Tuesday, March 13, 2018

We traveled into the future and then back into the past today....

Our Location: 
BLM on US 62 East, near Carlsbad, NM
(the pictures with the odd colour of blue or fog like appearance is due to the blue tint on the window of the Dogsled)
A cool morning when we woke in Deming, about 49F/9C but we moved right along and didn't bother with the heater. In fact we didn't take long to get ready to roll out, we had chores to do before we hit the road. We left the empty lot, which still had at least a half dozen or 8 rigs still there, and I'm sure over half of the overnights had already left. The lot seemed pretty full when I last looked outside last night, rigs, trucks, cars, MH, 5'ers, etc. I was a bit worried that the Valaro 5R gas bar would have a busy dump station but not a single soul was there when we arrived, nor did I see anyone there while we were in the lot. It took us about a half hour to dump and fill with water before we moved out to the pumps to give the Big Dog a drink. He was getting low, right about the 1/4 mark which is low for me, I'm always looking to fill around a half. However I knew we'd be getting fuel first thing so I didn't worry about it. 
Looking out at the view from the rest stop at Las Cruces, NM on I-10 East.

Historic Marker for Las Cruces, NM.
We were on the road after all chores were complete around 9:15 am. Pretty good timing I think as we had about the same number of miles to put in today as we did yesterday, about 245 miles/394 km. According to Phoebe (RV GPS) it would take us about 5 hours. She was pretty close to being right on the money although she did get us to make a wrong turn which I had to correct by pulling a U turn at one of the cross overs. More later.
He's an ugly looking bird, isn't he?
A recycling project to show the world....
We pulled into the Las Cruces, NM rest area to see the big Road Runner in all his splendor and I wasn't disappointed. The views of Las Cruces are wonderful and I wish I could have seen them at night but perhaps another time. A wonderful sight even in the day light. After a short 15 minute break we climbed back in to continue on our drive, checking out the time it was 10:30 am when we were taking the on ramp back to I-10 East. It wasn't long before we left Las Cruces, NM in the review mirror or in our case, our out side mirrors and entered the state of Texas. We didn't know but Texas isn't in the same time zone as NM or at least our phones didn't think it was, and moved us an hour ahead AGAIN. 

The drive through Texas was long and uneventful and we like those uneventful kind. The scenery passed from mundane, dingy, dirty to mountainous, beautiful, breathtaking, rugged, inclines, declines, sharp corners, and flat scrub land that went on for miles out the window. At times we didn't see a single person, living creature or vehicle, just us. The land looked great for cattle but nada, not one for a long time, eventually a couple turned up but it wasn't until we were almost out of Texas. The mountain regions, like I said were stunning with captivating views and picturesque vistas. The mountains ranged from rugged, cold, unyielding stone to softer, greener, layers, and once again to hard edged, angled white shale/limestone like appearance. The colours also varied on the same mountain as stark white lines showed in various places, indicating water ways that were bordered by darker, denser looking areas. Sand, gravel, and shale also seemed to make appearances. The vegetation is now grass, stunted Yucca's, bushes, and other larger leafless trees. The flat lands showed off seas of dark green,almost black vegetation in some places and yellowish grass showed in many places. 
I was worried we'd be taking THAT road, but we didn't. Phew.....

A quick jaunt to the top to take some pictures shouldn't take too long huh? Riley wouldn't go for it.
We followed this route back into New Mexico where the time once again dropped back ONE hour to what we had been this morning in Deming, so we drove into the future only to drive back into the past. We've been time traveling. 
Long straight road, can you see it way off in the blue mountains, that's where we're going.
Various views today including the city of El Paso Texas as seen from the 375 Loop.
The route we followed was 1-10 East to 375 Loop, to US 62 E/US 180. That was it for the roads we travelled today. Our Phoebe's got us royally confused when we left the 375 Loop, I was certain we should go left but she insisted it was right, of course once I was committed in the lane to go right, she changed her mind to 'turn left at the light'. I was tempted to drop her out the window, and do her some serious harm with a number of tires. However, I managed a quick U turn and we were once again going the proper direction. That was our only issue for the day, how nice was that? 
Looks like cattle would do well here if you added a water tank.

These things look like Joshua Trees but I think are Yucca's of some sort, but they've grown oddly and look very similar to an immature Joshua Tree.
I found this campsite on a free site, actually I found two of them but this one came first so we tried it first. After crossing back into New Mexico on US 62 go to Mile Marker(MM) 10, and immediately turn right (coming from the direction we did) it is BLM land, you cross a cattle guard and the road isn't great but not nearly as bad as some we've taken. It's a bit rough so slow down and take your time. About a mile back from the roadway you begin to see some boon docking sites. Some are bigger than others, some are more geared to bigger rigs (although the tenters seem to like these ones best), some are back in, some are probably pull thru. We parked just off the roadway and continued on foot for about a mile. Found a great spot and walked back to the Dogsled, climbed in and headed to what we figured would make an excellent place for us to spend the next number of days. We arrived to find someone from further back off the road had come forward to claim our spot before we could get to it. Next time Riley will stay until I come back with the Dogsled to ensure that doesn't happen again. 
White sand like dust, wonder if this is alkaline dust?

I love this majestic mountain, it almost looks alive and ready to tell stories...
We continued further on and came to a big spot at the fork in the road. We decided this would be the place to call home for a while. It's a big spot, wasn't hard to get level and although it's pretty windy here I don't know if it would have made a difference in the other spot or not. There are no trees, only low growing shrubs, yucca's and some grass. We have a fire ring that was still smoldering from the folks that had left here and pulled into the spot we wanted. That's how quickly they had left here. There are plenty of people around, and I'm sure it will prove to be interesting as the week continues. 
Taken through the windshield so the blue is abit off due to the tint on the glass.
We were completely set up and Riley had started some lunch ( I was outside doing a few things) by 4 pm MDST. I called my dad to let him know we'd arrived, we chatted for about 25 minutes, about the freezing mark at his house, snowy and blustery but not really accumulating on the ground. 
Imagine being a cowboy on a horse crossing this land...

Sand dunes, this is what I expected the desert to look like....
Lunch was a chicken stir fry, Riley did a fantastic job. Thanks Riley. You've been cooking quite a bit lately, and I appreciate it very much. 
Hard to beat this kind of view....
Can you see the heart on top of the mountain? Looks like it has veins too... (again taken thru the tint on the window)
After that we both settled down, me to edit pictures and Riley to play her game. Don't ask me what game but she plays it a fair amount, I know this because she talks to it and I'm pretty certain like a child it doesn't listen very well. She continues to talk and of course, it continues to ignore her. So I'm not sure why she enjoys it but she seems to. 
Some view isn't it? We drove that road in the middle of the picture just a few minutes before this was taken.

It's hard to describe these kinds of views, don't you think?
So there you have it, our last travel day for a few days. A few fun facts for those that care, and for me to remember some day. The highest elevation we reached was just under 6000 feet, we passed through the Gaudalope Mountain Range today, the temps on our drive ranged from 50F/10C to 65F/18C today. We are currently sitting at about 3200 feet and are approx 10 miles/16 km from the Texas state line, and approx the same distance from the Carlsbad Caverns National Park near Whites City. We are approx 40 miles southwest of Carlsbad, NM. NOTE TO SELF ABOUT ROADS: The roads today were poor to good to very good. Some of the interstate needs some attention, while I didn't find any holes I did find lots of worn pavement that has worn down to the previous pavement. Other places were good, but you can tell where the construction has been as they didn't fill the rumble strips very well and it makes you wonder about the tires for the first little while. The mountain incline roads were pretty steep for the most part, the declines were also pretty steep in places and more gradual in other places. Again picnic and scenic views were part way up and one would have to start uphill from a full stop. Overall, a road I would take again, a route I would take again. 
Isn't it amazing how such very different rock forms can be found so close together? 

Wonder how old some of these are, and what stories they have to tell.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit and I appreciate the time you spent with us today. Feel free to leave a line if you feel so inclined. I will answer each one. I hope you've had a good day doing whatever it is that kept you busy. 
Imagine looking for cattle in those thickets...
Until next time... take care, be safe, 
Goodnight from A long and lonesome highway.....


  1. Really like the old house's . I'm like you , wonder what in the world happened to the people and how long ago . It's always good to have a good camp cook . Wonderful looking country . Vern in Boise ( snow coming to our MTs )

    1. I do too Vern. I wonder how long the rock has been standing for that little one, looks like it was built to last. It would make a great inner wall for a new house, what a conversation starter.

      I agree about a good camp cook and the hungrier one is the better the cook can make it taste.

      We are enjoying the country for certain, seeing it for the first time is always jaw dropping but I think this country will be jaw dropping no matter how many times I see it. Sorry to hear about the snow, unless of course you like snow. Me, I can do without it. I like seeing it on the mountain tops while I'm in shorts down on the flat lands.

      Take care, be safe

  2. Glad you made it to Carlsbad. Wonder if you will take the caverns tour. I really liked it when I went back in 2007.

    No wonder Phoebe got confused. I got confused trying to figure out how you bounced around so much. Hope you enjoy your new free place. I will keep it in mind in case I go in that direction.

    I really liked the pictures of the road runner. I stayed there overnight once and I don't think I noticed it was made of trash. I will take notice when I stop there next week though.

    1. Haha, it was three roads, and she messed up. Not a good average. She made the route herself so there is no excuse for mistake.

      We plan or at least I plan on taking the cavern tour. It's one of the reasons we came this way. It's also not far from where we stayed in Dexter just south of Roswell, so we're getting back into familiar territory.

      The Road Runner was certainly interesting but so many people have written about it that I decided I'd do just a tiny bit. Maybe next time I'll do a bit more about it. I would like to stay there over night I think the view would be very nice.

      Enjoy your grass lands!!!

      Take care, be safe,

  3. Glad to read you made it to Carlsbad safe and sound. Great pictures of your two days of traveling through some beautiful scenery. Thank you for adding your thoughts about the roads you have been on. We have a mountain directory but it is nice to hear what someone who has just driven them has to say about the experience.

    We agree the LasCruces rest stop with the Road Runner is not a disappointment we would stop there every time we go by even if we do not need to rest. The views of the city are wonderful we had hoped to stay there last year but the high wind warnings kept us moving. Enjoy your time in your new spot and stay safe.

    1. Thanks Deb.

      We all drive according to our own likes and dislikes but I often wonder about various routes and since I'm new to the southwest perhaps my ideas are a bit flawed but they are what I feel and think at the time. Maybe in a few years I'll be totally different in my thinking, who knows. It at least gives me a base to start next time I come out this way. I like that Bill Richards also rates the roads for us, it gives us all an idea of what to expect.

      The Road Runner is definitely unique and I think a fantastic example of recycling. I would be interested to know the history of the bird's making and will look that one of these days when I have more time. It would be interesting to know if some of the material used came from the rest area trash bins or ground, etc. One person junk truly is another one's treasure.

      We had high wind warnings pretty much all day but didn't notice them too much. Besides I'd rather be parked in the high winds than driving in them. They can toss us around a bit even with a full load of fresh water. We did find battling the headwinds a few days ago tough as they were strong enough to make it feel as if the Dogsled had no pep in his step. He usually feels like a pup raring to go.


      Take care, be safe,

  4. Enjoy your time there, exploring. The Carlsbad Caverns are an interesting place to explore, we enjoyed them back in 2009.

    1. Thanks George. We're looking forward to seeing them, or at least I am. Not sure Riley too excited but we'll see how it goes.

      I think the area is going to be a good place to just rest and recharge for a while. I'm not sure you'd like it here. It may be a little too far off the beaten path for you. Free range cows here as well, although we've not had a visit yet, we did see them off in the distance and of course they have left numerous little packages along the way.

      Enjoy your day!!

      Take care, be safe,

  5. We love Carlsbad Caverns. we've been a couple of times over the years. Just make sure you take the natural entrance, it's amazing! The Road runner is something else..I guess called recycling..but at least it fits the area. I know Sacramento airport has a huge collection of suitcases that they formed into art?! Enjoy!

    1. Thanks for the tip Shirley. I'm planning on a visit not sure if Riley will come along or not.

      Recycle is important, keeps things out of the landfill sites. I think imagination is an amazing thing when folks come up with ideas like that.

      Take care, be safe,