Showing posts with the label Route 380


National Videogame Museum


Tularosa: Valley of Fires

If you slow down and look, you might notice pleny of evidence of past volcanic lava flow through Tularosa Valley.


This is Stan. He is asking for donations to help fix his vehicle that he claims to have crashed just outside of town.


Dust Devil

Tiny's Burger Barn

We arrived in the tiny town of Tatum, New Mexico, to find half the restaurants in town closed for the Independence Day holiday. Therefore, we turned around and drove the few blocks to Tatum's other restaurant.

When traveling off the Interstate, slow down entering towns. Bears are hunting.

We were promptly seated at the only open table. As we ate, we noticed that Tiny's started turning away new arrivals. They were closing early at 2 pm so that they could join their families for the holiday. We were the last ones in and the last ones out.

(We later discovered that closing restaurants on July 4th is more common than I had thought when we were unable to find any not-a-national-chain restaurants open for dinner later in the day.)

We continued east towards Texas; with a goal of Abilene for the night.

Here are some views of rural West Texas...

Out of this World

The 1947 UFO Crash

After an awesome breakfast at The Red Onion, we set out to explore Roswell, New Mexico, in the daylight. (We got there too late and too tired and too hungry to do much exploring the night before. However, we did encounter an extra terrestrial missionary shouting out "Earthlings, Jesus loves you!" over a loudspeaker.)

The town is obsessed with UFOs and aliens -- or, more accurately, the town seems obsessed with getting people obsessed with UFOs and aliens in order to encourage them visit and spend money in Roswell.

The Roswell connection to UFOs and space aliens goes back to a UFO crash near Roswell in 1947. The US Air Force claims it was a weather balloon. Some prefer to believe it was something from another world. Conspiracy theories abound.

We wandered around downtown Roswell and its many shops selling everything alien -- but mostly t-shirts. Aliens visiting Roswell must like t-shirts. Or maybe the locals in Roswell just want to clothe the poor naked aliens who visit their town. The aliens are naked in most of the depictions I saw in Roswell.

Sophia poses with a naked alien

After having our fill of alien gift shops and alien book shops and alien art galleries, we visited the International UFO Museum and Research Center.

The museum primarily consists of photos and stories of UFOs. Due to a special event, the place was also filled with authors peddling books about their UFO research and personal close encounters. In speaking to a couple of these people, I found myself utterly ignorant of their world -- a world in which one is expected to know the stories and the processes for identifying and classifying UFOs and all the associated vocabulary. I quickly and unintentionally outed myself as one not in their community -- an alien.

Operating on an alien crash victim

An naked alien team standing around trying to decide where to go for lunch

I found the whole thing to be a bit cheesy -- a bit of cheesy fun.  After all, I have heard that Roswell is home to one of the largest Mozzarella factories on the planet. Perhaps extra terrestrials go there in search of cheese; not t-shirts.

Until someone convinces me otherwise, I'm going to believe that it was a weather balloon that crashed in New Mexico in 1947. Although, the writers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine do offer an interesting theory...

Having had enough of Roswell, we got back in the car and headed east towards Texas.

Just outside of Roswell, we picked up a couple hitchhikers.

The Red Onion

At the start of roadtrip day 2, we set out from our motel room in search of food.

The local Sonic was not in compliance with our "avoid chain restaurants" rule, plus it appeared that they might not be very friendly towards us earthlings. We kept on driving in search of a local human-friendly establishment.

We came upon what, at first glance, appeared to be a mostly-empty shopping center; except for a clump of cars on one end. I caught a glimpse of people walking from their car to one of the buildings as we passed. We turned around.  Cars in an otherwise-empty shopping center early in the morning before shops open suggests there might be a good restaurant there.

Sure enough, there was a restaurant there -- one I would not have recognized as a restaurant from the street.

Inside we found friendly people serving up tasty food.

Waiting for food

An inside-out omlette

A tasty steak and egg burro

If you ever find yourself in Roswell, New Mexico, I recommend you try breakfast at The Red Onion -- unless you're an alien. If you're an alien, go to Sonic.