First off, I should say that I am not fully recovered from the desert plague that I caught a little over a week ago. Thanks for the kind wishes from everyone, its nothing that a little emergency room hospital and intravenous can't resolve. Seriously though, Wendy is an angel for taking care of me and the kids all while living in the RV and maintaining her sanity! After getting out of the hospital we slowly made our way to New Mexico where we were blessed with just amazing sights everywhere! We started our visit in Carlsbad where we visited the famous Carlsbad Caverns. To be honest, I'm not much of a "caver" or "spelunker" (look it up if you don't know :)) and I wasn't sure what to think about this sight, but WOW this place was simply amazing!! It started with the drive which brought us to this beautiful serpentine road through the mountains all the way to the top where the caverns were. We opted to do the 'easy' cave tour given Madden is only 2. The easy tour take you down 75 stories into the cave where you get to walk through over 7 football field lengths of caves and various stalactites and stalagmites. Just a beautiful experience and the kids simply loved it! Highly recommend this place if you're planning on coming to New Mexico.
After a few days in Carlsbad, we traveled further west to Oliver Lee State Park near a town called Alamogordo, New Mexico. The drive from Carlsbad to Alamogordo was incredible! We went from pure desert with roads of nothingness, to mountain views with snow everywhere back to an arid hot desert in just over 2 hours. It was surreal and beautiful! We finally arrived at Oliver Lee State Park which was one of the most picturesque state parks we've visited since we've been on this journey as it has a beautiful mountainous backdrop and the campsites are all at the base with beautiful views in every direction. We were lucky to meet two other amazing families that were on a similar journey as us and each with kids in tow as well! The kids made such strong bonds so quickly and the adults enjoyed sharing stories of all of our various journeys across this vast land. In the morning, we left with one of the families for an adventure like no other. We visited the White Sands of New Mexico...one of America's National Monuments (just like Carlsbad Caverns). The White Sands truly are a surreal experience to witness. Miles and miles of powdery white sand dunes as far as the eye can see! Not only that, but the dunes are virtually empty and they were all ours to discover on our own. We grabbed a few toboggan's and went sliding down the dunes. The kids got their tobogganing fix without the -20C and 3 feet of snow :). The only slight downside was that there were signs saying that the dunes are subject to closure due to US Army missile testing. Lucky for us, the military opted not to do any testing while we were there which suited us just fine!
Finally, on our last stop in New Mexico we opted to stay at Silver City (thank you our RV buddies Craig and Kimberly for the recommendation) so we could take in yet another US National Monument called the Gila Cliff Dwellings in the mountains north of Silver City. Again, I really didn't know what to expect when visiting this place, but it was absolutely incredible! The drive to the mountains was about 1.5hr from Silver City and the road was a windy, hilly, mountainous trek up about 8000 feet to the park ranger office. Once we were there, we had to hike about a mile to the cliff dwellings. I was shocked that the kids made this hike with no problem despite having some serious inclines especially for Madden! Once we got to the cliff dwellings it was well worth it! Caves and homes built within them that have been preserved for over 700 years!! This place was amazing with just spectacular views of the cliffs and river below. The kids and us had an absolutely amazing time hiking, learning about our North American First Nation culture and just spending time as a family. Overall it was a really full week, but one that we will remember for a very long time!! After Silver City, we headed to Arizona which is where I'm writing to you from at the moment. Until next time...travel well,