From Carlsbad, we drove north through Artesia to Roswell. Artesia was a good stops for all we needed; gas, groceries, internet at the Artesia library, and a couple block walk to a propane distributor for a new regulator.
Roswell is a bit bigger, and there are green aliens standing all around. They didn't show up on my pictures though, I'll try again when we go back through tomorrow. The government must have erased them from our pictures already. I'm pretty sure that the T-shirts we bought do have government approved Roswell aliens on them though, those may have to do.
We didn't have a solid destination picked, finding a spot on BLM land was a thought, but it was getting late in the day for luck. So we took the easy option, Bottomless Lakes state park just east of Roswell. It turned out really great. NM state park campsites with electric are only $14, and no daily extra entry fee per person, so it's pretty reasonable.
The lakes are sinkholes from underground caverns, all in a general line about 5 miles long, along a small bluff. The chain of lakes are spring fed, and a large one by the campground flows out into a desert wetland area. The soil has higher amounts of salt and calcium from the mineral water being evaporated. Wooden posts along the road are encrusted with minerals from water wicking up and evaporating (my theory...).
Good sunsets over the lake and the valley toward Roswell. See the spaceship in the sunset? Maybe you just don't want to believe (we've been watching the X-Files now that we're here on location).
Around the lakes, the rocks and soil are tumbled down into the water, and it's fun for scrambling around. It's not too solid in general, there is a lot of crumbly gypsum in the rock. I still don't know what the red clay soil is from? iron bearing fossil sediment? Here's more about the geology of the lakes.
|Look!!! There's an alien in the bush!!! Watch out Alice!|
The park road is a scenic loop, about 10 miles around. It was easy going with the wind at our backs, not so easy on the way back.
We stayed for 3 nights, and had relaxing days, walking & biking and hanging around.
I put on the new propane regulator, it works and it doesn't smell. The old auto-changeover regulator would not always flow propane, acting like the primary tank was out of propane, until I would fiddle with the selector, then it might go. I could smell propane around the tanks and regulator faintly sometimes, but I was not able to find a leak with soapy water. The final straw was how fast we used up the last tanks, I think it leaked away some and we ran out sooner than expected.
Tomorrow we plan to go back through Roswell, see the museum this time, and then head to White Sands.