While the kids attended Rock Ridge Elementary School, they were on a year round class schedule, and this gave us the opportunity to take vacations during off seasons. Jane and I often discussed a trip to Big Bend National Park during the February or November break, but for various reasons, we never made it happen.
2015, however, would be different. We used the online reservation system to reserve a campsite from March 21- 24 and committed to make the trip. On March 20 we embarked on our long awaited journey to west Texas. We anxiously anticipated warm temperatures with typical highs in the seventies and lows in the fifties, and of course our trip coincided with a period of unseasonably warm spring weather in Denver, but we looked forward to it nonetheless.
The first day was rather uneventful as we drove south on interstate 25 and exited the highway below Las Vegas, NM. We reserved a room at the Hampton Inn in Roswell for Friday night, and we vaguely knew that Roswell was associated with aliens. While I drove, Jane Googled Roswell on her phone and read me the history. Apparently a rancher discovered some materials north of Roswell that he assumed were remnants of a flying disc. Stories spread until the army made a press release on July 8, 1947 that the materials resulted from a weather balloon that crashed in the area. The story died until UFO enthusiasts resurrected it in the seventies and constructed goverment conspiracy theories that involved a cover up.
Just as Forks, WA has latched on to the Twilight saga to attract tourists, Roswell attempts to capitalize on the alien connection. As we entered the town from the north nearly every hotel had some variation of a little green alien positioned near the entrance way. This was actually the highlight of Friday and our time in Roswell. We found the Hampton Inn on the north side of town and checked into our room, and then we drove south on the main 285 strip to a restaurant where we enjoyed barbecue. Jane and I slept soundly on Friday evening and never encountered an extraterrestrial being of any sort.