Dateline, Roswell, NM.
Roswell has managed to capatalize on its legendary status as the landing place of UFO's about as much as this town of 45,000 can do. It is the home of the New Mexico Military Institute, one of the finest of such schools in the nation. That's about all it appears to have going for it, however. It's also the home of a lot of burned-out, abandoned buildings. There is a brand new Wally-mart on the northern end of town as you come in; I wonder if this has anything to do with the failure of small businesses in Roswell?
Just outside of Roswell, NM is some rolling countryside where alfalfa hay is grown. It's a large dairy producing area. It kind of brought me to mind a similar landscape in South Dakota, and I've heard Roswell described as, "beaucolic". But rolling grasslands are where the similarities begin and end. First, Roswell area grasslands are surrounded by brown, dusty hills. Second, in South Dakota, you see deer coming out to feed at dusk, while in Roswell, you see tarantulas.
There are the usual Mexican food restaurants and grills. Nothing to send you to the moon. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in a suite, and it very nice place. I recommend it if you need to stop in Roswell for any reason.
Bottomless Lakes State Park, and the Bottomless Triathlon
13 miles outside Roswell are a series of lakes called the "Bottomless Lakes". They're formed by the collapse of limestone caves, and while the lakes aren't actually bottomless, they are very deep, and salty. There are some alkaline flats nearby, and scrubby trees. The Bottomless Triathlon, a small sprint held here each year (hold on to your pants!) is supposed to be one of the most fun of the sprints in the Southwest Challenge Series. My husband ran in this one this morning, and scored 3rd in his division. My son, a 14-year-old, ran it also. The race is a 400 meter swim in Lea Lake, 14K bike, and 4K run. (If you are metric-disabled, go here for conversions) The swim in the lake is pretty straightforward: 200 meter out and then back. The lake is cold enought to allow wetsuits, but they aren't absolutely necessary, and the lake feels fabulous after the run. The bike ride is wild loop: straight up out of the canyon onto the prairie, up and down and around a lot of tight turns, on a narrow, bumpy paved road, then down into the flats (hereforeafter known as "the smelly flats") and back into the transition area. (See map) The run is an out-and-back.
As usual, fellow triathletes were fun, friendly, helpful, and excited about the race! I'm going to do it next year.
RATINGS: (Out of 4 possible chilis)
The Bottomless Triathlon (3.5 chilis)
Town of Roswell, New Mexico (2 chilis)
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