We spent the night of the 11th at a trailhead northeast of Mogollon. On the way we saw a sign to gladden anyone's heart.
We were going to spend the night at Ben Lilly campground but when we got there we saw this:
Not that it stopped this yahoo:
On the 12th, we walked the Catwalk. It was fun to imagine how they were able to install the 18 inch diameter pipe up the canyon for water. Here you can see the foundations for the pipe:
The brochure for the Catwalk says that you can bring your dog, but several parts of the trip are not suited to dog paws and resulted in Tux getting a free ride:
We decided to visit the White Sands National Monument and spent the night at the City of Rocks State Park. Quite possibly the best $10 I have ever spent. We saw desert cottontails, jackrabbits, an owl, tarantulas, heard coyotes and saw some of the neatest rock formations.
Friday July 13th, we visited the White Sands. Quite an interesting and informative tour. The sands are of course very white, but it is neat to see how they are formed.
There is a 1 mile loop with signs that teach about how plants survive and how animals have adapted to their environment. Katherine and I were expecting the sands to reflect the sunlight back and we made sure that we were wearing plenty of sunscreen. We checked the temperature in the parking lot, 82 degrees, should be no problem walking the dog. Yeah, reflected sunlight, also means reflected heat. In this case 110 degrees. Darn near caused my dog to have heat stroke. In retrospect that was dumb of me. But, on the brighter side I got more of a workout in as I carried Tux for a ways.
We spent the night at Bear Trap campground in the Cibola National Forest. This is where we had our greatest temperature swing of trip. 62 degrees in one day! It was 48 when I got up. It was around 55 before Katherine and Tux got out of bed. This was by far the most remote campsite of the trip. On the way there we crossed on of the arms of the Very Large Array.
On July 14th we went to the Very Large Array and got the guided tour from some students interning at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, NM. One of them was working on her Doctorate in some very advanced filed of astronomy. Don't ask me what it was. Again, the visitor center was very informative. BTW, they are not looking for little green men, but looking at the radio emissions from stellar bodies to give scientists more data about the universe.
Saturday night and Sunday night were spent at Sundial Springs. Very nice place, the hot springs were well worth the price to soak in them. We did get a bit of rain:
But, the tent worked very well for the most part. A few drops of moisture from the where the straps attached to the poles supported the ceiling.