Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)

We crossed over into Texas, at least temporarily. We're spending the next two nights in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. No hook-ups, of course, but not a bad campground. It is quite windy and cold out, but not too cold to be out with a warm jacket. We may actually get George out for a walk here. Except for one motorhome, we have the park to ourselves. We don't know how long these other folks are staying, but they pulled in at the same time we did.

I have some miscellaneous pictures to post, but my internet connection is quite slow. I'm afraid I won't be able to do it unless I figure out some clever way to boost the signal. We are actually quite surprised to have internet here at all, but the cell phone signal is booming in. We were on the road for about three hours today getting here, and so there isn't much to tell. We traveled a red road on US Highway 180/62. This is the same road that will take us to Carlsbad Caverns.

So, since I don't have much to tell you, I thought I would let you in on some of the notes I've been taking just for times like this. First of all, we figured out that the Fry's grocery store chain is owned by Kroger, which is the same company that owns Fred Meyer. Now this grocery store, electronics superstore, Fred Meyer store has us pretty befuddled. We are almost certain that the grocery store and the electronics superstore are connected because of the identical logos, but the Fred Meyer connection has us stumped. It isn't important, just mildly interesting. We've also come upon some restaurants called "Famous Sam's," which leads us to this question: Are you holding out on us Sam? Are you famous? Should we ask you for your autograph?

We went to sleep in the middle of a big windstorm last night. We also saw the first tumbleweeds of the trip while we were in Las Cruces. The town of Las Cruces is pretty boring, and so the tumbleweeds seemed right at home there. When we awoke this morning, the sky was blue and the winds were calm, so we don't really know what the buffeting of last night was all about. We'd follow the news if there were any, but all the news these days seems to be conjecture, speculation, and opinion. A waste of time in our book.

The other thing we've noticed since crossing into Arizona and New Mexico is the number of border patrol officers we've seen. I've read that Saguaro National Park is a crossing point for people coming into the country illegally. We've been through two border patrol checkpoints ourselves. One of them asked us to "state our citizenship." All I heard was "state," and so I said "Oregon. Duh, United States." He sort of looked at our trailer, and then waved us past. I don't know why these guys make me so nervous. I doubt either of us looks the least bit Latino.

So I'll try one more time to upload the pictures. And . . . no dice! So that's all I have for you today. We'll explore the park tomorrow, and I'll have something more interesting for you.

And now it is the day after tomorrow. I'll tell you what we did yesterday in a separate entry, but for now I'll let you know (if I can even publish this) that we are in cell phone range, but the connection is very slow. I've tried again to post the pictures and I haven't been able to. We explored McKittrick Canyon in Guadalupe Mountains NP yesterday and I have some pictures of that to post in addition to the pictures I've wanted to post for this entry. I won't be able to publish those until we get someplace with a better connection.

For now I'll tell you that after our hike yesterday, we went back to the trailer to have dinner and sleep; but the wind was so bad, and the gusts were so sudden and, hm, violent, that we had to leave. One gust hit us like a truck and actually rocked the trailer, possibly up off of it's tires. We decided to go right then and there. Now we're in Carlsbad, New Mexico, which is a crummy little town. South of us is Carlsbad Caverns. We're going to explore that today, and then move on tomorrow. We'll go due south through Texas and down to Big Bend National Park. Along the way, we have three free nights in Kerrville, Texas, compliments of a man who was parked next to us in Tucson. He was having an electrical problem with his rig, and Mike helped him fix it. He owns this park and so he gave us the three free nights. Not bad. And, of course, Mike was thrilled with the opportunity to work on something. He'll never be able to get through all the projects he has on his list of things to do because he always figures out new projects--even if they are someone else's project to begin with. Project-mania. A new form of mental illness.

Okay, now I'm going to try again to publish this. If I can't do it, I'm afraid you'll have several entries to read next time around. Take care.

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