Monday, October 5, 2015


Why I didn't go to Albuquerque I can't really say. Probably the mountains. But then I find out about the balloon festival there this week. And that Debbie and Lewis are there. After a long morning debating going back, I've decided to go forward instead. 

For right now though, I'll go back to yesterday. 

Getting from Jack's place to the road is not for the directionally challenged. Or for the Turtle really, but with him leading the way, I got in and out with no damage. He and his dog Lucky headed East and I headed West. Two days of lots of talk and laughter. A very good stop along the way.

Lots of this until El Paso
The biggest place to get around was El Paso. Fairly early on a Sunday morning, it wasn't bad. The interstate through El Paso smells like Mexican food and diesel fuel, the food smell winning most of the way. 

New Mexico is beautiful. Shoulda woulda coulda but didn't get to the Balloon Fiesta 

Some history 

I missed the Continental Divide sign so took this one 1/2 mile farther on
The last time I crossed the Continental Divide was in the Rockies when I was a lot younger. Passes were closing due to snow storms; we were going skiing in Breckenridge and eventually got there. This was a whole different crossing, about 8000 feet lower down and about 40 years older.

There is a thing on the roads here called Safety Corridors, where fines for speeding are doubled (not a problem for me). I couldn't figure out what that meant...proximity to Mexico? The underground roadway? No. According to the officials it means:

The goal of New Mexico’s Safety Corridors program is to identify areas of high crash risk and take steps to correct the problem in order to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities on New Mexico’s highways and rural roads. The program’s objective is to develop a formula for effectively addressing crash problem areas by using a data-driven and collaborative planning and implementation process.

Oh. Ok. I saw no crashes. I did see lots of 'Report drunk drivers' signs though, but no one I'd think was a drunk driver. How would I know, I'm from Culebra.

Today I'll head up toward Phoenix, mainly to get around going through Los Angeles. I'll do a lot to avoid freeway insanity but this will work. 


Have a meet your mistakes Monday. Do something moving on.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine

This morning is moving on time, me to the West, Jack to the East. We'll say farewell at the gate and I'll be the lucky one without the rising sun in my eyes. Maybe we'll see the burrowing owls (I have never seen them in real life, they look adorable in photos and film) or other burrowing critters at a corner of the land where they seem to congregate. I hope so!

This is considered very green for around here

Sometime in the afternoon the rain started moving in. For a place that usually gets under 10 inches of rain a year, this year has been unusual with quite a bit more than the norm. There was thunder and lighting and rain and then more of each. I like a good thunder and lightning storm anywhere, but in the desert there is added drama, watching a storm literally sweep in and around, covering blue sky with grey. There was, right before it all went dark, one beautiful strip of sunset, but I couldn't capture it and while trying, it started raining more. Hands full of computer, camera and flashlight as I went from Jack's cabin to the Turtle, I lost a good one. Sorry!

Later, I was sleeping but woke up to the wind shaking and banging the Turtle around a good bit, loosening something - I'm not sure what - to rattle about. I'm not going out there to see exactly what as it is pitch black and even with a flashlight, I don't think I'm ready to work on a fix at 3 a.m.-ish in the morning. Instead I'll try to think of it as a rocking boat...with a fishing rod banging in a holder. 

Rain dancing
Since I can't capture the yips of the coyotes and figure we've all heard wind before, this wraps up the West Texas section of the trip! Except for remembering to get a photo of Jack in the morning. The daylight morning. I'll post this because there is signal and that probably won't happen again for awhile. 

Have a serene Sunday. Do something sensate.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Texas. It's Not Just Awful.

A beautiful dawning to get out of Hell, Texas
I think I became a little mentally skewed (yes, peanut gallery, have your little laugh) for awhile going through eastern Texas. Perhaps even slightly unhinged. I only know that after the smell of oil - the air is heavy with it - was out of my nostrils and the traffic was sparse and the road wasn't full of crater like divots, everything seemed better. The sun was shinier, the air was sniffier, life was good again. And then came the mountains, their drama something to focus on in the up aheadness. 

There is a Meteor Crater Museum in Odessa (really) but I didn't stop. 

This is where smiles started again. Even the GPS lady stopped freaking out.

Carving out roads. What work was done here!

Lots of mountain ranges, little traffic, nice weather. All good.
I met up with Jack in Sierra Blanca. After a good lunch we headed out to his place. I was glad to follow him, only because the one turn to make comes up in a hurry and missing it could be not a good thing.

There wasn't the dramatic sunset of the last time I was here, but it still has its own beauty. Maybe just being off the road and with an old friend for a couple of days helps too. This was never supposed to be a 'get there' sort of trip, but one does what one does and when I DO get there (Northern California), it will be time for a good long look about!

A good sleep with the weather cooled off means waking with first light. Making sure no rattlesnakes (BUT NO BEARS!!) lurked, I went outside greet the day. 

The sky got dark, the wind came up and we got a tiny bit of rain - a nice bit of weather drama - but that is all gone now. Time to do something that seems important. Like read...or crochet...or make lunch.

Have a seeing sights Saturday. Do something simpatico.