You're looking at the world's largest pistachio in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Impressive, eh? After all, it's not every day that you come across a thirty-foot tall nut. We stopped in at McGinn's Pistachio Farm, which also has a rather nice vineyard on the property; if you look closely at the background of the shot of CH and Sammy, you can see a thin white stripe against the mountains--that's White Sands National Monument way off in the distance.
And of course, no pit stop is complete without a trip to the gift shop, which was manned by a animatronic cowboy who liked to swap yarns about McGinn's farm:
About an hour later, we found ourselves in the little town of Ruidoso, New Mexico: to be honest, I was a bit disappointed with my initial impression of the place. I just wasn't expecting it to be such a tourist trap--lots of western-style shops and overpriced galleries.
Fortunately the scenery more than made up for the lackluster shopping--Sierra Blanca, the highest mountain in southern New Mexico, loomed over the town; we were hoping that the mountain would have a little bit of snow on it, thanks to the cold front, but it was bare on our visit.
Soon the mountains were beckoning to us, so we took an unexpected side trip to the Monjeau Lookout in the Lincoln National Forest--I'll be sharing those photos tomorrow, so be sure to come back for some gorgeous mountain scenery!