New Mexico 2011

  • Outbound Leg

  • Silver City

  • Homeward Bound

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Despite Mother Nature's best efforts to prevent it, we finally made it from Geneseo, NY to Nashville, TN and onto the Natchez Trace Parkway. Never seen it snow-covered before.
The Kaintucks certainly never saw the Trace looking this good, even in winter! The road looks mighty fine to us: no snow, no ice, no billboards, no commercial traffic. Heck, the only traffic we saw for several miles was the tiny little snow plow that had just cleared the northernmost 12 miles of the Trace after a 2-3" snowfall last night.
"Kaintuck" was the name for boatmen who floated goods down the Ohio & Mississippi Rivers to sell in Natchez and New Orleans. The boats were dismantled, and the men had a 500 mile trip back. That's about 35 days on foot, but only about 25 days on horseback!  RVan has enough horsepower that it only took us about 4 days.
Wonder what the Gordon's did when it snowed in the sunny south? Looks like a deep snow-pack might have helped them get into the front doors!
The Ten-Tom Waterway and James L. Whitten Bridge at MP 293, completed in December, 1984, makes 459 miles navigable between the Tennessee River and the Gulf of Mexico. You go, Army Corps of Engineers! Seniors go to COE facilities to get 1/2 price camping.
We go to the Sunny South to enjoy warmer temperatures and beautiful blue sky like this near Holly Hill, MS. That's "Bluebird Weather", so the bluebirds were there singing and flashing us with their brilliant blue backs and robin-red breasts. Robins and Bluebirds both belong to the Thrush family of birds; scientific name Turdidae.
The night sky at Rocky Springs Campground on the Trace may look like a flock of birds just left their "turds" behind them, but it was actually the crescent moon and the planet Jupiter. Janie's hands were just shaking in the cold. Clear skies are beautiful, but clouds hold the heat in better. You know, like "Globe-L Warming", words we saw written in a snow-covered exhibit sign earlier on the northern end of the Trace. This is the southern end and it's still cold.
It's January 29th, five days after we left home, and we have finally made it to Texas, where the setting sun inspired Janie to try another picture. No shivering here.
Bog and RVan look toasty warm in the glow of that setting sun; warm enough for Janie to leave her flannel shirt on the front seat and actually sit outside. But it's easier for Bog to type a  SaturdayAM "From the Road" from RVan's passenger seat.
The Kaintucks might have seen similarly beautiful sunsets, but they would have been very jealous of us, traveling with all the comforts of home - electricity, refrigerator, propane stove, flush toilet, Internet access and not one, but TWO computers. Hmmm, even the Kaintucks' actual homes didn't have any of that cool stuff.
After another hard day of traveling across Texas, we turned off I-10 and were flabbergasted to see this oasis in the desert: Monahans Sandhills State Park. WOW. It was so nice, we stayed there TWICE, and saw 2 Life Birds: Canyon Towhee and White-Winged Dove.
In these shifting seas of sand, we found:
many western birds we hadn't seen since 1998,
more warm sunshine and blue skies, and
a great place to celebrate Janie's 60th birthday.
Here's one of our old western bird friends: a Say's Phoebe. First time we saw one of these, we mistook it for a weird robin. In our defense, that was in Kansas during a "light" wind - only 20 miles per hour. Eastern Phoebes have no rusty color on the sides, but they also hang out on and around picnic shelters like this one is doing.
We also found ourselves and RVan camped in these shifting seas of sand, glowing orange and gold in the setting sun. It's warm enough to have the doors open, but we didn't want to find the shifting sands inside RVan!
Janie was fascinated by the old windmills we saw at Monahans Park and other places in the West. Wonder when and how the Aermotor was delivered from Chicago to the dusty desert of Texas?
Somewhere under these dunes, we might have found all the stuff mentioned on the Park Historical Marker shown earlier, but we were content to just admire the surface features and forms.
  On Janie's 60th birthday, we drove to some of the fascinating towns near Monahans that were mentioned in the Texas Travel Guide. Of course you have all heard of Wink, TX, right?
  This plaque doesn't explain very well why you have all heard of Wink, TX.
   This plaque is a bit more informative. Yep, Wink, TX was the home (but not the birthplace) of Roy Orbison.
  The plaque was more informative than the Roy Orbison Museum. All we learned there was you need to make an appointment weeks in advance to visit the museum. It didn't look worth waiting that long for, so this Pretty Woman and her Candy Man just went "walking down the street", back to RVan and other adventures.
  After visiting Wink and Kermit, TX (named for Teddy Roosevelt's son), we traveled through the town of Monahans, TX. Aside from these signs, we saw little reason to Hurry Back. One sign did answer BAWB's burning question, "Do they say y'all down here?" Yup, but they spell it difrent.
  Hey, ya'll, it's not supposed to SNOW down here, is it? This is the desert. Google tells me a desert is defined as an area of low and irregular rainfall, no permanent surface water and no substantial vegetation. Don't say nothing 'bout no SNOWfall. We don't welcome it, nor should it hurry back!
  There's even more SNOW under this Giant Roadrunner, the state bird of New Mexico. It's gonna have a hard time finding sufficient numbers of its favorite food: "el lagarto" to eat in this cold weather.
  Everybody's gonna have a hard time finding any food at The Lodge while it's "Temporarily" Closed for Repairs.
  If we believed in the "temporarity" of The Lodge repairs, we could just take in a movie while waiting, but the State of Disrepair of the State Theater seems to be permanent.

 

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