Up until the whole Houston debacle I had been quite happy and pleased that I had managed to stay on schedule! However I ended up not getting delayed just one day, but two! Because my bank card didn’t arrive until too late in the afternoon to start out on a 7 hour drive. Oh well, if I was going to get stuck somewhere Austin was the place to do it. I had a free place to crash with some of my favorite people in the world, so it wasn’t all bad.
Wednesday morning I set off way too early considering the activities I had been up to the night before. As usual Ms. Garmin took me through all back County Roads. Although in retrospect after looking at the map it was really the most direct route and unlike the rest of the country, the CR in Texas have a 70 mph speed limit. What I drove through was most definitely what I picture as Texas. Giant ranches with big fence posts and huge Texas state flags. The night before I had learned what makes Texas (& Texans) different from the rest of the country. Unlike the other states in the Union, Texas was not annexed in but rather made a state by a special treaty. And because of this it is the only state flag that can fly at the same level as the Stars & Stripes. It also explains why Texans are the most pompous and bodacious. As one guy said, you never have to ask a Texan where they’re from because within the first few minutes they’ll tell you.
Driving for hundreds of miles through Western Texas I couldn’t help having flashbacks to Eastern Africa. Many sections looked a lot like Mozambique where I used to live. Other sections, the drier ones, took me back to that fateful drive in Zambia where I almost got raped. Yeah, that didn’t bring back good memories! On this drive I also saw something I had been keeping a look out for and knew I would eventually see; Hydro-fracking! ARGH!!!! It made my skin crawl. For those of you not familiar with fracking may I suggest you check out gaslandthemovie.com. It seemed strangely ironic that there were wind turbines right next to them.
There were wind gusts and dust spouts along the side of the road. No wonder since they haven’t gotten rain in several months. But some of those gusts were pretty well, gusty! A deer ran out 300 feet in front of me and I added ‘no hitting of large animals that can harm me or the car’ to my intention list.
After many many hours of rolling hills and constantly changing topography, I finally made it into New Mexico and a few hours later I finally made it to Carlsbad Caverns. Unfortunately I got there at the end of the day so I decided then to stay til the morning to check it out somewhere. When I entered the Big Room my jaw simply dropped in awe. Honestly, I’ve been to caves all over the world and never seen anything quite so spectacular. Just beautiful! To call it a spiritual experience would not even cover it. I camped out at the base of the park and headed back early the next morning…and was reminded of why I hate group tours so much!!! Oy! I abhor them, but sometimes it’s the only way to see things. I took far too many pictures and non of them do it justice, but atleast I got some good exercise hiking down 800 feet to the main floor.
After I was done with Carlsbad I got back on the road to head up to Santa Fe. I’ve been looking forward to Santa Fe the whole trip. and now I only had half a day to spend with it! 😦 Oh well…another trip I guess. The drive from Carlsbad to Santa Fe is sheer torture!!!! Honestly, a person could absolutely die of boredom driving on the route. There is absolutely NOTHING to look at. I started noticing that my mind had gone into a trance state and started doing mental exercises to keep myself alert. Look at the speedometer, look at the odometer (just crossed 8,000 miles), change the music, turn up the AC. Anything to keep myself from turning into a zombie! As I was approaching Santa Fe I saw a dark block of rain. I know they desperately need the rain, but I absolutely hate camping in the rain. Did it have to be this one day???
I loved what little of Santa Fe I saw as much as I knew I would. These are by far the nicest, most polite and most friendly people I’ve come across. Not that sacchariny sweetness of the south, but just cool chilled out friendliness. Oh yeah, I will definitely be coming back here. I’ve officially left the south and am coming into the portion of the country I feel so in tuned with, even though I’ve never lived here or even barely visited.
As I give a short and sweet love ’em and leave ’em visit to Santa Fe I am making my way up to Telluride. Always wanted to go there! Tomorrow I’ll be picking up a VERY special travel partner….So, don’t expect any blogs for the next several days! 😉
Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for reading!!!