Monday, May 17, 2021

Southern New Mexico Is Wonderous

On Tuesday afternoon, we sat at our beach campsite and threw around ideas of where to travel to on the next leg of our road trip. We hadn't planned on leaving the beach a night early, but here we were (read about it all here). El Paso was at the top of the list ever since the youngest learned about the city at the beginning of our homeschool year. However, the drive across Texas to El Paso was LOOONNNGGG. We planned on driving through southern New Mexico on our way home anyways, so my husband suggested driving through the night to Roswell, NM. It shaved a few hours off of our drive plus it turned into the hub for our southern New Mexico adventures.

We packed up from the beach and began the 9 1/2 hour drive to Roswell, NM. Once we had cell reception, I booked a quaint Airbnb house in Roswell. We drove through the night, with a few stops at rest areas. One for a severe thunderstorm we encountered just outside of San Antonio and two more to get some shut eye for the adults. It was actually an easy drive other than those times. We arrived on the boarder of Texas and New Mexico before 7 a.m. for a quick stop and drive through Guadalupe Mountains National Park. 

We were able to hike the only dog friendly trail. In blankets....because we were NOT prepared for cold weather! We went from 95+ degrees at the beach to 50 degrees....and all of our sweatshirts or warmer clothes were packed away in the car topper! The blankets did the trick though and it wound up being one of our more memorable hikes! It was quite foggy due to the occasional drizzle, so we didn't get great views, but I can tell the park is gorgeous and unique.

We rolled into Roswell still bright and early. We paid a stop to the visitors center and walked around downtown, admiring the shops and art murals. Roswell is a kitchsy town that has their niche and runs with it. Everything in this town revolves around aliens, UFOs, and outerspace. There are alien statues everywhere, streetlights are made to look like alien heads, local playgrounds incorporate UFO designs, nearly every local bakery and restaurant have aliens in their signage. It was a bit comical for us.

Since we were downtown, we also did the International UFO Museum. They are a family and pet friendly museum, so it was perfect! We spent an hour discussing conspiracy theories, beliefs in extraterrestrials, and the history of Roswell. It actually turned into a very interesting homeschool on the road lesson! 

After the museum, we were counting down the hours until we could check into our Airbnb. After two days on a hot beach and a night of driving and sleeping in the car, so we were soooo ready to relax in a house! We still had a bit of time to kill, so we went to Bottomless Lakes State Park. Just minutes from downtown Roswell, this was an easy outdoor adventure. The Lakes aren't actually bottomless, but they are deep, unique, and look very cool. There is no swimming here at all. I had read reviews that there were trails around a few of the lakes, but we didn't see any clear cut trails (and at that point, we were too tired to go exploring for one). The most unqiue thing about these lakes is that they were actually IN the mountains! We couldn't see them from the road, we had to walk up to the tops of mountains, plateaus, and hills in order to see them cut into the landforms.

After our Lakes adventure, we picked up burgers from Lotaburger and checked into our Airbnb. We discovered Lotaburger on our last NM adventure in 2019. Ironically, the middle one had been asking for the burgers for a couple of months, so he was thrilled to find out Roswell had a location. We spent the rest of our evening relaxing and enjoying WiFi for the first time in a week! We were able to catch up on the news (we were shocked to find out about a gas shortage and other craziness in the world). 

I highly recommend checking out Roswell if you're in southern New Mexico! It was such a fun little city to stay in!