Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Looking Back: Sat, Feb. 8, 2014: Into the Sky

I wanted to share White Sands with Brennan (one of my favorite places in New Mexico, see here and here!).  We spent the night in Alamagordo the night before, and while that was previously a terrifying experience for me, I slept soundly and peacefully.

He's not much of a morning person, but we were out of the motel room in plenty of time to see the sunrise at the park.
When we pulled up to the gate, there was a military vehicle blocking off the entrance.  We asked what was going on, and were told that White Sands was closed for the day for some military reason.  I was so disappointed.  We pulled off the side of the road to watch the sunrise glow wash over the mountains.


It was, of course, breathtaking exactly the way it was, even though it wasn't what I had expected when we woke up that morning.  And I think that's part of the adventure: appreciating experiences as they are rather than how I think they should be.
We headed up Route 70 toward Las Cruces, and all of a sudden the world turned from pale orange-pink to a brilliant, rich gold that warmed my soul.
We headed up to the Very Large Array, another place that I feel in love with after just one visit.

The telescopes were arranged in a different configuration than the last time I visited.  During my first visit, they were clustered closely together.  This setup allows the astronomers to get a wide, far view of the universe.  When we visited in February, the telescopes were farther apart, which zooms them in to a more specific area of the sky.
After VLA, Brennan took a nap while I drove to Pie Town, a place I had read about and piqued my curiosity.  It was a tiny, tiiiiny little town.  Brennan slept through the visit, and I didn't stop for any pie since I had already cut gluten out of my diet at this point, but it was really cool to see this famous little town tucked away in the hills of the high desert.

We headed back down and explored a bit around Magdalena.

It's still so weird to me to see dry creek beds out here!
We found this sign that I didn't remember noticing during my last trip.  My sister's name happens to be Kelly, and this time it caught my eye.  We did a little research and figured out how to get to this ghost town.
After having observed many different old ruins across the southwest, it's so interesting that both modern and ancient ruins have a similar feeling about them.  They make me feel hushed, and awed, and almost reverent with the realization of the lives that were spent in that place, the spirits of people acting out the good and bad, and learning and growing, crying and laughing, all in that place.  And then all of their experiences being diminished to shells of buildings tucked away in mountains that used to shelter those souls, surrounded by low mountains that slowly, timelessly, roll along.

The "main road" up to Kelly was a narrow dirt and rock path that inclined past the shells of homes that dotted the hills.


The mine itself was amazing to see, and I think this is one of the coolest places I have ever visited.




Heading out, I kept pausing, not wanting to leave these bare crumbling foundations.  Souls built these structures with their own hands, people were born and died there, people fought and made up there.  I tried to imagine how the homes were arranged, where the furniture stood, peeking out the window of a cozy attic bedroom at the mountain views that stood before them the same as they appeared to me.
 The sunset that evening was so gentle, and the weather was gentle, and my heart was happy.


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