leaving Arizona at 0820 hrs. south to Tucson
It's that time again to be road warriors. Those Hatch's chilies got packed into the cooler and dusted down with crushed ice for their trip back to Louisiana.
We have a two day drive in front of us and every mile that clicks by gets us that much closer to our destination. Tonight we will be staying in Ft. Stockton, Texas at the Holiday Inn. The room has been reserved; we won't take a chance on there being an event in town that would take all the rooms and leave us searching for one after a long day on the road.
I can see Picaho Peak in the distance. A lot of desert land lay between us and that peak. The desert slides by in a blur of dusty colored green vegetation and rust colored soil, the occasional weathered mobile home the only shelter for those choosing to live along this stretch of road. A great deal of farming is done in Arizona though this part is dry and barren, growing only cactus and mesquite.
1130hrs. and we are passing through Lordsburg/Deming, New Mexico. 137 miles to El Paso and then we change direction to east due East.
Crops of cotton, with rows reaching across the desert, a train rushing down it's tracks on the opposite side of the highway and signs lining the road warning of the dangers of dust storms as we continue along. You can look across the desert and note the lush green areas enabled by the irrigation systems that allow the cotton crops to exist. The remainder of the land is arid; a wasted area in direct relation to the lack of water.
We are listening to Sirius XM radio and the news of the mine collapse in China, the gravel truck in California that lost control on a steep grade and crashed into a house, moving it off it's foundation and killing the family that was inside. Russia and uranium seized, murder and mayhem and we keep spinning along. Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods and Sandra Bullock seem to have disappeared off the scene for the time being. The state elections for the senate seats are in progress in 6 states and I wonder with the state of the economy here in the USA, if anyone really cares. Most of the voting public are more concerned about paying the mortgage if they are still lucky enough to have one or how they will manage the groceries for the next meal.
I suppose all of the above is a good reason to appreciate this trip. It has been a vacation/work/vacation which means I got to enjoy a trip sponsored by the company. I would hesitate to be so extravagant in this economy. One never knows what tomorrow may bring and I like to play it "close to the chest" in times like these which I think, sums up most of the citizens of this country right now. Most are nervous.
We just passed over the Continental Divide. Had I not seen the sign on the roadside, I would never have known. The sky is a grey blue color and in some places it reaches down to stroke the ground. I smell rain or maybe it's the soil that has been touched by those rain fingers in the distance. I'll put this away for now and return later. It might be time for my nap.
1327 and it's 67 degrees. We left the interstate for a little back road travel. There is a light rain falling and we just passed through a small farming community. Sweet corn on one side of the road and pecan groves on the other side soon changed to pecan trees on both sides of the road creating a canopy overhead. A tunnel through the pecan trees and the rain escalates from a light rain to a full force storm. A sign for fresh green chili's was spotted alongside the highway. The rain is forcing the heat from the ground and the smell of wet earth overwhelms. Small town after small town glide by. Palm trees are easily recognized and I wish I were familiar with the names of all the bushes and trees that crowd the roadside.
On the radio are reports of gunfire and death in Acapulco. El Paso, a big border town now is deemed more dangerous then Afghanistan. Stray bullets have hit UTEP (University of Texas, El Paso). Gone are the days when we would stay overnight in El Paso and visit Juarez for cheap beers and lazing an afternoon away on an outdoor patio. I don't feel safe on this side of the border now. We won't be stopping over in El Paso.
I can see across the Rio Grande into Mexico. Houses perched on hillsides provide a precarious shelter. Some of these houses appear as solid, elegant structures, while next door a shabby rundown house attests to the fact that zoning laws are non existent. The fence separating the Super Power from the Third World Country is visible; a strange sight to be sure.
A few miles farther and a check station halts all vehicles for a search. Gaunt German Shepperd dogs leashed and led to each vehicle are then pulled back to the officer's side while he requests you roll down the back windows for inspection. He requests you announce your citizenship and then wants to know where we are going. Soon we are waved through and he repeats his inspection on the vehicle in line behind us. Another 50 miles down the road and off to the side, an unmarked SUV holds two more Border Patrol guards watching the traffic pass.
Another 45 minutes and we should be done for the day. Dinner and a hot shower and a long night of sleep awaits. I'm ready to get out of this truck. I've had enough traveling for this day.