After visiting friends in north Denver and doing another Walmart RV camp night, I made an executive decision to drive south and cut across the northeast corner of New Mexico. The decision was by no means reactionary to the soiled spent condom I found by the RV's rear tire this morning... shudder.
The above picture was taken along New Mexico Hiway 64 as Kris drove us east. There were isolated thunder storms in all directions as we drove along. I probably shot 50 pics from the viewing window to get the lightning shot.
I also kept an eye out for the roadside spot where Patrick Welty and I camped in my blue Suburban in October 2001 on our way to Colorado and California. I remember it was in a depression in the land, between the hiway and the railroad and there was a shock of short old trees. I guess I was too busy trying to photograph lightning with Ethan to see the spot but I'm sure we passed it. Maybe the old tree died, it has been 13 years. The 2001 trip cross country from Charleston to California and back was my second trek across the US. My first was in 1995 when I moved to Oregon.
The landscape did not look the same as it did so long ago but it has been a damp summer across the West and everything is much greener than usual. We see lots of pronghorn on either side of the hiways and I wonder how they would taste. I would think it would be great if the meat were from a one or two year old pronghorn, marinated and grilled. If I can make light geese and mergansers taste good... altho I was told in Vail that mule deer weren't very good b/c they eat sage and twigs, but I'll bet my bottom it can be prepared tastily. If people eat coon and possum... anyway we reached the dusty megopolis of Clayton before dark. We did see another elk outside of Raton, NM. It was on the side of the road, emaciated, somewhat flat and dead. It had been hit by a vehicle days before. There were no horns.
In Clayton, we decide to get a hotel room to get showers and do laundry but as Kris did laundry the rest of us swam in the indoor pool instead. The pool, like the hotel, was full... and small. It was no bigger than our RV and had twice the occupants but the water was cool and the hotbtub was hot and soapy... yes, soapy. We had a big time and are now all in the room, chlorine clean and relaxed.
Ah yes, I forgot about our supper in Clayton. After we checked in we walked over to the Rabbit Ear Cafe for some New Mexican food (as advertised) but they were closing as we walked inside. This was the third time on this trip we walked into a restaurant at a quarter to 9 and were turned away. So we walked down to Dairy Queen. We watched the lightning popping on three sides of town but it never rained. Inside DQ we order burgers, fries and chicken strips and after a few minutes of eating, Kris shows me something on her burger wrapper. I look close and I know I see a smudge of cheese, only... it has several black legs! It is a black fly, sort of like a love bug, in her burger wrapper! I show it to the workers and they look at it like, What is it? I say it's a black fly and I've seen others in the place. I had. They offer my money back but I ask for free ice cream for the kids. Amazingly Kris ate her burger!
Tomorrow we long haul to Dallas and get the RV in ship shape for the return Monday morning. This has been one of the best road trips since Kris and I drove back from California in 2005 pre-Katrina. After that drive, Hurricane Katrina and Del Rendon's passing, things got very real and I asked Kris to marry me. Awww! And here we are, together with our kids, happy and having fun.
I must say that after this trip and some reflective time thinking behind the wheel, only two things are keeping us from moving to western Wyoming... family and friends. The place is that awesome. Of course the winters are pretty heavy but the summers are delightful!