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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Las Cruces all week

We are in Las Cruces NM now. We arrived on Monday afternoon and are staying at the Hacienda RV Resort. This is a beautiful place and one of the nicest RV Resorts we have ever stayed at.

I am working from the RV. Hacienda has on site phone, and wireless high speed internet. I work on Eastern Time to be in synch with those that I normally work with, so I start my day at about 6:30 AM. The commute takes about 6 to 8 seconds depending on traffic. We do get out in the evenings, so if there are things of interest about which to write, I will keep this post updated by labeling an additional section of this post with the day of the week.

Our Parking place at Hacienda RV Resort, Las Cruces NM.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Today is the last day we plan to stay here in Las Cruces. We have really enjoyed the weather which is much milder than it was up in Santa Fe, and this location. This RV park is nice and it is close to everything of interest.

This evening the RV Resort has their weekly "Margarita Party" reception on their common area patio. It was nice meeting some of the others here in the park.

There is a retired couple in an Alpha 5th wheel trailer that we met Monday while we were doing our laundry. They call Jacksonville Texas home, but have not lived there in 2 years. They bought the trailer to live in while they found the perfect retirement community, and so far they are still looking.

Another couple have Safari Trek motor home and are from California near Los Angeles. They dont full time, but do go on extended trips. They are 3 weeks into what they think will be a 3 month trip.

There are several RVs here with rather large satellite dishes on top that I could only assume were some sort of 2 way hookup. One couple in a 2001 Airstream trailer have such a dish on top. I asked him about it. He is an engineering consultant and the dish is a TV and Internet service called Data Storm. Anywhere he is with a open view to the south to connect with the satellite, he has high speed internet.

After that we went back to La Mesilla to La Posta resturant. This is supposed to be one of the best spots in the city, so we saved it for Friday night. We should have realized that others would be there on the weekend to, including a lot of students from NMSU. The place was PACKED, and they told us it would be an hour and a half wait! We talked about leaving, but what else do we have to do so we stayed.

La Posta is in an old building that was built back in the 1800s and was once a stop on the overland stage route. It was a restaurant and boarding house then. Now it is the resturant and several shops. The waiting area was in the old courtyard area, and has a tree growing in it with several large enclosed cage type areas with large birds and a parrot.

The wait was only 40 minutes, so I am glad we stayed. I decided to go for a Mexican steak, which was ground beef patty with green chilies on top and cheese. Pam ordered a chimychanga with beans, cheese and red chile sauce. We ended putting over half of all that in a take out box so I guess we'll have it for lunch tomorrow. Since its our last night, we decided to splurge on desert. I ordered Flan; a custard type of pudding covered with a caramel sauce. Pam ordered the Sopapilla, which is a fluffy flat bread type of tortilla that you put honey on. (At most of the "mom and pop:" type places we've been to, they have a jar of honey on the table for your soppapilla.

We waddled back to the Bounder and began to think about what we'll do tomorrow. The forecast says rain, but we will wait and see. I would like to go over to White Sands and then head to Carlsbad.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Nothing much to report today. I worked all day while it was overcast and a little rainy. Not enough to make the water stand anywhere, just cloudy.

It's really nice working from the Bounder. I actually think I get more done here than in the office; No one to drop by and chat with, no need to walk around to the other side of the building to go the bathroom, and no need to go out to lunch. And there is no other buildings to walk to for meetings.

And I do have a pretty good view from my office window looking out over the computer screen at the big rigs coming and going.

And the big rigs do roll through here. As I sit and see new arrivals pull into the office lot here, most are large diesel pushers, with the occasional gas coach. And a lot of them are towing full sized pickups or SUVs. One big Country Coach was even towing fully enclosed trailer with their Infinity SUV inside. I think our Bounder and maybe 2 other coaches here are gas, with the rest being diesel pushers or large 5ers. There are two hugh 5th wheel rigs here towed by by Freightliner tractors, customized with 4 doors, rear seats and a storage area behind the cab. It also seems like most of the diesel coaches that come through here are Monaco. They must have a very good value for the dollar compared to the other brands, because there sure seem to be a lot of them on the road.

Pam went out today for a couple of hours to ride around this end of Las Cruces, browsing through some neighborhoods and checking out some more shops. She bought Bobbi a cat toy that hangs from the ceiling and has a fuzzy toy on the the end of an elastic string. Of course Bobbi totally ignores it and prefers a balled up paper towel.

When 6:00 PM rolled around it was time so shut down the office. We went for a short walk around the RV Park then took a ride over to the New Mexico State University. NMSU is just around the corner from where we are staying here. They have a pretty but urban campus. They don't seem to have any high rise housing or classroom buildings, but quite a lot of small flat roofed apartments for student housing.

We passed the "Green" where the band was practicing. It reminded us of all the times we went to band practice, football games, and marching band contest with Addie and Tristan.

Marching Band Practice at NMSU.

We drove a little north of the city and turned back through some nice neighborhoods back to the RV park, and had dinner in the Bounder.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Pam went back to some of the shops in La Mesilla today, but didn't spend too long there this time. I think (from the looks of the bags she brought in, she ended up at Wal-Mart... surprise, surprise.)
Speaking of Wal-Mart, I know I'v been making a big deal of the "Free" camping in the Wal-Mart parking lots. But I did get on-line today to do a little personal bookkeeping, and checking our bank accounts. Y'all know that we almost exclusively use debit cards for nearly everything now. Even when you use a check at many places, they convert it to a debit transaction so that is immediately transferred from your checking account to theirs.

Anyway, what I see when I check our account activity is Wal-Mart: $67, Wal-Mart $104, Wal-Mart $46, Wal-Mart...... Well you get the idea. So much for "FREE" camping at Wal-Mart.

Tonight after work, we drove up Hwy 70 East of Las Cruces. Hwy 70 connects Las Cruces with Almagordo and the White Sands NASA Test Range. Several thousand people work there and live in Las Cruces. Hwy 70 crosses the Organ Mountains. This is a mountain range just west of Las Cruces that kind of sets the tone somehow for the town. What I mean by that is that these mountains are awesome in their size and their ruggedness. They were named Organ because the hugh rock spires and pinnacles look like the pipes on a pipe organ. I'll try to make some pictures later.

Hwy 70 crosses the San Agustin Pass at about 5710 feet and is part of the old Chisholm Trail. At the top of the pass, there is a turnout where you can stop and take a look. It is an unbelievable view across hundreds of miles olf desert toward Alamgordo and White Sands. Here is a view from San Agustin Pass.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005.

Pam took the afternoon and visited historic La Mesilla. She spent a few hours walking around the Plaza and visiting some of the gift shops and scoping out the restaurants in the area. There are several that come highly recommended, so we may give them a try.

She also took a drive out through the country checking out the pecan groves. They flood the groves with water from the Rio Grande to irrigate the trees. This looks kind of strange, like a grove of pecan trees in a swamp. Apparently they flood with just a few inches of water, then let it soak in giving the trees a good drink on a regular basis. We are not sure how often they do that, some of the groves would be completely flooded, while others are just damp looking or completely dry.

After my work day was done, we drove back down through that area and then continued south toward El Paso TX on NM Route 28. This is a small road that runs down the Rio Grande valley roughly parallel with I-26 several miles to the east. We crossed the Rio Grande 3 or 4 times, through fields of red chilies, cabbage, lettuce, cotton, and pecan groves.

Everyone here seems to have a horse or two, and seem to keep them in rather small fenced in areas.

We kept going until we were in the town of Anthony, then saw a small sign "Welcome to Texas". Route 28 approaches I-25 at this point, so we got back on the interstate to quickly make the 20 miles or so back to Las Cruces. Getting off at the La Mesilla exit we went back to the plaza and had dinner at Peppers Cafe. Peppers is a kind of upscale place serving Mexican/New Mexican dishes in an old supposedly haunted house. It actually shares the house with the Double Eagle restaurant. Our table was in the old court yard area of this southwestern style house with a fountain in the center. Chile Rellenos and a veggie enchiladas were ordered and thoroughly enjoyed.

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