Stage 5: Roswell to Fort Stockton
Despite half the businesses along Main Street having signs like this to draw in the tourists, the Roswell Museum is not the UFO Museum, but an art museum that also has an exhibit on Robert H. Goddard.
The trip to the inside of the museum was cut short when they told Lisa that her backpack with travelswithkuma was forbidden, even when she explained that she carries supplies she needs for medical reasons in it. We walked out, but at least we did get to see the outside display.
Goddard used this rig to launch rockets between 1930 and 1942, according to a plaque at the base of the tower. (There's a picture of the plaque in the Flickr set; click through these photos to have a look at plaque and other photos.)
Next door to the museum was the Roswell Visitors Center, who had much friendlier people.
It looks like someone from the Visitors Center has been playing with the Pulp-O-Mizer.
Kuma Bear has his take on today's visit with more pictures of Bears Trying to Help.
Having been rebuffed at the Roswell Museum, we left Roswell about two hours early. So it was no problem to divert from the main route and go over to Roswell International Airport and visit the Walker Aviation Museum, which is located inside the airport terminal. (There are three flights per day in and out of Roswell, operated by American Eagle to DFW. There is one gate, a rental car counter, and a snack bar besides the museum exhibits. It was between flights and we pretty much had the place all to ourselves.)
South of Roswell, there just really isn't a whole lot to see or do as far as we could tell as we rolled down US-285 at 75 MPH. Much of the landscape seems to be endless rolling hills, dotted with yucca plants and oil rigs, the latter of which grew more numerous as we continued into Texas. We made the mistake of not stopping for lunch and a break in Carlsbad NM, because beyond there and until we got to Pecos TX, there was nothing at all — no stores, rest areas, or any other services.
At Pecos, we briefly stopped and broke out the sandwiches Lisa had made for lunch. Except for a short period near Roswell and at Pecos, Lisa did most of the driving today. Despite the scheduler once again not accounting for the time difference as we entered Texas, we still arrived about an hour early, and that was good. We were once again upgraded to a mini-suite. The internet connection here is wired, but it's slow (albeit still faster than the wi-fi).
Based on the route we want to take between here and San Antonio, our choices of hotel are limited if we want to stay in Holiday Inn Express properties, so we had elected to make a virtue of necessity and use tonight to do laundry so that we would start Worldcon with everything clean. As first it looked good; the hotel coin laundry was on our floor, just a handful of steps away. But then we saw that the single washer was broken. Boo, hiss! There was a 24-hour coin laundry a short drive away down the main highway, and we did get our stuff together and go wash our clothes, but it was annoying to have such a nice hotel room and to have to spend 90 minutes sitting in a laundromat instead of using that hotel. As it happens, we'll be staying here a week from tonight, as our first night out of San Antonio on the return trip will take us here and we'd planned to do laundry again here; we'll put it off until the following night in El Paso.
After dealing with the laundry, all we wanted to do was get dinner and get back to the hotel. We stopped at a grocery store and got some milk, and then got KFC take-out and went back and ate it. We're boring that way, but we're also tired.
We're 1520 miles from Fernley, with one more day's drive before we get to Worldcon. Tomorrow's leg of the trip to San Antonio is about 350 miles, and we really hope we can get in before LoneStarCon 3 Registration closes tomorrow night, so we need to start early. I'm going to try to get to bed as soon as I can after getting this posted.