Day 21 - Monday June 19th: Today was the first full day travelling with my Dad. We left Denver in the morning and drove over to Estes Park. After lunch and walking around the town a bit we drove into Rocky Mountain National Park. This was a really cool experience for me because it was my first time above the tree line. I could look out and see the tops of the surrounding mountains bare with patches of snow. My favorite picture from that day is the one I put at the top of this post, I loved the curving mountain ledges outlined in snow and how you can make out the road snaking over the top. We finished driving through the park and went down into Silverthorne for the night.
Day 22 - Tuesday June 20th: We left Silverthorne and took some of the minor highways southeast to Colorado Springs. We stopped in the Garden of The Gods and walked around through these awesome rock formations for a few hours. Then we drove around Colorado Springs for a big and headed down to Pueblo for the next night.
Day 23 - Wednesday June 21st: Today we were on our way to New Mexico. We honestly didn't have much of an idea of what we wanted to see there, I just knew I wanted to go. The original plan was basically to see the Santa Fe and Albuquerque, but looking into it I saw several cool looking places mostly in southern New Mexico, one in particular was the White Sands National Park. We decided to drive to Santa Rosa that day instead because that would put us on a better course towards the White Sands. Just after we crossed into New Mexico on I-25 we saw some signs for Capulin Volcano. I had never heard of it before so we thought it sounded like a good place to try out. It was about a half hour out of the way and definitely worth it. Basically it's an extinct volcano that you can drive almost to the top of, but it's also one of the highest points in the relatively flat landscape allowing you to see for miles in every direction. It was honestly a lot greener than I pictured New Mexico being, especially when standing on top of a Volcano, I guess that's a good reason to go and see these things yourself. We took the trail around the rim of the volcano, got attacked by swarms of ladybugs, and walked down into the vent itself. Overall my first time in a volcano was a good experience. We left there and made it to Santa Rosa that night.
Day 24 - Thursday June 22nd: We went to the White Sands today. It was about a three hour drive from Santa Rosa to Alamogordo which is the closest town to the park. I had been getting used to cooler weather, yesterday was one of the hottest days of my trip getting into the 90s, but today it got to about 110 when we got into the White Sands in the middle of the day. That with the blindingly white sand reflecting the suns rays made this the hottest place I've ever been to. It was also one of the more surreal places I've ever been to. It kind of reminded me of the Salt Flats in Utah, an endless white landscape. It was nearly as quiet too, the main difference is this white landscape formed hills that were difficult to judge the height of with the way the sun illuminated them. There were a few times when I was walking up the dunes trying to get to the top that I realized I couldn't tell where the top was, or figure out how high I was or how steep the side of the hill was. At least it was a dry heat, we were able to spend a couple of hours there without heat exhaustion, but I was reminded of how hot it was every time I tried to get a low angle photo and felt like I was burning myself on the sand. After that we drove to Roswell so we could look for aliens the next day.
Day 25 - Friday June 23rd: We got up in Roswell and went to one of the alien exhibit/museum things. I don't know if I was convinced, but at least I can say I've been there. The next couple of days I didn't have too much planned, we were just trying to get to my sister in Tennessee by Sunday or Monday. We left Roswell in the early afternoon, stopped off at the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo Texas, and ended up in Elk City Oklahoma that night.
My Route: About 1,400 Miles