September 21st we left our week stay in Alamogordo and travel 1 hour to the small village of Mesilla, outside of Las Cruces. You know you are not far from the Mexican border, when you have to stop at a Border Patrol checkpoint. Luckily we were not deported, lol.
In Mesilla, we see a beautiful church -Basilica of San Albino, the cute town plaza, and some nice shops. I bought cute pair of sandals, my first so far on this trip. I do love my sandals. We have lunch at La Posta de Mesilla, rated one of ten great Mexican restaurants across the US. It did not disappoint.
After Mesilla we travel 1 1/2 hours north to Elephant Butte Lake State Park, near the town of Truth or Consequences ( it was named after the game show). Here we will spend 3 nights. It is New Mexico’s largest state park, and is very nice. Water and Electric site for $14.00 per night. We are in the Lions Beach Loop, very level site with fire pit, covered picnic table, overlooking the lake. They have boat rentals, fishing, swimming, etc. Lots of people camp right on the beach.
Saw some deer, rabbit and jackaloupes, lol. Our first night here it was pitch black with clear skies and the stars were amazing.
Hung at campsite today and Bob fished. In the evening we went to Riverbend Hot Springs in Truth or Consequences. Yes that’s the name of the town. It was originally named Hot Springs, and changed its name when the radio show Truth or Consequences was on and had a contest for their 10th anniversary of the radio show and wanted to see if a town would change its name, and that’s that.
The Riverbend Hot Springs was great. Could do a common pool area for $12.00 or we chose to do the private pool for $15.00 per person for 50 minutes. They overlook the Rio Grande and Turtleback Mountain. It was very nice and relaxing. Would definitely recommend. There are also other bath houses in town.
Our last day at this great state park, we drove to the town of Hatch, the green chile capital of the word, to Sparky’s Burgers, for their World Famous Green Chile Cheeseburger. It was delicious 😋.
Tomorrow off to Socorro, a whole hour away, for a 2 night stay at Escondida Lake and Park for $18.00 night with FHU and fishing. This will be our home base for a few side trips.
Drove to downtown Socorro and had lunch at The Capital Bar which has been here since 1896. Nothing much more to see here.
Following day we drove an hour to The Very Large Array and do the self guided tour.it is normally $6.00 per person to get in but today was free since the gift shop was closed. This was very cool to see and learn about.
They are the most famous and powerful telescopes of its kind. It has made more discoveries than any other telescope on Earth.movie Contact and others were filmed here.it is out in the middle of nowhere.
Now we are hungry so we head to the town of San Antonio where we have lunch at the famous Owl Bar and Cafe. It is the home of the original world famous green Chile cheeseburger (we liked Sparkys better). It was here that Atomic Scientist’s came in the 1940’s. It was these scientists that would later activate the famous Trinity Site Explosion, the first test of the atom bomb.
Across the street from Owl Cafe, is the Buckhorn Burger, rated #7 burger 🍔 in US.
The chef beat Bobby Flay in Bobby Flay Throwdown.
Tomorrow back onto Route 66, where we actually will go a little west of Albuquerque and then come back to Albuquerque for the Balloon festival.
We spend the next three nights at the Dancing Eagle Casino & RV park in Casa Blanca,they have FHU sites for 10.00 per night. No amenities which is fine as we use this as a middle point of side trips.
We drove Route 66 to Grants, where there is a cute Route 66 sign that you can drive your car through, Sands Motel, Elvis stayed here, otherwise nothing else to see.Also on Route 66 was beautiful church in Laguna, the Owl Rock and we drove the Dead Mans Curve.
For a fun side trip we head to El Malpais National Monument. The roads are very nice, expect 1 1/2 miles on gravel to the Sandstone Bluff, definitely worth it and we were the only ones there.
The big attraction at El Malpais is La Ventana Arch. Very beautiful.
Our last day in Casa Blanca it rained most of the day, so no outside stuff today.
We did see a beautiful rainbow from the campground. It is the first time I have ever seen the beginning or maybe it was the end of the rainbow, just a few hundred yards from us.
Tomorrow we head 10 miles north of Albuquerque for a week stay, where we will explore Route 66 in Albuquerque, do the Turquoise Trail, Sante Fe, and more.