Saturday was our last day at Brantley Lakes State Park. We took a side trip to Sitting Bull Falls in the Lincoln National Forest in the afternoon. The drive entailed several miles of “open range”. The cattle have the run of the road :)
Sitting Bull Falls has been closed for an entire year due to a wild fire last April. It finally reopened Saturday and we were anxious to see it. We were disappointed. This area of NM has experienced "exceptional" drought the last 4 years. "Exceptional" is the highest rating given by the government when measuring drought conditions. The falls were "shriveled" compared to the past.
We had hoped to hike the trail to the origin of the falls but all of the trails were roped off. I heard a ranger say that they wanted more new vegetation to take hold before opening the trails to hikers. With our hiking plans dashed, we climbed the stairs to the falls, took a few photos and left.
This “pool” was supposed to be a large clear pool of water from the falls. In fact, it was a favorite swimming hole of the locals.
On Sunday, we left the Carlsbad area and drove all of 70 miles to Roswell, NM. That's my kind of drive :) I spent the afternoon catching up on laundry and researching what to do with our one full day (Monday) in Roswell.
Although most of what you see and hear about Roswell centers on aliens and UFO's, Roswell is actually the home of several famous people. John Denver, Nancy Lopez (golfer), Demi Moore and Susan Graham (world renowned opera star) were all born here. Many others lived here for a time-Conrad Hilton, Lefty Frizzell, Roy Rogers, Pat Garrett (sheriff known for killing Billy the Kid), Joel McCrea, William Bonney (better known as Billy the Kid) and Dan Blocker of "Bonanza" fame. Roswell is the home of the famed New Mexico Military Institute, the nation's only state-supported, co-educational college preparatory 4-year military high school and junior college. Graduates include Roger Staubach and Sam Donaldson.
So today, we decided that no visit to Roswell would be complete without a visit to the UFO Museum :)
Most everyone has heard the story of the UFO crash outside of Roswell in July 1947. This entire museum is dedicated to that occurrence...or was it just a weather balloon, like the government insisted? I have to admit that after reading many of the depositions by people that were there and reading many of the other pieces of evidence on display, I think that maybe, just maybe, it really did happen. What about you? Are you a believer? Was there a huge cover-up by the US government? Or was it much to do about nothing and imaginations gone wild?
After leaving the UFO Museum, we headed for the Historical Center for Southeast New Mexico, just a few blocks away.
Unfortunately, when we arrived, a school group was going through and we were asked if we could please come back in about an hour. No problem. We did a little driving around and looked for a hat or t-shirt for Rick to commemorate our visit. He couldn't find anything that tickled his fancy so I guess he'll not be advertising for the city of Roswell :)
When our hour was up, we returned to the Historical Center. This "Prairie" style home was built in 1912 for Mr. and Mrs. James White and now houses the Historical Center. The "Praire" style was developed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1900's.
Note the extra large and wide front door. This was to allow access for a casket to get through the door. There was no mortuary in Roswell in the early 1900’s so homes needed to accommodate a casket in the event of a death.
The lower floor of the home is furnished as it was when the White's lived there.
This kitchen was really modern. See the water heater between the sink and the stove?
As it turned out, the volunteer that greeted us went to school with the White's granddaughter. She said she remembered coming to this house several times with her friend, after school, and jumping on the feather beds upstairs :)
The upstairs was divided into many different displays of the era.
That about wraps up our day. There is more to see in this area of New Mexico, but it will have to wait until our next visit. We leave for Santa Fe in the morning. We’ll be there for a week. See you then.
Thanks for stopping by.