So, after making the most of our friends' hospitality in Elephant Butte, we finally had to hit the road again. Since we were already in southern NM we figured it would be a shame to miss out on the National Parks in the area. We made a quick hop over to White Sands, with a stop in Hatch along the way to get some green and red chile burritos. No pics, we were way too busy eating those magnificent creations!
We had a nice hike around White Sands and enjoyed the scenery. No dune riding here, which is just fine. There's plenty of places to ride motor vehicles on sand dunes without trashing the biggest gypsum dunes in the world!
After White Sands we drove up through Cloudcroft and over to Carlsbad Caverns. I won't bore you with photos of stalagmites and such, but suffice it to say that Carlsbad is worth seeing if you get the chance. I felt a bit like I was on acid...not that I would know what that feels like or anything...
From Carlsbad we took one more day off the bikes and went hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It was beautiful weather and the park has few visitiors, so we had a great hike to see Devil's Hallway:
From there we headed through El Paso and on west along I-10 until we turned and headed south towards Animas and the bootheel of NM. It's an interesting region with a lot of cattle ranching a whole lot of Border Patrol vehicles. I took a quick spin around on my own in the evening to see what the riding was like:
The next day we rode down the the south-eastern most section of the Coronado National Forest, and ended up riding what I later found out is the eastern portion of the Geronimo Trail. It was about 20 miles of pavement south from Animas, and another ten miles of washboarded dirt before the riding got a little better about the time we entered the forest. There's a lot of signs warning about illegal immigration and smuggling, but we didn't feel particularly bothered:
Top of the pass:
On the way back:
Computer battery dying! More tomorrow.