On Thursday, November 12, 2015 the winds finally died down and we were on the road. We wanted to visit the White Sands National Monument and the New Mexico Museum of Space History. This time we turned to our Passport America membership to find something in that area. We have only joined a couple different campground memberships and this one has proved useful several times already. We joined in July and at that time it was $44.00 per year. It provides a 50% discount. In the few times we used it we already paid for the membership and have saved quite a bit! Here are a few pictures of how we use the website to find a spot. We settled on Edgington RV Park for $15.00 a night.
Edgington RV Park is a small no frills park, however it was all we needed and the price was right. Part of our taking this trip is also doing it on a budget. Finding places like this are great because it’s budget friendly, had all the amenities we needed and we felt safe. The staff was super nice. The location worked out great as we were right on the edge of Alamogordo, NM. It’s only a short drive to the Museum and the Monument, also a Super Walmart where we could restock a few groceries.
Pulling into the park we were greeted by a friendly camp host and she took us right to our spot. Basic gravel sites with full hook ups. You are right on Highway 54 here so there is some highway noise along with the occasional train. We slept right through it though and it didn’t really bother us.
One of the things I have to deal with is NOT having a washer/dryer. Before we headed out I raided every change jar we had and collected all our quarters! So on Friday morning I set aside some time to do up the laundry. I had read in the description there were laundry facilities here. I was ready with our new collapsible sorter basket, detergent pods, dryer sheets and quarters.
At first I was a bit confused, is this bathroom, shower or laundry?? It’s all three combined. No problem, I can handle this. There were 2 washers and 1 dryer. Then I see a box on the wall that says to put a dollar bill in to use the larger washer on the left. Wait a minute, I have quarters!! I walk back to the camper, grab a couple bills and throw them in and I’m washing. Oh no, I wasn’t paying attention the second washer and the dryer uses quarters which I just left in the camper to go get bills!! Back I go again to get the quarters. I set a timer on my phone and back again to the camper.
When I return I started reading the signs on the bulletin board. It mentions that on the south side of the park there is a house with an attached garage. The house is rented out, but in the garage there is an activity room and laundry facilities. Really, well I would have never guessed that or maybe I’m just not the type of person who wanders into somebodies garage!! I wandered around and found it. There was a little exercise room, satellite tv, and 2 more washers and dryers. This was also a lot closer to where we were parked. When my wash cycles finished in the bathroom, I grabbed everything and walked it down to the other laundry area. There was also a clothes line out back you were welcome to use, so I hung a few jeans out. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much exercise washing clothes!!!!
The park has a little book exchange building, sitting area and coffee. It was actually kind of cute.
In the middle of the park they have a pond and sitting area. There are also many nut trees that when mature you are welcome to help yourself. We saw a couple picking almonds while we were there. All in all for $15.00 a night it was a nice little place to stay for a couple nights
New Mexico Museum of Space History
Before heading out to the museum we decided to actually go out for lunch. This would be the first time eating out since we left. The best way to find a good place to eat is to ask someone local. We were in the mood for Mexican and our camp host referred us to a little place called La Hacienda. Her advice was good and we had a great lunch along with an ice cold Coca-Cola in a bottle.
The New Mexico Museum of Space History is a place to learn about the history, science and technology of space travel. There were many exhibits showcasing the development of rocketry, the challenges of living in space with displays of food, clothing and even a space toilet. There was a simulator in which you could land the space shuttle, and a rumble simulator which lets you feel how the earth shakes when different rockets take off. From the upper floor there was a great view looking over the Tularosa Basin.
The first “Astrochimp” is buried here. He was launched on a Mercury capsule on January 31, 1961. There is also an exhibit about him and you can see the little suit he was launched in. His successful flight was a dress rehearsal for NASA’s first manned flight 3 months later.
We really enjoyed our visit here and it was a great way to spend an afternoon. When you look at how the technology has changed it’s quite amazing. Things that only existed on rocket ships that were huge now exist in our smart phones and game controllers.
Pistachios & Wine
We did not realize that we were in such a “nutty” part of the country. Also new to us is pairing pistachios and wines. There are a couple very large pistachio farms in this area that offer daily tours. We stopped in to the Heart of the Desert where they also had a winery. Tastings are free and they have a lovely outdoor patio sitting area. The rv park we were staying at also gave us a couple coupons for this place to get a couple free bags of pistachios. We couldn’t resist buying a bottle of pistachio wine, who knows we might drink it or it just might end up being a Christmas gift!!
White Sands National Monument
This was absolutely awe inspiring and absolutely amazing!! Oddly enough it was almost like we had been transported back to South Dakota just after a blizzard. At the visitor center you can rent a sled to take into the sand dunes. We opted out of the sled, but don’t worry we still played in the sand like kids making snow (sand) angels!!
There’s an entrance station just before the dunes drive and a $5.00 fee per adult. A couple miles in the landscape completely changes and it’s quite unbelievable. There are many places to stop off for hiking, sledding, picnic areas and you can even bring your horse here and go riding.
It’s open every day except Christmas and can be subject to closures for testing at the nearby White Sands Missile Range. It was well worth it and just one of those things you have to see for yourself to believe it.
Where To Next
We took a bit of a blow by losing our OmniLynx unlimited data plan which runs on the Verizon Network. Off to a Verizon store to active our Mifi JetPack on a limited data plan. Also as we head through Las Cruces we will hit up a T-Mobile store to grab a phone on their network with an unlimited data plan. We will be working on a post that details all the gadgets the keep us connected.
We originally thought about on overnight stop in Deming NM just west of Las Cruces then over to Tombstone, AZ. However a check of the weather changed our minds. For a couple nights there the lows were going to be in the 20’s so we opted to keep heading west and get out of the colder nights. The plan ended up being drive to Bowie, AZ with an overnight stop then on to Why, AZ.
This area has the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and a ton of places to test out our solar panels and do some “boondocking”. We’ll let you know how that goes.
One more thing, there are many many more things to do and see in this area. We just need to make it a point to come back!!