Why not drive across the blistering, burning desert in the middle of August?
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a big travel fan. I was bitten by the travel bug young, and I take every opportunity to go where I can (in reason, due to my struggling bank account). And though I have been to the Great American West many a time, considering that I spend a majority of my time in California, there is something about New Mexico and Arizona that really speaks to me.
Recently, I spent four days traveling from Tennessee to California. While the trip can be made in roughly two and a half days, this road trip had a few, well… Interesting stops. Therefore, I’d like to highlight my favorite moments from this journey, in case you are considering a trip out West anytime soon. 🙂
ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO
Day one of my journey from Tennessee was spent in my luxurious Honda automobile across three great states: Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. This part of the journey was rather boring, if I’m being honest, because… Well, I’m used to the scenery of flat land, trees, and Southerners. Therefore, we drove fast and furious to New Mexico, where we spent our second day cruising from Roswell to Las Cruces.
While outside the little alien-prone town is nothing but the barren traces of desert, the town itself is devoted to its UFO heritage. It seemed like half the businesses in town had some sort of alien shrine. I tried to capture a picture of an alien statue at a local Domino’s pizzeria, but I wasn’t fast enough to capture the shot. 🙂
For those of you who don’t know, the town of Roswell is famous because of its connection to a UFO (unidentified flying object) crash about seventy miles northwest in the town of Corona. There was a huge cover-up situation in which the government promised the public the crash was nothing but a downed weather balloon, but some speculate the crash could be extraterrestrial in origin.
No matter what you may think, the town’s devotion to aliens is unique, to say the least, and if you drive around the open desert around it, one might think anything is possible…
WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT, NEW MEXICO
Not too far away from Roswell is a small town called Alamogordo (yes, a mouthful!). It is probably a three-hour drive from Roswell, so nothing too bad. In the midst of the great basin, one is able to detect the hint of plump sand dunes…
When we drove closer, there was a sudden downpour from a summer thunderstorm, but that didn’t stop us from checking out the dunes.
At White Sands National Monument, one can stand or sled on tall, creamy dunes that go on for miles. I expected the sand to be hot against the soles of my feet, but it actually felt really good. This is a definite spot to check out, and I think photos do it more justice than my attempt at a blog post about it.
Tombstone, Arizona, is the United States’ most legendary Western town. Famous for the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Tombstone has been the center of many tourists’ interest in the American West.
The town has a lengthy history, but I was expecting it to be a ghost town. It wasn’t like that at all. I was thoroughly surprised to find it an actual town, with a high school to boot.
My favorite part of Tombstone is the Bird Cage Theatre, home to twenty-six deaths, an infamous gambling set-up and brothel, and ghosts to tell the stories. Considering that this trip was other-worldly, so to speak, I did ask the tour guide about the Theatre’s haunted past.
His response: “Go talk to one of the spirits right now.”
So… I took a piece of candy to entice the spirit of a young boy named Joshy, but nothing happened. Though I am skeptical of ghosts and such, the Theatre definitely has one of those creepy auras to it, but it’s a must-see.
And there you go: My top three visits on this year’s road trip. It was a whole lot of fun to drive, but I know it isn’t everybody’s favorite thing to do. For those of you who do like a trip, check this one out, but I do have some better locations to recommend in a later blog post.
I promise my next post will deal with writing, but I thought it would be a fun diversion from my normal musings. 🙂
Until next time,