This morning we left Roswell to make our way to Lincoln on US380. According to the guide books it is a frontier town preserved as a State Monument. The scenery from Roswell to Lincoln was quite interesting and markedly different from the scenery as we entered Roswell. This was more desert than farmland but still had the obligatory scrap cars, farm machinery and general scrap rubbish which we’d seen all day yesterday.
The frontier town of Lincoln, home of Billy the Kid, was a big disappointment. Because it had been designated a state monument we imagined there would be a large car park to leave vehicles at followed by a short walk to a pioneering town preserved as it was in the Wild West days. Nothing of the sort, US380 runs right through the town and we couldn’t find suitable parking for the RV and ended up parking it on the side of the road just out of town and walking all the way back. We accept that we’re travelling out of the peak tourist season but this place was as dead as the grave, and not terribly impressive. We were pleased that we hadn’t travelled too far out of our way to visit it.
This now threw our plans out because we had filled the tank with 50 gallons of fresh water at Roswell; Our plan was to wild camp in the Lincoln area having spent all afternoon there, and then set out tomorrow towards Williams via Albuquerque wild, or, over here, dry camping, a second night. As it turned out we were only in Lincoln for about an hour and a half and so set out towards Albuquerque to see how far we could get before the end of the day.
The scenery from Lincoln to Albuquerque, New Mexico, along the rest of US380 was spectacular. It was quite mountainous, and the views from the high points were wonderful, it was a mixture of mountains and plains stretching for mile after mile. It was easy to imagine the Native American Indians hunting buffalo down there on the plains.
We passed by the entrance to the ‘Trinity’ site on the White Sands Missile Range where the world’s first atomic bomb was tested on July 16th 1945. Apparently a stone memorial stands at Ground Zero, where the blast melted the dirt in to a green glassy substance called Trinitite. It is open to the public on just two days of the year, the first Saturdays of April and October and had we kept to our original schedule we could have joined the single file escorted convoy from Alamogordo in to the site in two days time. It is quite disappointing as we will never have another opportunity to do so.
Once we’d joined I25 heading north to Albuquerque the scenery was nothing like as impressive, made worse by civilisation creating scruffy homesteads and huge advertising hoardings.
With the cost of fuel and the shopping at 'Camping World' this was another expensive day. We had planned to stop at a Rest Area 50 miles west of Albuquerque and wild camp. Fortunately this did go to plan, and we have spent the evening here holed up in our vehicle. It’s been a bit of a one step forward two steps back sort of day but we are learning more and more about the vehicles systems.
Tonight it’s Spaghetti Bolognese on the cooker,with the extractor fan sucking the heat and smells out, washed down with red wine. We’ve had the MP3 player entertaining us with music all evening, the phone is being recharged, and the water is being heated by propane gas which means we might just get a hot shower in the morning before we set off for Williams.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Rest Area off junction 104 on the 140, near Albuquerque (GPS: N35.072931 W107.556062).