Doug and Melanie Tour the Southwest

From Shelly: Here are Doug and Melanie’s notes and incredible photos from their recent trip through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. This is a fun and beautiful summary!

Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas

The sand hills are not huge here, but they are interesting. 

Melanie left her mark that I am sure will last forever (or until the wind blows).

Marfa, TX

Marfa is famous for unexplained lights dating back to the 1800s that float over the desert.  Well, there are lights, very small lights that are far away.  Any photograph would show a black screen with a white dot.


The coolest thing we saw while looking for the lights was a Space X launch from California; it passed directly in front of us. It’s amazing that it travels that far and can still be seen that close. 

Marfa is a quirky little town with many art galleries, great local food, interesting architecture, and a beer garden. While driving out of town, we enjoyed the roadside art. 

There is a Prada shop,

thousands of locks on a fence and billboards portraying the movie “Giant” that was filmed around Marfa. 

They also have an old Court House with a court room that looks like it came from the movie To Kill a Mockingbird.

Silver City, TX

A local museum is housed in an old brick mansion with a beautiful mural on the side.

Deming, New Mexico

This small town also has an amazing museum. 

It contains a huge collection of Indian Artifacts, rooms set up like old shops, barber shops, 1950s electronics and hospitals. 

We wandered for several hours and could have spent an entire day without seeing everything.  A very pleasant surprise.

Mesa, Arizona 

We stayed in Mesa to cheer a very good friend who participated in the Iron Man in Tempe. The race consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.22-mile run.  He completed the course, and we were able to see him on the run, the bike ride and at the finish.  We are very proud of him and are very thankful we there to see him accomplish this!   Tejas, thank you for letting us share this time with you.  

The race was amazing, and the amount of organization needed to host the event is astounding.  Each participant is assigned a number, and that number corresponds to the spot their bike is stored and where their bag of processions is located (wet suit, food, running shoes etc).

Goat Farm in Florence, AZ

From there, we made our way to tour the Toggenburg Goat Farm and purchased very delicious treats. 

The farm is completely off-grid, and almost everything they need is generated or raised there. 

City of Rocks, New Mexico 

Near Faywood Hot Springs (our blog post about nudism is here), we spent a day at City of Rocks, a state park in New Mexico. 

The rocks were cool, but the long grasses swaying in the wind were mesmerizing.  

Everything in the desert has thorns, even the seed pods.  

About 50 miles north of the City of Rocks is a small bakery, Living Harvest Bakery, that has the most wonderful cinnamon rolls.  They served a free breakfast and offered us credit on the rolls if we couldn’t pay.  “Just pay when you come back through if you can.” We had the $$ to pay.

We are so thankful to be able live this lifestyle and have new, amazing experiences every day.

Doug and Melanie

Doug and Melanie are avid explorers and hikers. They travel with their Kimberly Kamper, and their home base is Ohio. (For more posts by these authors, click on their names, above.)