We were too early for the Festival of the Cranes, but we did make it to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge outside of Socorro. This Refuge is the home to 17,000 wintering Sandhill cranes, along with numerous other waterfowl, birds, and mammals. Not bad scenery either!
We had been seeing Sandhills sporadically along our entire trip, so it was a real joy to finally see their most popular wintering area in the US.
We meandered through Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces, before finding ourselves in the Organ Mountains…more beautiful majestic rocky crags. They reminded me of the Grand Tetons on a smaller scale.
We camped there at Aguirre Springs and hiked up to incredible vistas and meadows filled with wildflowers.
Pulling ourselves away from this beauty, we stopped in for a visit to White Sands National Monument. Glad we didn’t pass this gem by. There was a storm on the horizon, and we just made it out before the the rain starting pounding down. The sand dunes are huge mountains of white gypsum sand. Growing up along the ocean, this sand was very surreal to me, it was so white and clean and dry. Very different from my ocean sand.
Whenever we pass through a town where either of us have had ancestors living, we try to stop in and visit. This cute little town of Weed, New Mexico, once held the lofty name of Garden City. Always one to feel sorry for the underdog, I kind of like the name Weed. The population of 20 was stretching it a bit too. We met half the population, and they were all awesomely nice.
A stroll along another wildlife marsh. Can’t seem to pass these by. And amazingly they are great places to walk a dog. Leashed of course!
Hiking around a bend out in front of Fred and Pia a bit, I caught these two flickers doing a courtship dance. What a treat!
And finally to wrap up this truly enchanted land, another outrageous New Mexico Sunset, from our campsite at Rockhound State Park.
We’re on our way back home, slowly…to spend some holiday time with our families and friends. But first, we’ll tootle our way through the Arizona desert, and see what there is to see.