When we left Chosa Campground in the ice and cold, we moved to Brantley Lake State Park. In the two nights we stayed there, we pretty much just hunkered down to avoid the cold, so there isn’t much to say about that. We will admit, though, that it was nice to have a couple of days to not have to worry about water or power usage, to have some tv channels, and to be able to run a space heater! Once the weather cleared, it was time to head off grid again, so over the mountains we went to Dog Canyon Dispersed Camping Area near Alamagordo, NM. This is more BLM land, like Chosa Campground, but it is in a bit of a more natural setting. It backs up to the Sacramento Mountains, so the views out our camper windows were great!
The Alamogordo area was a great place to spend a few days. Living in the Bigfoot full-time isn’t always hiking, fun, and adventure. There is still a good bit of life that needs to happen, so being right outside of town allowed us a way to take care of some business. We filled the propane tank, bought a new screen protector for one of our phones, found a mailbox to drop some mail, got the truck washed, etc.
With the chores finished, it was off to the fun stuff. We had no idea, but apparently, New Mexico is a good location for growing pistachios. A quick google search revealed a pistachio farm in Alamogordo that will allow you to sample their products as well as tour their facility. Eagle Ranch Pistachio Groves grow, process, package, and ship all their own pistachios under the Heart of the Desert brand name. The people who work here were so great. They answered all our questions, offered us many samples, took us on a very informative tour, and gave us some suggestions of other things to do while we were in the area. They even told us about their competition, McGinn’s PistachioLand, just down the road that has the “World’s Largest Pistachio.” We drove the short distance for the photo-op, but we preferred Eagle Ranch/Heart of the Desert. McGinn’s was nice enough and had a self-serve sample bar that was fun, but it seemed much more commercialized. We like the home-grown, welcoming feel of Eagle Ranch.
While in the area, we also enjoyed the New Mexico Museum of Space History. This is a five story facility that contains tons of space memorabilia and we really enjoyed learning not only about space history in general, but also about New Mexico’s very involved role in the advancement of space exploration. While there we also watched an IMAX feature showing some of the original footage of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Since we are both too young to have experienced it as it was happening, this film really helped us to understand the events and the excitement that the nation felt about space exploration at the time.
Of course, no visit to the Alamogordo area would be complete without a visit to White Sands National Park, but that will be its own blog post!
Until next time!