Western Group Tour Winter 2014 : Page 53
nE w mExiC o Sky’s the limit in Alamogordo White Sands Balloon Invitational and Festival takes place near Alamogordo each September. Photo: New Mexico Tourism Department Visiting the White Sands Missile Range at the edge of Alamogordo, you can stand within blast distance of where the fi rst atomic bomb — code name Trinity — was tested on July 16, 1945. This is also the place where humans have lived for 11,000 years and where the fi rst American rockets were tested that led to NASA and the exploration of space. Located on U.S. Highway 70/54 in south central New Mexico, Alamogor-do and the nearby White Sands Missile Range are a place of history and incredible beauty that has witnessed America move from the Stone Age to the Space Age. White Sands National Monument — carved from the 275 square miles of glis-tening white gypsum sand dunes — is one of the natural wonders of the world and a favorite site for photographers and Hollywood moviemakers. With a sense of immense history all around, Alamogordo is also a distinc-tive tourist area with ski resorts, desert golfi ng, recreation and annual festivals including the White Sands Balloon Invi-tational and Festival in September where ballooning enthusiasts take off in their brightly colored hot-air balloons and fl y majestically across the desert skies. “People come from all over the world to see the White Sands National Park and the history of rocketry and space research developed here,” said K. Jan Wafful, fi lm liaison for Alamogordo and Otero County. “We have everything from wonder-ful wineries and historic ski resorts to murder mystery dinners and our world-famous Cloudcroft ghost ‘Rebecca’ who has been haunting here for 100 years and has been featured on television documentaries.” The area is also known for events like the Otero County Cottonwood Arts and Crafts Festival, the Tularosa Basin Wine and Music Fest, the annual Hang-Glid-ing Fly-In and the Thunder in the Desert model rocket launch. Events take place year-round. For space buffs, Alamogordo has the New Mexico Museum of Space History with an IMAX presentation theater and the International Space Hall of Fame. Visitors can take a simulated walk on Mars and view space exhibits ranging from the earliest rocketry experiments to the futuristic space station from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey . The city is also home to the Shroud of Turin Museum, which houses a rep-lica of the famous shroud believed to have wrapped the body of Christ after his crucifi xion. Alamogordo is a major pistachio growing region. Pistachio Tree Ranch, owned by the McGinn family, and Eagle Ranch have thousands of pistachio trees plus major grape vineyards. Free farm tours are offered daily at both ranches. For information on group tours and accommodations contact Wafful via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.• City of Alamogordo (575) 439-4353 http://ci.alamogordo.nm.us Reader Service Card #409 Reader Service Card #467 53 January • February • March
Sky’s the limit in Alamogordo
Visiting the White Sands Missile Range at the edge of Alamogordo, you can stand within blast distance of where the first atomic bomb — code name Trinity — was tested on July 16, 1945.
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