Thursday, July 18, 2013

My Unplanned Road Trip to New Mexico (part 2)

  It rained all the way to Snyder or there-a-bouts. Where is Snyder you ask? South of Lubbock.  I spent the night there once.  Once.  I looked at this as an unexpected Road Trip in middle of a hot boring summer. I like road trips~they are just usually planned. Cranked up the music and enjoyed the scenery and drive. On roads I had never traveled before. (once I got to Sweetwater anyway) Chick Fil A in abilene.  Went through some small towns. Had a chocolate dipped cone in Post TX. How many can say that?  Speed limit is 75 in most areas so I made good time.  Was surprised to see sand in East New Mexico.  Entering Roswell was a surprise as it was green (irrigated obviously) Once I got there I figured I would hit Socorro at a decent time-I had gained an hour in NM. 
  Wrong.  Highway 380 is pretty. Mountains. Lincoln National Forest.
 What you don’t realize is the part when you get to Hondo and the road splits (on a mountain) It looks more like an afterthought-or turnoff for people that live in that area. Not marked with a big sign saying 380, or Socorro.  Just a split.  So I kept going on 70 (thinking I was on 380) and enjoying the scenery so much I never saw a highway sign until I see the “Riudoso 22 mi” but still think nothing of it.  I drive past the horse sculpture-beautiful lit up.  The racetrack was really pretty with all the lights on. Sits on the side of the mountain.  
 Then I come to a split and realize that none of the towns listed on either sounded right.  None said Socorro either.  It’s dark now.  I turn around and head back to the split. Get into the main part of town and pull over to look at my map (thank God I didn’t rely on my cell phone/navigation) Did I forget to mention that cell service is spotty at best or non-existent?  So I pull out trusty map and find out where I am. Shit.  I took the “scenic unplanned detour”  It was really pretty up until that point.  So my phone got reception enough to tell me which road to take from there-so I headed south. Or “where ever”  It was a 2 lane, winding, mountain road. Going downhill. Did I mention how dark it was? Or how much "fun" it is to drive down a winding mountain road you've never been on in pitch black darkness? I think I passed a few cars but not much traffic.  
Not exactly what you want to see late at night in middle of nowhere. (took this the next day-but when i saw it at night my thought was "did i just see 'missile firing?!'
 I had NO idea if I was headed in the right direction, there were no lights, no moon, no navigation lady telling me where to go.  I prayed that I was going to make it and not end up in some desolate unmarked part of New Mexico where they would never find me. 
 The road finally flattened out and I came to a dead end (carrizozo) turn left or right. To Socorro.  Thank God.  There was a deer standing on the other side of the road-she just looked at me as I turned. I think she was telling me I was headed in the right direction.  I saw some signs from time to time that said “roadside table” that I thought odd. It wasn’t until the next day that I saw it was just that. A table by the side of the road. It took almost an hour I believe but I made it to Socorro-just before midnight. My “scenic detour” took a little bit longer than the original projected time estimate.  I found Gary’s hotel-after not seeing him for 7 wks he was a welcome sight. We hugged, got in the car and went to Denny’s-the only thing open at that hour.  Sleep was very welcome that night.  My poor journal never got opened while I was gone. 
See, we made it fit!

another shot for our "foot" album

Tuesday July 16, 2013
  Got up, ready, loaded the scooter into the back of the car with some fancy maneuvers. (will update with the picture when I can get it off my phone)  Loaded luggage and ourselves into the car.  By that time we had decided that we would make a few stops on the way so that the drive wasn't totally in vain. We saw the Trinity site.(at least where the sign is that tells about it- the atomic bomb was tested.  We went to the “Valley of Fires  It’s a lava field It covers 125 square miles and is 160 feet deep at the center.  Pretty awesome to see.  Our next stop was the Three Rivers Petroglyph site. (on the way here you could see the edge of the White Sands)   Over 21,000 different symbols have been documented here.  It was about a mile hike total and very worth it. The weather was sunny, breeze-68 I believe.  Even when it was warmer it was nice because there is NO humidity.  I took lots of pictures here-very worth the drive to NM. 
Next we headed to Riudoso. I really expected it to be more upscale for some reason. Still a cute area.  We stopped for a burger, then drove to the horse sculptures. Another photo opportunity. Wish I could have bottled up the fresh air and pine smell.  Now it was time to actually head for home.  We made a brief stop in Roswell (bathroom break) at the coolest McDonalds. Spaceship themed building, décor and play area. The downtown had alien head’s for the light covers. I would have loved to have seen them at night lit up.  We did stop a few time to take pictures of historical markers.
Also got a picture of a huge bird’s next on top of a pole (eagle)? Other than stops for gas we had a very late “dinner” in Clyde TX (Whataburger) and finally got home around 3:30 am July 17. 
  So Gary and the Scooter (who now needs a name) were rescued and brought safely home-and I got a scenic road trip out of the deal.              
An example of how far you can see on some of these roads

another foot picture for our collection


Horse Sculptures

Historical marker

alien at mcdonald's

street light

The giant bird's nest

another marker

there were signs for cow, deer, elk and fire trucks
setting sun

1 comment:

Laura Weed said...

Great pics, Donna! Looks like it was actually a kind of fun trip, scary midnight issues aside! I feel like the one petroglyph is clearly a three peak mountain range with an alien spaceship hovering above and a "stairway" leading up to it. (or I supposed it could be rain or a rainbow...LOL) Thanks for sharing your trip! Kinda makes up for the vacation I'm not getting this year.