Today was another busy day. After finishing breakfast and packing the car, we started out for Alamogordo. Our route took us through Cloudcroft, and the highest point of the trip at almost 9,000 feet above sea level. On the way down, on the outskirts of Alamogordo, we stopped at McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch and did a little shopping. We snagged some seasoned pistachios as well as some wine.
From there we headed over to the New Mexico Museum of Space History. We toured the outside exhibits, including a Mercury capsule, and finished just as it started to rain. This seems to be becoming a recurring theme on the trip. So, we headed inside and walked through the museum, checking out the impressive collection of space related artifacts. We tried our hands at the shuttle landing simulator and crashed it every single time. Finally, we stopped at the gift shop and picked up a gyroscope and a sled for Reese. We did a mad dash to the car, getting soaked in the process, and drove down into town to grab some lunch. The rain slacked off while we were eating, but the water levels continued to rise. By the time we left, the parking lot was flooded and the main drag was a river. We did manage to get ourselves out and pointed towards White Sands.
Arriving at White Sands National Monument, we slathered on the sunscreen, paid our admissions fees, and started in to the park. The first stop was the elevated walkway through the dunes. Reese really enjoyed it, especially figuring out that walking on the synthetic planks worked up a pretty good static charge. He and I spent most of the walk back zapping each other. Unfortunately, the rain that we had left behind was starting to catch up to us, so we made our way to the end of the road to find some good dunes for sledding. We did manage to get back there and do a few runs before the wind started kicking up and sandblasting us. At that point we decided to beat a hasty retreat and headed out of the park and over to Las Cruces, our stop for the night.
We got checked in to the hotel, unloaded the car, and went out for dinner at the High Desert Brewing Company. The food was great, as was the beer, but we were pretty tired, so we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.