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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Out of Beloved New Mexico at Last!

Well, decided to forego any meds at bedtime last night and so was awake at 315 with a stuffed throat and cough. Lay in bed until 5am when I finally gave up, took a Mucinex and answered emails and sent out yesterday's pix. Bill got up around 630 and we packed, ate breakfast leisurely and were on the road by 815. The temperature was a brisk 29 degrees and Douglas Bristlecone wore a cap of frost on his head. I, dressed for St Patrick's Day, as was Douglas took a pix of my Kelly green nails and new turquoise ring. Again, the terrain changed so drastically as we moved north toward Springer, where we took an eastern turn toward Clayton, NM, leaving Colorado and the snow capped Rockies in our rear view mirror. One of the pix has a huge flock of geese flying in formation against the snowy backdrop. I have to crop that shot to bring them into clearer relief. There are so many places in New Mexico that I really like and this north eastern corner is a favorite, though so open and desolate that I would not want to live there. Just imagining short dark days with howling winds far from the nearest neighbors makes me almost mad, even though it isn't my reality. There is a book about the madness of some pioneer women--Ruth, help me out here--what book is it that I'm thinking of? Seems you and I have discussed it before though I haven't read it. Around Wagon Wheel while we were still in I 25 we saw the first herds of early morning grazing antelopes. They are always along the route that leads us to Clayton--it goes through the Kiowa National grasslands and several years I've gotten some terrific shots. As we passed through Springer saw that the historical building for sale is still for sale. Heading into Clayton we passed a huge herd of long horn black steer some of which were congregated around the old watering hole. Stopped and chatted awhile and few of the guys posed graciously for the crazy lady talking to them like pets. A bit farther down the road we were almost in a collision with a herd of antelope crossing and then not crossing in front of us. Made a Uey to get some shots and wound up inadvertently herding antelope. They had left the range along which they were running and could not find a way back onto it. They kept stopping short and trying to find an gap in the fence--they cannot jump them. They would get far enough ahead of us and come into the road but a car would come the other way and they would run back. We got ahead of them because they were obviously getting very stressed and irratic. Sooner or later one was going to come out and get hit. The road cleared and we made another Uey --as we headed east once more, it was a relief to see they had made it across the road safely and were happily running over the range away from the road. Whew--but beautiful On into Clayton and out again, a bit more farmland and we left New Mexico behind--vaya con Dios--and entered Oklahoma, period. In the distance we saw a formation like a large dinosaur--turned out to be two trees along the roadside. We soon arrived at the first of our destinations for the day, No Man's Land Beef Jerky. Seven years ago when we first stopped there we met the man who started it. He'd been a teacher who went backrupt and so decided to start a Jerky business. We've stopped several years since, including last year, on a Sunday afternoon, when they'd closed for the day. We bought the jerky from the local grocery store that day. This year the lady working the store said that the company has sold to three nice " Christian" men who are going to expand their preparation operation and put it across the border in Texas. It is in the contract that this small plant and little store will remain. However, the company will now have the capability of expanding into other areas of the country and she gave us a toll free number to give to any local store we think might have an interest in carrying their product. Will share with Baker's and maybe Dan and Whit's. Would be great to have it available locally. Pricey but then all jerky is but not all is this good. As we continued on toward Guymon, I dozed periodically , waking to look at the green fields and the ammonia tanks that were being injected into the fields not planted. Won't be long before planting will be going full blast. Didn't see the camel this year as we entered town though I thought I could a glimpse of him off behind a rolling hilly area of the prairie. We lost an hour and it is now CST and we are only an hour out from home. Yet, we were early enough that we carried on a few errands--Bill got a sherbet cone at Braun's--they only had orange---yuck, picked up some more water at Carter's Market--wanted to go in and walk around but still having trouble not coughing violently when walking very much. Then we went to the ATM and finally to check on our second destination-Eddie's Steakhouse. When we were there last year we knew Eddie was dying and trying to sell the place. He has two kids one of whom is a large animal vet in Texas if I remember correctly and the other is also a professional living away from here. Neither want to try running the place or having a manager do it from long distance point of view. Well, Eddie died this past Fall. Somebody is trying to open it--don't know who--but they aimed for Feb but the plumbing and wiring were found to be out of code so they are getting that fixed and are now shooting for Apr 1. I hope if they are successful that they live up to Eddie's dedication to excellent steak that he ordered especially from a place in Texas and to the service that made you feel at home and a personal friend. We've met people from all over the country eating there, who make it a regular stop on their travels. Last year we ate with a fellow who has a winter place in Yuma and lives in Minnesota. He stops on the way down and the way back every year for steak at Eddie's . We, too, have detoured to have steak at Eddie's. I only hope that will be available to us again. AND I hope they leave the room as is--the bar in a cage with the dining room outside looking in. Also the little locked cabinets in the hall behind the bar that go back to the days that this was a private drinking/smoking club with the members each having a humidor and liquor locker that they opened when they came to dine. So unique! By the time we had done all the little things we checked into our room. Bill went next door to eat a steak sandwich--I'm content with some cheese, crackers, meat sticks, V-8 and some mandarin oranges. Plus, I'm eating the comfort of the room without having to wait to be served and sit at a formal table. Just too tired and not that hungry. Bets called--St Pat's is her fav holiday. Mine is Christmas but I've always loved St Pat's too--Irish Grandmother and Dad. She is wearing a green necklace of mine that she's loved since she was little. LOL And so another beautiful sunny day, cloudless and crisp comes to an end. Cross word puzzles, a little TV and off to the land of Nod. Tomorrow following the Oklahoma panhandle toward Missouri but not that far. It may snow!!! Good grief! Take care all--the trees are in bloom here and it is almost Spring! Palm Sunday this week. Can Easter be far behind? the Valley Vagabonds KandB

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