Mar 4, 2005
|On early waking, I do the necessary chores and take off to stop for breakfast where Anne recommended. When I step outside, I realize there is no wind and it is fairly warm. It had been windy and cool yesterday while I was walking.
The breakfast place has no latte. While eating, I pick up a local paper, the Desert Exposure and start reading about cockfighting, legal in New Mexico and Louisiana only.
The impressions I have here in New Mexico are that the moneyed places are Sante Fe and Albuquerque, while the rest of the state is rather poor. When I turn the radio on, a western song plays, "I'm working on my next broken heart". What can I say?
As I leave, the bank sign says 8:33 and 57 degrees, so it looks like a warm, sunny day! I soon see these signs:
"Caution dust storms may exist"
"Do not stop in vehicle lanes"
"Zero visibility is possible"
This while heading south on State Route 180, where it is mostly desert, with some scrubby plants and mountains in the desert.
I stop at City of Rocks, a place of weird rock formations—the pictures describe it better than I can. For some reason, I think of Stonehenge. Is it just that, at my age, everything reminds or connects to something else? Stonehenge is made by humans and patterned and this is neither, but the shapes are remarkable. Apparently, various Indian tribes lived in this area at times. I can see how one might feel something mystical here. Amazing that wind, water, volcanic action, and other forces of nature created this unique place.
When I park, it is next to a Roadtrek 200 is parked. A woman comes over to greet me and her husband sticks his head out the door to say hello. They are from Canada, sold their home in Ontario and are living in the Roadtrek. It is five years old, runs on diesel and, he says, happily,"Gets eighteen miles to the gallon." Before that, they owned a 40' RV, but they have downsized and like it much better.
"Does it get tight for two?"
"Well, we try to stay in areas where we will be outside a lot."
"I do, too."
With that, he ducks back inside, and we each go on about what we were doing. I walk through the rocks, snapping pictures. You can camp here and that would be cool to watch the sunset through these rocks. (Watching the sunrise is not something I do).
At Deming, I meet up with Interstate 10, not having used a freeway for five or six days. Deming seems to exist to service big vehicles. Trucks, semis, huge RVs, are everywhere.
Las Crucas, Spanish for "the crosses" referring to those left to mark where a massacre took place, is an agricultural area and is home to New Mexico State University. It sets in a valley, with a mountain range behind it and the jagged peaks are quite striking at certain times. Other than that, the town does not seem too memorable, though certain publications have rated it the best place to retire in the country.
I have the time, so drive around a bit and look at the area before choosing where I will stay, which turns out to be Hacienda RV Park, a new park, with a large very sit-able lobby with a fireplace, a large patio area with another fireplace, laundry, exercise room, whirlpool, restrooms with private rooms for showers. Very nice. They also serve complimentary breakfast! Pretty upscale. Tony and Carrie have told me, the state parks are the prettiest places to stay, but those places do not have these kinds of facilities. This place, with all the amenities, also gives me a perfect view of I-10 and I hear the noise from it as well.
When I park at my site, the weather is very nice, and, with great satisfaction, I take the bicycle down, put out the awning—first time on the trip—put out the chairs, a little table, and a green artificial grass type ground covering. Outside living! Can it be?
By the time I get all this set up and hear the news, the weather people say a storm is coming in tomorrow, so I soon take the awning down, because all the directions warn not to leave it up in wind or rain.
Since Friday night is their complimentary "Margarita Party" I hop right over at the appointed time. Quite a group has gathered, and everyone seems to know others, (someone said there was a rally going on, so that might account for the level of familiarity), and I am about ready to leave, but I sit down at a table by myself, and a woman sits down next to me. She is here for a dog show. A man is strolling around near our table and seems to be alone, so I say, "Join us if you like."
He doesn't, but when I am leaving, we strike up a conversation. He is traveling alone, east to west, in a 22' Airstream.
"I looked at a Roadtrek, but I can't stand up in them."
"Yes, I know. If you are over six feet, it is a problem."
We chat a bit more and I take a tour of his RV, which is very nice, not big, but lined with a deep honeyed walnut or something that is quite nice.
The next morning, he comes over and figures out what is wrong with my satellite radio!