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Saturday, April 25, 2015

How Did We Get From Cibola to Santa Fe?


We are currently in Santa Fe, NM and it has been almost two months since we left Cibola – how did we get here? What follows is a summary of our journey and some adventures along the way.

Stop 1 - Tucson

Since we were traveling with Hal and Lois Leslie (RVing buddies and friends from back home in Colorado) and since Hal is retired Navy, we were able join them as guests at the Fam Camp RV park on Davis Mountain AFB. Waking up a 7:00am to reveille was certainly a new experience.

We have camped in and around Tucson several times – here are the links to our 2014 and 2013 trips.

Yet, we had never been to the Pima Air & Space Museum or the Titan Missile Museum. So, during our short stay in Tucson we made it a point to visit both. Part of the Pima Museum is the Boneyard home to 4,000+ aircraft from the U.S. Air Force, Navy-Marine Corps, Army, and Coast Guard sit in varying degrees of storage. Since our campground was right across the street from the Boneyard we opted to take the tram tour of the 150 planes that make up the museums “outside” collection. The docent was great and provided a great narrative describing historical and human interest stories of the planes.

However, the highlight was our visit to the 390th Memorial Museum. The 390th Bombardment the group was an Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit during WWII. We had the good fortune to be there on a day when Richard B. Bushong, Colonel USAF Retired was “in the house”. We spent the better part of an hour listening to his personal stories of the missions he flew over Germany during WWII. Even more amazing was the fact that his last flight was in an F-4 over Viet Nam. Wow, just wow.

Next up was our trip to the Titan Missile Museum. Fascinating – and since the cold war and the threat of nuclear annihilation was such a big part or our growing up it was all the more fascinating.

Stop 2 – Silver City

This was a return visit to the funky little town. During this visit we were able to tour Historic Fort Bayard. (It was closed last time we were in town.)

As it turned out we were in Silver City over St. Patrick’s Day and had hopped to enjoy a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner. Well, that didn't happen – we got a beef brisket and cabbage dinner instead? I guess there aren't any Irish in Silver City.

Stop 3 – Gila National Forest

After leaving Silver City we decided to spend a few days above Silver City at Mesa Campground on the shore of Lake Roberts in the Gila National Forest. Unfortunately, they had drained the lake last year to repair the spillway and the lake was only about 50% full. Yet, this was a perfect jumping off spot to visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings again.

Stop 4 – Las Cruces

Ok… Las Cruces and Old Mesilla Village were firsts for us. We also visited Dripping Springs Natural Area.

We stayed at Hacienda RV Resort. Resort – not so much. The park was average at best. Its only redeeming feature was the fact that it was within walking distance to Mesilla.

Old Mesilla it packed with history – originally part of Mexico, Butterfield Stage, and even Billy the Kid. We enjoyed roaming around and ducking in and out of the interesting shops lining the town plaza. OK, we did make a few small purchases – who can pass up chocolate covered pecans?

Basilica of San Albino anchors the plaza and is beautiful.

We did manage dinner at La Posta – which was OK but certainly didn’t live up to all the hype.

Dripping Springs was quite interesting and gave us chance to get out and do a short 3 mile hike up to the springs.

To be continued….

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