Saturday, September 15, 2012

Aliens in New Mexico!

Roger here.....  Images of aliens on every corner, in every window, on every billboard...  Where could we be?  Duh, we are in Roswell, New Mexico.  Our decision to spend a couple nights here began yesterday.

We were driving through a soaking (and needed) rain on an excellent highway (285) in southeastern New Mexico - on our way back to Texas.  We intended to spend the night in Vaughn, NM, but the campground looked abandoned, it was raining, it was still relatively early in the day, AND if we drove another 100 miles, we could spend two nights in Roswell.  As a science fiction fan, Roswell has always been a place that I have wanted to experience.  Two of my very favorite movies in my younger days were:  Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET.  (Dianne here:  Don't let him kid you -- these are still his favorite movies.  At the time he told me that he would have left in the spaceship like Richard Dreyfuss did at the end of Close Encounters.)                                                          

 At a much younger age, I was fascinated by The Day the Earth Stood Still.   In fact, when Dianne and I were first married, I playfully insisted that she memorize Michael Rennie's message to Patricia Neal, "Gort, Klatu marada nicto," which any science fiction fan knows to be the message that saved the Earth.  She can still recite it to this day.  Just ask her.  Of course the recitation would include a significant eye roll.   Now that you know that I grew up to be a science nerd, I can tell you that I also embraced the human messages that those movies projected.  OK, enough nonsense about my personal idiosyncrasies, and back to Roswell.

They were quite proud of their hats!
I know, I know, many of you probably consider Roswell to be a cheesy tourist trap.  It is a tourist trap, but it is also interesting and what fun if you accept it with a sense of humor!  Get a load of three of the many people who dressed up, just to go to town.

We found numerous alien-themed t-shirt shops and gift stores in a two-block area, but the main attraction was the UFO Museum and Research Center.  (Admission was only $5 each).  Many of the displays in the museum were, of course, related to the alleged crash of an alien saucer about 50 miles outside of Roswell.  Along with the silliness of some of the displays there was a somewhat compelling presentation of notarized statements from local residents and military personnel, who claim to have witnessed the UFO, the crash, the debris field, and yes, the bodies of the aliens.  It was quite easy to get into the spirit of the events of 1947.

Roger in his element!

While at the museum, we took the time to watch the 1994 movie, Roswell, which portrayed the events of 1947.  The movie was a pretty close depiction of the documented statements that we had just seen.  The theme of the movie projected a government cover-up of the events which included some major arm-twisting of the witnesses.  The movie was good enough that we watched it in its entirety. 

Some of the props from the movie were on display in the museum.

We spent more time in the museum than we anticipated.  Our stomachs were growling.  Dianne had read about a local restaurant known for its tasty food.  So, we walked a couple of blocks, past the museum parking lot, to Big D's Downtown Dive.

Dianne here:  Thanks to my daughter, Robyn, for encouraging me to upload Yelp on my iPhone.  The raving reviews from Yelp are what steered us to Big D's.

It was not much to look at on the outside, but the food was delicious.  I had a green chili cheeseburger.  Dianne had a shrimp po' boy with apple slaw.  Not on our diets, but really good.  As an aside, I have lost 8.6 pounds so far since I started dieting.  I have no intention of allowing a few meals out to result in a backslide.

After lunch, we drove to the local Walmart to stock up on supplies while we were in civilization.  As we entered the parking lot, we were greeted by yet another friendly alien.

Tomorrow, we intend to drive 3.5 hours to Fort Stockton, TX.  I don't expect there to be much to report until we find our way to Lost Maples State Park in the Texas Hill country.

The pet picture of the day shows Bandido enjoying his favorite travel-day spot on Dianne's lap.

My Cuddly Boy