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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Road Trip, Day 4 (Pt. 1); Museum and the Valley of Fires

On Wed., May 11th we left Carlsbad, heading for Arizona. We had a few sights and stops along the way, though. Our first stop was inspired by random perusings on Roadside America. There I found mention of galloping horse statues, which I thought would make a good, quick photo op. The statues were on the property of the Hubbard Museum of the American West, so we decided to spend some quality time inside, as well.

Part of Free Spirits at Noisy Water by Dave McGary, the statues mentioned on Roadside America.

In the lobby, a Remington sculpture.

Besides all of the wagons, carriages, costumes, furniture, saddles, tools and art, there were great displays of various guns.

A gun, holster and knife alleged to have been owned at one point by Billy the Kid.

Outside again, a lucky lizard who lost his tail to save his life.

On our way out of town we passed through Ruidoso, a tourist destination and ski town. Although we didn't have time to stop, it was quite lovely. Coming down out of those mountains, our road cut right through the Valley of Fires (aka Carrizozo Malpais--click link to see satellite images of the area.) An unexpected delight, this enormous lava bed is among the youngest and best preserved in the U.S.

From; ...formed between 1500 and 2000 years ago when Little Black Peak erupted pouring molten lava for 44 miles southwest through the valley. It isn't a volcano per se since the lava flowed via vents, burying almost everything in its path. One hundred sixty-five feet deep at the thickest point, the formation is between 2 and 5 miles wide. From a distance it appears as barren rock but...there are many varieties of flowers, cactus, trees and bushes...The lava is similar to Hawaiian lava, jagged and rippled, and most of the lava field is a wilderness study area...There are bats, roadrunners, quail, cottontails, lizards, great horned owls, burrowing owls, buzzards, hawks, gnat catchers, cactus wrens, sparrows and golden eagles, a virtual birdwatcher's paradise.

Here's a shot with Charles in it for some scale. How did the Carrizozo Malpais form?

We continued heading west to our next destination, one of the best birding sites in the U.S., Bosque del Apache NWR.


eileeninmd said...

Lana, wonderful photos from the American West museum. I love the all horse sculptures and the cute lizard. Will you be heading toward the fires? Have asafe trip and I will look forward to seeing some birds from the refuge. said...

Looks like you are having a wonderful time on your trip! Neat things to see. I like the little lucky lizard!!!

Michelle's Spell said...

Hi lovely Lana,

Loving the pictures of your road trip! It's such a beautiful part of the country and you capture it so perfectly. I've been sick for a week (evil summer cold) but will be back regularly now! Have missed your great art!

Cloudia said...

ah, a Remington of course! Always loved the larger than life one in Phila....Perfect place for your gunslinger hubby-

Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral




Charles Gramlich said...

Enjoyed these very much.

Kelly said...

Very cool museum. Love the pic of the horses galloping around the guns and knives. All of these pics were fantastic, really.

Looks like you're on a long, exciting trip, filled with all manner of interesting things.

Lana Gramlich said...

eileeninmd; Thanks. As mentioned at the beginning of the post, we were there on May 11th. On our way back we did drive through the area where the fires are now (but they weren't there, then.) We also drove through a wildfire area in New Mexico on the way home--more on that in a future post! Bosque del Apache NWR was really cool, btw. I think you'll like my photos!

Christine; Yeah, it was a LOT of fun. I'm glad we went in May--it was already getting hot enough (in places,) then!

Michelle; Thanks, hon. Sorry for the delay in my reply, but I recently suffered through a pretty good migraine, myself. *sympathetic hug* Hope you're feeling better!

Cloudia; Yes, I knew Charles would enjoy a stop here--we both did, really. I always love to see Remingtons--such talent!

Charles; Not as much as I enjoyed being there with you. :)

Kelly; The horse statues were really quite large--you don't get the scale from the photo, but they were so well done, too! Yes, we had a good time on our road trip, but it was just as nice to get home (after some 3000+ miles of driving!) :)

Prahan Hotellit said...

I'd like to have that Billy The Kid Gun=)

David Leland Hyde said...

I have enjoyed your photos and narration of your wild west adventure.

Lana Gramlich said...

Prahan Hotellit; *LOL* I think my husband would agree with you!

David Leland Hyde; Thank you. I appreciate that. :)

Erik Donald France said...

So cool, all of it. I had a book called Roadside America in the early to mid 1980s. The first Roadside America was a scale model in Pennsylvania we visited when I was a kid. When you say "on" Roadside America, is it a computer file or show?

Travis Cody said...

The lava flows are fascinating. Eruptions are so devastating, but I find them fascinating.

Lana Gramlich said...

Erik; Thanks! Sorry--I didn't post the link to Roadside America properly. It's a website. I've fixed the link if you want to check it out. :)

Travis C.; Agreed! It was amazing to see life taking over even the rocky remnants of these flows, though...The cacti, etc. that were growing all over and through those rocks--too much!

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