2011 Summer Vacation, Day 7

We got up early in the morning on Tuesday.  Trish did the laundry at a laundromat  next door to Walmart.  There’s something to be said for having half a dozen washers and dryers available at once; laundry went much faster than at home.

We packed up, dumped tanks at the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, then went to the East side of town to the New Mexico Museum of Space History.

A Little Joe II in the background, in front of the fin unit of an American-built V2:

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A docent demonstrated the insulatory properties of a Space Shuttle hull tile:

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This sled track was used to do G-force and ejection system testing on astronauts:

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We then headed West towards White Sands Missile Range, stopping briefly at White Sands again, this time to try sliding down the dunes on a snow disc, which was only marginally successful.

At White Sands Missile Range, we had to leave the vehicle outside the gate, had to show IDs, and could only take photographs on the grounds of the museum, and only facing West, away from the base and the test range.

The museum consists of a small building with exhibits, which we had to rush through as we arrived 10 minutes before the 4pm closing time.  They also have a building with a V2 rocket lying on it’s side.  It’s quite large up close.

There’s also a large outdoor area, showcasing missile systems tested or developed at the range.

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Fat Man in front of a Patriot Missile rack:

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B called this one the “Lipstick rocket”:

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Posing with an F-4 Phantom II:

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We left the museum at 4:30 or so, and headed West and then North to City of Rocks State Park.  We came over a rise, and there it was, a natural Stonehenge with hundreds of standing stones:

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We were going to stay on BLM land just outside the park, but we decided to stay in the campground so we could hike around after sunset.  We had two neighbors:

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Once out in the stone field, it became quite labyrinthine and exciting to explore:

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B said “Take a picture with the sun coming through the hole.”  Quite the photographic eye, that one:

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Moonrise over the stones:

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Other than the low clouds on the horizon, the sky was beautiful, with the Milky Way quite visible:

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Another great day!  We drove about 190 miles today.  Here we have the NM Space Museum (B), White Sands Missle Range Museum (C), and City of Rocks State Park (D):

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2011 Summer Vacation, Days 5 and 6
2011 Summer Vacation, Day 8

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