Friday, May 22, 2015

Journaling: Across New Mexico **

When last you heard of us we three, JoAnn, David, and terrier Cookie, were tooling westward along I-40 heading out of the Texas Panhandle early on the morning of October 16, our ninth day out of Tipton at the rate of 65 mph and 8.5 mpg.  And gas is not cheaper west of the wherever.  We stopped for breakfast in Tucumcari, New Mexico.  Yes, Virginia, there is a Tucumcari.  The morning's drive then took us to Cline's Corner in time for lunch.  This is truly nowhere and its usefulness relies solely on that fact coupled with the fact that it is the junction at which one must decide which of the cardinal compass points one wishes to follow.  People who work at the service station/restaurant cum curio store on-a-vast-scale actually live here.  Well, they have to.  There is no other human habitation within hours of this desolate place.  We were here for two hours, had lunch, and, of course, Jo bought stuff.,

We turned north from Cline's and drove through Santa Fe and on to Abiquiu Reservoir Park.What a gorgeous place!  I know.  That is a truly inadequate adjective but used here because words indeed fail.  The campsites are arranged on a hillside ascending above the reservoir, a large lake surrounded by arid hills and mountains, buttes, cliffs.  There were three other camp vehicles on site.  The first location we chose had no power.  In talking to a neighboring camper, we found that the power had been shut off the day before, October 15.  She, however, being experienced in such things had had the foresight to call the ranger station and asked for a couple of extra days for her site.  Good fortune!  If she had power, so likely would adjoining sites.  One of them did and we had a wonderful camping experience.  We walked along the cliffs and watched the sun set behind the mountains.  This whole area is to be highly recommended, not only to campers but to you all should you ever have the good fortune to be anywhere near.

 Abiquiu Reservoir

We broke camp on the morning of October 17 and drove westward on NM 96. And, of course, I would never admit my intention to return to the northbound highway and continue on in that direction, but made a right turn our of the campgrounds instead of a left and after seven or eight miles discovered what had transpired stubbornly pressed on rather than retrace any of those miles.  Serendipity is defined by just such twists, for this stretch of road was one of the truly scenic and interesting on the trip to this point.  A few hills and curves, but by this time my confidence as a truck driver was, well, perhaps better than it needed to be.  After two or three hours, this road connected with US 550 headed northwest into Aztec our next planned stopover.  550 is basically a superhighway without the limited access, so we were soon at the home of my childhood chum, Wesley and his gracious wife Joan.



Marsha Young said...

Only you could make these desolate stretches of I-40 sound interesting. I have driven / ridden those roads and you couldn't pay me enough to go there again. Different strokes, huh? :)
Nice travel log, though.

vanilla said...

Marsha, dry dusty desolation so far as the eye can reach. I do find beauty in the desert, but I make my domicile amidst green living things. One thing for certain: God’s creation is diverse and entertaining.