The water for Bitter Lake was formed by artesian springs that feed the lower land marshes of this area.
Located 9 miles north east of Roswell, New Mexico Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge sits where the Chihuahuan Desert and the Southern Plains meet. Because of the odd sinkholes, playa lakes, seeps and gypsum springs that are fed by underground rivers, this area is the home for cohabiting wildlife that exist nowhere else.
Some of the wildlife here include Sandhill Cranes, Ross’s Geese, Bobcat,fish, and so much more including one of the largest populations of Butterflies and Dragonflies! The wildlife service says that they have recorded – more than 360 species of birds, 55 species of mammals, 50 species of reptiles and amphibians and 28 species of fish. Crazy numbers!
As an attraction this place is awesome. You can stay in your car and take a self guided auto tour around the park (which we did as we were told that the area is home to a huge population of rattle snakes and we all know Colleen is spooked by that!) or you can take one of many walking trails around the park. Our ride through took over an hour and 7 miles of driving, mainly because I kept stopping to snap some pictures.
In all, a great stop which I would recommend to anyone and we learned some stuff at the same time…. Kevin
Visiting the downtown Roswell area where you are saturated with UFO history. The UFO Museum and many stores that try to sell you UFO memorabilia. (Ok, yes, I bought some UFO stuff but anyone that knows me knew I would! LOL)
Here’s the thing though. This city has much more history than that. Firstly, did you know that during World War Two around 1943 the army built a POW war camp here that housed almost 5000 German soldiers! Mostly from the fight against Rommel in Africa from the German 8th Army. While they were imprisoned here they were put to work in local fields and farms and some in the river called Spring
River, building flood control banks along the river. On one of the northern banks the prisoners used different sized rocks to make an iron cross on the bank. (The symbol of Germany and the Luftwaffe) Although initially the local people were offended by this and covered it up by pouring concrete over it to hide it. Through the years the concrete has washed away and the entire cross is again visible to everyone to see and has been since declared historic and put on the register as such.
Next we have the Berlin Wall. More German history here. After President Ronald Regain publicly asked Gorbachev and the Russians to “Tear Down That Wall” they did and the world began changing again. (I think for the better at the time) By this time the German Air Force, the ‘Luftwaffe’ had a permanent presence in the area (New Mexico). After the wall came down the Luftwaffe gave the city of Roswell a piece of the Western side of the wall for their hospitality, goodwill and friendship they experienced while on military maneuvers in Roswell. It now stands on display at the riverbank near the iron cross. On a foot note here, we were in Roswell during the memorial day weekend and the Luftwaffe were here which they are a lot.
Lastly we now have the famous Air Force Base, you know, the one that the UFO crash pieces and the bodies were supposedly brought to before being transferred to Area 51. It was called Walker Air Force Base located within the city limits just south of town. It was founded in 1941 and was closed in 1967. In 41 the Roswell Army Flying School was established as a training base. During WWII the base housed the SAC (Strategic Air Command) and was a nuclear active dispersement base. The B29 Bomber ‘Enola Gay’ the plane that dropped the bomb on Japan was stationed here. The SAC stayed here for more than 20 years and was home to the SAC’s major detterent forces including B29’s, B36’s, B47’s B52’s, KC97’s and the Atlas F ICBM’s. Since it closed the airfield has become an international airport of sorts (Limited flights out) and has also
become an airplane boneyard (graveyard) with hundreds of retired jets littering the property’s edge. (I want to go play in them but they won’t let me, DANG IT)
This has been my history lesson so far and hope you have learned something new as well. I for one am having some much fun learning and seeing new stuff. Cheers everyone, Kevin
We arrived here on Thursday the 9th as planned.
A few bumps along the way though!! The I 20 going through Shreveport Louisiana was an insanely rough road and caused the welds on my bumper to break off. We had our generator and two bikes on it. By the time we stopped to check the bumper was dragging. Luckily the only damage was to the bumper. Our host in Texas at the Laguna Vista RV park, where we stopped for a night, brought over his front end loader and helped me push the bumper back where it rests when not extended. We had to find a new spot for the generator and the bikes but all is good now. When we hit Ontario next year I will have it repaired properly.
We stopped at 4 different RV parks on the way from Maryland to New Mexico. Bass Lake RV Campground in South Carolina, Sunset RV Park in Alabama, Laguna Vista in East Texas and Tye RV Park in West Texas. You can read the reviews I gave them on our site, 3Brew.Com
We are now in Roswell, New Mexico for the month of November and looking for things to do. There is in fact much to do here. The history here is quite rich and diverse. From the famous UFO crash of 47 to the stories of Billy the Kid to the history of Nuclear Weapons and there disbursement from New Mexico. As we go to the key sites Colleen and I will both review them all for your reading pleasure.
Stay tuned as we begin our tour of this area.
An unexpected trip back to Ontario stalled the progress of the trip but today we are back under way. We had to go backto Ontario for Colleen as her dad went into hospital and looked like he may pass away. On the third day back in Ontario her father began better progress and looks like he would be ok. On that same third day I got a rather upsetting call while in Ajax from my sister. My dad was in distress and things did not looked good. (He had been diagnosed with COPD and was on oxygen full time.) Colleen and I packed up and raced for Peterborough, about an hour away however we did not make it in time. My father had passed away. The rest of the next week was a bit of a blur for me but we got through it. We both have had enough by this time. Colleen’s father looks like he will be ok, mine is gone and my brain is in zombie mode. We headed back to Maryland on the following Wednesday. We got back to our home on the Thursday, cleaned up and got ready for the next part of the journey. We were booked into Roswell, New Mexico for the 9th, so we reluctantly left our wonderful 2nd home at Point Lookout (with the promise that we will return next year), and are now on the road to New Mexico. Tonight we have stopped in Dillon, South Carolina for a rest and re-boot and will be back at it tomorrow. I am from this moment on dedicating this world wind trip to my Father, David Norris, who would have loved to see the sites we are seeing. He was a great man and a an awesome, fair and loving father, I will miss him terribly and will think of him all the time. On to new adventures for us both, Love you Dad.
I will begin returning to normal (such as it is) and will post a review of the places we stay at on the way to New Mexico.
Thanks all for being patient and here is wishing everyone happy travels.