Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mountains to Desert

Right now we are sitting cozily in our faithful scamp in central Arizona at Lost Dutchmen State Park. We have had some adventures in the past week which we have been too busy having for me to write about once again. It feels somewhat inconsistent to have written so little about our adventures and does not really do them the justice that they deserve to merely summarize, but that’s what I will have to do I’m afraid. It’s much more fun to write about what we’re doing now!

We traveled through Texas and stayed at a beautiful state park with amazing views of the Davis mountain range which was a lovely morning surprise to wake up and see mountains glowing orange, and small phantoms of mist rising off of the desert. Complete with a hot spring for swimming, it is a very scenic and beautiful park.

How mountainous this whole area has been from western Texas, up into New Mexico and then over along Route 10 (if you feel like looking at a map) I have never imagined this area to be so full of mountains. We keep joking that every mountain range we see must be the Rockies, every corner we turn we say “That’s them; they’ve GOT to be the Rockies.”

We spent a day and night at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park right on the border of New Mexico which we had literally to ourselves and one other human. The camping area is right at the base of the mountains and we got some killer winds, coyote sounds, photographs and a great walk through the low lying canyon.

After over thirty five hundred our muffler sadly decided to detach itself from our car. This created an epic diesel fog in the cabin of the car, and the surrounding area! I’m laughing so hard as I write this. A mysterious rattle that could not be located resulted in this problem, so we decided not to stay another night in the Guadalupe Mountains and to head north to Roswell New Mexico to get it repaired. We arrived to sleet and an overnight snow that iced the doors shut and iced our pillows to the insides of the camper! We have zero degree sleeping bags so we were warm and fine, but if you had seen us stumbling out the good old Beatrice in the morning to find ice and snow plastered to everything, I’m sure you would have enjoyed it. Our visit included a visit to my Grandfathers grave, some family genealogy tracking, visits to the library, antique and bookstore. The most amazing car junk yard that Pat and I have ever seen lay just on the outskirts of town filled to the brim with incredible old cars in amazing condition. Everyone in Roswell seems to have a fabulous looking old truck from the fifties or sixties that isn’t rusted like our cars back east! Old car lovers we couldn’t get enough. We got a kick of driving around and looking at the southwest style holiday decorations, kids playing in the snow with no winter coats, and the absence of plows! It hasn’t rained in over a year there so this was the first precipitation they’ve seen in a long time. Our car was repaired quickly, we met some very friendly and talkative local folks and met an adventurous and kind woman in our campground (hello if you’re reading this!) who is also traveling across the country from Washington State headed toward the east coast.

Our drive from Roswell to Phoenix Arizona over the past couple of days has been very beautiful. We drove through the Mescalaro Apache Reservation which was one of the prettiest areas on our whole trip, took pictures of mountains while leaning out of car windows in the freezing cold, ate delicious Mexican pastries and marveled at the changing scenery.

Today it has changed so fast to cactus country. We have an incredible guard over our campsite this evening, a tall twenty five foot tall Saguaro cactus! There have been some along the highway that have to be taller than that, absolutely massive incredible plants.

It feels so strange that we can get to all these places on a series of roads, it feels like we should have to work a lot harder to get to these incredible sights, years ago it would have been on foot or horseback as the native peoples of this area would have thousands of years ago. We certainly appreciate the variety of places that we’ve gotten to go, it’s just a big like feeling jet lagged from a long trip. A week ago we were looking at cypress tree’s in Louisiana and now we’re accompanied by cactus and sandy desert. To walk from one place to the next you would really get to see the slow change from environment to environment. Here I am cooking up the walking idea! Watch out!

So in this land of dry earth and a thousand shades of brown, and a perpetual blue sky we spend the night. It is clear outside and stars dot the sky despite the city lights of Phoenix nearby. After following the train tracks all day and watching the relics of lost desert towns we landed here and we are glad of it. It is a strange land filled with yellow planes scanning the borders of Mexico and flying over the highways, to the perpetual barbed wire fence that seems to stretch from Tennessee to the ranches here, it is a different culture but still connected to everything that came before it. I feel like we are in a constantly moving painting stretching out in front of us to a never ending skyline and mountains that fool us into believing that we exist on the top of the world.
Tomorrow it is off to Los Angeles to see our very good friend and to meet new ones too. To the big city these to country kids go. Hopefully the crazy winds will allow us into the fair city to a barbecue at the beach that has been promised on our arrival!

1 comment:

  1. Ahh...a moving painting, 25 foot tall cacti, neverending make this mama tear up! I love you both very much...and I know that cooking up heart of yours...i'll start saving or those walking shoes.