
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:52 PM   #26
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La Paloma Hot Springs and Spa...
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:58 PM   #27
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After the soak at La Paloma Hot Springs and Spa...
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:03 PM   #28
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Inspiration

Going on 2 years now of following your awesome and inspiring posts and pictures.
The details and the wonderful way you write about your adventures pushes us to be a little more adventurous then we would have thought possible in our AS.

Your the best
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