Tribute to Jeff Foxworthy – 14 MAR 2012

This week I was back in Huntsville, AL teaching at Redstone Arsenal. The training was at an off-site facility located in a rural area. I just happen to notice the lawn ornaments at this house and couldn't resist the joke: 

Space Murals Museum, Organ, NM – 08 MAR 2012

In order to get to Las Cruse, New Mexico I had to fly into El Paso, TX and drive 45 miles. My assignment this week was at White Sands Missile Range.
Hence, why I have no pictures of the site.
They have a missile museum with a large yard display.
The drive to work was beautiful…as one student told me, “Every morning is a different view.”
On the 20 minute drive from the hotel to WSMR there were some interesting sights. I found another muffler man (albeit armless):
There was a water tank painted with “Space” images:
I pulled off the freeway to investigate and I saw a sign saying Free Museum, so Tinky Winky and I went to check it out.
Roadside America described it beautifully: “…a collection of NASA knick-knacks and orphaned artifacts – items that other institutions didn’t much care about – donated by space enthusiasts, or by astronauts who befriended the museum’s owner, or by locals who work in the space industry…probably the world’s most varied collection of pack-rat space jetsam and memorabilia.”
And a full size mockup of the Mercury Capsule:

White Sands National Monument, NM - 06 MAR 2012

Located in the Chihuahuan Desert, the White Sands National Monument extends into three American states and nine Mexican states and making it North America’s largest and highest desert. 
This area is prone to strong winds and scorching temperatures. Yet it is home to more than 240 species of plants and numerous animals.
The strong winds cause the dome dunes (low mounds) to move up to 30 feet a year.
Barchan dunes (crescent shaped) form where winds are strong but the sand supply is limited.
Transverse dunes are long ridges of sand caused by barchans dunes joining together.
Parabolic dunes are created when plants anchor the arms of barchans and invert their shape.
There is a drive which takes you eight miles from the visitor center into the heart of the dunes.
There are four marked trails with parking areas and out houses.
The Yucca, soaptree elongates its stems to keep its leaves above the moving sand.
Tinky Winky stood sill for too long when the wind was blowing.
Wildlife mostly stays underground in burrows to keep out of the desert heat. You can see tracks of rodents, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, porcupines and other nocturnal animals. 
Lizards, birds and beetles are active in the daylight. A pocket mouse, two lizards and several insects have evolved white coloration to blend into the sand.
There are picnic areas with tables, grills and restrooms…you have to supply your own drinking water.
It’s recommend not to hike alone as it is very easy to get lost…rescues and deaths are common.

Mount Holly, NJ – 29 FEB 2012

I was at Fort Dix, NJ about 16 miles southeast of Trenton. Someone told me there was a museum on post, but I couldn’t find it, so I spent my spare time (in the rain) visiting the historic town where my hotel was located.
I never got to see the Mount the town is named after because it was overcast and raining during the daylight hours. The Mount is 185 feet above sea level while the center of town is only 15 feet above sea level and it was the site of an important skirmish during the battle of Trenton (1776).
I was driving around town and found St.Andrew’s Graveyard. It was raining but I had to get out of the car for a few photographs.
One section of town is call Mill Race Village, where they have turned the houses into shops.
The Silver Lining – Fine Silver and Wearable Art had several cute pieces…I found myself buying souvenirs of friends.
TW goes shopping at the Ghosthunter Store…real paranormal investigators selling equipment and supplies used in their line of work. (Link to Ghost Hunter Store) They had a cute t-shirt of a Ouija Board which said: “It’s Just a Game…Until Someone Gets Possessed.”
Fountain Square – Reproduction of the original fountain 1878-1920.
The Spirit of Christmas Store
Above: the oldest continually active fire company in the United States.
The Burlington County Prison completed in 1811 and was used until 1965, is now the Prison Museum.
Mill Street Hotel was built in 1723 and has bee in continuous use as a hotel and tavern since the doors first opened.
The town has several lovely Victorian homes.