This isn't all of the pics...just the better ones. Honestly, it was so spectacular.
It's too bad I wasn't set up for planet pictures. Jupiter was rising and was so bright that I thought it was a flood light on a post in someone's yard.
Side note...several people had their windows open and I could hear EVERYTHING out there. Nothing scandalous, but just don't really need to hear other guests like that.
I eventually got too chilly to stay out there, so I headed inside. Here's where the night takes a bizarre turn. I go up to the room, put the key in the lock, I try to turn it, but it won't budge. I try a few more times, but now I'm starting to bend the key. I know the door was sticking a bit when I left, but I've never encountered it where you can't even engage the lock. I tried calling David, but it went straight to voicemail. The same thing happened with him calling me. This was bizarre because we hadn't been having any service issues in the hotel. I knocked on the door a few times and I could hear David telling me to put my shoulder into it. I took several running starts at the door, but it wouldn't budge. All I got was a bruised shoulder. I could hear him griping about me behind the door, so I tried texting him. It went through on my end, but didn't come through to his phone until hours later. I could hear him trying to make a call on the room phone, but cursing because that wouldn't work either. So, I headed to the front desk. We talked about the situation and the night manager came up to the room to help. She was able to take my key and with just a little extra nudge from her shoulder, get the door open. The room phone was still dead, so she brought us a new one and made sure it was working. Another bizarre twist on this, when David and I talked about it after the fact, I found out he couldn't hear me. I could hear him talking and griping and what not, but he couldn't hear me. He didn't even hear me running into the door. He could just hear the lock on the door and see the **** moving a little...like someone was trying to get in.
So, I don't know who believes in ghosts, but supposedly, The Lodge is haunted...a little fact my boss neglected to share before I booked the place. The fancy restaurant downstairs is named after the main resident ghost- Rebecca. I guess she was some kind of chambermaid at the hotel, but turned tricks on the side to earn some extra money. Her boyfriend, a local lumberjack, learned of what she was doing and murdered her at the hotel. I haven't found any info on his death, but supposedly, they both haunt the hotel and it's considered one of the most haunted spots in New Mexico. I have read all kinds of stories about a multitude of crazy things happening at the hotel. I know we could attribute at least some of it to the door, and David did briefly turn on the a/c in case there was any swelling - which might have helped. Still, that usually is more of a frame matter and not the physical lock. It also doesn't explain him not hearing me, the phones suddenly not working, and the room phone dying. When I checked out the next morning, they thought it might be a nail in the door frame that needed to be sanded down. Again, how would that impact the lock? Or the sound? Or the phones? My boss is certain that we met Rebecca that night and that this was just another one of her mischievous little tricks.
Honestly, I didn't even know about the ghost at the time, so any fears I had were more about being able to get out in the event that there's a fire. The 2nd floor wasn't a long way down, so if we had to break a window...so be it. Thankfully, it never came to that.
Backgtracking a little...but I did also mention White Sands from the air. This is what we saw when we flew over in 2018.
So, cool to reflect on the day and think about how nice it was to finally get to see it from the ground.
Coming up...we ditch a tourist trap, we see parts of two national parks in one day, we see more rain in the desert, and I have to give a reminder on just how large the State of Texas really is.