A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Time to Move On

I let Sinbad out for one last good-bye visit in the sands of White Sands National Monument...
...and he was ready to leave right away.
We stopped at the visitor's center for a quick look around, talked about dog poo with the volunteer on duty...
...then drove on to our next camp at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park south of Alamogordo. Sinbad liked it here. No one nearby and there were things to walk around and tangle your rope on.

Near the campground were these ruins. This is what is left of the adobe home built by Francois-Jean Rochas.
The rock-walled room was the original cabin and the adobe room is a later addition. I was impressed with the detail and effort that went into building both rooms and especially the adobe portion.
This was inside the museum/visitor center and tells his story. In the first picture you can see the rock wall referred to as his corral fence leading up the mountainside from the center of the adobe room and then jogs over to the right. A similar wall was on the opposite side of the canyon. I cannot imagine gathering and placing all those heavy stones into place, on such a steep mountainside, in the hot New Mexico sun.
A solitary life of an extraordinary man.
I think the park should have been named Frenchy Rochas State Park.


  1. The sand is so clean and white - at our beaches the sand is more grey.

  2. i can't imagine carving out a life and prospering all by yourself - then building watering chutes and fruit orchards to boot!

  3. You find the best history. Those sands are so pure looking, what a great sand box to play in. From my experience people die the way they live, and there was no exception in this case.

  4. It's so cool you have a good friend to follow you on your adventures!
    I wish a sweet and Happy Easter for you and Sinbad! ;-)

  5. That first photo is wonderful! I hope you enjoyed your visit.

  6. this has been very interesting, this trip of yours. water is everything in N.M. I was recently reading a book about a woman who lived on the northern prairie in a sod house about the same years as this guy. I wonder how anyone could have lived like that. the floor was dirt, so when it rained everything got moist and moldy. Imagine that smell. what the pioneers withstood just to eke out a living is almost beyond belief. and look how upset I get when my computer goes haywire for a couple of hours. these photos of Sinbad are extraordinary. his markings are just beautiful. I love how he has his hind foot in that first photo. he was posing real pretty for you in that bottom one. what a cat. and I agree with you about the name of the park. another great post John.


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