This is a shakedown trip for the new iPad. I love the way it travels, and that it is bigger than an iPhone for picking up e-mail, and I have a keyboard, so I can write.
It is a lot harder to blog. It is harder to crop and manipulate photos, it is harder to integrate the photos into my blog entries. It was so much more difficult that I just didn’t do it. I had a lot of ideas and a lot of photos, but not enough time (you know how it is when you are traveling) to figure out how to get the job done.
AdventureMan very generously offered to let me use his computer to upload my photos and integrate them into blog entries. Thank you, AdventureMan!
Years ago there was a wonderful TV series called Roswell, with a young Kathern Heigl and others. Why did I like it so much? It was about teenagers living in Roswell, NM, and one of them was really an alien. That delighted me, because what I remember best about being a teenager was how alien we all felt, how uncomfortable, and how we wondered how we would survive in the real world. Roswell was all about surviving, and the problems an alien has trying to live among Earthlings. Like, what if you are in an accident and taken to a hospital in an ambulance, but you don’t want them to take your blood because it is green? and Alien?
Plus, Roswell is the center of all kinds of alien conspiracy theories, and an Air Force district (49) where people think UFO’s really landed. So – I wanted to see Roswell, even just to drive through. I know there aren’t really any aliens, but something in me wanted to go through Roswell, New Mexico.
There is an alien museum, and aliens outside of local businesses. AdventureMan found a wonderful restaurant, where we had a truly delicious meal:
There was a good crowd in the restaurant, and an interesting menu. I ordered the small fish soup and a fajita salad. The soup was large for a small soup, and delicious. I know fish soup – I even make fish soup. This was complex, and fresh and very hot. I loved this fish soup:
My fajita salad (delicious):
AdventureMan had a Tostado Platter, and said it was yummy:
If Roswell is on your list of places to visit, and if you like Mexican food, real Mexican food, good Mexican food, than Amigos is a great stop. Right on the main route through Roswell.
Here’s the thing . . . I’ve kind of lived a life a little on the edge. We’ve taken chances. We were young, we took risks we didn’t even know we were taking.
The result is that while I am still determined to live my life to the fullest, there are things I won’t do. Jump out of a perfectly good airplane, even with a parachute. Walk out on clear platforms over the Grand Canyon. Go in bat caves. Go into just about any confined space – I just don’t do it. There are things I don’t like doing but I do them, but there are things I just won’t do, and I’ve stopped doing caverns and walking close to the edge in very high places.
So we went to Carlsbad Caverns, visited the visitor center, then took the Desert Drive.
We are here at an awesome time of the year. Things are blooming, and we are awed at the persistence of life. The temperature has hit ninety something (fahrenheit) by 10 in the morning, but these plants are thriving. So thriving that one plant burrowed through two layers of cloth and into AdventureMan’s flesh!
These are old familiar plants, the Prickly Pear. I first saw them when we lived in Tunisia, and they were used as boundary borders, and a formidable boundary marker they are – tall and tough and very prickly. The Tunisians used the prickly pear to make jelly, but they also used the leaves, trimming off all the prickles, peeling off the tough outer skin, pounding the fibrous center into submission and then, I think, breading them and frying them. I love it that something so tough and which grows so persistently can also provide nutrition to hungry people.
I’m just throwing this one in because it cracked me up; the stick looking a little like a snake by the sign:
We just figured this was going to be a rough boring stretch, driving I-10 across West Texas to New Mexico, but, as so often does, magic happened and the day changed totally.
AdventureMan had a little allergy, so I did the driving across the wilds of west Texas. It wasn’t anything like I had expected. I’ve read lots of books set in Texas, and seen movies. I expected No Country For Old Men. What I got was a long empty highway with hardly any fellow travelers, some spectacular scenery, hardly any speed limit at all, and lots of time to think and enjoy the ride. Wooo HOOOO on West Texas!
Turning north at Ft. Stockton, we entered Hackberry Holland country (James Lee Burke) with those long empty landscapes punctuated with endlessly pecking derricks, whirling dust, endless pick-ups and tankers, and not much else. The scenery went from those plateaus and arroyos to Qatar flat and white desert, from Texas wildflowers to succulents. Then, just around Pecos, Texas, as we are in the end stretch toward New Mexico, it turns more golden, like Kuwait, with some elevations. Across the border, I asked AdventureMan (now awake and feeling good again) “where is the red tint we see in all the ‘Visit New Mexico’ brochures?” Within half an hour, the iron-oxide tint shows up and we see the red glow start to appear.
We know we want to visit Carlsbad Caverns, so we spend the night in Carlsbad, and eat at Mi Casita. Here is what the desk clerk told us:
“I can’t eat at Mi Casita because the food is too spicy, but everyone who really loves Mexican food eats there.”
We loved it. I ordered things I don’t usually order, enchiladas and beans and rice, and it was so GOOD.
As we left, we went down to the city park and took pictures of the river, and AdventureMan fed the hissing geese some of his peanut-butter and crackers that we carry along in case we might starve or something ;-).
As soon as I can get these photos transferred from my iPad to my computer, I will put in the photos and this will be a much more interesting entry.