Lost In New Mexico

Day 169 / Mile 20,705

Texas was tite. It was great to see Christie, check out the local watering holes (swimming spots, not bars), and explore a state until now I had never been to.

New Mexico also was a state I had only seen in pictures, and with my research was really excited to make my own photos of.

 Since I was driving on a small country road, the state sign wasn't meant for tourists. I don't even know what their motto is to make a comment about? 

Since I was driving on a small country road, the state sign wasn't meant for tourists. I don't even know what their motto is to make a comment about? 

 1st stop, the massive Carlsbad Caverns. This model shows the entrance on the far far right descending into the cave. I didn't take the elevator and hiked back out, which was about 3ish miles round-trip all underground.

1st stop, the massive Carlsbad Caverns. This model shows the entrance on the far far right descending into the cave. I didn't take the elevator and hiked back out, which was about 3ish miles round-trip all underground.

 Along these switchbacks I met this cool couple. I took a photo for them with their camera, then snapped this one for my story. ...I got a little jealous of them having a each other as a travel companion, exploring solo gets lonely sometimes.

Along these switchbacks I met this cool couple. I took a photo for them with their camera, then snapped this one for my story. ...I got a little jealous of them having a each other as a travel companion, exploring solo gets lonely sometimes.

 More descents into the cave, which overall goes nearly 1000' underground. 

More descents into the cave, which overall goes nearly 1000' underground. 

 These caves looked like a sci-fi movie set, totally surreal looking with the dramatic lighting. Go see for yourself and get inspired for an otherly world script.

These caves looked like a sci-fi movie set, totally surreal looking with the dramatic lighting. Go see for yourself and get inspired for an otherly world script.

 These stalagmites are HUGE, nearly 60' tall! 

These stalagmites are HUGE, nearly 60' tall! 

 An angel gets it's wings when a stalactite and stalagmite touch.

An angel gets it's wings when a stalactite and stalagmite touch.

The next stop on my list is White Sands National Monument, the largest gypsum dunes in the world. Heading out there was a lot of boring road, so my radio was turned to 11 for hours.

 Deserted out in the desert.

Deserted out in the desert.

 Impressive sign, but didn't get me to stop even though I am a gentleman.

Impressive sign, but didn't get me to stop even though I am a gentleman.

 Thankfully they were no missile launches while I drove through.

Thankfully they were no missile launches while I drove through.

 This picnic area in the park made me smile.

This picnic area in the park made me smile.

 If the architect of these shelters ran for president, I'd vote for that person.

If the architect of these shelters ran for president, I'd vote for that person.

 Art. I simply overexposed this photo to lose detail of the surrounding bright white sands.

Art. I simply overexposed this photo to lose detail of the surrounding bright white sands.

 This snow doesn't melt.

This snow doesn't melt.

 Somebody was all, BRAPPP!

Somebody was all, BRAPPP!

 This was a great location to produce some images for  Arnette . This shade is the  Groove , which I wear everyday.

This was a great location to produce some images for Arnette. This shade is the Groove, which I wear everyday.

 This classy piece is the  Dean .

This classy piece is the Dean.

 Check out my new wooden face watch by Mica,  The Morris , available soon.

Check out my new wooden face watch by Mica, The Morris, available soon.

 The dunes go for days...

The dunes go for days...

 I had fun with this.

I had fun with this.

 The winds pick up near sunset, launching the sands off the peak for dramatic scenes like this.

The winds pick up near sunset, launching the sands off the peak for dramatic scenes like this.

 The last light on the dunes turn the white into amber and the shades to blue. Pretty pretty.

The last light on the dunes turn the white into amber and the shades to blue. Pretty pretty.

 Shout out to  The Magdalena Experience .
 There are 27 of these 80' antennas, and they can span a distance of 22 miles forming a single radio telescope called the Very Large Array. 

There are 27 of these 80' antennas, and they can span a distance of 22 miles forming a single radio telescope called the Very Large Array. 

 The VLA has been used in a number of movies like Contact, Independence Day, Transformers, Terminator, 2010, and a bunch of music album covers too. 

The VLA has been used in a number of movies like Contact, Independence Day, Transformers, Terminator, 2010, and a bunch of music album covers too. 

I finally got a co-pilot for a short stretch, my journalistic friend Brooke Geery, who founded the snowboarding media website Yobeat.com. She wanted to do an interview on my adventure, and there was no better way to do that than to actually join in for a couple days!

 Shiprock. There are no rivers or ocean for days, so I could see how you could get this formation confused for a boat.

Shiprock. There are no rivers or ocean for days, so I could see how you could get this formation confused for a boat.

 We decided to go to the Bisti Badlands, a very desolate region of a BLM area. It's primitive out here, nothing except nature, and some cows.

We decided to go to the Bisti Badlands, a very desolate region of a BLM area. It's primitive out here, nothing except nature, and some cows.

 The trail to the Bisti Badlands was hard to see from a distance, being covered by sage and relatively no distinct landmarks for miles. No cell service, just cowboy style.

The trail to the Bisti Badlands was hard to see from a distance, being covered by sage and relatively no distinct landmarks for miles. No cell service, just cowboy style.

 Brooke throwing peace signs on a hoodoo, so hood dude.

Brooke throwing peace signs on a hoodoo, so hood dude.

 Classic christ air.

Classic christ air.

Long story short, we got lost out in the middle of the Badlands. While hiking into the wash of the desert searching for the beautiful landscapes I saw in books, a rogue thunderstorm came in and we took shelter near a large rock to avoid lightning. In that area all directions looked the same, and after climbing up to higher grounds I realized we had become completely disorientated. My GPS worked, but was kicking myself in the ass for not tracking the path better and saving the start point... that meant gambling on the direction back to the trailhead- which I lost. We hiked about 45 degrees NE off the correct direction for 2 hours, which lead an hour past sunset into dusk. I had survival gear, first aid kit, flashlights, etc, so we weren't totally screwed, just bummed on the situation since we had cold beers waiting for us back at the van. We hiked in the dark towards a light off on the horizon, which luckily out in the middle of this desert ended up being a house. A family was home, and a young dude was happy to help us out and drove us back to my van. ...we only hiked 7 miles in the wrong direction! He was stoked to just help us out, but the least I could beyond the many thanks was hook him up with a new pair of sunglasses, some cash to order a pizza, and have him stay for a couple beers with us.

 At least I got this full rainbow photo, kind double-rainbow actually!

At least I got this full rainbow photo, kind double-rainbow actually!