SEARCH Travels With LD

Tuesday, February 5, 2008 - Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Alamogordo NM

White Sands from the Second Bench, Dog Canyon Trail, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Alamogordo NM, February 2, 2008
White Sands from the Second Bench, Dog Canyon Trail, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Alamogordo, New Mexico, February 2, 2008

Walking from the Chihuahuan Desert into a grassland island

As I remember it, the second bench on the trail is in the second of the three distinct climates one walks through while ascending the trail from the trailhead at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park. First is the Chihuahuan Desert, then a grassland in the area of the second bench, and finally a woodland as one climbs farther up and out onto the mountain plateau above the canyon.

It's hard for me to judge distances out here but I'm going to guess this bench to be maybe 20 - 50 acres with Dog Canyon dropping off to the north and west and a steep mountain ridge rising to the south and east. The bench has a comforting, protected, feeling about it with your back to the wall as you gaze out over the Tularosa Basin and the White Sands dunes. What a great spot for an isolated mountain retreat.

Night camp

Site 8 - Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Alamogordo NM

More Toward Realism than Fantasy

I've always been drawn more toward realism than fantasy, because it seems to me that realism is endlessly interesting and finally indeterminable. Realism is a species of fantasy that's much more integrated and hard-core than fantasy itself, but if you are ready to come to grips with the inevitable slipperiness of most available facts, you come to recognize that realism is not a direct approach to the truth so much as it is the most concentrated form of fantasy.

Birds and Lions, Norman Mailer, the New Yorker, December 23 & 30, 2002

more...