Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Roswell: High Plains Drifting

Roswell, New Mexico

Area 51 turns out to be in Nevada, not Roswell, New Mexico ... what a letdown. On top of that, the largest hurricane ever recorded seems to have drawn a bead on my Florida home with a projected arrival time of 2.00AM on Sunday. I'm only a block from the bay.

On the bright side, we saw a double rainbow in the west this morning and also my first wild porcupine. It was huge but, unfortunately, dead on the Oklahoma roadside shoulder.

Groom, Texas has the largest cross in the western hemisphere. It's about twice as high as the town water tower and is made of pipe and fabric so it can be lighted internally at night. The sign, visible from the interstate, said 'Gift Shop Open'. We were really tempted to stop in the Blessed Mary restaurant.

A little later, another sign said, simply, 'Rattlesnakes. Exit now.'

The high plains of North Texas and New Mexico seem like flatland, but the elevation signs coming into towns show them as being just short of a mile above sea level.

A bottomless lake is outside Roswell, the site of the flying saucer crash. The Air Force pilots I flew with were convinced that the alien bodies were stored at Wright-Patterson Air Base.

The small, bottomless blue lake is spring-fed and ringed by red limestone bluffs. The temperature of the lake felt like about 68°F. We are the only people in the campground.

There are lots of large yellow wasps or hornets flying everywhere. Two got inside. I killed them and disposed of the bodies.

Star viewing conditions are as good as they will ever get. It's now or never for seeing the Milky Way.

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