Week Ten: July 18 - 20 ( NM, TX)
Jul 20, 2012
|Day 1 we began by heading south from Sante Fe on Hwy 285, a road we would remain on all day.
Southeastern New Mexico is a lot like West Texas...lots of open highway & few cities. Only difference right now is there is a little more green in the fields & on the roadside, but that probably won't last.
We gassed up at Cline's Corners then headed on to Vaughn, located at the intersection of two major railroads, which explained their nice classic, two- story train depot.
Nearly 100 miles later we entered Roswell. I wonder how many of the 49,000 people here are still looking for UFO's! The 1947 "Roswell UFO Incident" is to this day only 'alleged,' with the improbable events occurring 75 miles out of town. But it remains a strong part of the town's identity with alien logos, a downtown UFO Museum & bumper stickers here & there about 'sightings.'
By lunch, we entered Artesia, the "City of Champions," so named because their fearsome Bulldogs won 26 major football titles. Artesia was named after artesian wells but the aquifer was depleted in the 1940's. Today oil & gas, agriculture & dairy farming are their prominent economic activities.
By early evening, we found the Carlsbad RV Park on south side of town. With a population of 55,000, this city is a hub for potash mining, petroleum and tourism. Most of the city's development was due to diverting water from the Pecos River. The establishment of Carlsbad Caverns National Park in 1930 gained the town recognition and a growing tourism boost which continues today.
Day 2 was very hot, a sign of what's to come. We left Carlsbad and before long crossed over the Texas state line. Yee haw! By lunch we were in Pecos, where Todd grew up. After driving around town to some of his old haunts, we visited a classmate from high school days Then it was time to head out across West Texas where we faced strong headwinds, our first since those in Wyoming back in May.
Early evening we came to Junction & found a lovely spot at their State Park. What a fitting place to spend our last night of the trip since our first night out was at a government park as well.
Day 3 we had a nice breakfast in Junction & then headed towards home. As we drove along the Hill Country of Texas, we were constantly amazed at how green the shoulders of the road were. For a state mostly in drought, it appeared this part of Texas had enjoyed some nice rains.
We pulled into the driveway in Rockport at 4:30...home at last!
Martha & Todd no longer in Therapy
1. Cities, no matter their sizes, care about their history. Museums were a testament to that.
2. Easy access to transportation determined whether a town began, grew & still flourishes today. This meant being a hub for highways, trains, airplanes or ships.
3. Water was (and is) vital to a community's health.
4. Fearless homesteaders, ranchers, prospectors (& their loved ones who eventually followed) framed the future of a town and, by extension, a country.
5. World War II opened up a whole new territory in both Canada and Alaska because of the construction of the Alaskan Highway in 1942.
6. First Peoples, Native Americans, Indian tribes - whatever name you give them - were a creative, brave, spiritual force in Canada, the Yukon Territory & Alaska. They respected their native lands and suffered many indignities at the hands of Outsiders. Today key cities are working hard to correct such injustices by recording their treasured cultures & histories.
7. Wisdom passed down by tribal Elders to their children was, "Pay attention to your surroundings at all times." Their very survival depended on it...and ours does so today as well. For in these wilds, weather can change in seconds, ice flows can break apart, boats can tip over, and wildlife can attack.
Alaska by the Numbers:
* Our trip began May 16, 2012 & ended July 20, 2012...about 10 1/2 weeks.
* Total miles: 12,619 miles (all driven by Todd)
* Gas bill: $4,723.51
* Av MPG: 11.3
* Lowest gas: $3.09 per gallon, Rockport TX
* Highest gas: $7.03 per gallon, Muncho Lake BC
* RV Parks: $1709.61( most expensive was $50/night & least expensive $8/night)
* Hotels : $192.00 (2 nights)
* Ferry : $194.00 for us & Therapy
Photos Todd snapped when I wasn't looking. Naturally you KNOW we kept Therapy in perfect shape with everything put away at all times! Don't let these photos fool you!