It took me long enough to get back on the road, but I was finally able to take a trip. I took a longer trip this time: Southern Colorado, Western Texas and Central New Mexico.
MAP OF THE “ITINERARY” AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST
I drove 2,500 miles almost on the dot and visited some absolutely amazing sites and cities, met incredible people and filled my heart and soul with the healing I needed. As per usual I will be posting all the National Parks Service sites in separate posts… You know my obsession…
My first stop was Lake Meredith NRA north of Amarillo, TX. Again, I will post about it separately. Then I stayed the night in Amarillo where I met Joe and Suwan at The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery. Before that I visited a couple other excellent craft breweries. I’d say that evening was a success. Joe is a truck driver and Suwan is an international student living in Hawaii and from Turkmenistan.
And there began my 7-hour ride to Del Rio, TX. I stopped in Lubbock, TX for a beer at a really cool brewery but only stopped for gas otherwise. It was a loooong drive. Everything is indeed bigger in Texas! I think what I liked the most about that drive was some of those yellow patches of flowers in an otherwise pretty arid environment.
Now we are diving into Day 3 of the “excursion” and heading to Amistad NRA, which will be featured in a separate post. I didn’t realize how controlled the border was monitored in Southern Texas. This is far from being a political post, but I will say this: I am an American citizen with all the paperwork to prove it, and even I was a bit nervous… I saw people being arrested and a helicopter following cars on the freeway. Not exactly my idea of a friendly environment, but everyone’s gotta do their job. I drove to Big Bend NP (also featured later in a different post) and slept in Alpine. It’s a pretty unassuming town, but I managed to meet two incredible people at a local dive-ish bar called Harry’s Tinaja. In the morning, I set out to go to Fort Davis NHS (featured in a separate post) before hitting Valentine, TX. Now that’s a special place! There is really nothing there except for this fictitious Prada store… What a trip!
And there I was on my way to El Paso, TX. I stopped by the Guadalupe Mountains NP “on the way.” We’ve all heard a ton about this place (not always in good), but I did enjoy my time there. I hit up a couple breweries and went on the scenic drive (where you have a great view of Juarez, Mexico) as well as Casa de Azucar. I think seeing Mexico from the heights of El Paso made me realize how borders matter but they also don’t. It looked so different, but also it felt like I could touch it from where I was. Look at the pictures and the writing on the mountain: “Ciudad Juarez. La Bibla Es La Verdad. Leela.”
On Day 4 I slept in Las Cruces, NM. Pretty cool town. Good beer. Nice people. I woke up early-ish and headed over to White Sands NP. Absolutely gorgeous and also featured in a separate post. I actually went to see the Recycled Roadrunner in that rest area by Las Cruces before heading out. Pretty cool stuff. I had a pretty terrific view of Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks from where I was.
Day 5. Yeah. The roadrunner. But also: White Sands NP and a pretty drive to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM. I stopped by McGinn’s Pistachio Land and their pistachio sculpture. It’s the biggest pistachio sculpture in the world! I also saw a pretty amazing part of New Mexico and the Carrizozo area called Valley of Fires Recreation Area. Check it out!
And here is the very last photo I took on this trip. It was on Day 5 in Albuquerque before I headed out to Santa Fe, NM. The next day I made my way back home to the Denver, CO area. It was an amazing trip! I’d do it again in a heartbeat!