Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Alamogordo Part I

Hi all,
Wow what a change of scenery! We stopped at Edgington RV Park just north of Alamogordo, NM. It is a passport park no frills but only $15.00 a night not to bad. It looks like a good campground to check out the area.
 The big draw here is White Sands National Monument after checking the weather forecast we decided to hold off on that.
 Our first drive took us into the Sacramento Mountains, nothing better than working the truck up a mountain. The route we chose  started at 4,300 feet and went up to Cloudcroft at 8,650 feet. Along the route up is a pullover showcasing a old trestle bridge that was once used to carry  passengers up to the cooler mountain temps in the summers. The trestle was one of 43 along the route and now the only one left. Restoration has been part of the rails to trails efforts although the whole trail is yet developed.

Cloudcroft is a neat little mountain town offering some nice shopping on the old main street. We browsed through the stores not buying to much.
 I don't always write on the food offerings along our way but an exception can be made. A store owner recommended a newer BBQ restaurant to us. We thought sure she was probably the owners mom. Boy who would care, Mad Jacks is true fresh barbeque, sold by the pound or on sandwiches that were literally dripping. I had the Twisted Brisket and Wendy the Devine Swine, as it was lunch hour and really busy we decided to take out and enjoyed our lunch at a nice mountain pullout with a great view.

 We continued down the road to Sunspot, New Mexico home of the National Solar Observatory. A beautiful 16 mile drive along the ridge of the Sacramento Mountains. This site sits at 9200 feet and overlooks White Sands Missile Range in the Tularosa Basin. It was chosen for its isolation from any major air pollution sources and plenty of sunshine, a excellent site to observe the sun. We took a self guided tour that took you from the visitor center to two facilities housing telescopes that are currently used. There are also two other telescopes no longer in use.

 The largest telescope stands in a tower 136 feet tall but extends underground 228 more feet. It utilizes a main mirror that is 64 inches. The rotating part of the telescope weighs 200 tons and is suspended by a container holding 10 tons of mercury which has a low friction enabling the 200 ton instruments to rotate.
 We finished up our drive making a loop drive along 244 through the Mescalero Indian Reservation making a full day.

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