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New Mexico: White Sands National Park

  From February 2022 On one of our first days in Las Cruces, we drove out to White Sands National Park.   East of the city,  I noted the turn off for Aguirre Springs Campground where I stayed in 2018 .  As we approached the national park, we rose in elevation to the point that we were in the snow again.   There are a variety of "trails" at the national park.  We took the longest one at the end of the road, Alkali Flats, which was about 5 miles.   Basically, you walk through the sand using line of sight to the next visible marker.  The semi-frozen condition of the sand actually made it easier to walk uphill.  Where the sand thawed in the sun, it was one step forward, 1/2 step slide back.   In the middle of it all, Julia had to sit down and take in all of the wonder.   We hiked some some sand dunes a few years ago at a Jockey Ridge State Park in North Carolina, but White Sands was on an entirely different scale for size and beauty.   

A Minor League Kind of Day

Today, the plan was to pick up Justin in Whitewater and take him for an early Father's Day celebration at a minor league baseball game in Beloit, Wisconsin.  It was to be a battle of the Beloit Flying Carp vs. the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. 

Two vehicles were going to be necessary because someone was going to have to pick up Allie from the Chicago airport, due to changes in her European travel itinerary.  Julia met us in Beloit at the City Hall parking lot, which is next door to ABC Building Supply Stadium. We arrived about 45 minutes before game time.  Julia was waiting with Mexican food, and we had a nice meal before we heading to the game.

Just as we started across the parking lot, two guys were walking to their car.  One guy said, "Were you folks planning on going to the game?" "Yup, we are," I responded.  "The game has been cancelled due to an outbreak of Covid" he replied.   "Hmm," I mused.  

We walked over to the stadium to confirm, and sure enough, he was right.  No game, and lots of disappointed fans finding out at the last minute.  The gate attendant didn't know any of the details of the outbreak, but confirmed that there was no game.  Tickets could be exchanged for a future game, and we were invited to come into the stadium for a free 30 minute batting practice.  "Hmm,"  I mused.  But that's what we did.

It was a very nice stadium for a Class A minor league team. It was built for $37 million dollars by ABC Supply, which is locally owned, and opened last year.  Someday, we hope to see a game there. 

Just outside the stadium was a walkway along the Rock River.  After watching batting practice (Justin was the recipient of a ball hit out of the park), we took a short walk  and then headed over to a new-to-us Beloit brewpub to make the best of the situation.

That part of the trip will have to wait until the next post, as Julia has those photos on her phone, and she is picking up Allie at the Chicago airport. 


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