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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Land of Enchantment

Tuesday February 18,2014 Roswell, New Mexico 6PM MST Comfort Inn and Suites Suite 220

Got up earlier than usual today and actually ate a leisurely breakfast in the dining room—ham, home fries, orange juice and coffee. Reserved tonight’s room and while Bill went to check out I washed up. When I returned to the desk to pick up my credit card and pocket book the card was not there. I called the lobby to speak to Bill but he’d already gone to the car. I decided to wait in the room, hoping he’d come to check on me—which he did 20 minutes later. He didn’t have the card but I somehow closed my computer on it—as I discovered when he brought the computer bag back to the room. Tonight I discover that I’ve somehow lost the large black and orange Geek Squad folder that I keep in the computer bag in the compartment with the computer. Where the heck is it?  I never take it out of the bag—it has my receipt and who knows what else in it! Don’t remember when I saw it last but I slide my computer in and out every night—there is no way I’d pull it out without knowing—it is too big to miss. I’d see it if it fell to the floor or desk—and I thoroughly check the room every morning before departing. Some days this senility drives me mad. What I need is a ladies’ maid like they have on Downton Abbey—then I wouldn’t have to keep track of everything. Maybe in my next life.

Other than the fact we got off almost an hour later than usual today was another fabulous day. Sunny though hazy and a high of 83. Headed up to Snyder and then followed 84 to Sweetwater and on to 180 which took us all the way to Hobbs, New Mexico. It was interesting to see the fields in East Texas with their contrasting colors of harvested crops and the soil—sometimes yellow and farther west deep dark red.

Sweetwater’s welcome sign is a wind turbine blade and as we entered town we passed through one of the largest turbine farms we can remember seeing in our travels. Got a kick out of the couple of oil wells and the line of tanker cars at their feet. What a juxtapositioning of energy sources.

180 is a two lane highway with no traffic and very few towns. We came to the tiny town of Gail with The Blue Paw Café, another café across the street out of business for quite a while by its appearance and yet a third café and gas station down the street. The Blue Paw was it –had a gigantic bacon cheeseburger, Bill had the jalapeno burger, we shared an order of fries we couldn’t finish and each had a jar of sweet tea, also unfinished. Best food I’ve eaten in a long time. I was the only woman in the place but for the waitresses. A table full of oil men, a corner table with seven real cowboys—the first I’ve ever seen—and several lone wolves. A busy place. Oilmen noisy and cowboys very soft spoken. Their spurs do jingle jangle when they walk. Bill said they had two trailers of horses, actually I saw one going down the road toward the east. Wonder where they were going and whether it is round-up already.

Next town Lamesa and it is on top of the mesa. Lots of cotton fields here and I saw two John Deere pieces of equipment in town that I recognized as cotton harvesters from our day in Alabama watching cotton harvest last November. The Alabamians do a cleaner job of harvesting,however. It was around this time that we hit our highest temperature of the day: 83!  Too hot for me. The last of the Texas towns before entering New Mexico was Seminole. We’ve been here before though we entered from a different direction going to a different destination! Passed by the same clock, which on this face is always telling the correct time—cannot say that for the two side clocks. West of Seminole and on into New Mexico is oil country. While I like the oil wells—the pumps—I think they look like rocking horses,but the smell of the area is horrible. The fumes cannot be healthy. I wish some of those tree huggers  in Essex Co Vt, who are so adamantly against the turbines on the ridges because they destroy the view, kill the birds or make too much noise, could see and smell the oil fields in the West. Or for that matter,see the coal mines in Appalachia and the dirt of those areas. They are lucky there is neither coal nor oil of any quantity in Vermont—the result would be far more harmful than the beauty of a few white pinwheels on their ridge-line.  There was not one sound coming from the twirling farm turbines as we rode right through the middle of it.

About thirty miles farther West we entered New Mexico at Hobbs. Cut up to Lovington and then swung west out of town to pick up a little used range road along which we saw some interesting gloves mounted on the fence posts. I’ve seen cowboy boots on fence posts before but never gloves. Have no idea what either signifies! Periodically, a sign would appear with a cow on it and before us would be open range and cattle guards in the road. If you look closely at the shot of the two lovely ladies along the way, you will see the edge of Bill’s window. Madam white-face had grudgingly stepped off the pavement to allow us to pass. I can’t imagine driving this curving narrow road at night with cows wandering about freely. It may be like dodging deer in Vermont but she looks a bit bigger to me—maybe like watching out for moose at night.

As we moved along I began to notice that on one side of the road the cactus had been pulled and stacked. Those pastures looked nice and grassy but those that had not recently had the cactus removed were definitely getting overgrown with them. It would appear that if one wants to maintain pasture here, then the cactus have to be culled periodically.

When we reached 380 and turned toward Roswell we both remembered Tatum where all the street signs are made of carved metal letters. Really very beautiful and unique in a really tiny town. In time we descended into the Pecos River Valley from the Llana Escondida—the barricaded plain. Before us lay Roswell and just outside it the Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge which we will visit tomorrow morning. I love Roswell’s courthouse with its pale green blue dome but I hate the main street and its garish shops and pseudo museums about aliens. We’ve never stopped in them.

Arrived at the Comfort Inn at 5, which was really 6 for us but we gained an hour at Hobbs when we entered the Mountain Time Zone.  The lady had a three room suite available for us ( 89.00) which was an upgrade at the same price as the standard room we reserved. There is no elevator here and it is on the second floor but since we didn’t have much that needed carting upstairs that was not a problem. Bill went next door to the Mexican restaurant which I loved last time we were here but lunch was pretty filling so I had some saltines, cheese, apple and water for dinner. Very satisfying.

Betsy called—another four inches of snow today—she thinks there is at least  feet of snow on the fields where they haven’t been disturbed around the house. She is going to go out with a yardstick tomorrow to check it out. Just glad we aren’t there. Now, since nothing is on TV tonight except the Olympics think I’ll stream something for an hour and then hit the sack.

BTW, I need to edit a bit of yesterday’s blog. My friend Glen brought it to my attention this morning that my comment about the jams at San Saba was probably not what I wanted to say and he is correct. Here is his exact comment:

If each jar of jelly tasted "better than the next," wouldn't that mean that the flavors got progressively worse as you moved through the line-up? Maybe you meant "better than the last."

Yup, that’s what I meant, Glen. Thank you for catching it. So, with that, I think I shall close and hope I was more awake tonight. As I told him, I spell check but don’t reread—so there may be more head scratching comments along the way. Enjoy!  Night all KandB

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