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So this is not a picture of Las Cruces.  Instead, its a picture of the angry sky the weekend prior, and a sand storm had just ended and another was picking up.  Sky  not happy.

(Between Roswell and Alamogordo)

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I stopped in at Fort Seldon, in Radium Springs for a short lil dash through the ruins there.  A lot of the walls have fallen, and not much to take pictures of.  But I did get three nice close up shots of a wagon.  Still playing with my new lens, as we can see.

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I headed into Las Cruces and visited the Mesilla/Downtown historic area.  Lots of places for great gifts, jewelry, Mexican blankets, artisans, and sweet lil spots to snag pics. 

I took two different pictures of the same thing, one when I got there, and one before I left (I had parked close by) I was aiming for the sun to move away so that the sky was a darker blue to contrast the brick. 

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I love the peppers on the adobe.  I love the colors that they use down here.  The dark teals and the vivid reds. 

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Just a random, cool looking ladder. 

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Random, cool looking wooden door.

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I swear, I love the doors and windows in this part of the country. 

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A bench from the late 1800’s, said to be one that sat outside the courthouse where Billy the Kid was put on trial. 

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Common, everyday, light fixture.  I just liked it.

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CloudCroft–Trestle Hike

My tourist day didn’t last as long as I wanted it too.  So home I went, google I hit, and off to find some railroad trestles. 

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That white band on the horizon?  That’s the White Sands. 

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There was SNOW!

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These are the ‘S’ trestles.  The vast amount of lumber used to hold these rails was incredible. 

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Those bolts and ties have been there since the last 1800’s. 

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If you look across you can see an overlook that you don’t have to hike too.  But the hike is a moderate one, but at 8,000 feet.  So remember you’re going to work a little harder than normal. 

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Of course I had to climb down and take some different pictures.  Had there not been snow on the ground, I’d have ventured further into the gorge. 

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I have no clue what sort of bird that is.  I heard plenty of them today, but I saw only this one. 

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I began my morning not having even grabbed my Rebel.  I get in my car, look into the rearview mirror and see this blob of blue.  I dashed back to the cabin and got my Rebel.  Never leave home without it. 

A peacock.

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Then the World’s Largest Pistachio.  Nuff Said

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The Space Museum was very cool.  A lot of reading, and history.  And huge machines.  Those engines are monstrous. 

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You are never quite sure what man is capable of until you see it for yourself. 

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I’ve always loved space.  Star Wars, Star Trek, 2001 a Space Odyssey.  I can stare at the sky for hours and hours.  I’ve never believed that we are alone in the word, that would be arrogant.

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The fun thing is that some of this stuff looks like its from a bad sci-fi movie.  It isn’t.  It was the actual working components used by NASA. 

I didn’t take a picture, but there is also a section on Disney and George Lucas, which I thought was very cool.  They have a small gift shop and everything is reasonably priced. 

Roswell

I didn’t drag my Rebel with me and just had some fun w/my phone.  Its a GREAT lil town, some fun stuff to see. 

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Most of the stores have these vast displays with lil green aliens.  Totally cool and campy. 

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Even the lamp posts are in on the alien deal!

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That’s right.  MickeyDees too!

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This is how we relax in Roswell.

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Me and my FitBit following the green footprints of the Aliens

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The take-way from Roswell is that its a fun, quirky, walk around town where people have capitalized on their otherworldly fame.  As they should! 

Firstly, Carlsbad was one place I wanted to see the last time I was in New Mexico.  Its a very busy place during the weekday, and a very challenging place to photograph. 

Even the drive there is pretty.

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Now, its a long walk.  LONG and humid walk.  Bring water, folks.  Take breaks.  Don’t take pics on the way down.  Take them on the way UP, this gives you a reason to stop and view your surroundings. 

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Its difficult to describe how awe inducing these caverns are.  They are not man made, they are nature made.  Different colors, textures, shadows and light that can be both eerie and brilliant. 

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I’m a great fan of the Alien series (the movies).  For some reason, the way the rock melded and melts reminded me of the first Alien in that movie.  I swear, the designer of those Aliens had to have gone to Carlsbad and were inspired.

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Taking photographs in an area that is near dark with spotlights on sand colored rock is a challenge.  I do not have a tripod and to be honest, that would be hard to do with all the foot traffic.  I reverted to making sure I focused perfectly – and snapped quick.  The lightening I did in post.

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Can I say how humid this place is?  That being said I’m from Maine, where 100% humidity is normal.  ‘Nuff Said.

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I wish we could actually touch/climb and explore.  But, alas, we can’t.  I guess we need to use our imaginations for that exploration, don’t we?

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The mouth of the cave is just as interesting as the inside of the cave.  You just have to look.  Smile

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So if you are in New Mexico, totally go check out Carlsbad. 

Alamogordo, NM–White Sands

So now that I’m semi-settled – I went out on a mind escaping day today. 

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So it is hot in the dessert.  I saw no lovely lil creatures.  No snakes, no birds, nada!  I was sad.

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I love, love getting a great sunflare!  My new lens is different than my other two.  Different curve, so I am just getting the hang of it.  Also, the settings work a bit differently with this camera. 

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I spent a lotta time on my belly while out there.  Getting a different perspective.  Around midday it started getting very very hot. 

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While the place looks deserted, its not.  I am pretty sure there were at least 1000 people there.  Playing frisbee, tossing footballs, sliding down dunes.  I couldn’t figure out why they had magic carpets at the Walmart, there is no snow!  Now I know why. 

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Like I said, I spent a lotta time flat on my belly.  Could have taken a nap.

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There are these hard sand structures, seems they build around sticks or other small objects and rise like pillars in the white sands.  It is pretty cool.

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There are some really cool cactus flowers that dry up and fall off, and scatter everywhere.  I had some macro fun (its so nice to just have one lens).

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I played with a number of settings.  Which was fun and made for some interesting pictures. 

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The colors didn’t come in as bright as I’d hoped, but was still a blast being there as the sun ventured down.

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The remainder I took with my Moto-X on the HDR setting.  They came out pretty decent. 

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2.22.2015–Eklund Hotel

The last time I was in Clayton, NM I enjoyed quick lunches and the such at the Eklund.  This time I got to stay there.  My sister-in-law, Vic was rather taken w/the few pictures I took of the place.  So, this time around, I took more.

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The building was built in the last 1800s.  It’s been rather well upkept, considering you go through out the country and see abandoned places just like this all along the drive.

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There are some great details in the old place.  The lighting isn’t great, its very yellow.  But I worked out some of the details on post.  hdr-IMG_3034

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All along, I thought it was a tin ceiling, but it isn’t.  It is all plaster. Which, makes it all more facinating and unique. 

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If anyone knows me, they know I love door knobs!  The wood etching on the fireplace is very cool, and looked better in Black and White. 

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Again, the decorations/details on the ceiling are all plaster. 

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The fireplace is all marble.  There are two in the dining room and one in the saloon (which I didn’t get to photograph, maybe next time!)

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As I was driving down the 54, to my right it was as dark as night and to my left, completely sunny.  And that produced a great rainbow – even with my 18 lens I couldn’t get the whole rainbow!  (I did with my phone)

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And that was my view to the front.  And my long drive is finally over.  For another 10 weeks. 

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