07 May 2021

RAPEA - Day 22 - Mescalero NM and Alamogordo NM Day Trip

Today we took a short day trip down US 70 through the Mescalero Apache Reservation to Alamogordo NMThe Eastern Apache, once a hunter and gatherer culture group of Native Americans, have resided as a tribe formally recognized by the United States government on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in south central New Mexico since the Eastern Apache were assigned to the reservation by Executive Order in 1883. The reservation consists of 463,000 acres of some of the most beautiful mountains and lakes in New Mexico.

As we drove down US 70 we noticed that someone had painted murals on the retaining walls aligning the highway. It seemed as though each retaining wall had been divided equally to support the artwork of individual artists. As the Mescalero tribe today consists of three sub-tribes, Mescalero, Lipan and Chiricahua, all three are represented individually within the murals.

The Mescalero Apache Tribe operates several Tribal Enterprises which are open to the public including Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino, Ski Apache, Casino Apache Travel Center, Mescalero Forest Products, Mescalero Cattle Growers and the Mescalero Apache Tribal Store. 

We only drove through the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino but I was extremely impressed at the grounds. It was built in the shadow of the 12,000ft Sierra Blanca mountain on the Mescalero Lake and includes a championship golf course designed by Ted Robinson.

At the entrance to the Resort and Casino, in the center of the circular drive, is a massive stone fountain topped with a magnificent bronze sculpture depicting the Mescalero legendary Crown Dancers in the act of performing their dance to drive away sickness and evil and bring good health and good fortune to the Mescalero Tribe. This incredible artwork was created by Frederick Peso who was the grandson of the last Mescalero Chief. 

While on the reservation we also visited the Saint Joseph's Apache Mission which was founded in 1887. The current stone church which houses the mission was designed by noted Philadelphia architect, William M Stanton, as a gift to Father Albert Braun OFM and completed in 1939.

While enroute to the home of the world's largest pistachio in Alamogordo NM I snapped these two landscapes of the White Sands Missile Range in the distance (the white strip on the horizon). The one on the left was shot with my Nikon Coolpix P900 through the windshield of the van while traveling at approximately 60mph. The one on the right was shot while stationary with my Samsung S21 Ultra Smartphone as the majority of my photos have been. 

I also managed to snap these two photos of the white cross at the summit of Round Mountain through the open passenger window as we were traveling down US 70 about 9 miles northeast of Tularosa NM at approximately 60mph. Not bad for a snap happy shutterbug, eh? 

By the way, all of the photos contained in both my blog and Insomnia Cure are completely unretouched and unedited except for the size reduction of the blog photos and the very few that are slightly cropped. I have neither the time nor the inclination to learn how to use editing software at this late stage of the game.

Our final destination of the day trip was McGinn's PistachioLand home of the largest pistachio in the world where we visited the gift shop followed by a cooling ice cream break on the patio in front of the store. What flavor? Pistachio of course!

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