Since we went by Carlsbad Cavern National Park we felt required to take the tour. After about 2/3 mile along the 1 1/3 mile basic loop through the cavern, we certainly felt we had had enough…. but we trod on since there was only one way out.
Nevertheless the caverns are wonderful. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop over. But, don’t go during the tourist high season. It will be mayhem.
We continued north on 285.
During our night at Brantley Lake State Park, both of us were awakened in the middle of the night by the strong smell of petrochemicals. Neither of us could figure out where this might come from since we appeared to be in the middle of the high country plain. Artesia NM explained the source of the smell.
Stopped in Roswell NM.
After we took the mandatory picture of the UFO Museum, we drove around and realized that Roswell is quite a bustling town. Lots of good housing, public spaces, and it includes Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell and the New Mexico Military Institute. Total students 5,000. Clearly this population adds a lot of action to the town.
Cambridge friends Karen Aqua, animator, and husband Ken Field, composer worked on a film by 3rd & 5th grade students at El Capitan and Military Heights Elementary Schools in Roswell, NM, a project of the Roswell Independent School District’s Creative Learning Center. Here it is on YouTube, Roswell: Not Just Aliens (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hETuhLz-3BQ).
We made it to Santa Fe and checked into a hotel. We got a great takeout meal from Jalapenos Mexican Grill. Fresh, tasty, and served up by enthusiastic restaurateurs. This great little spot is hidden away in one of America’s endless malls. We found it through a menu in the hotel lobby.