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The little family Pyke » Posts for tag 'Holiday'

New Year’s in New Mexico. Part 2: Ruidoso and mountains 2 comments

The first few days in the mountains we had to drive up to higher peaks to find snow to play in, but a few days before we left we had a big snowfall that provided plenty of soft powdery drifts to play in and kept us cabin-bound until we left to come home. This was only partly by choice: the snow on the driveway was too deep for us to get the car up to the cabin so we had to leave it parked down on the road.

It was as lovely and beautiful and magical as what we could have hoped, but with daily highs of around -6 deg c (and nightly minimums of below -10 deg) it was cold enough to make us happy to get to spend our winters in relatively warm Texas. We also realised that a snow holiday is not the easiest holiday to have with little kids. Both Adam and David liked playing around outside, but HATED getting all kitted up in what Werner called ‘full snowman’. David struggled to keep his mittens on, and Adam’s wild rolling in the snow meant that he inevitably got snow in his shoes and pants.

But it was nothing that couldn’t be remedied with hot chocolate and a cookie, and luckily is was nice and cozy in the cabin.

New Year’s in New Mexico. Part 1: Heading West and White Sands 1 comment

I’m dividing our holiday pics into two posts. It feels like I have a million pics to upload, and my strategy is to divide and conquer.

We headed west the day after Christmas, tracing most of the route we took to Big Bend in March. It’s dry and desolate, and inhabited by big-truck driving, stetson-wearing and no doubt gun-totin’ types. Also, a large part of it is oil country. You always smell it first – and like last time my first thought was that there was something wrong with the engine. Then you see the pumpjacks, dipping like strange dark birds, dotted all over the plains.

It takes a good seven hours’ drive just to get out of Texas (Austin is pretty much right in the middle), and we were really happy, after a night in Pecos, to finally cross the state line into New Mexico.

Aside from the snowplay that took up most of the holiday, we also spent some time driving around to towns and sights in the area. The mountains where we stayed are flanked by flat desert on either side. Roswell, home to the international UFO museum and research centre, lies to the east, and Alamogordo and test site of the first atomic bomb to the west. Near Alamogordo lies White Sands National Monument, the world’s largest gypsum dune field – and to Adam and David, the world’s greatest sandpit. We thought Adam would be keen to try sliding down the dunes on the little snow sled we had borrowed, but it turns out that David is one with a taste for vertical speed, with or without a sled.

There are also one or two pics of Lincoln, a cute little wild-west mountain town, home of Billy the Kid, that was once notorious for having the most dangerous road in the whole of the United States (and it pretty much only has one road – the one that runs through it). I loved the story of Lincoln mainly because it is so very American. You really should look up the long story, but in short the Lincoln County war started when an Englishman set up a general store in competition with the existing general store in the tiny town – one store at each end of town. Accusations of fraud, assassinations and a general descent into anarchy followed. Shoot-outs on main street, corrupt sheriffs, and a revenge posse known as ‘the Regulators’ (of which Billy the Kid was a member), all elements of a standard capitalist war.

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