Wednesday, July 27, 2011


As mentioned previously, I've been visiting friends in the southern part of New Mexico in a town called Las Cruces.  I pretty much wasted the first week hanging around the house, playing with the cats, and playing countless hours of Xbox because lethargy is an important part of relaxing, hehe.  I have a mixed impression of the town.  Depending on where you are, it's part college-town, part suburbia, part retirement destination and part agricultural center.  I set out to explore during the second week of my stay, focusing on the natural and historical aspects, which included museums.  I liked taking pictures of the Organ Mountains from different angles and at different times of day.  The landscapes were unexpectedly breathtaking at times.  Rather than say 'I went here and saw this,' I decided to post a few pictures below to show things that I liked about the area in and around Las Cruces.  Most pictures were either taken on my friend's digital cam (not sure what) or by my itouch using the generic camera app or the Hipstamatic app.

Bill, the blacksmith demo volunteer from the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.  He showed us how blacksmiths back in the olden days, before America began building their own steel mills, recycled metal items such as horse shoes into practical items like knives.  It was a pretty cool demonstration overall.

I was playing around with the black and white filter for the itouch Hipstamatic app and I really liked how this one turned out.  The Farm and Ranch Heritage museum had a lot of animals as well as a docent-led tour of the farm portion.  Mainly the tour talks about a lot of all the different breeds of cattle that are used in agriculture.  Unfortunately, you can't pet any of the animals :/  

White Sands National Monument:  This part of the desert is composed entirely of gypsum, a soft mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate.  Part of it is a national park, while the remainder is military land.  The sand is suuuuper soft...softer than the sand on beaches.  Because the sand is also pure white, it reflects heat so you could actually walk barefoot comfortably during peak hours in the afternoon.  We also used copious amounts of sunblock...similar to how snow can reflect the sun's UV rays, gypsum sand can too.  I think this was the highlight of my trip.  The place is gorgeous.  The little pink thing in the middle is a little plush tofu toy...I usually bring it around on trips and take pictures with it, in lieu of taking a picture of myself.

The Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla, New Mexico.  I liked the architecture, although the original structure was made of adobe instead of brick.  This church is located in the historic part of Mesilla, which is composed of buildings that were preserved (or rebuilt with preservation in mind) of the village as it grew from a colony to part of U.S. territory in 1854.  Overlooking the bloody history of how the U.S. became the U.S., the buildings are nonetheless cool and it was a quaint plaza for an afternoon stroll and souvenir shopping.  

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