Oliver Lee Memorial State Park/Drive West on 82
Trip Start Feb 09, 2013
102Trip End Jun 30, 2013
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Artesia –This town was named for the huge underground water supply and that is how the town got its name. The water is pumped to the surface and it irrigates thousands of acres of farmland. I think most of the farmland has oil wells all over it now plus cattle. The second biggest resource is oil discovered in 1924 and then they discovered reserves of natural gas. It is one of the most productive oil areas in NM. It also has an underground school which was built for the students and locals as an underground bomb shelter in case of a nuclear attack
Roswell - This town is located about 20 miles north of Artesia and it has farming, manufacturing and oil wells. Roswell is known for the reports of flying saucers and little green men on a ranch during the 40's that was covered up by the government. There is a UFO Museum & Research Center which has exhibits about the "Roswell Incident” the military’s recovery and cover-up of extraterrestrial debris from the ranch. Every July there is a UFO Festival for four days of alien inspired activities such as a parade with costumes, and lectures given by UFO investigators and witnesses
As we drove west on 82 we passed ranch after ranch and to our north was the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation all along the way. Then we reached the mountains. Warnings are posted in Artesia and all along this route that trucks over 65ft long and 15ft high cannot take this road. After Cloudcroft there is 16 miles down, down, down at a 6% grade with one little break and then down another mountain and with a tunnel thrown in for the ride. There was also a nice viewing site just before the tunnel where I took some pictures of the mountains and canyons below. George did a great job of driving here and there were two truck runaway pullouts along the route. We were glad when the 16 miles were over with and let out a big sigh!
Cloudcroft – This village at the top of the Sacramento Mountains is a big ski resort in the winter and in the summer a great place to ride horses, camp and hiking in the Lincoln National Forest
Alamogordo – We had to have a gas stop in this town that was founded as a railroad terminal. As the town grew- ranching, lumber production, farming and tourism expanded this small town into a little city but when the Holloman Air force Base was located here it really grew. White Sands National Monument is located here and we will be stopping there tomorrow heading west but we could see from our site the sand blowing in the distance. The Air Force Missile Development Center is west of town as well as the White Sands Missile Range which tests, evaluates and researches. Some of the missiles are on display but one needs a permit to visit that. There is also the New Mexico Museum of Space History which is one of the biggest tourist spots in the state.
We really are enjoying our site at this state park but we almost turned around because it did not look safe. All of a sudden at the end of the road there was the campground with the mountain at our backs and the valley below. We had the highest site and we actually got level so it was nice. Nice hiking trails here. Heading west tomorrow and staying at another NM State Park.
Saturday, March 30 – Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Alamogordo, New Mexico
This is a state park located 12 miles south of Alamogordo in the southern part of the state