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  • J.F. Rowan

Martians and Meat Markets

The day started out with a quick breakfast. We put Oasis SP behind us and set our course to Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell New Mexico. Now some people would take the opportunity to jump the rails and go on and on about the belief or disbelief in whether or not the whole Roswell Crash was legit. But I won’t. At least not in this article. I just wanted to get to Roswell safe and sound, set up camp, then head to town to see what all the hubbub was about.

An artist's interpretation of what occurred shortly after the alleged Roswell incident.

So many different displays and items to study. Even my wife was a bit overwhelmed!

Yvette Feeling a bit "lighter" after the museum tour.

We did just that. But when we arrived at Bottomless Lakes SP, you could definitely feel that the vibe was a bit off. We had two basic camping options there. One, we could go to the main camping loop in the park where most of the RV’s go for hook-ups, or we could opt for an area a bit more remote, with no hook-ups. We chose the later, mainly because when we cruised through the main camping loop, it seemed to be more of a squatters village than a campground. Yvette inspected the bathrooms and just the look on her face told me things were not right. After a request from her to, “Don’t even ask, let's just go to the remote area,” I put the truck in gear and off we went.

Fortunately, we were able to stock up on some of the essentials while we were in Roswell. Every new town means researching to find where everything is, food, laundry, post office, dry goods etc. This place was called Farmers Country Market. It had a good selection of everything we needed and even turned us on to a new Mexican dish called Carne Adovada.

We were lucky. There was only one nice spot out of the 5 designated as “Primitive” and it was available. One of the things we’ve figured out is that if you want the better spots, you have plan your arrival just after checkout time for any particular park. Weekends are a crapshoot at best, so laying up on a Friday usually gives you the best chance of getting a decent spot for the weekend. Though this was only going to be an over-nighter.

Aerial view of Bottomless Lakes SP near Roswell.This is photo of the "remote" camping within the park. The more densely populated area is to the right of the photo. (Google Photo)

We positioned the trailer, unhooked, and headed to town. We visited the UFO museum, checked out an Army surplus store (a discussion with one of the owners could be a blog post unto itself!) and stopped off at a great little meat market/grocery store before heading back to camp. The museum was great and filled to the rafters with what seemed to be very credible information. Yes, there were the usual “Tourist attention-getting” props like the alien manakins and the cheesy flying saucer, but even if you just looked at everything as if it was art, it was well worth the time to explore. Though for some reason, we did lose about 3 hours of time while there…

We returned to camp, got in a nice walk and then hit the rack. The park looked like it needed some TLC as housekeeping seemed to be way behind. A site near us that was officially empty, temporarily hosted a couple of guys for an hour or two who needed to get their drunk on. There’s sometimes a fine line between paranoia and keeping your “Spidey” sense sharp. That situation, coupled with a few strange drive-byes later in the evening, we were more than happy to move on the next day. We found out later that the park was going through a transition of management, and it showed. Next stop, Alamogordo! If you’ve been following this blog all along, this town may seem familiar...

Location Update:

Currently in Wyoming. Frustrated with not one, but 3 state parks systems now that seem to be gravitating to an all, or majority, reservation system. How does this affect us? Unless we reserve a campsite weeks, sometimes months in advance, there is little chance of finding a a place to camp within a state park system. The states are Colorado, Wyoming and now it looks like parts of Utah are getting on the band wagon. We've even had to deal with issues of inaccuracy even when we ARE able to get a spot. having been kicked out of a spot we paid for even though the park had already given it to someone else weeks before. Colorado is a great example of how upper management is too out of touch with the reality of what campers need.

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