The truth is out there…the town of little green aliens:)
We had to get there first. A quick early morning trip to a very friendly Pecos Propane outlet just up the road to get our two 40 lb. propane tanks filled didn’t set us back much $50 for both, $2.99 a gallon, that still confuses me that it isn’t sold by the pound. I had told the attendant filling the tanks how much the new tanks cost in Canada, $300 each as he was looking at the reconditioning stamp on ours, holy sh*t he said, they are $109 each here brand new, then he said he understood why we had reconditioned ones!
Leaving Carlsbad we headed North on the 285 towards Roswell, you go through Artesia, more guns and gods and oil. Comes with the territory.
…then you can’t help but giggle as you come into Roswell, of course there are gun signs and god but there are also little green aliens everywhere welcoming you as well! All because of the the Roswell incident. According to Wikipedia:
The Roswell incident occurred amid the flying saucer craze of 1947. On June 26, media nationwide had reported civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold‘s story of seeing what became known as “Flying Saucers”. Historians would later chronicle over 800 “copycat” sightings that were reported after the Arnold story was published.
On Saturday night, July 5, 1947, rancher W.W. “Mac” Brazel made a trip from his remote ranch to town, Corona, New Mexico. The ranch had no phone and no radio, leaving Brazel unaware of the flying saucer craze of the prior ten days.
As a result, it was not until Saturday night that Brazel connected debris he’d found three weeks earlier with the flying disks in the news. The debris – tinfoil, rubber, and thin wooden beams – had been scattered across a square mile of the ranch. Brazel previously had gathered it and pushed it under some brush to dispose of it.
When Brazel heard stories of silvery flying discs that Saturday night in Corona, he decided to gather up his prior find. On Sunday, July 6, Brazel dug out the debris and on Monday, July 7, he took it in to the sheriff’s office in Roswell. The sheriff called Roswell Army Air Field, which assigned the matter to Major Jesse Marcel. Brazel took Marcel back to the debris site, and the two gathered up more pieces of rubber and tinfoil. Marcel took the material home on Monday night.
On Tuesday morning, July 8, Marcel took the material to his base commander, Colonel William Blanchard. Blanchard reported the finding to General Roger Ramey at Fort Worth Army Air Field (FWAAF). General Ramey ordered the material flown to FWAAF immediately. Marcel boarded a B-29 Superfortress and made the flight to FWAAF.
The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff’s office of Chaves County. The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff’s office, who in turn notified Maj. Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office. Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher’s home. It was inspected at the Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters.
Decades later, Roswell radio announcer Frank Joyce recalled contacting Haut by telephone to verify the release. Recalled Joyce: “I said ‘Walter, don’t run this story. If you do, you’re going to be in trouble. They’ll ship you out to Siberia.” I remember mentioning that, that was a common phrase in those days”.
There you have it:) But it never happened right? Ha!
We went through town and then turned right onto Highway 380 towards Bottomless Lakes State Park. We had been here in November of 2017. Everything is so dry, even the live oaks look like they are dying, so did parts of town. Lot’s of closures and boarded up stores, no tourists during the pandemic have been hard on these tourist towns.
After we got settled at the park we drove back to town for a late lunch and went for the prerequisite green chili burger. The Cowboy Cafe was closed already so we found Julie’s Place. It looked abandoned but had a hand written sign that said “drive up” only, we did. The menu board and order area had been smashed to pieces a long time ago so we drove up to the only window left. An older woman, Julie I presume took our order for two burgers. I had to get out as when we made the turn past the smashed order board we spied a horde of cats. Some feral, some not. This was Midnight the older man said. There used to be a dairy behind them but it’s gone now so the cats are here. Mike gave him the last of Groots traveling crunchies, they looked in OK shape. I still want to take all those kittens home..sigh.
Bottomless Lake State Park is about fifteen miles Southeast of town, not super close but it is a lovely spot. We had one night here as we’d decided to add an extra day in Carlsbad so when we checked in before noon (check in time is 4 pm) I didn’t feel bad, I’d already paid for the day, at $18 a night it isn’t a bank breaker! No one on duty, go find your spot and set up. It said reservations only on the sign, we saw a few campers turn away but you know what, it has free wifi, good wifi at that! They maybe could have stopped and made reservations on their phone. Lots of empty spots. The park takes its name from nine small, deep lakes located along the eastern escarpment of the Pecos River valley. It was very quiet as the main area is closed for remodeling, bathrooms, docks, so hardly a soul to be seen. Perfect! Just the alien at the front of the camp hosts spot;)
First of all, a state park with good wifi? Wow! But not the reason we came…this….
The campground is quiet, small only 32 total campsites with hook-ups (6 full hook-up campsites, 26 sites with water/electric hook-ups) the cats were very interested in the airstream trailer across from us, a dachshund and a peregrine falcon lived there. There is a falconers club nearby. Not an everyday sighting!
The unique lakes at this park are sinkholes, ranging from 17 to 90 feet deep. The greenish- blue color created by aquatic plants is what gives the lakes the illusion of great depth. I’m a sucker for reflections.
The park consists of approximately 1,611 acres and includes eight of nine lakes; the Fin and Feather Club owns Dimmitt Lake, the southernmost lake. Vaqueros (cowboys) who could not find the bottom of the lakes reportedly gave them their name. They would tie two or three ropes together and drop them into the lakes to try to reach the bottom. The ropes were not long enough, so the vaqueros thought the lakes were bottomless! Silly cowboys, but it gets better…other tall tales and folklore abound. One tells of a horse that fell into one of the Figure Eight lakes, drowned, and was pulled out of the other. Numerous objects reportedly have been lost in the lakes, only to be retrieved later from Carlsbad Caverns or even the Gulf of Mexico. How about the stories of strong underground currents that suck divers and swimmers deep into the bowels of the Earth, never to be seen again! And of course every lake has its monster; the Bottomless Lakes monsters are fictitious giant turtles that lurk in the deep, murky waters! Ha!
Lea Lake is the most popular lake and the only lake where swimming is allowed. Most of the developed facilities are at Lea Lake. It was named after Captain Joseph C. Lea, a rancher, veteran of the Civil War, and early settler of Roswell. Lea rode with Clark Quantrill and Frank and Jesse James during the Civil War and was a friend of William Bonney, alias Billy the Kid. Three sinkholes, 40, 60, and 90 ft deep, form the lake. A mesa overlook provides a bird’s eye view of the park.
Check out wasn’t until two so I walked around Lea Lake before we headed out. The wetland path was mostly dry with a shy Kingfisher and a few coots swimming around. Reluctantly we left as the campground was booked for Thanksgiving, I did manage to find a spot for three days in Alamogordo, busy holiday weekend, we often forget these holiday things! We sadly drove away.
Our way out took as back through town, past the bullet riddled stop sign, the welcome and thanks for visiting signs, the green lives matter was fabulous but someone would give me the gears if I wore it me thinks! We stayed on the 380 past the towering Capitan Mountains in the distance, a peak of 10,300 feet. Elevation in Roswell was 3570′. We went up in elevation to a high plateau before cutting through a beautiful valley near Hondo.
Didn’t see any God billboards, a few for ammunition…you already have the gun right? and goods, what the hell are goods? Guns-Antiques…would those be antique guns? and Mike wouldn’t stop and let me buy an alien! Only $29! a steal, which he said is what would happen to it if I put it at the end of Bula Lane…sad face here….I may get one on the way back! Ha! I’ll chain it down!
We followed the Ruidoso River as we wound our way through the valley and then climbed to a summit of 7500′. There was snow on the northern faces of the hills! After we entered into the Mescalero Apache Reservation, there were casinos, several casinos and a horse race track…and a castle. The castle was odd, and suddenly we were in the pines! So many landscape changes in two hours.
We finally started to go down, over three thousand feet and the white sands became visible in front of us. We turned South and headed to Alamogordo and the White Sands National Park. But that, will be another story…I’ll be starting a petition for that carved $29 carved alien to convince Mike! Saludos amigos, are there aliens or not? I want to believe….