White Sands and a Lava Flow

After our week in Carlsbad, NM we spent a few days in Alamogordo NM. Or as we like to call it, Pistachioland. Directly across the street form our RV park was the worlds largest pistachio. There were several pistachio farms and wineries within five minutes of where we were staying. So we stocked up on fresh pistachios and some excellent small batch wines.

While we were staying there we obviously spent a morning at the sand dunes. I bought a sled at the visitors center and……tried to sled the dunes. Words can’t really do my sledding failure justice, you’ll have to watch the video. After I realized that I was too heavy to effectively sled the dunes we found some kids without a sled, and a very tired looking mother, to give the sled to. That was far more valuable than the $5 return fee.

On our way home from the dunes we saw signs for the New Mexico Museum of Space History. Well we couldn’t pass it up. We learned about how the American rocket program was pioneered in White Sands. If you get the chance to go it’s small but very informative. They also have a planetarium and IMAX with a bunch of cool space shows.

While doing some Google Earth research on the dunes Laura found something strange just North of them. There was a long black strip of land. We couldn’t figure out what it was for a while. Turns out that it’s a 5000 year old lava flow. And our route to Albuquerque took us right through the middle of it. Before we went to bed we charged up the cameras, GoPro, and drone batteries for a long day of filming.

We got on the road early the next day and gave ourselves plenty of time to explore the lava flow. There are pull offs on each side of the road though, East or West. I put the drone up and shot about 20 minutes of video. Then I grabbed the DLSR and walked out into the lava field in search of some killer pictures, and I found a few of them. I was also surprised to find some beautiful flowing plants growing out of the lava. We didn’t see them anywhere else in New Mexico. After we got our fill of lava we got back on the road.



We only spent one full day in Albuquerque. Unfortunately the city has an elevation of about 5500 feet. Little did we know, but that’s just enough to give Laura altitude sickness. Sadly she spent Easter in the RV sick while I spent the day with some family that lives there.

Also while in Albuquerque I found a new problem with the RV, the black tank valve won’t close anymore. I came to this realization when we were hooking up. I opened the sewage cap and some spilled out on the ground, I quickly drowned it in bleach, found a Camping world a few minutes away, and bought an external valve. It twists on just like a sewer hose, but gives me one more valve until “stuff” is spilling out on the ground. We’ll get that fixed when we’re stationary for more than a few days. It’ll probably be a big job.

After a short stay we got back on the road heading for Taos. I have a cousin that lives there, and it’s also beautiful mountain country.



2 thoughts on “White Sands and a Lava Flow

  1. Mark from Missouri says:

    Wonderful video on the lava flow. Thanks for taking the time to get the drone out.

    Hope everything that’s broken on the trailer will be fixed the first time and you guys will be over with the first year trailer issues. Although, the issues are more than normal from what I’ve been reading.

    I’m thinking it’s difficult (but necessary) to run the cables for tank releases to the heated bay. A lot of folks have issues with those tank releases. But only one trailer brand I’m aware of installs electric releases/gates when the trailer is built. Figure the cost is to high for most. Looking forward to finding out how the repair shop fixes yours.

    Keep having fun on your journey! Karen and I hope to meet up if you are back in KC within the next two years or so. Otherwise, we will see you on the road.


    • Hebard's Travels says:

      Thank you so much Mark. I would have put the drone up over the dunes as well, except that it’s illegal there.

      I think you’re right about the cables. Even with getting them all replaced we’re now having problems with the black tank valve.

      We may be headed through KC this fall. However, we don’t have the fall schedule nailed down yet. Thanks for following us.


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