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Monday, October 03, 2005

To New Mexico

Moving across West Texas past Amrillo, things really begin to change. You move from rolling farmland in OK, to the cattle country east of Amrillo, into the high plains west of Amrillo. And it is a steady climb up to the high plains.

Mid afternoon we crossed the NM State line noted by the big "Welcome to New Mexico" sign on I-40.

Here the road is long and straight, and it begins to go over long ridges, with the view at the top spanning out across the broad valleys and plains for miles. Here is a picture of I-40 heading west.. it just keeps going and going, and going...

Grain elevators mark the towns on either side of the hwy, with the old "Historic Route 66" visible as a weed covered access road with old motels and gas stations that look like a ghost town from the 1950s. Looking at that narrow road, it is hard to imagine the traffic from the 1930s through the 60s using that road as a major highway. The highway that Steinbeck called "Americas Mother Road", that carried thousands of dust bowl Okies from their failed farms in the midwest to a "better life" in California, is a mere afterghought to the busy I-40.

Finally, at exit 218 in New Mexico, we pull off the coast to coast highway, and follow NM hwy 285 (picture on right) toward Santa Fe. Still climbing this 2 lane road takes us through some of the open ranch lands of this part of NM. Passing dirt roads with elaborate signs overhead with "Cross Bar Ranch" or other ranch names. Look as hard as you can, you cannot see the end of the dirt roads or anything that looks like life down them. But there must be something.

Getting into the outlying areas of Sante Fe we begin to see sub divisions and houses. But not what we are used to in NC. No, these are flat roofed, adobe looking houses with no yards. The desert brush grows right up to the house. I think I'd like that aspect of living here.

Finding our campground, it is right in the middle of town. It is not so much a campground as an RV Community. (Entrance pictured below)

No self parking here, you have to be assisted by the manager. And I see why; it is very tight. They have made every effort to get as many people in here as possible. The place if full though thanks to the Baloon Fiesta going on in Albuquerque this week. (We forgot his name so we just call him Mr. Parker.) Mr, Parker directed us into our spot perfectly.

By the way, on the way out to the resturant we were in a hard rain storm with some lightning. Wouildn't you know it, its the desert but we are here in the rainy season. And its cool and breezy too, temps in the 70s day and 50s at night.

So after 3 long days on the road, we have arrived! We'll find some New Mex food tonight and take it easy tomorrow morning before going into the Sante Fe Plaza to explore and see the sights.

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