After Carlsbad, NM, we headed on through the mountain town of Cloudcroft (which was adorable)! Here a nice man flagged us down because he thought something was wrong with one of our trailer tires:
Thankfully, he was mistaken, and we went along our merry way through the Lincoln National Forest (home of the original Smokey the Bear). Did you notice the SNOW!? This is the first snow we've seen on our entire adventure after taking off in January. We didn't stay long enough for it to accumulate.
We eventually passed through a mountain tunnel to the other side...
I love this, as you can see my little photographer in training :)...
After we got back on the road, Moby (our truck) started making some really awful noises. She was not happy, and we weren't sure why. So I put her in neutral and we just coasted down the rest of the mountain until we got to another town (eerily similar to our honeymoon story).
She stopped making scary noises and we couldn't find anything wrong, so we kept on going to our next spot. Don't you love New Mexican underpasses?!
With more than an hour left to our reserved spot in Leasburg Dam State Park, we passed by the White Sands National Monument. Our original intent was to park close by, but it appears the map we used to pinpoint our parking spot was a little misleading. With the limited time we had scheduled here, we were not looking forward to adding a few more driving hours to our trip. So we didn't end up making it out to White Sands... which I'm kicking myself for now as I know how photogenic it is, and I'm not sure if I'll ever have that opportunity again.
So instead we stayed around our beautiful campsite:
Here's the view from our house:
We all went on an early morning hike to the Rio Grande...
No swimming or fishing in the canal? I don't think that will be a problem.
I took the following photos standing in the center of the Rio Grande...
Hopefully they don't open up the dams to the North while we're exploring the dry river.
Lots of cute little pioneer plants:
And animal tracks:
Deer prints above, raccoon? prints below:
And a Simon track:
On the trail back we spotted our house amongst this gorgeous view:
Can you spot the little fellow hopping around our campsite? He's pretty well camouflaged...
Las Cruces was a really nice city, and Leasburg Dam State Park was very lovely! The sunsets were gorgeous, and we enjoyed our 360* panoramic views!
We also enjoyed our neighbors here, and even had dinner with another traveling family. I love all the neat people we've been meeting on this trip! :)
We took off in the morning to our next campsite and crossed the continental divide and eventually made it to Arizona!
While still in New Mexico, we saw tons of dust devils swirling all around. This is the closest we got to one, and the kids were so thrilled to see the mini tornado whipping around all the dust and plant debris...
I wish I had taken a video instead of a photo with my phone. It's kind of hard to see here.
Arizona, here we come! :D