New Mexico - and the Rio Grande is DRY! The White Sands Missile Range is WHITE! We came thru the San Augustin Pass and the white sands lay out before us, interspersed with skeletal remains of towers and fences from when the area was really a missile range! Miles from the Mexican border we encountered another “Inspection Stop” – this time the guard on duty was a bit intimidating with his body bulk crammed into a dark uniform, clean shaved head, stern looking face and prominent black eye patch! The Alamogordo Sands Motel and the Sunset Restaurant finished up our day on the road. The special of the day was a “Wobbly Wayne” and we could not resist – a juicy chopped BBQ sandwich and a bottle of root beer! Sunday morning led us up out of town and we climbed steadily to the crest of the Lincoln National Forest – Yes – all the facilities were closed but the road, the tunnel and the scenic pullouts were still accessible and the views were gorgeous. From the 8700 ft elevation the decent was long and slow thru forests with trees that were finally taller (much taller!) than our van. The vast pine forests were sporadically dotted pale yellow from trees that had begun their fall color change. From there on our journey east became a blur. Pump jack fields, nodding up and down as they pulled the black oil from the ground split up the Texas fields of sunflowers, sorghum and cotton.
Years ago – before the days of our blog – H and I were traveling home across the northern states of Wyoming and Montana, and were seemingly playing leap frog with another couple on a big black Goldwing pulling a big black trailer with lawn chairs secured on top. We finally stopped together and Gene and Betty from Post Texas became lifelong friends! A visit with them was a welcomed break in our run for home!
Once we hit the interstates of Rt 30, and then 40 – it was all over - no more slowing down to see what interesting view we were passing because the ‘view” was a steady stream of semi butts and then the massive blank walls of their side panels as we passed them by. From Dallas/ Fort Worth, thru the entire state of Arkansas to Memphis Tennessee – the “view” was the same. And we won’t discuss H’s ire about “rolling roadblocks”!
The “Land Between the Lakes” area in north/west Tennessee- south/west Kentucky is similar to the Natchez Trace but since the National Parks are closed due to stupidity – this road was just that – a nice calm road, without semis, to get us north. Louisville, Kentucky – Indianapolis and Ft Wayne, Indiana to the new Rt 24 interstate thru Ohio to Toledo and we were done.