A day of Space and Cowboys

Saturday, August 04, 2007
Carlsbad, New Mexico, United States

 It was a very long day yesterday so we had a leisurely start today & went to the Imax Planetarium in Alamogordo to see the movie about the mission to Mars. I do love the Imax experience, and this one totally lived up to what we expected – you really felt as if you were approaching the planet's surface. Continuing on the Space theme, we then went to the New Mexico Museum of Space and spent the rest of the morning exploring 4 floors of space exhibits plus the rocket "garden" outside, all of which were very interesting.

 We had decided to head for Carlsbad and its caverns and do any “cowboy” stuff on the way, so we started at Ruidoso Downs and the Billy The Kid Visitor Centre. Hubby had grown up reading stories and watching films about all things cowboy so this seemed the perfect place to take him. Unfortunately it didn’t really live up to the hype of the guide book so we moved on to the Museum of the American West next door.

 It was mostly devoted to the horse, including Anne Strandling’s collection of thousands of artefacts and was very interesting to browse round. There were 2 very good temporary displays about cowboys: the story of Billy The Kid plus movies about Tombstone, Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral, so Hubby was happy.

 We left mid-afternoon to go to Lincoln where we discovered it was the Old Lincoln Day celebration – quite by accident we’d landed on the only day of the year when they celebrate shoot-outs. It was a very authentic Wild West town with historic buildings, museums, people in costume and lots of stalls, but as the shoot-out re-enactment wasn’t until 8.30pm and there wasn’t an RV park in the vicinity we decided to move on.

 The route took us through Roswell (of the alien sightings fame) but as the now-expected afternoon rainstorm had hit, we didn’t stop in case those self same aliens took it into their heads to abduct us. We eventually reached Carlsbad at twilight, and checked into the Carlsbad RV park. Although the site didn’t look particularly impressive (grey gravel vistas everywhere), the people were friendly and the facilities excellent so we booked for 2 nights.
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