Monday, April 21, 2014

Holloman Lake

Down the hill from Cloudcroft we go in a driving rainstorm, descending about 4500 ft in a short 14 miles.  We elected not to hook up Toad, so Sraddha followed me down.
Washing the RV and Bikes
Oops, we forgot to put on the bike cover.  When we got to Alamagordo, we discovered the rear end with the bikes were covered with road dirt and mud from the rainstorm.

A lot of cleaning to do so we found a car wash and backed up to it only to have the manager come racing over thinking we were going to take off the roof.  He re-directed us to another location with a bay large enough to enter.  Whew.
Gee Are there Birds here?  Lessee
We found a free campsite just 2.5 miles north of White Sands called Holloman Lake.  It sits adjacent Holloman Air Force Base where they do missile testing.  Actually the missile testing is on the north side of base and we are on the south side.  Another whew.
Out our front porch looking west at Holloman lake 
360 degree view from our location.  Below, looking east, are the Sacramento Mountains (9,000 ft elevation) from whence we came the day before.  Atop is an observatory if you click on photo to enlarge.  Alamagordo is to the left out of the photo.
Our Campsite at Holloman Lake
We ventured over to White Sands National Monument amidst a brewing thunderstorm.  Warned not to be on top of the dunes when lightning strikes we were careful as we hiked around.
Facing southeast into teeth of thunderstorm.  
 I tried to get some lightning shots but am not fast enough on the trigger.  hehe.  Still fun.
Panorama of above photo
We drove as far out into the dunes as possible then walked out 1/2 mile further.
Photographer at work
 We couldn't get very good photos of the dunes due to flat light but the clouds were awesome.  Eventually I suggested we head back to car as the storm approached.  About half way back the wind really kicked up the wet sand and we just made it back without getting soaked.
Our tracks up one of the dunes.
 We made it back to the RV to watch the rest of the storm.  OOPS we left out the solar panel and chairs which all got knocked over.  No permanent damage but a warning of next time to be more carelful.

That was only time out on the dunes.  Next day we just hung out all day around the lake.  read and photographed the incredible birdies.  Sraddha saw 37 different species.  Avocets, Ibis, Egret, varioud sandpipers and other shore birds.  More on that later.
Last nights sunset. 
I sat outiside shooting the sunset last night til it was real dark and cool.  Not cold.  Calm winds right now.  That will change tomorrow.  It is spring, after all.
Snowy Egret
Flying Avocet

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