2012 Trip - Day 18

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Sunday, May 20 - White Sands National Monument - 213.4 Miles Today, 3295.5 For the Trip

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Today is another two for one deals, sort of. I changed from US 285 to US 82 at Artesia, NM and headed west. Lots of signs warning of long 6% grades, no long or heavy trucks, etc. While I wasn't too worried about the grade, there sure were a lot of signs. One interesting thing happened - I filled up the tank at Cloudcraft, which is at the top of the downgrade. I have a ScanGuage that gets reset at each tank filling. After resetting it & starting down a 16 mile downgrade it told me near the bottom that I could expect to get 4582 miles out of that tank of gas! Boy would that be nice. Unfortunately, by the time I reached Las Cruces it was back to normal readings.

I made two stops along the way to Las Cruces - the first to drive out into the White Sands National Monument. Sure is white. Tough to take photos - I had to overexpose by 2 stops to get anything useful. I did take a couple of the car & trailer to show I was there. I didn't drive to the end, but turned around where the pavement ends.

After that I continued down US 70, a 70 MPH four lane road. Saw a sign for the White Sands Missile Range Museum, and decided to stop. After being grilled by the gate guard I did get into the outside exhibit - the museum was closed. They are very careful about photographs - I was told what direction I could point my camera, otherwise they would erase my memory card. They don't want any photographs of the missile range or the gate. I took a few of some of the missiles in the exhibit, they let me through the gate to get out without re-grilling me, then headed on to Las Cruces.

After setting up in site GG of the Sunny Acres RV Park (with a Good Sam discount it was $34.69 for a full hookup pull through) I dropped the trailer and drove to 16 miles to La Mesa and Chope's Bar & Grill. Although it is Sunday & I expected they would be closed, I had to try. As many of you know, I'm a "T" Shirt addict. One of my favorites is my "Stuff It" shirt from Chope's, a present from a former student. The problem is that was in the 80's, and it is pretty worn out. I tried to stop by on a trip in 1996, but they were closed. Well, I found out that not only are they closed on Sundays as expected, but also on Monday so I can't even try on the way out of town. Looks like I'm never going to get a replacement!

After that it was a drive back up NM 28 to the campground. I passed over the Rio Grande, and had to take pictures; for a river named Grande, it has been sucked dry, not a trickle, but dry!

I'm now waiting for it to cool off enough for me to get interested in cooking a steak for dinner. Tomorrow will be a short drive to Rockhound State Park near Deming, NM. I did pass a Toyota dealer on the drive along NM 28; I may try for an oil change in the morning.

Photos for the day.

Along US 82
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument
Along US 82
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument Thru the Windshield
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument
White Sands Missile Range Museum
White Sands Missile Range Museum
White Sands Missile Range Museum
White Sands National Monument
White Sands Missile Range Museum
White Sands Missile Range Museum
White Sands Missile Range Museum
White Sands Missile Range Museum
Rio Grande
Rio Grande
Site GG, Sunny Acres RV Park, Las Cruces, NM
Chope's
Rio Grande
Rio Grande
Site GG, Sunny Acres RV Park, Las Cruces, NM

 

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Last Update: May 21, 2012