Sunday, February 14, 2010

February Roadtrip: Roundtrip Alamogordo


It has been a record winter here in central New Mexico for snow and cold. El Nino has prepared us for a mild fire season this coming spring and summer. But in the meantime, a three day weekend, and a visit by Sheriff Richard Mack to Alamogordo's 2nd Amendment Task Force made it impossible to resist an overnight road trip to the warm southern part of the state.

Accompanying me and the Engineering Geek south were my business partner, the Professional Revolutionary, and Flat Ryan, who had arrived by mail from Atlanta. Flat Ryan is here to learn the geography and culture of New Mexico for a few months in order to teach his three-dimensional avatar upon his return to Geogia. He appears in two of the pictures below.

We took the 40 east to Moriarty, and then drove south through Estancia to Willard, where we cut southeast through Cedarvale to Corona.

Shortly after leaving Willard, we encountered a windfarm perched on the northeastern edge of the magnificent Chupadera Mesa. Below the very space-age looking electricity-generating windmills, was an old fashioned windmill used to pump water for cattle.

In the lobby of the Flickinger Theatre in
Alamogordo, Sheriff Richard Mack poses
with Flat Ryan before giving his speech on
based on his book by the same title.

Sheriff Mack, of Graham County, Arizona,
was one of two plantiffs for the Printz-Mack
that reaffirmed that the County Sheriff is
the highest officer in his county, and has the
responsibility to protect his people against coercion by federal agents of any kind.

After the event, we went to a Patriot Alliance Reception sponsored by Alamagordo 2ATF, the Lea County Tea
Party Patriots, and our own New Mexico Patriot Alliance.

It was very nice down south, with temperatures in the 50's and 60's during the day, with a gentle southeastern breeze.
Allof my long sleeved clothes seemed suddenly too warm, and I put the winter coat in the trunk, using only a hoodie at night. Wonderful!

align="left">But Sierra Blanca had more snow on it than I had ever seen, reminding us that this very cold, wet winter is not yet complete. So we stopped near Oscura to take pictures near an old railroad trestle that spanned one of the Three Rivers.

After stopping in Carrizozo for a cold Cherry Cider,
we cut across Chupadera Mesa on NM 55, instead
of going around it through Corona and Cedervale.

We stopped in Claunch, where the Library doubles as
the Post Office, and then took Flat Ryan on a short
tour of the Gran Quivera site of the Salinas
posing in front of a pair of manos and matates,
used by the native women for grinding maize.

From GQ through Mountainair, and then the last leg of the trip home, along the Manzano Mountains. Here, we stopped near Toreon to get a rare picture of the entirel Estancia Basin covered with snow. In the distance (middle right), blow-out dunes outline the form of a beach berm, formed when Glacial Lake Estancia filled this basin up to 7000 years b.p.

Years ago, I worked on the Glacial Lake Estancia project, identifying microfossils--ostracods--that grew in that lake. By looking at the relative numbers of various species, we could tell when the lake was rising and when it was receding.

The snow in the picture, beautiful as it is, indicated to us that we had returned to the frozen north! Thank goodness, no more snow is predicted until later in the week.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

These images are crazy! I am embarrassed that I made it into my 30s thinking New Mexico was just another arid, hot Southwest state.