Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, NM

Santa Rosa was a stop on RT 66 and there are numerous hotels, restaurants, repair shops, etc from those days.  In 1978, I-40 bypassed Santa Rosa and that helped begin the decline of the town.  There are still a number of newer hotels and restaurants nearer to I-40, but the downtown area has suffered much like many other towns where the interstate highways made them obsolete.  Santa Rosa is trying to rebuild and update the town and survive.  We have seen a lot of improvements since we were here 5 years ago.

The Blue Hole is the main tourist attraction in the town and it is well known all over the Southwest as being the scuba diving center of the area.  Police, Rangers and others come here to practice their diving skills and put that to use in their jobs.  New Mexico does have a lot of lakes, rivers and caves under water and they keep busy with rescue and recovery operations.

If you look closely you can see 4 white balls that are holding up a diving platform about 20ft below the surface.  That is the jumping off point for the dive to the bottom of the hole.  While the surface is only 80 feet in diameter, it expands to a diameter of 130 feet at the bottom. 

Believe it or not, there is a geo cache at the bottom of the Blue Hole.  A number of years ago a couple divers lost their lives exploring the cave at the bottom of the Blue Hole and the authorities installed a steel gate to keep people out of the cave.  The geo cache is in memory of one of those who lost his life and you have to dive to the bottom and read a message at the gate.  I think I will pass on this one.

The town has a number of old churches and most are very well maintained.  The church below was especially nice and was an interesting building.

St Rose of Lima Catholic Church

This old church has seen better days and the remains are walled off and saved from further destruction.

Eagle eye Gerry noticed a DQ on the way into Santa Rosa and wanted me to drive the motor home through the drive up window.  I managed to talk her out of this, but had to promise to bring her back for her DQ fix.  Today was the day for that and I must admit, they were some of the tastiest Blizzards we've had in a long time.  Full of goodies and very good.  

One of the campers ran across a tarantula that was at least 3-4 inches big.  I don't think I'd like to be in a tent and have it come in for a visit during the night.  Creepy things like that are why we bought a tent trailer many years ago when we started camping.  Gerry refused to sleep on the ground with all the creepy crawlers.  Smart girl.

Another nice day in the books for us with temps in the low 90s after being down in the low 50s overnight.  Great sleeping weather, but running the furnace and a/c during the same day could get old very fast.

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