What to do in Tularosa, NM?

Tularosa is a small village north of White Sands National Monument. It is an oasis and the center of operations for travelers visiting the area.

The Village Historical Museum is the repository of the village’s history.

In the Historic Commercial Granado Street, you will not only find beautiful buildings that have been part of the community for a long time, but art galleries and amazing shops where local artists display and sell the fruit of their varied skills.

Saint Francis De Paula Historic Church, right on the main street, should be on your must-visit-list. This is a beautiful church of great historical importance to the area, with beautiful architectural details inside and out.

The Acequia System in Tularosa remains in its original state, and is one of the most attractive features of the village. It also is what ultimately turned this piece of land into an oasis for local farmers and wildlife alike.

The Original Townsite District is comprised of the original 49 blocks with which Tularosa was established. Historic houses architectured with local techniques particular to the area fill these 49 blocks and the acequia system lines its streets.

At the Tularosa Travel Center you will be able to find local pecans and pecan goodies grown by the Tularosa Pecan Company; a family owned operation established in 1969.

Before California wines were, New Mexico wines were. And if you wish to learn about and taste the local history of wine going back to the Spanish settlers, you need to visit the Tularosa Vineyards.

Shopping for rocks and fossils? Tesoros de la Tierra has the most unique and interesting souvenirs you will find for miles and miles…and miles…and miles. And even if you are not going to shop, give them a visit and enjoy. This place is like a beautiful museum and the owners are knowledgeable and happy to share stories and facts.

In the mood for a beer? The local bar is a place where many bikers (on their way to Ruidoso) stop by.

The Three Rivers Petroglyph site is about a 20 minute drive from downtown Tularosa, and a must visit when you come. I took a few pictures on my last visit and created a video for YouTube:

What to do In Carrizozo, NM? You won’t find these on TripAdvisor…

Easy and Fun, with kids or without, romantic or not, these are four things you must do when you visit Carrizozo, NM.

Valley of Fires

This attraction (is actually on TripAdvisor…) and is awesome for everyone.

Kids, adults, grandparents and wheelchair-accessible, THIS IS IT!

What you won’t find on TripAdvisor:

  1. The Burro Challenge. Not on TripAdvisor (though I wonder why not?!) this was such a fun thing to do. We did walk around town a bit, but did not notice how far we traveled or for how long. One cannot visit Carrizozo without doing this, as this is the area of donkeys (“burro” means donkey) and the art is fun and beautiful. And if you are in Carrizozo, you must be into nature and art…and if you are not, you are missing out.

2.  MoMaZoZo’s Gallery. 12th Historic Street in Carrizozo is awesome. Stop at all the spots, including the Malkerson Gallery!

3. Chamber of Commerce. The El Paso and Northeastern Railroad built a depot on Carrizozo Flats, and the town was born.

This is a video we took on our last visit:

Wood’s Inspiring Nature

The previous owner of Casa del Rio (the home our family lives in today), told me a few of her stories about being a kid in New Mexico. One of those stories was going for walks with her Dad, and picking up palitos (sticks) and piedras (rocks) to bring back home. She had a couple of them in the house to hold doors open, which she left behind.

A google search showed me this is not an unusual practice, and it is strange to see that for so many of us, wood; with it’s shades, shapes, and textures, provokes such fascination. We bend it, shape it, carve it, roast it,  burn it, weave it, glue it, chip it…

And we chainsaw it…

Up on the mountain towns of the southwest, chainsaw carving is becoming a strong tradition. A bit because of the inspiring nature of wood; and a bit because chainsaw carving matches so well with the ruggedness, and wildness of the Spirit of the Southwest.

My friends at Bears R Us in Ruidoso posted this video, showing their process. After you watch the video, head over to their Instagram Gallery and see their work!

 

Valley of Fires; Carrizozo, New Mexico.

Screenshot_20171020-091013Carrizozo, New Mexico is about an hour away from Alamogordo and at about 40 mins from Ruidoso. But if you are in Albuquerque you will make a bit over 2 hrs.

I like the drive. I love the drive. The plains early in the morning or late during the evening are just gorgeous.

I think of the wild, wild, west during these drives…The Spirit of The Southwest most definitely for me!

The Valley of Fires Recreation Area has several campsites (some with hook-ups!), and provides access to the Carrizozo Malpais; a petrified lava flow on the west side of the town.

We enjoy bringing our picnic most of the time, but this beautiful, small, southwestern town has several eateries as well. There are picnic tables, and a big shelter with a fabulous view. This is one of my favorite places to picnic with the fam.

We camped here once before and the experience was exhilarating. The darkness, the sounds of the wild, and a feeling of being so close to nature; it could bite me. Glow sticks, finger flash lights, and dinner by the fire made for great family time. This was my first time making biscuits in a Dutch oven covered with embers. I felt like a real camper!

It does get quite windy, and during the summer months the sun can be very harsh. We have found that visiting during the Fall is the best time. But don’t skip a visit to the town of Carrizozo!

You will want to visit the Carrizozo Heritage Museum and be taken back in time to see how life used to be in Carrizozo and the area.

If you are looking for New Mexican Art, you will love these two Carrizozo Treasures: The Tularosa Basin Photography Gallery, and The Malkerson Gallery on 12th street. (There is a map here)

Now, there is a challenge Carrizozo has for visitors interested in a fun activity right after dinner: The Burro Challenge. 21 Painted Burros have been placed around town, and you might be able to locate them all if you keep your eyes open. Share your selfies on Instagram with #PaintedBurros and #Carrizozo

We are already planning our next visit (It’s fall!) and will definitely be sharing more on the Spirit of The Southwest we found in Carrizozo, NM.

The outdoors, natural wonders, and history! Take the virtual tour of Valley of Fires Recreational Area: