Memphis, Tennessee to Tucson, Arizona


The details below are a true record but the names of people have been changed to protect their identity.

The numbered points are only there to force the map generating program to reflect the actual route taken and need not necessarily have anything to do with the text.

DAY 1 - Sunday, February 8, Memphis, TN to Beaumont, TX

0.0 7:30 Leave from apartment for the start of my trip to Tucson.
2.0 7:35 - 7:40 GAS - Memphis, TN - $1.559/gal. - 7.646 gals. - $11.74
2.3 7:42 - 7:49 McDonald’s - $3.05 for combo + 1 refill.
3.1 7:51 On TN-385 at the Hacks Cross Road interchange.
12.5 8:00 I am on I-240 and am approaching the Lamar exit - this is half an hour after leaving home and I have a full tank of gas and had breakfast ... soon I will be turning south on I-55 ... it was 26° this morning when I got up, but the sun is shining.
17.7 8:06 Leaving I-240 at Exit-25A for the ramp onto I-55.
18.1 8:07 Joined I-55 south to Jackson.
24.2 8:13 Entering Mississippi.
26.4 8:15 Passing under MS-302 to Olive Branch and Horn Lake.
37.5 8:25 Passing the Mississippi Welcome Center.
40.7 In an area of the median where there are lots of wheel tracks which looks as if a lot of people have been off the road.
Although the sun is quite high in the sky now there is still frost on the grass at the side of the road.
43.3 Starting to cross the Coldwater River.
43.6 End of the bridge and there is still a lot of water beyond that on both sides of the road which is built up like a causeway across the water.
44.5 At the end of the water ... Oops! Not yet!
44.8 There is more water and there is a lot of white birds on it which are too far away for me to know what they are - but they create a big patch of white.
48.8 Another swampy area and this continues for some distance.
49.7 Hickahala Creek.
51.1 Passing Senatobia and there is another swampy area out to the left.
57.1 Heavy frost on the ground.
69.5 Crossing the Tallahatchie River.
71.1 Passing the fountain which is working at the Batesville Casket Company.
84.7 Crossing the Yocona River and out to my left is dam wall (Lake Enid, I think) ... I have seen the wall before, but now, with the GPS I am seeing that there is a lake.
I have seen a number od beech trees throughout the woods since coming into Mississippi, their golden leaves still clinging to the trees. The oak trees also still have a few leaves, but those are brown in color.
So far this has been a very peaceful drive, hardly any traffic on the road at all, and I am amusing myself by saying the names of the states and trying to remember their capitals!
109.5 Trees standing in water in the median.
110.1 Crossing the Yalobusha River.
120.2 I would love to get into the woods here in the fall to collect some beech leaves.
123.9 So many beech trees!
130.0 Slightly more traffic on the road now ... there is not much to talk about along this route as many sections are like driving through a canyon of trees, something I have noted previously when we have driven down I-55. Here and there, there is a break in the trees and sometimes you see cattle grazing ... the grass is very brown and everything is dull looking except for pine trees, beautiful pines with long needles. Otherwise the countryside has that rather sad look of winter, a winter without snow.
141.7 The median is grassy and magnolia trees have been planted in a straight row along the median.
More magnolias in the median. I had seen some prior to my first mention of them, and these will be lovely when they get bigger. Of course Mississippi’s state flower is the magnolia.
154.0 10:00 152 miles and 2 hours 20 minutes since getting gas!
Perhaps the planting of the magnolias was a county effort, because now the median is grassy but there are no trees in it and no magnolias planted.
It is a dreary looking landscape. That was what I was trying to say earlier!
165.0 A North Carolina 4W vehicle just passed me and it has some snow on the back bumper!
Just after this the road is going down a pine lined canyon! The north-bound traffic is completely blocked from view.
173.7 The grass is starting to look a little greener ... It is amazing what a little green grass does for the appearance of the countryside! I wonder how much further I will drive before I start to see the buds on the trees bursting open!
189.0 There is water both sides of the road and that which is out in the open is frozen, but that in among the trees is not frozen. Also I have noticed to the right some palms - I don’t know if they are palmetto palms or what! They are down low to the ground similar to those I have seen in Florida.
The water is continuing all through the trees and the road is built up above the swampy area.
191.0 Crossing Big Black River ... there was a bridge both before the river and another after it as the road continues along a causeway above the flooded surrounding area.
192.2 A hawk in a tree surveying the road.
198.4 A large piece of water with pumps at the side of it to aerate the water - I think it is too big for a catfish pond, but who knows!
200.0 10:38 Exit-119, the exit for Canton, where LP and I stayed on one of our trips to Mobile, AL,
200.4 Passing the Mexican restaurant where we ate and the motel at which we stayed.
202.0 10:40 The start of the buildings for a large Nissan plant.
203.1 End of the Nissan buildings and Jackson is 15 miles.
208.4 Some small, 15 feet high, bald cypress in the median.
212.0 Around a corner and immediately in front of me is a big obelisk - I have seen this previously but had forgotten about it and would be interested to know what it is!
212.9 Passing the obelisk.
214.4 Exit-105A is the exit for the Naches Trace. At this point there is a lot of road construction on I-55.
215.1 Exit-104 for I-220, the western loop around Jackson.
222.9 Downtown Jackson the next 2 exits.
223.0 First view of the dome of the State Capitol.
224.2 Crossing Pearl River, quite wide here.
224.9 Exit-94 is for I-20 East, which is the way we have gone to pick up with US-49 to Hattiesburg and on to Mobile.
By staying on I-55 I am now on a route which I have not previously traveled.
225.6 Crossing the Pearl River again.
225.8 End of the bridge over the river.
227.3 11:03 I-55 to New Orleans and I-20 to Vicksburg separate; this is also US-51 South.
There has been a lot more traffic on the road since Jackson, but you still can’t say that it is really heavy!
234.4 Exit-85 - I haven’t yet seen a sign for the distance to New Orleans, but the exit number would indicate that is how much further it is, either to the Louisiana border or to I-10.
241.9 11:15 New Orleans is 168 miles.
252.0 The flat land, for the most part north of Jackson, has given way to hilly countryside ... there are still a lot of pine trees lining the road and in the median blocking out the north-bound traffic. I have also realized that the sunny blue sky has become quite overcast.
259.0 An old air force, maybe fighter, plane to my right in a small clearing by a house.
270.0 Before and after this an area where trees have fallen over, dead trees, and it looks as if they were over the road at some point and have had to be cleared back from the road.
278.4 A whole field full of green grass and cattle grazing. This is just after the first exit for Brookhaven.
282.4 11:47 Exit-38 for US-84 to Naches ... after crossing the Homochitto River.
Exit-30 for Bogue Chitto - this may have been the name of the river I crossed because it is difficult to tell if the Homochitto River comes as far as I-55!
300.2 12:02 Exit-20B for US-98 west to Naches.
308.4 Passing a beautiful house which has a verandah all the way around it plus a covered walkway to the garage.
In McComb and since McComb there has been a hedge in the median, and at night time this would eliminate the lights from opposing traffic.
310.9 This looks to be the end of the hedge.
311.0 A lot of lovely magnolia trees here and ahead to the right of the road - looking at the map, I notice there is a town, county seat for Pike County, named Magnolia!
312.4 Crossing the Tangipahoa River. There are a number of pine forests in the area.
317.2 It is still 93 miles to New Orleans.
320.9 White and black cows in a green field look very colorful.
321.0 12:19 The Mississippi/Louisiana State Line and just ahead there is a Welcome Center and I will be stopping there.
322.0 12:20 Pulling off I-55 to stop at the Welcome Center.
322.0 12:21 - 12:49 Louisiana Welcome Center and Rest Area ... used the rest room, got a book and a map of Louisiana, had a coffee ... pictures of the 37th parallel, the alligator door handle and the Louisiana sign out near the median . I also made a sandwich for my lunch.
349.1 Three Brahma bulls in a field.
355.0 Starting to see some Spanish moss ... also the twigs on the trees are looking greenish so may be getting leaves soon.
358.0 1:19 Leaving I-55 for I-12 to Baton Rouge.
358.4 1:20 On I-12 and the gas light came on just as I came around the corner. Now there seems to be a lot of trucks on the road ... the sun is trying to push through the clouds ... again I can see little ground palms among the woods to my right.
There is a lot of water lying around ... one wonders how trees manage to survive being in so much water!
386.4 1:42 Exit-10 for Denham Springs - leaving the highway to get gas.
387.0 1:45 - 1:55 GAS - Denham Springs, LA - $1.489/gal. - 16.453 gals. - $24.50
387.4 1:57 Back on I-12 ... the traffic is very heavy.
389.9 Baton Rouge Corporation Ltd ... wherever they are put up the sound barriers are rather attractive - they seem to be on one side of the road or the other, but not both sides at the same time ... some French style houses with dormer windows.
395.4 2:05 44°.
396.8 Exit-1A for I-10 to New Orleans but I am going straight ahead.
397.6 2:07 The junction with I-10 from New Orleans and I-12 ends ... lots of palm trees to be seen.
400.4 Looking over a lake to my right and I think the building that I can see would be the State Capitol with a statue on top - just a brief glimpse, and now I have to wait until I have gone around another corner before I might see it again!
401.0 There it is and it looks to have a similar tower to the State House in Lincoln, that is if in fact what I am looking at is the State Capitol.
401.0 I am now approaching a high bridge and I guess this is over the Mississippi River.
402.2 Starting to rise up to this high bridge and it certainly does look as if it could be the Mississippi.
402.4 Starting to cross the water. WOW!
402.9 The center and top of the bridge. It has a long descent after leaving from crossing the water.
403.7 2:13 End of the bridge.
406.4 Cattle grazing in green pastures.
408.0 Some blue sky appearing ahead ... a place called Grosse Tete (Big Head).
Judging by the signs along the road the different areas are called parishes rather than counties.
This road goes over a lot of bridges as it crosses one stream after another.
A flashing sign at the side of the road: Trucks right lane ... Cars 60 mph - Trucks 55 mph right lane only on the Basin Bridge ... this is as I approach a bridge over the bayou.
421.5 Trucks right lane only for the next 18 miles.
421.9 2:28 Exit-135 and the next one is 9 miles from there.
422.4 Start of the bridge and the reduced speed to 60 mph ... Atchafalaya Swamp Freeway. We came over this in February 1992 in the opposite direction, but it was just on dusk so we didn’t see a lot. It is quite swampy, and there are a lot of trees growing in the swamp, but many of them to my right have been cut down - not sure why - judging by the stumps they were bald cypress. Although the roadway is elevated above the swamp it is not a continuous sheet of water.
425.8 Now there is a lot of water between the two highways that is in what normally would be the median. What an incredible piece of construction!
428.5 Bayou Des Glaise - this appeared to be a small river over which the road crossed.
429.9 I am still on the bridge, but there is a field and a house out to my right - just before the exit for Whiskey Bay.
Ahead I can see the bridge rising up to a higher section which will be crossing a river.
430.3 Starting to rise up to the higher area - Whiskey Bay Pilot Channel - a broad river.
430.8 In the center of the river.
431.3 Down off the high part of the bridge, but the highway continues to be elevated above the swamp.
435.6 The road is starting to rise up again, this time to go over the Atchafalaya River.
435.9 Crossing the Atchafalaya River and before I curve off the bridge I am looking right down the middle between the two highways and all I can see between them is water. Then the road rises up again, this time to cross Lake Pelva.
437.2 Starting to cross the lake.
437.4 Starting to cross Lake Bigeau ... it is just unbelievable seeing this in daylight.
438.1 Henderson Swamp - another name at the side of the road ... there are lots of tiny little islands throughout the whole lake area, some with a single bald cypress and some with three trees on them and some a little bigger as well.
Where the elevated road rises up higher it is probably over a navigable stream.
440.1 Starting to rise up again.
440.6 2:46 End of the elevated road, also the end of truck restrictions.
446.2 Breaux Bridge in two miles ... it is nice to be driving in the sunshine again. Breaux Bridge is the name of a place rather than an actual bridge!
451.5 A number of oil pumps, I think mainly to the right of the road, and they are working, also the collection tanks.
Exit-103B is for I-49 North, also US-167 ... I-49 would be the road we traveled from Shreveport in 1992 when driving from Dallas to New Orleans.
468.5 Some pretty flat land around this area and the fields are divided into areas and it looks as if rice may be grown here. In fact I am pretty sure rice is grown here.
469.9 Lots of flooded fields to the left ... a big sign at the side of the road for a casino called The Rice Palace - Rice suggests that in deed rice is grown in this area.
472.3 Lots of flooded fields to my right now ... and to the left.
475.3 Road Work ahead in 12 miles! ... A 21 minute delay!
477.0 3:15 Rice fields still continuing.
479.6 More rice fields.
481.2 Rice fields to the left, cows grazing to the right.
484.2 Coming to a slow crawl because the left lane is closed ahead.
485.4 3:29 Left lane now closed and nobody else can push in, and the traffic starts to move at a better speed.
When they put up crosses along this road, they mean business - they are not little wooden crosses but rather stone or concrete and quite solid at that.
489.0 The road elevated above another swampy area.
492.5 Rising up to go over a swamp, maybe even a river.
492.7 A river.
492.9 Off the bridge again.
496.2 Another area of flooded fields.
499.3 A hawk ... it seems like the rice fields go on for ever.
504.8 Still here ... the land is very flat and I have just noticed out to my right a large hill which I suspect is a landfill site ... there is nothing growing on it and I am sure that is what it is.
507.5 Passing the “hill” which is to the north of the road.
508.7 More oil pumps followed by more flooded areas.
510.9 Big elevators to the south of the road.
511.3 A number of egrets in the water to the north of the road.
511.6 A lot of vehicles that look as if they would pick cotton.
512.2 About twelve more egrets.
519.3 House with a front and side hedge of pampas grass ... a rather attractive home.
524.8 4:02 Lake Charles the next 7 exits.
526.3 Lake Charles Corporation Limited.
526.7 Exit for US-171 to Shreveport, also US-190 to to Jasper, Texas.
529.8 Another large bridge ahead and this is just as I am passing Harrah’s Casino and Hotel.
530.8 Start of the bridge which immediately starts to rise up ... lots of waterways to be seen.
531.4 Crest of the bridge ... very industrial area ahead with refineries.
532.1 Off the bridge.
532.7 A refinery on both sides of the road.
534.3 Another refinery or two to the left of the road!
535.5 A hedge of pampas grass in the median.
536.9 Passing another landfill site, this one to the left and quite close to the road ... also the pampas grass hedge is continuing.
545.6 A few trees with Spanish moss on them in the median.
555.8 4:30 The sun is still quite high but has disappeared behind some clouds and you can feel the difference in the temperature from breeze blowing and no sun to when the sun is beating down on the glass of the windows.
560.2 Exit-1 (in Louisiana) is the Sabine River turn-around.
560.3 Start of the bridge which will cross the Sabine River.
560.8 Crest of the bridge - center of the river and the Louisiana/Texas State Line.
561.3 4:34 Leaving the Interstate at Exit-879 for the Texas Travel Center.
561.0 4:35 - 5:00 Texas Welcome Center. From the Welcome Center there was access to a boardwalk with interpretive signs, but I was too late to visit this area as the center closed at 5:00 PM.
561.3 5:01 Back on the Interstate ... If I was to stay on I-10 all the way to El Paso I would have nearly 900 miles to drive.
Quite a long distance of road construction.
574.0 There is a big pipeline following parallel with the road ... I have seen cars from all over today and from as far away as Oregon and New York.
581.4 There is still road construction - major work.
585.4 Start of the bridge which will go over the Naches River.
585.6 The crest of the bridge.
589.4 5:26 Left the Interstate for College Street, Beaumont, TX ... it is 47°.
590.6 5:28 I have pulled into a parking lot while I figure out where the motel is located. I have noticed that there is a Sutherland’s Building & Hardware store here.
592.3 5:34 After some waffling around I have managed to find one of the Best Westerns.
593.0 5:45 Booked in at the Best Western Jefferson Inn, room 114, in. After this I went out to find a grocery store buy a few supplies for my picnic basket and stopped in at Sam’s on the way.
597.0 End of the day.

The day’s total - 597 miles
Trip Total - 597 miles

Day 2 - Monday, February 9 - Beaumont, TX to Sanderson, TX

597.0 7:30 Leave from Jefferson Inn (Room 114) in Beaumont.
598.6 7:34 On I-10 and going west towards Houston ... there is a lot of cloud about this morning with small patches of blue sky here and there, but rain is in the forecast and it looks as if I will be running into it, and possibly will have rain all day and again tomorrow!
602.6 Back into the country after leaving Beaumont.
603.0 Elevators to my left.
604.6 Passing another refinery.
605.0 Passing another one, sending great clouds of pollution into the atmosphere - those two refineries may belong to each other, but I am just guessing!
Where land has not been cleared the trees don’t appear to be very big and the area looks like scrub.
A hawk in a tree overlooking the road.
Looking at the traffic on I-10 from my motel room in Beaumont, it looked as if it was very busy and traveling extremely fast, and maybe that is the case except that, now I am on I-10, I have a long stretch both in front of me and behind with no cars. Maybe I was just lucky enough to hit a vacant pocket.
611.0 A egret flying overhead.
611.7 The land is really flat again and there are more flooded fields. All these look somewhat different from those in Arkansas in that there appears to be small pipes sticking up out of the ground which are used for flooding the fields, rather than having them at different levels and slightly slanting.
618.6 7:50 51° ... all the blue sky has disappeared and it is looking rather oppressive.
622.6 Houston is 61 miles, San Antonio 260 miles.
626.6 7:58 It is starting ti drizzle so I am now running into the rain.
629.6 The drizzle hasn’t amounted to anything yet and has stopped.
640.6 Some of the trees are bigger now and there are pine trees as well.
642.6 Start to rise up on a bridge over the Trinity River.
642.9 Crest of the bridge and can see a lot of water both sides - looks like lakes as well as the river.
643.2 End of the bridge.
Looking at the GPS it looks as if I am crossing the head of a large bay coming in off The Gulf - it is actually Trinity Bay (I checked the map).
644.4 A sign for Lost River/Old River and the road immediately goes onto a low bridge across both those rivers - they are not open to boating like the Trinity River.
645.0 Rising up slightly so maybe sailboats can pass through here!
645.4 End of the bridge ... it is too bad that it is so dark and dreary looking because it really is quite an interesting area and I’m glad that I decided not to take a route to the south of this which would have taken me past the San Jacinto Monument.
650.0 Another very fine light drizzle starting again.
650.2 San Jacinto Monument and Battleship Texas next right - Exit-797.
652.0 The road is climbing again - I don’t know if it is to go over Cedar Bayou or maybe just another road!
652.3 Oil refineries and I am saying plural because there look to be several to the right of the road, and now it is raining ... if it was a clear day I suspect that by now I might have been able to see the skyline of Houston, but everything is very gray.
660.7 8:28 Exit-787 is another Exit for the San Jacinto Monument.
661.6 Starting to cross the San Jacinto River.
661.8 There is still water to my right.
662.1 Where the bridge actually ends and there are more oil refineries in the distance to my right.
663.0 I believe that I can see the San Jacinto Monument now - and it has also stopped raining.
665.6 Still no sign of the Houston skyline ... Beltway 8 is the Sam Houston Parkway and it is the first of the ring routes around Houston.
667.1 Passing Exit-781A for the Sam Houston Parkway ... there is a large junction of roads here with roadways four deep, maybe even five! A spaghetti junction! That was where that freeway junction started and it ended at 281.7! ... 56°.
674.0 8:40 Exit-775A is for I-610, the next ring route around Houston ... four roads high, but not as big a junction as the last one.
674.9 A large Budweiser plant to the left.
676.5 8:43 Traffic has come to a stop, then just moving ahead slowly - reduced lanes because of road work ... stopping and starting.
677.2 8:45 A lighted sign above the road: “Travel time to US-59 6 minutes at 8:34" ... fine drizzle again.
677.5 8:47 It is 1¾ miles to the exit for US-59, which is a northeast/southwest freeway.
678.2 Can just see the skyline of downtown Houston - the tall buildings are up in the clouds and the lower part all covered in mist or fog.
679.1 8:52 Passing the exit for US-59 and at that point the road construction ends. US-59 South goes into the downtown area whereas I-10 is going to the north of it. This is also where LP and I would have driven in February 1996 after Leaving Marg and Mac to tour this part of Texas. So much for downtown Houston; I have circled around to the north of it and am now driving west, heading for San Antonio.
Another flashing sign: “Major accident at Eldridge. Two right lanes are closed.”.
686.5 Passing the Exit for I-610 ring route on the west side of Houston and here again is a junction which is four levels high ... another flashing sign ahead, but I can’t read what it is saying yet.
687.8 It is the same as the last one! ... major accident at Eldridge.
691.3 Another sign flashing the same message.
692.9 9:05 Passing Exit-756B is for the Sam Houston Parkway and I can see another large intersection like the first one I saw ... and the traffic is coming to a standstill so I must be approaching that Eldridge intersection.
694.1 9:07 End of the elevated road for the Sam Houston Parkway and coming to a standstill, then just moving ahead in stops and starts. Because of the volume of traffic the accident site could still be some distance ahead.
696.0 9:13 Exit-753A for Eldridge Parkway is ¾ mile.
696.5 Flashing sign: Major accident at Eldridge - two right lanes closed.
696.7 Passing that exit now and the traffic is now moving a lot faster, so I don’t know what has happened to the accident!
There is major highway work being done on the western side of Houston.
713.6 Back in the country now, but the speed limit has not picked up yet from 65 mph.
714.5 More fields which could be flooded for growing rice. In fact they look as if they have rice stubble in them.
716.8 Now down to two lanes.
720.5 Oil pumps.
723.0 Crossing the Brazos River.
728.3 A fine drizzle again ... and raining.
733.6 Speed limit up to 70 mph now ... the rain comes and goes - not constant ... it is looking pretty dismal ahead and I am wonder whether I will see the sun today.
739.5 San Bernard River - not a lot of water in it, but a lot of sandbars ... this is probably one of the smallest rivers I have seen since leaving home!
742.3 Suddenly a heavy shower ... I thought it was looking pretty grim ahead!
The road is passing through a lot of ranch country ... There is a service road on either side of the Interstate and there are gateways both sides along the service roads with the names of the ranches and sometimes you can see the homes which are single storey ranch houses. Also cattle can be seen frequently grazing on grass, a lot of which is fairly green ... there is still some brown grass as well.
I-10 is also US-90 which leaves the freeway at the various towns or cities along the way, probably its original route through the town.
754.4 Start of the bridge over the Colorado River - it has a lot of water in it.
754.7 End of the bridge.
756.8 10:05 Passing Exit-695 for La Grange and Austin - I remember that we stayed in La Grange so we could have done I-10 between here and Houston! There is still a fine drizzle, but the sky does look a little brighter ahead, so maybe I will drive out of the rain. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Texas doesn’t appear to have any rest areas.
759.4 Fancy that! I just passed one as I was in the middle of passing some other vehicles, so I wasn’t able to get over to stop.
766.1 I have just realized that I have got away from the flat country near The Gulf and now I am going through gently rolling hills and quite a number of wooded areas with what I think are live oak trees. There is also a lot of lichen on the trees, probably because of the dampness of the area. There are lots of signs all along the way for Texas BBQ ... I am seeing mistletoe on the trees, too.
777.3 10:21 Passing Exit-674. This exit is for US-77, a highway which goes through Lincoln and Beatrice.
779.8 Crossing the West Navidad River - not much water in it.
780.1 More water in the river now ... I didn’t even bother to record the East Navidad River because you couldn’t see any of it at all! It was almost the same for the West Navidad ... another hawk in a tree - it is always nice to see the hawks sitting in the trees ... I wonder what goes through their minds as they watch the traffic racing to and fro.
Did you skittle a skunk as you scuttled along? Those are just words that came to my mind as a car whizzed by way above the speed limit and left a whiff of skunk as he passed me!
After getting away from all the road construction near Houston the road has been very good and it is a lovely smooth drive.
792.1 A hawk sitting on a very thin little twig right at the top of a tree.
794.3 Passing a picnic area, but there are no facilities here. The surrounding area is fairly heavily wooded with live oaks with some pine trees scattered throughout the forest.
796.3 An oil pump.
801.6 Two hawks sitting side by side.
802.6 10:42 The gas light has just come on.
809.3 Passing Exit-642 for Bastrop - one of the places we went through on our tour, though we did not come down to the Interstate from there ... that particular trip was a very enjoyable one and it is a shame that we have not been able to do the other tours in Texas.
817.6 A turkey vulture in a tree.
820.3 10:56 I am leaving the highway at Exit-632 for Luling in order to get gas.
821.0 10:58 - 11:15 GAS - Luling, TX (Rest Stop as well) - $1.469/gal.- 16.346 gals. - $24.01
821.8 11:18 Back on the Interstate ... I think it is now 59 miles to San Antonio and 215 miles to Del Rio.
823.8 Starting to cross the San Marcos River - it is like a little creek under the center of the bridge.
824.1 The end of the bridge.
832.2 Passing another Exit for a Rest Area ... the woods look quite unusual, the trees with their dark trunks and large boughs whilst all the twigs are curly and light.
835.0 Hawk.
839.0 A lot of scrub covering the countryside.
841.0 Coming into Seguin - there are some ranches - some of the trees are laden with mistletoe.
847.2 It is starting to rain again, fairly heavily.
Starting to cross the Guadalupe River - the bridge goes over a flood plain first.
849.2 Starting to cross the water.
849.3 End of the bridge - there is quite a lot of water in that river.
851.8 San Antonio is 32 miles ... I’m trying to make up my mind whether to stop there or go straight through because I have decided that I am going to take US-90 rather than I-10 from San Antonio. Since it is continuing to rain on and off I think that I will probably go straight through San Antonio and hopefully get into some better weather the further west that I go.
853.9 The land is all cleared and ploughed and looks as if it is all ready for planting crops (not rice) ... lots of cattle ... a mob of sheep.
856.9 11:46 Temperature 64° at a sign for a race track.
861.8 Crossing Woman Hollering Creek - a woman hollering for what?
863.3 11:52 Pulling into a rest area so I can make my lunch.
864.0 11:52 - 11:59 Rest Stop to make a lunch sandwich.
864.2 12 noon Back on the Interstate. I have made myself a couple of sandwiches and got some carrots and tomatoes to nibble on - this will be my lunch. Since leaving the Rest Area the number of businesses and even homes have increased as I get closer to San Antonio
873.1 Reduce speed to 65 mph.
873.9 Passing the Exit for I-410, the ring route around the city of San Antonio.
875.1 Just caught a glimpse of the skyline of downtown San Antonio which includes an Observation Tower.
880.4 12:14 Passing Exit-574 is for Downtown San Antonio, also for I-37, north to Johnson City and south to Corpus Christi. The route that I am taking will bypass downtown although Old Hwy 90 goes right through the center of town.
882.5 12:16 Exit-572 for I-35 which goes south to Laredo near the Mexican border and north to Austin, then Fort Worth and Dallas and that is also part of I-10 for a short distance and it is where I will be leaving the Interstate to stay with US-90 to Del Rio ... and it is raining again.
886.5 More road work There are and have been lighted signs along the route telling drivers how long in minutes it is to various intersections, for instance I have just passed one that says it is about 5 minutes to the junction with the loop road - I-410.
891.0 12:24 Passing the western exit for the loop road.
892.0 Resume 70 mph.
Although the speed limit is 70 the exits are not controlled exits and in fact are just where people can turn off to go on a road or in some cases even into their ranches and there are mail boxes along the road as well - a variety of farmland, ranches and crops.
904.6 12:35 A red traffic light as the road approaches Castroville - it looks to be quite a big town and looks to have some old, historic buildings and is on the banks of the Medina River which is down in a river valley.
905.8 Crossing the Medina River, which is also in the town.
906.5 Starting to climb the hill from the river valley.
909.5 Out into scrub land.
911.8 The rain just doesn’t want to give up - it has started drizzling again.
914.8 A high point in the road before it descends into a valley.
917.3 Crossing Hondo Creek down in the valley.
920.8 An Exit for Texas Hill Country Tour.
921.2 Entering Hondo, population almost 8,000. What is sad when you pass through these towns is that the streets look so much the same - Pizza Hut, Subway, Sonic, all the same signs you see in every single town! The divided road ended as it came into Hondo.
924.4 Ploughed field and big irrigation sprinklers on wheels.
924.9 12:57 Road divides again.
926.3 Prison Area. Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers.
927.7 The sun is almost pushing through a layer of cloud ... hawk ... this road is now crossing a number of creek beds, all of which are dry, so I imagine that when they get a good downpour it could be flooded.
930.8 Entering D”Hanis - some old two-storey brick buildings here - a 1906 hotel - just along one street - interesting to see. There could also be some kind of brick works over to the right - a number of chimneys as if they are for kilns.
932.5 In a valley across two creek beds of Seco Creek and Live Oak Creek and just after that the road is climbing out of the valley again.
937.0 You can certainly see for a long way in all directions.
938.0 Passing a beautiful Rest Area which is placed in the median for access for traffic from either direction, but because of some construction which is under way it is closed at present
939.8 End of divided road but it is still four lanes.
942.7 !:13 - 1:16 Entering Sabinal, pop. 1,500 ... stopped to look at an historical marker - 1 picture.
943.0 1:18 - 1:24 Another historical marker and I also took pictures of the church.
943.8 Crossing the Sabinal River - like a little creek which you can hardly see ... the sun did not last for long!
947.5 A large ranch house on a hill in the distance to my left and lots of cattle grazing in a green field down to the edge of the road.
948.6 Crossing the Blankeau River - a dry river bed.
950.0 A large bird preening its feathers - it appeared to be a bit too big for a hawk!
953.9 Entering Knippa ... sign for Texas Hill Trail along this road ... there was supposed to be an historical marker here somewhere, but I couldn’t see it.
954.7 Start of the bridge over the Frio River, another dry river bed.
954.8 End of the bridge.
955.2 Crossing Dry Frio River.
958.0 A herd of goats to the left.
960.8 Another and larger herd of goats to the right ... and the sun is trying to push through the clouds again.
962.1 1:42 Entering Uvalde, pop. 14,929.
963.1 A large trailer park which looks as if people come here for the winter.
963.9 Crossing the Ona River - there is some water there but I think only because there is a little dam across it.
965.3 Crossing over US-83 ... just from driving through Uvalde seems to be quite a nice little town ... Del Rio 70 miles.
967.0 1:50 I wont be going through Eagle Pass which is 58 miles - Brackettville is 38 miles and now it looks like two-way (one lane each way) traffic but it is still 70 mph.
971.8 Divided highway again.
972.3 More goats, both sides of the road.
Crossing the Neuces River - very wide area, some water in it - very rocky.
972.8 Middle of the river and the road continues to be elevated, maybe because of flooding
973.4 End of the bridge and just after this two-way traffic begins again.
Whilst this road may appear to be out in Never-Never Land, I have seen two cars from Oregon and now a Werner Transport truck.
It is scrub-covered rolling countryside ... prickly pear cacti growing in a cutting on the road
980.6 A gateway to the right for Live Oak Ranch and there is a high fence as if it is meant to stop deer jumping over it.
980.6 A gateway to the right for Live Oak Ranch and there is a high fence as if it is meant to stop deer jumping over it.
982.0 The hills seem to be getting higher ... certainly to the left there are higher hills and occasionally the road passes through a rock cutting.
982.5 A large herd of goats in among the prickly pear cacti.
984.3 2:05 - 2:08 Stopped by the Cline Community historical marker.
985.6 Crossing Turkey Creek - mentioned in the historical marker.
986.4 Slowing up for a Border Patrol area ... I don’t have to stop, but it is open for vehicles traveling in the opposite direction.
Sign at the side of the road: Outdoor Movie Set of Alamo Village at Brackettville.
987.6 A high point in the road and from there you can see a number of hills in various directions.
990.8 A fine drizzle starting again.
The road is no longer straight nor flat.
997.0 A big white globe, maybe a super doppler weather globe to the right.
999.8 Passing a Rest Area at the side of Elm Creek, this just before the road goes uphill again.
1,001.6 A sign: Alamo Village, Movie Capital of Texas, built for John Wayne’s epic “The Alamo” and at that point there was another property to the right, Bob Halbert Ranch, which has a high fence around it ... and I’m running into a fine drizzle.
1,004.8 2:26 Entering Brackettville, Established 1873. Because it is raining I will not try to see the Alamo Village.
1,005.4 Passing a turnoff for Eagle Pass.
1,006.0 Fort Clark is on my left and Alamo Village is 7 miles to the north of US-90,
1,006.2 Sign: Texas Pecos Trail ... I have all the pamphlets for all the Texas Trails except one and I think the one I am missing is the Pecos Trail.
It is now 30 miles to Del Rio ... and it looks as if the rain is going to get heavier again! So I am not having much good luck today.
The road has flattened out quite a bit again.
1,010.2 A large herd of goats grazing in the scrub ... the countryside is covered in low scrub with hardly any trees.
More goats ... there seems to be a lot of goats in this area and they must be able to survive on whatever is growing here!
1,025.0 2:44 - 2:47 Chihuahua Road Historic Marker.
1,030.9 Entering Del Rio, pop. 33,867 - it is a pretty fair sized town ... a sign for an historical marker and when I turned off for it I finished up at an Air Force gate where I had ti turn around.
1,032.2 3:00 I am momentarily stopped and am now continuing on into Del Rio. I had a bit of a problem with the tape and so missed about 10 miles, I think, maybe more! However, there wasn’t much to say about any of it. It is all scrub country with goats grazing throughout.
1,037.0 3:08 Stopped at a traffic light for the junction with US-277.
Del Rio is on the Rio Grand River and Mexico is just across the other side of the river.
1,037.9 Turning onto the main street through town which is called Veterans Boulevard ... Citgo gas starts at $1.39 ... Sonic ... Long John Silver ... KFC ... McDonald’s ... Taco Bell ... Pizza Hut ... Burger King ... you name it, it’s here! There is a Sutherland’s Lumber Yard here - it was a shame that the one in Lincoln had to close.
1,040.9 A nice Days Inn where you can park outside your room on the ground floor.
1,041.6 Armistad National Wildlife Area and there is a new Visitor Center 5 miles from here.
1,041.9 248 miles to Big Bend National Park, 115 to Sanderson ... this is the continuation of the Texas Pecos Trail.
There is a large body of water at this wildlife refuge and I can see some of it to my right now. US-90 will be crossing it.
1,047.0 3:25 - 3:37 Armistad National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center - I got my book stamped. One can go to various point within this National Park, but I don’t see a lot of point in doing so with the weather the way it is.
1,048.7 Passed a lodge with a restaurant and a bar ... there are a number of turnoffs to the various points around the lake.
1,049.6 There are four turkey vultures on a post.
1,049.8 Passed a turnoff for International Boundary - probably that is where the dam across the Rio Grand is - yes, I can see the dam now, but the statue of The Rain God is on the Mexican side of the dam..
1,050.3 The road has just become two-way ... the road is up above the water now ... there is a bridge which I think is a railway bridge - it has six arches.
1,050.9 Start of a causeway across an arm of Armistad Reservoir. What a really interesting area.
1,051.9 End of the causeway.
1,055.3 Crossing Evans Creek and it looks to be going through a canyon judging by the rock walls I could see from the road.
1,058.0 A flock of sheep hidden in amongst the scrub ... I guess I can understand there being goats, but I’m not sure about sheep in such a harsh environment! There is an odd windmill every now and again, but only one at a time is visible.
1,060.8 More sheep.
1,062.1 Going in the opposite direction from me are three cyclists, loaded with saddle bags - must be out camping!
1,065.3 Reduced speed ahead ... Road closed and I have to pull over for a Border Patrol.
1,065.8 3:55 Immigration Check Point. Just since the check point the countryside has become more hilly and cutting have been made for the construction of the road.
1,069.6 3:58 Entering Comstock.
There are a lot of cuttings and the rock looks to be a sandstone conglomerate - you can see the different levels which have been laid down in prehistoric times.
1,073.8 Approaching a big cutting, higher than any of the previous ones, also much longer and it is almost like being in a canyon.
1,077.0 A few more lonely sheep and there continue to be many cuttings along the route.
1,078.3 Crossing Seminole Canyon.
1,079.3 Passing the turnoff for Seminole Canyon State Historic Park.
1,080.9 4:08 Pulling into a picnic area where there is supposed to be an historical marker.
1,081.0 4:10 Leaving after stopping for two pictures of the cutting and looking down the road ... the picnic area is a long way off the road ... WOW! The road goes across a big bridge and I am looking down on it now and I will be able to see it from the picnic ground when I get there. There are three agave plants with their stalks up ready to start flowering at someone’s place nearby.
1,082.0 4:12 - 4:21 The picnic area. That sure was worth the stop. What a surprise! The Pecos River flows through a big canyon over which I will be driving when I leave here. Whilst walking around three vultures flew overhead, but they discovered that I wasn’t dead! I now have to take the road back to the highway.
Interesting - when I took the picture of the road from above the cutting I had no idea that there was a bridge there, let alone a canyon. I think it will be interesting looking at the pictures later on to see if you can distinguish where the bridge.
1,082.7 4:23 Back at the highway and there is a turnoff here for Armistad Recreational Area - Pecos. I will pull off near the bridge just before crossing it to see if there is anything different here!
1,083.1 4:24 - 4:28 Some more pictures.
1,083.1 Start of the bridge ... two turkey vultures on the railing of the bridge dived off as I drove across.
1,083.4 End of the bridge. It was interesting seeing the Pecos River there. A couple pulled in where I was and they asked me from which direction I had come, and when I told them I had come from Del Rio and was heading west, they said, “There is nothing the other way.” So, let’s see how correct they are!
Looking all around the landscape you would have absolutely no idea that there was a river or a canyon anywhere in the area.
So far I have seen two windmills, another picnic area and an historical marker for which I will pull off.
1,087.9 4:33 Pulling off the road.
1,088.1 4:34 - 4:45 Silver Spike Historical Marker. From the scenic overlook you can see a railway trestle bridge in the distance. That was certainly something worth seeing! Another Historical Marker was for Vinegarroon, a camp for railroad workers and so named because of the kind of scorpions found in the area.
1,088.4 4:46 Back on the highway. It will be after 6 o’clock by the time I get to Sanderson.
1,091.1 Passing some abandoned huts and houses and a place for loading cattle, also a railway line which is to the right of me.
1,092.6 There is a bunch of vultures along the railway line and at this point I am entering into a deep cutting.
1,096.6 It has become very hilly and the road is going through lots of cuttings. There looks to be a shale type of rock on top of more solid sandstone ... it is also yellowish in color.
1,098.7 The Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center in 2 miles ... I think I read something about that somewhere or at least his name! - don’t remember who he was.
1,099.3 Crossing Eagle Nest. a narrow canyon.
1,100.0 4:56 Turnoff for Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center ... I did read about it when I was looking up Langtry, but I don’t know if there is anywhere I could stay there and I need to go to a bigger place, hopefully to find a motel room.
1,101.1 Just went through another big cutting - the bottom layer is like huge blocks of sandstone and these are topped by slate or shale type rock - thin layers.
Langtry would have been the closest I would have got to the Rio Grand River after leaving Del Rio.
Sometimes in the cuttings only the thin layers are seen. Wow! I am just about at the top of a big hill, elevation 1,584 feet but after coming around a corner I see I still am not at the top ... starting to see a few yuccas and sotols.
1,106.3 5:01 El. 1,676 feet.
Although this is a two-lane road there are many areas where there is an extra lane for passing in both directions, usually on an uphill grade of course.
1,109.0 The rocks in this cutting almost look like sandbags which have been placed.
1,110.5 A goat by the side of the road - I couldn’t see any others! It seemed to be there by itself - rather strange!
1,111.7 Rays of the sun pushing through the cloud on the horizon.
1,112.0 5:06 - 5:09 Stopping by a picnic area - I took three pictures of the sun rays and the color in the sky and mountains in the distance - a beautiful view.
1,114.1 An agave with a large flower stalk.
1,115.5 Looking straight ahead to some beautiful pink sky and mountains.
1,115.8 Elevation 1,692 feet ... As I was lowering my vision the road stated to descend into a canyon - maybe not a canyon but certainly into a valley.
1,116.9 El. 1,446 feet - a low point.
1,117.9 5:14 El. 1,387 feet as crossing bridge over Lozier Canyon and now the road is climbing up the other side and hopefully when I get to the top I will still be able to see the pretty colors in the sky. As the road climbs there are more yuccas to be seen ... 1,701 over the crest and the road starts to descend again - there is nowhere to pull off for any pictures, but it is pretty to see the color in the sky and the mountains along what would otherwise be a level horizon.
I feel sorry for people who seem to be so bored and think there is nothing to see! If the color in the sky is anything to go by I may even see the sun today, even if only briefly, before it dips below the horizon.
1,124.9 Some more abandoned houses to the right of the road, but, back off the road, there is a trailer home ... the road has not been going through any cuttings for a while now and has leveled off a bit since coming up the hill from that last canyon. It is still rolling countryside and the road just goes with the rolls.
1,126.8 A horse by itself out in the scrub ... the yuccas seem to have disappeared again.
1,129.6 The scrub is pretty low to the ground now - small and not as thick.
1,130.6 5:24 Passing another picnic area which is at the top of a hill.
1,130.9 5:25 El. 1,965 feet and Sanderson is now 30 miles ... the road now is going in a more northwesterly direction.
1,133.1 Another cutting but only a small one ... I don’t think that I am going to get as good a mileage out of this tank of gas as I did the last one!
1,138.1 There seems to be a number of hunting blinds to my right, but they are so far of the road I am not positive that is what they are.
1,139.9 A sign: STOP for school bus loading or unloading - that means there must be some houses/house where children have to be picked up for school.
1,140.6 Entering Dryden. What a dismal place to live! There are people who do live here, but there are a lot of abandoned places and ruins.
Alpine is 104 miles, which means it is only 84 miles from Sanderson, so that will be an easy drive first thing in the morning.
321.0 Another abandoned house.
1,142.5 Three or four abandoned houses to the south of the road.
1,143.3 The railway line is right alongside the road to the right.
1,145.2 A train pulled by four Union Pacific engines going in the opposite direction from me.
1,145.5 Train was a very short one and is now behind me.
1,149.1 A sign on the south: Land For Sale - I wonder who would want to buy such land.
1,149.4 A house to the right which looks as if it is occupied and from that point the road starts winding around and going up and down through another hilly region ... when I am in the bottom of the dips I can’t even see the color in the sky nor that the clouds are clearing on the horizon.
1,151.4 A few more sotols again.
1,151.4 Also some ocotillo now.
1,154.4 Quite a range of mountains on the horizon now.
1,158.2 5:47 - 5:48 Pulling into a picnic area where there is supposed to be an historical marker - just a marker for The Blue Star Highway. I couldn’t see any other marker so did not even get out of the car.
5:49 Back on the road ... the road is currently down in Sanderson canyon, so hopefully it will climb back to the top before reaching Sanderson which is now only 2.7 miles. However, judging by the buildings in the valley it doesn’t look as if it will climb back up, so I wont be seeing the sun today!
1,160.7 Entering Sanderson Canyon again.
1,160.8 5:51 Entering Sanderson. Well! That motel looks as if it is not in use!
1,161.1 Passing a budget Inn which is open.
1,161.8 Interesting park with some rock art ... Boy! There certainly isn’t much here! I think I will stop to get gas before I do anything else.
1,162.0 5:55 - 6:02 GAS - Sanderson, TX - $169.9/gal. - 14.124 gals. - $24.00
1,162.1 6:04 Leaving Desert Air Motel, which has no non-smoking rooms! I will drive to the end of town and if there is nothing out there I will come back because there are a couple of motels back the other way.
I have turned up the Fort Stockton road to see if there is anything up there ... I don’t think so, hence I might as well turn around without going any further
Sanderson, Cactus Capital of Texas - what a laugh!
1,162.8 6:08 Stopped at Desert Oasis Motel.
1,163.0 6:15 Room 8, Outback Oasis Motel - end of the day.

The day’s total - 566 miles
Trip Total - 1163 miles

Day 3 - Tuesday, February 10 - Sanderson, TX to Alamogordo, NM

1,163.0 8:34 Leave Desert Oasis Motel (Room 8) having slept in! It was a pretty rustic motel but the room, with its tiled floor and a bedside mat, had everything that I needed and was quite pleasant. It had a kitchen sink, also a frig and microwave which were plugged into a power bar on the counter and I was able to use this for my electric frig and to charge my camera battery. I couldn’t see anywhere to get any heat so it was a chilly night. However, the heavy bedding kept me warm and made me think Mount Lofty winter nights!
I slept in until 7:45 thinking that it was still only about 6:30 because it was so dull and there didn’t appear to be any daylight, so I am later leaving than I intended. It is another miserable day, very overcast and dark gray sky.
Now, on my way, the road is continuing through the valley or Sanderson Canyon so it could be a few miles before being on the high plains again. The hills are becoming much bigger and may even be known on the map as a mountain range. Also ever since leaving the motel there has been a fine drizzle.
1,169.4 Passing a house and some out-buildings, also a windmill - that one looks as if someone might be living there!
I think that this whole valley must be known as Sanderson Canyon, because if there was water in the stream, every time the road crosses it, there is a sign for Sanderson Canyon.
1,171.1 Passing another ranch. Back on the hill there is a couple of windmills and a house and there was a gateway off the road also naming the ranch.
1,172.0 Another ranch to the left of the road with a windmill there and another one high up on the top of a hill.
1,172.8 Passing a picnic area. All these picnic areas have tables under shelters.
I am now in Pecos County and I think I can understand why all this area is called Big Bend Country with all its mountains, rugged and dry.
The railway line is running parallel with the road but on the left hand side now ... I am just thinking how disappointing it is that the weather is so miserable, but I am still glad that I came this way because it is much more to my liking than going along the Interstate, and, If I remember correctly, I think it was only about twenty to thirty miles longer.
1,178.2 I am just crossing Sanderson Canyon again.
1,179.2 Passing Longfellow Ranch ... the clouds are hanging very low because the tops of some of the hills and mountains are being blocked from view by the clouds.
1,182.2 Passing Rancho Guadalupe.
1,183.0 8:53 Pulling up for road work ... pavement ends. What a miserable job this fellow has! He is standing here in this miserable cold and rainy weather holding a STOP sign! Both lanes are torn up, but apparently one is being used for traffic, a single lane. I have to wait for any oncoming traffic or for them to clear the road at the other end.
9:00 Leaving behind a pilot car ... I was the only car waiting whilst there were four coming from the opposite direction. There is a lot of equipment, but I haven’t seen anyone working yet!
1,184.2 Passing one piece of equipment where there is one person driving it and three or four hanging around, deciding what to do, I think.
1,184.7 Passing Big Bucks Ranch, a beautiful gate with animals, plants and birds silhouetted against the skyline ... in good weather I might even have taken a picture of that gateway and, of course, if I wasn’t following a pilot car as well.
1,185.2 9:07 Entering Brewster County ... back onto pavement ... end of road work ... speed limit 75 mph - I’m not sure what that is for ... and truck speeds are 70 mph. Can you believe that on this two-lane road, two-way traffic?
The clouds are lower than ever now or the road is at a much higher elevation.
1,186.5 I am at an elevation of 3,651 ft.
1,192.3 Just passed a beautiful stone ranch house on my left and after that an old disused building - a disused house.
1,195.4 The cloud cover is so low now that you wouldn’t even know that there are any mountains out there and it looks as if you are driving over relatively flat country.
1,196.5 Passing a picnic area ... no sign of any mountains whatsoever.
1,197.6 Passing the entrance to a ranch on the right and this ranch has a paved entrance and paved road into it!.
1,198.5 The road is starting to wind around a bit and the speed is reduced to 70 mph.
1,199.3 The sky has cleared a little and in the distance to my left I can see some mountains.
1,199.8 Starting to go through some cuttings and these are quite different from those back near the Pecos River ... there are also warnings for rock slides and there is even a bit of a talus slope at the base of the cutting ... historical marker 1 mile ahead and I will stop to see what that is about.
1,200.7 Somebody stopped and picking up some rocks.
1,201.3 9:21 - 9:24 Stopping for some animals on the side of the road - they were javelinas, about nine to twelve of them, and they all disappeared when I pulled up. Interesting - there were also some cattle grazing there.
1,201.4 9:24 - 9:27 I’m pulling up for the historical marker now - Denuded Ouachita Rock Belt
1,202.8 The road is crossing a fairly broad flat area like a big basin because I am surrounded by mountain ranges. There is one mountain in particular out to my right and forward which must be much higher than the other surrounding mountains - the top of it is hidden in the clouds.
1,206.5 9:32 - 9:34 Stopping for a picture of the mountain in the clouds, but I don’t think these pictures will be any good because the mountains are just too far away. There is quite a range of mountains to my right with all their peaks in the clouds. There have been a number of cattle grazing right across the valley.
1,209.5 There seems to be more grass now and more cattle - not quite as scattered.
1,211.0 I am up to an elevation of 4,019 ft.
1,212.8 Those mountains have now been hidden by closer foothills.
1,214.5 9:41 Stopped briefly at an historical marker about one of the local residents, but it has been defaced so I did not take a picture.
1,215.3 I think I must be coming to an intersection and this would be the reason for this divided highway which has just started.
1,215.8 It is the junction with US-385 from the north and I am on top of a hill and I can see the town of Marathon ahead.
1,216.4 9:44 - 9:46 Stopped for an historical marker about Marathon.
1,216.7 9:47 Entering Marathon.
1,217.0 US-385 goes south to Big Bend National Park - 69 miles. I had thought about driving down to Big Bend, but again the weather has deterred me - there is no point do the extra miles when the weather is like it is.
1,217.6 9:50 Stopped in Marathon after turning around
1,217.7 9:53 - 10:07 Turned around again and now stopped outside the Gage Hotel. They allowed me to use the washroom here and I took a number of pictures.
1,226.5 Came around a bend in the road which now is straight as far as I can see, but undulating slightly.
1,228.6 The clouds are again touching the landscape.
1,231.7 Elevation 4,563 feet.
1,232.0 Driving into fog and it is drizzling again ... the road is right up in the clouds and visibility is very poor, so I have slowed down considerably.
1,240.0 The junction with US-67 from Stockton (I have just realized that I have driven a part of US-67 in Missouri as well as the section between Presidio and Marfa, Texas, the latter section being with LP after we had spent a night at the lodge in Big Bend NP).
1,240.1 10:28 Leaving the highway at a picnic area where there is supposed to be an historical marker ... yes there is but it is out near the road so I will have to turn around. This marker is about ancient rock boundaries.
1,240.3 10:32 Ready to leave ... Alpine is now 8 miles and Marfa 34 miles ... this day is even worse than yesterday in that it wasn’t raining continuously and there wasn’t the cloud down to the ground.
1,244.7 Three houses to the left and a little further along a big huge shed of some kind.
1,245.5 Stockyards and cattle in them.
1,246.2 A point where the Old Marathon Highway turns off and I am approaching more buildings.
1,246.6 10:38 Entering Alpine, pop. 5,786 ... the Best Western motel here, Alpine Classic Inn, is a pueblo-style building, two storeys high. There are several motels here in this area.
1,247.6 On the left a collection of houses all identical and look as if they might have been an army or air force base at one time.
1,248.0 Sul Ross State University on the right ... Island Inn looks very nice.
1,248.1 Museum of the Big Bend at the Sul Ross State University.
1,248.4 Marfa is now 26 miles ahead ... US-67 is still part of US-90 West.
1,248.8 10:43-10:51 Pulled off the main street at The Family Dollar Store to buy a marker for my atlas. It is cold and miserable out.
Interesting! The street that I am on is one-way traffic so the opposing traffic is one block over.
1,249.8 Two-way traffic again on the west side of town ... it seems that the motels are mainly on the east side.
1,251.3 Passing a Ramada Hotel.
1,254.8 Passing a picnic area and at this point I was just saying to myself, “It’s not much fun driving in the clouds!”.
1,260.9 The top of a long climb, elevation 5,003 feet.
1,261.7 Elevation 5, 055 feet as the road continued to rise ... I have also been seeing some cholla cacti.
1,265.0 The cloud has cleared up a bit and the road is crossing grasslands and there are yuccas and a few cholla.
1,266.8 11:11-11:34 Stopped at a Rest Area which is also the area for viewing Marfa’s Mystery Lights. This is a very interesting area with a number of interpretive markers along a trail and I have photographed a number of them, but did not get those to the east of the main building because the very strong wind is bitterly cold and I was glad to be back in the car.
Maybe the wind was strong and cold, but at least it wasn’t raining!
1,269.7 Five Union Pacific engines pulling a very long train loaded with cargo containers, two high.
1,271.7 Passing a missile silo to my right.
1,272.7 Around a bend and I can see Marfa ahead.
1,275.6 11:43 Entering Marfa, pop. 2,121.
1,276.0 11:44 A stop sign and a flashing red light in the middle of town where US-67 leaves to continue south to Presidio. I went one block past the intersection, then turned around because I noticed a very interesting building to the north.
1,276.4 11:45 - 11:55 Stopped outside what I presume is the County Courthouse. I went inside the building and there was some gorgeous woodwork to be seen. There are other interesting buildings in this little town also - Spanish-type architecture. Valentine is 34 miles from Marfa.
1,276.9 11:56 Back at the flashing red light ans stop sign and turning back onto US-90. Here there is a sign for the Texas Mountain Trail, so my route across Texas has touched on several different trails.
1,277.3 Passing the Capri Holiday Inn, the motel where LP and I stayed after having gone through Big Bend National Park. From here we went to Fort Davis and the McDonald Observatory.
1,278.0 11:59 No services the next 74 miles.
1,278.2 Speed limit 75 mph so I must be out of town!.
1,278.7 Very large herd of black cattle grazing on the rolling grasslands.
1,281.1 Passing a picnic area.
1,285.6 A hawk hovering just above the ground. After that there were two trains out to my right, one loaded with army vehicles, the other with containers was stationary waiting for the other to clear the line.
1,293.0 The sky ahead seems to be clearing a bit and to my right is a beautiful range of mountains, rugged and some of the peaks are in cloud, but you can see a lot of different formations. There are also mountains to my left.
1,296.5 Passing some stockyards by the railway line.
1,298.9 12:17 - 12:19 Pulling into a picnic area - this only has one table and no shelter over it, but I am stopping because I would like to try for a picture of the mountains.
1,304.8 A large herd of cattle to the left.
1,305.6 Passing the turnoff for Fort Davis Scenic Route - this would be a wonderful drive because it would take you into and over the mountains I have been admiring ... Valentine now 7 miles and Van Horn 45 miles.
1,305.9 More Union Pacific engines pulling another long train with containers ... there are some trees ahead so I am probably approaching Valentine.
1,312.5 12:30 Entering Valentine, pop. 217 ... a lot of old buildings in a state of disrepair - vacant and unused - it almost looks as if this is a ghost town and noone lives here! But there are some vehicles parked by the odd place. I think that I could live in either Marathon or Marfa, but I don’t think that I would want to live in Valentine!
1,313.2 12:31 Van Horn is now 38 miles. The road continues to cross a broad flat plain between the mountain ranges.
1,323.4 A man at the side of the road - he looked like a gypsy with a burro loaded up with all kinds of rags - a very strange site ... had I dared stop it could have been a very interesting photograph!
Although there doesn’t seem to be many yuccas across the landscape, there are quite a number of soap tree yuccas spaced out along the road at various points - some of them look big and strong and healthy and others look as if they have seen better days.
I am thinking how ridiculous this is. In less than 30 miles I will be in Van Horn and from there will be taking the Interstate, I-10, to El Paso. The speed limit will be 70 mph and that is on an Interstate, divided highway whilst here on US-90 with two lanes and two-way traffic the speed is 75 mph!
It is four and a quarter hours since I left from the motel in Sanderson and I have only covered 165 miles, but then I have also been stopping a lot.
1,328.0 I am getting closer to the mountains on three sides, left, right and ahead.
1,329.3 Passing a picnic area - two tables under shelters as most of them seem to be.
1,332.0 I can see one or two small patches of blue sky appearing in the clouds ... the mountains to my right are now quite close.
1,335.0 More cattle to the left and goats to the right.
1,335.7 An orchard to my right - suspect that it might be a pecan orchard - can’t tell because the leaves have no leaves on them, but I know that pecans are grown throughout the south - it is a large orchard and extends for some distance.
1,338.4 Hay being cut - it was a pecan orchard because I have just passed a sign for it.
1,339.1 End of the orchard and just after that the mountains on the right are further back from the road whilst those to the left are coming closer.
1,341.0 12:53 - 12:55 Stopped for the Van Horn Wells historical marker.
1,342.1 Coming over the crest of a hill and looking at mountains in the far distance it looks as if the sun might be shining on them.
1,342.5 I think I can see the buildings of Van Horn and it appears that the sun might be shining there also.
1,343.8 Speed reduced to 70 mph and the road goes around a corner, through a cutting and under the railway line, a Southern Pacific Line, so it is just a narrow place for two lanes ... I wonder if the mountains ahead of me are the Guadalupe Mountains. When LP and I did our trip in this part of Texas we went north from Van Horn to Guadalupe and on to Carlsbad Caverns. I will not be going that way today but instead will take I-10 to El Paso, so that will be a new route for me.
1,351.0 Wow! The mountains are really quite impressive ... this is as I come into Van Horn.
1,351.9 1:04 Passing under I-10.
1,352.3 1:05 Junction with I-10, and the speed limit is 75 mph - I’m surprised!
I have punched in Alamogordo as a destination and it is 202 miles and 3½ hours, so that would make it 4:30 and this will give me time to go to White Sands National Monument. El Paso is 119 miles, so Alamogordo is not that far beyond ... and yes, the sun is shining on some of the mountains, but I am not yet in the sunshine.
1,355.9 1:08 Leaving the highway for a scenic overlook - I don’t think that I will go up there - too many stairs to climb and I am not prepared to do that at the moment.
1,356.1 1:08 Back on the highway.
1,356.7 1:09 Entering Mountain Time Zone, so now the time is only 12:09.
1,360.0 4,530 feet elevation, but I still am not at the top of this long climb.
4,599 feet - possibly the top now - yes, I am over the mountain range and driving down the western side. Whilst I am driving in a much lighter area, still cloud covered, it is looking very black to the south.
A big plant to the north - Suzorite Minerals.
1,368.6 The sun has poked through the cloud clover ... currently I am on the east-bound lanes because of road work - the west-bound lanes are all torn up ... what a long way of highway construction! Ah, the end is in sight.
1,376.4 12:27 Back on the west-bound lanes ... I am now seeing a lot more soap tree yuccas.
1,383.1 Sierra Blanca the next three exits.
Exit-107 in Sierra Blanca - from here one could go north to the Huenco Tanks, which is something I want to see some time, but I wont be doing that today.
1,390.0 A Border Patrol Inspection Station on the left, and on the right there is a truck tipped over on its side and all kinds of vehicles there to try to right it or see if anyone is hurt.
There is a picnic area ahead, no rest rooms, but at least I could make my lunch.
1,391.8 The mountains immediately to the left of the road are very rocky - they are just covered in rocks, some of them rather big ones.
1,393.6 12:40 Left the highway.
1,394.0 12:42 - 12:51 Picnic Area to make my lunch. There is still a very chilly wind blowing.
1,394.3 12:52 Back on I-10, also part of the Texas Mountain Trail.
1,404.7 There is a mountain range directly in front of me, but the road veers around to the right, probably doesn’t go through them, and therefore I think they could be in Mexico. The road has turned in a northwesterly direction and following parallel with the mountain range to the left.
1,417.3 The road going over some sand dunes, probably fairly stable ones because they do have vegetation on them.
1,419.3 Still crossing sand dunes.
1,420.7 The exit for Fort Hancock and I think that may be the end of the dunes.
1,421.2 More dunes and yes, that mountain range is in Mexico.
1,423.5 Still crossing sand dunes, a very extensive area. There are a lot of motor homes and trailer homes on the road
1,432.0 El Paso County line, and the speed is reduced to 70 mph.
1,434.5 The dunes don’t appear to be as sandy now but rather more pebbly ... it stil looks pretty sandy to the left.
1,442.8 1:29 Pulling into a Rest Area.
1,444.0 1:30 - 1:38 Rest Area.
1,444.4 1:39 Back on the highway.
1,446.9 More sand dunes, although these may be the continuation of the last lot, and still they continue.
1,449.9 There appears to be a whole ridge of sand ahead out to the right - it looks as if recreation vehicles have using the dunes. On the other hand, as I get closer, maybe it is a landfill site and sand is being used to cover it up ... that seems more like what it is!
1,451.9 Exit-42 for Mission Trail, also sign for Landfill.
1,452.5 More sand dunes ... the countryside is becoming more thickly populated and I can see orchards in the distance to my left - don’t know whether they are in the US or in Mexico, but they would be watered from the Rio Grand River.
1,454.1 Passing what could be a large dairy farm - lots of sheds and feeding stations for hundreds of cows ... from looking at the map I think the cultivated land and the orchards are still in the US.
1,455.7 More sand dunes and from that point the road is more or less descending to go into El Paso.
1,457.4 There are motels, restaurants, and all kinds of businesses, so now I am on the outskirts of El Paso.
1,458.2 El Paso is still 17 miles.
2:00 53°.
1,472.4 2:03 Left I-10 for US-54 south ... Well! That was an interesting little detour!
1,474.1 2:07 I am now on US-54 north to Alamogordo. What a jumble of highways that was! All this was because I wanted to start out at the Mexican border on US-54. I finished up in a lane which, when the traffic light changed went directly to the bridge to Mexico. I needed to turn around, so signaled to the car to my left with hand signals asking them to let me cross in front of them. Hence I was able to recover and turn north away from the border.
1,483.2 Passing the Franklin Mountains to my left.
1,483.8 The freeway ends - all lanes had to exit ... the freeway will continue because here at Sun Valley Boulevard where there is a traffic light construction is under way for the building of an overpass and beyond that road has been laid down but not yet paved ... the next traffic light at Martin Luther King Drive all the supports are in place for an overpass - major construction.
The names of streets which I am passing on this route : Black Sands, Golden Sands, Blues Sands ... car over on its side.
1,486.2 A major accident at that intersection.
1,487.7 2:22 Back onto a freeway and now it is 73 miles to Alamogordo ... joining the freeway I am more or less out of the city and crossing a flat plain, mountain ranges to the left and to the right.
1,493.8 2:27 Mile 0, the Texas/New Mexico State Line.
1,498.9 The countryside seems to be covered in little mounds, mounds being where some plants has grown and its roots holding the soil (sand) in place, and in between, with nothing to stabilize it, the soil (sand) has blown away.
1,504.8 Two engines pulling a long coal train from the north - the train also has an engine on the back of it - all engines were Union Pacific.
All these hillock covering the landscape appear to be quite sandy, but are being held in place by the bushes which are growing on them, the sand being a different color from that at White Sands National Monument. I’m not sure what color you might call it, maybe peachy.
I am thinking that there is less to see along this road than there was along that road in Texas where the lady said that there was nothing to see! Here there isn’t even any goats. I have since read that Del Rio is a major shipping point for mohair and all the goats I saw in the area were the source of mohair - I can’t find where I read about this! Nor are there any abandoned farm houses.
1,516.9 There is a haze over the mountains to my left, also those straight ahead where I think Cloudcroft is ... a huge tumbleweed sitting on the road half covering one lane. There is a range of mountains ahead of me and slightly to the left which don’t have any trees on them but have a lot of different colors - greenish, brownish, yellowish with streaks of blue sky and white clouds above them. I am wondering if the mountains in the haze to my let are the Organ Mountains.
1,521.6 There are three summits to the right and one to the left all of which have some kind of installation on them.
1,522.4 “You are leaving Fort Bliss Military Installation”.
1,522.9 Turn left for White Sands Missile Range - I think that road would take you over to US-70.
1,523.3 Entering Orogrande ... there’s a tavern in the town ... a sign for mine tours.
1,525.9 Passing a mountain range to the left which had all the hues and the road was higher at this point above a basin to my right.
1,527.2 The road is starting to descend into the basin where Alamogordo is located and near White Sands
1,528.9 50,000 acres For Sale ... What would you do with it?
Inspection Station ahead - the left lane is closed.
1,534.7 You can see the ripples in the peach colored sand - some of the dunes are a little higher here and more exposed.
1,535.2 3:02 Stopping for the Inspection Station.
There doesn’t appear to be much snow up on Cloudcroft ... another way of describing the color of the sand could be a light rusty color. It is interesting to see the dunes here in this color knowing that a few miles away the sand is white!
1,537.5 There is a landfill site to my left and it is also the rusty colored sand.
3:13 Alamogordo is only 15 miles now.
1,550.9 Though not right at the base the road is following along the base of the mountains to the right, running parallel with the range. The mountains are very rugged with no trees on them and two or three vertical cliffs at intervals as you go up into the mountains. Currently the sun is shining on them making them very attractive even if they are rugged.
1,555.4 The gas light just came on.
1,557.8 3:23 Alamogordo City Limit.
1,559.6 3:25 Junction with US-70 east ... I turned off but very quickly realized that I was on the wrong road and that I should have gone the other way! This is the bypass road. The signs were confusing. I need to try to change route somehow! I have been able to make a U-turn.
1,560.5 3:27 On the right road, the one that I wanted to be on.
1,561.0 3:30 Arrived Days Inn, Alamogordo, which right next to the Best Western Desert Aire Motel, but I got my room for $39.95 which is somewhat cheaper, so I am pleased about that, also I will get my reward points.
1,561.1 3:45 Booked in (Room 109) ... I’m all checked in and now ready to go out.
4:01 Leave for shopping ... I will get gas when I return to town before going to White Sands National Monument.
1,569.0 4:15 - 4:34 Eagle Ranch to buy pistachios ... There are no leaves on the pistachio trees at present.
1,574.0 4:41 - 4:58 White Sands Mall to buy card and gift wrap for Imogene’s gift.
1,576.0 5:05 - 5:13 GAS - Alamogordo, NM - $1.479/gal. - 16.231 gals. - $24.01
Well! I have my pistachios and I have my wrapping paper and birthday card and have a full tank of gas and now I think I am ready to go to White Sands.
1,576.7 Passing Days Inn.
I should have been out here earlier because I only just caught the sunset - did manage to get a few pictures which I hope will come out OK. I stopped at the Big Dune Trail ... otherwise I would not have got anything ... I clambered up the sand for the view ... there is snow on Cloudcroft. The part I was looking at before was not Cloudcroft and there was no snow there.
1,595.0 5:52 Leave from taking sunset pictures in White Sands National Monument.
1,598.0 5:58 Leaving the park and turning east on US-70.
1,612.3 Stopped at a traffic light, the last light before coming to the motel and even with the windows up and above the sound of the motor you can hear all the birds in a tree making a lot of noise - can actually hear their chirping through the closed windows.
1,613.0 6:15 Back at Days Inn (Room 109) - end of the day.

The day’s total - 450 miles
Trip Total - 1,613 miles

Day 4 - Wednesday, February 11 - Alamogordo, NM to Tucson, AZ

1,613.0 7:48 Leave Days Inn (Room 109)
7:49 I have finally pulled out of the parking lot from Days Inn ... it took me about 18 minutes to register Imogene’s address or close to it on the GPS and I have finally got it set and it is 354 miles, 5 hours and 46 minutes, so I can now work out how much time I can spend sight seeing. It is so frustrating trying to set the GPS when some addresses are new and are not included in the software! I thought that I already had Imogene’s address in the thing but we didn’t!
One nice thing about today is that I am setting out with the sun shining, which is a change from the last couple of days ... and I was on the road by the time I actually woke up yesterday!
The mountains ahead of me are very hazy as are the ones behind me.
1,627.9 Passing the Border Patrol Inspection Station for the traffic going in the opposite direction.
1,635.4 Before reaching the mountain range and whilst still crossing the desert the elevation is 3,877 feet.
1,650.9 3,848 feet ... the road is still going straight and fairly flat ... it is a long straight stretch of road from Alamogordo to the mountains on the west of the valley, the Organ Mountain range.
1,654.4 8:27 Elevation 3,838 feet as the road starts to curve for the climb over the Organ Mountains.
1,657.7 8:30 Elevation 4,150 feet as the road makes another turn and really starts to climb. After that last bend in the road it climbs, but it is still going straight up.
1,659.7 Beautiful view of the Organ Mountains, slightly hazy.
1,660.2 A hawk flying across the road ... this car is amazing - it has just maintained a steady speed all the way as it climbs.
1,664.1 8:35 San Augustin Pass 5,719 feet (only 5,577 feet according to my GPS which is usually closer than that!) And from here the road immediately starts to descend to Las Cruses in the valley below. It will be interesting to see how far along they are with the construction of US-70 leading into Las Cruses because the last time I came this way I had to make many detours where overpasses were being built.
1,665.9 Entering Organ.
1,666.3 A sign: Construction next 11 miles.
1,674.5 8:45 A bend in the road to the left, first one since the straight stretch coming down from the mountain and I have already gone over six completed overpasses.
1,677.9 8:48 Crossing over I-25, one hour after leaving the motel.
1,679.3 8:50 At a stop light on Main Street at the intersection with Spitz Avenue.
1,682.6 8:57 Turning off to go into Mesilla. I have already passed some fields which are ready for planting. I am on South NM-292.
1,683.8 I just drove under I-10.
1,684.3 Mesilla Town Limit and there are orchards both sides of the road ... to my left is an housing development where all the buildings are pueblo style architecture ... more orchards.
1,685.0 9:02 - 9:35 Mesilla ... I walked down the main street then over a couple of blocks to the historic Mesilla Plaza. Around the Plaza were historic buildings with their history told on wall plaques. I took a number of pictures before returning to the car. Now I am ready to take I-10 to Tucson.
Avenida de Mesilla is the name of the road through Mesilla. I am retracing my route along NM-292 back to I-10.
1,685.9 Beautiful octagonal tree house with windows on each wall way up in a tree with a spiral metal staircase leading up to it.
1,686.5 9:39 Going under I-10 and preparing to turn onto the ramp.
1,686.8 9:40 Joined into I-10.
1,687..4 Start of the bridge over the Rio Grand River.
1,687.6 End of the bridge, no water in the river!
1,689.0 Leaving the river valley.
1,690.0 A model of a roadrunner on the top of the embankment on the left hand side.
1,690.7 Passing Exit-135 for West Picacho Avenue, which is also US-70.
1,693.8 75 mph commences
1,694.5 Leaving Las Cruses City Limit.
1,704.3 9:54 Slowing up for and Inspection Station.
1,705.7 9:56 Back on the highway ... I did not have to stop as it was closed for vehicles passing through, but there was a passenger bus stopped in another lane and it looked as if everyone on the bus had to get off.
1,707.1 “Dust storms may exist for the next 15 miles”.
After I have been sitting for a while my right knee really hurts when I start to stand up and walk, then it eases up and I am fine for a short time. After a while it starts to hurt even with walking and I am glad to sit down again.
The road is crossing flat desert country with mountain ranges in the distance on all sides ... the countryside is actually made up of those sandy hillocks like I saw and tried to describe along US-54 between El Paso and Alamogordo.
1,720.2 There is a repeat of the sign: “Dust storms may exist for the next 15 miles”.
1,734.3 There’s a rugged range of mountains behind and higher than a range which is closer to the road, with serrated peaks.
1,734.9 Passing a missile silo to the left.
1,738.5 Orchards to the south of the road - just east of Deming.
48° here in Deming according to McDonald’s - rather on the cool side! I am feeling very comfortable in the car with the sun beating in through the glass.
1,745.6 10:27 Passing the Best Western Mimbres Motel.
1,746.4 “Dust storms may exist for the next 15 miles”, also a sign to put lights on for safety and speeding fines are doubled in the Safety Corridor which started here. I am not sure what is meant by a safety corridor - I guess I need to ask somewhere to find out what that means!
1,759.2 Another sign about speeding fines doubled in safety corridor.
I have seen a number of trains this morning going both directions, some with tanker cars, some with box cars, some with flat beds and containers stacked two high.
1,761.5 A hawk flew up from the median, then back down after I passed - beautiful markings under its wings.
1,762.5 There is a tremendous number of soap tree yuccas in this area and they still have the stalks of last year’s blooms and it is amazing how tall some of these stalks are.
1,766.5 10:44 Passing a Rest Area.
1,769.0 A long way ahead and slightly to my left is a mountain range which appears to have snow on it.
1,772.4 End of Safety Corridor and a sign: Lights. I presume this is a reminder for travelers that they can now turn off their lights.
Another train, this one with the kind of cars used for transporting motor vehicles.
1,776.1 Continental Divide, elevation 4,585 feet (GPS shows the Summit to be 4,534 feet).
The closer I get to that distant mountain range the more obvious it is that there is snow on the mountains and I think this is the range that I went over on my first trip to Tucson to visit Imogene and Perry, the Chiricahua Mountains.
1,779.0 “Dust storms for the next 45 miles”.
I am noticing that there are mountains more to my left that have snow on them as well ... I continue to see motor homes from many different states.
1,789.5 The mountains with the snow on them look to be too far east to be the ones I went over because they are pretty much due south of me now and I am stioll about 38 miles from the Arizona State Line.
1,793.0 “Dust Storms May Exist. Visibility Nill. Do Not Stop In Travel Lanes. Use Extreme Caution” These are signs one after the other in bright yellow with black printing.
Another train with cargo containers ... this rail route is a pretty busy one.
1,805.4 11:14 Passing Exit-22 for Silver City, also for Globe, Arizona ... I mention this because I don’t know what route I will take when I set out on my return trip from Mesa after visiting Fran and Otto.
1,810.5 I am now west of Lordsburg and there are more mountains ahead, also with snow, so I think that where I went in the Chiricahua Mountains there is probably snow especially since that road is closed in winter.
1,816.5 Water on the alkaline flats to the left.
1,817.8 Now to the right.
1,822.4 11:27 Passing Exit-5, which is for NM-80 South, the road I took before crossing the mountains which now have snow on them. This road also takes you to Douglas, Arizona.
Now a sign for Dangerous Cross Winds.
1,825.2 Elevation 4,297 feet - this is just after Exit-3 - that was a high point in the road which is now descending the western side of the range towards the Arizona State Line.
Trains, trains and more trains.
1,828.7 11:31 The New Mexico/Arizona State Line, and yes, there is snow in “my mountains!”.
1,831.0 11:33 Leaving the Interstate at a Rest Area, the San Simon Rest Area.
1,831.1 11:34 - 11:55 Rest Area for my lunch. I ate the potato salad which I made last night, then made my sandwich to take in the car with me.
1,831.5 11:56 Back on the Interstate.
1,841.0 Exit-378 ... there is some snow on all the mountains to the south of the road.
1,841.9 Passing a missile silo to the south.
1,852.7 An orchard to the south of the road, probably pecans, because that is what most of the orchards seem to be here.
1,854.5 A sign which said, “Walnuts, Pecans and Wine” which let me know that there are walnut trees as well as pecan trees in the orchards. Immediately after that sign was the start of an orchard, This is in the area of Bowie.
It is really funny how one’s mind works. I am just coming up to a truck that has on the back EXTRA and it has this on each of the back doors, and in my mind I am calling out, “Extra, Extra, read all about it” which takes me back to 1942, sixty-two years ago, when we were living in Melbourne, Victoria (Australia), when the paper boys used to stand on the street corners selling the latest edition of the local paper What a memory!
I am just thinking that I haven’t said much about anything I have seen - mainly I am just enjoying the sunny drive across the desert. I have mentioned the pecan orchards, but there are also places where cattle are grazing, so some of the area would be ranches.
1,899.8 Entering Texas Canyon.
1,900.7 12:49 Leaving the highway at the Rest Area.
1,901.5 12:53 Back on the highway. I have changed my mind about getting off at the next exit to go exploring and maybe photograph the rocks here in the Texas Canyon area - this is something to do another time.
1,910.8 Descending into the valley where Benson is located.
1,926.4 1:13 Entering Pima County.
1,932.5 Speed reduction to 65 mph along a section of the road where there is a barrier between the east and west-bound lanes rather than a median and the road goes down to Cienega Creek.
1,934.1 75 mph resumes.
1,944.0 Tucson City Limit. Whilst this is the city limit it is still about eighteen miles into the city.
1,951.7 Speed reduced to 65 mph coming into Tucson, but I still have 11 miles to Beaudry Honda on 22nd Street.
1,957.9 1:38 Leaving I-10 at Exit-265, Alvernon Way North ... turned left on Ajo Way, then right on Palo Verde and right at East 22nd Street.
1,963.0 1:50 - 2:25 Beaudry Motors to see our salesman - he took my car through the wash! The gas light came on just as I pulled into Beaudry.
I don’t think too much of the way that the GPS is directing me to go. I went west on 22nd Street and now I am going south on Keno Parkway. From here I will be rejoining I-10.
1,968.8 2:36 Leaving Keno Parkway for the ramp onto I-10 West.
1,971.2 Major highway construction.
1,971.4 Three levels of road and really pretty colors and design in the overpasses.
1,983.2 2:52 As I cross over Ina Road it is 66° at the Red Roof Inn.
1,984.5 2:53 Leaving I-10 at Exit-246 for Cortaro Road. Eschscholtzia in flower at the side of the road.
1,985.0 2:56 - 3:01 GAS - Tucson, AZ (Cortaro Road) - $1.699/gal. - 15.908 gals. - $26.07
1,990.0 3:10 Arrive at Imogene’s and Perry’s.
In the evening I was taken to dinner along with Imogene and Perry by a friend and his girlfriend in honor of Imogene’s birthday.
We went to Cheng’s Szechuan Restaurant, 8898 E Tanque Verde Rd., Tucson, AZ 85749-9500, Phone: (520) 749 - 2300. It was a beautiful meal and I would like to eat here again sometime.

The day’s total - 377 miles
Trip Total - 1,990 miles

Day 5 - Thursday, February 12 - Tucson, AZ

The car did not leave the driveway.
Made sandwiches for lunch and in the afternoon we cleaned the silver spoons.
Imogene made black bean soup and quesadilla for supper.
We started to go through some of the albums to find photographs to be displayed at the party.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Trip Total - 1990 miles

Day 6 - Friday, February 13 - Tucson, AZ

1,990.0 Leave to run some errands whilst Imogene’s cleaning lady was at the house.
1,990.6 Walgreen’s.
1,999.0 Aaron Brothers, a framing store for gold and silver pens.
1,999.4 Barnes & Noble to get gift certificate for Perry’s birthday.
2,009.0 Back home.
Went to Safeway for Gourmet Sandwiches for our lunch. It was difficult for us to be in the kitchen with the cleaning lady there.!
2,009.7 Safeway.
2,011.0 Home. We sat in the sun at the front of the house to eat our lunch.
Later in the day I took Imogene on an errand to deliver some additional invitations.
2,013.0 Home.
Perry arrived home from work with all the rental stuff, glasses, coffee mugs, etc., the wine, red and white, and the soft drinks. He also went around the neighborhood to pick card tables and chairs which were being borrowed.
A vegetarian pizza was ordered from Dominoes for supper, and after this Perry, Imogene and I looked through dozens (?!) Of albums to pick out all the later photographs.

The day’s total - 23 miles
Trip Total - 2,013 miles

Day 7 - Saturday, February 14 - Tucson, AZ

2,013.0 My car did not leave the driveway.
I spent the morning helping Imogene arrange photographs on a large foam board, dividing them into three groups, Through High School, The Twenties and The Thirties.
Perry made some sandwiches for lunch before we left for the basket ball game between Arizona State University and UCLA. We had great seats and I really enjoyed the game.
Some errands were dona on the way home, then we went back to a Chinese restaurant at the corner of Cortaro Road and Silverbell. Nobody felt like cooking and besides, we didn’t want to mess up the kitchen.
After we came home Imogene and I worked on the other photographs, The Forties and The Fifties, making up a second display. We were in the middle of doing this when two very close friends of Imogene, A couple arrived unexpectedly from Lincoln. Perry knew they were coming but it was a complete surprise for Imogene. They stayed until quite late.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Trip Total - 2,013 miles

Day 8 - Sunday, February 15 - Tucson, AZ

The morning went quickly, but smoothly, making final preparations. I was enlisted to make flags for the various desserts, a sign for the decaffinated coffee, and another one asking people to sign the guest book and make a name tag for themselves.
When Imogene asked me to make a sign for the basket for cards, I made another suggestion. We folded a plane sheet of white paper (it actually had a bit cut from one corner where I had made another flag), put it in a yellow envelope on which I wrote “Happy Birthday Imogene” and put it in the basket.
Meanwhile Perry had gone to pick up the cake, desserts and fruit.
2,013.0 With everything more or less ready I left for a couple of errands.
2,016.3 Fry’s parking lot where there was a craft fair. I bought a spoon rack for Imogene, a squashed glass bottle with a sunflower!
2,019.4 Safeway to buy Gourmet Sandwiches for lunch.
2,020.0 Parked the car at Sunflower Community Center where it was left during the party and I walked home.
Soon after that the bar attendant arrived, also his helper and it seemed no time until the first guests arrived. It was a wonderful party and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting lots of people as well as taking pictures for Imogene all afternoon. One person said to me, “You must be the professional photographer! I was sure they would have one!”.
The last guests, neighbors, left around seven o’clock! Then Perry took us - Imogene and her niece, the couple from Lincoln and me - out to a Mexican restaurant for supper. We stopped at the community center for me to get my car.
2,020.2 Home.
After Perry went to bed, Imogene and I did a bit of clearing up, mainly putting food away, then were ready for bed ourselves. The rest could wait for morning!

The day’s total - 7 miles
Trip Total - 2,020 miles

Day 9 - Monday, February 16 - Tucson, AZ

We managed to get most of the clearing up done by lunch time when Imogene left for an appointment. She would be gone for a couple of hours so I decided to take a drive in the country instead of tagging along with her.
2,020.2 1:10 Leave for a drive to Saguaro National Park West.
I thought that I had missed the turn into the park so continued on through a residential area.
2,034.0 I turned around to try to find the entrance to the park. It is truly wonderful to see so many saguaro cacti and there is one of those little cactus wrens on top of one, too.
2,036.8 Turned around in the picnic area.
2,037.5 1:51 I still could not find the entrance to the park, but did find a gravel road, Golden Gate Road which went into the park. I don’t know where the Visitor Center can be because I think this must be the road which Mary and I came out on when we left the park. It is a washboard gravel road.
2,044.0 2:27 Back at the highway and I am going to turn left if I get a chance to get out - there is a lot of traffic on the road. This is a whoopsy road - just a constant up and down.
2,045.9 2:30 Turning off Sandario Road onto Mile High Road.
2,047.9 2:32 Turning into where the Visitor Center is located. Eventually I got it all figured out!
2,049.0 2:35 - 2:48 The Visitor Center. By this time it was too late to see the film or do much of anything!
2,053.0 Back at the turnoff from Mile Wide Road to Sandario.
2,054.6 Passing the Kinney Road turnoff.
2,054.8 Passing the Golden Gate entrance - this is where I came out of the park.
2,057.6 Saguaro National park at Rudasill Road.
2,058.6 Turned onto Picture Rocks Road.
2,059.4 The place where I turned around and went back, thinking that I was lost!
2,061.7 Entering Saguaro National Park.
2,062.4 Passing Golden Gate entrance, where I went in.
2,063.7 From here you can see the road going through a mountain pass, but before reaching that point the road winds and twists around quite a lot.
2,064.4 The top of the pass which I could see and from here you look out across Tucson and over to Mount Lemmon
2,064.7 3:16 Leaving the park.
2,066.0 Junction with Ina Road.
\2,066.4 Turning onto Cortaro Road.
2,067.3 Turned onto Silverbell Road.
2,070.0 3:27 Home. I organized my things ready to put in the car after the sun had set when it would be cooler. Imogene still had not opened her gifts and cards but wanted to wait until Perry was there..
Again, when Perry returned from work, he ordered Dominoes vegetarian pizza for supper.
After this Imogene opened her gifts, then cards. The last one in the basket was in a yellow envelope and when Imogene pulled out a blank piece of white paper with a bit cut out of one corner, she looked at it, puzzled, and exclaimed, “What the heck!” Perry repeated pretty much the same expletive and I kept my cool! Imogene turned the piece of paper over several times, then a smile began to appear on her face and together we both laughed. We laughed and laughed, to such an extent that I lost my breath. Poor Perry! He had no idea what was going on and we were laughing so hard it was difficult to explain why!
Just before turning in I put the last things, except an overnight bag and the things from the frig, in the car ready for an early start in the morning.

The day’s total - 50 miles
Trip Total - 2,070 miles

Day 10 - Tuesday, February 17 - Tucson, AZ to Phoenix, AZ

At breakfast this morning I wrote the following in the Guest Book:- “Words are inadequate for expressing how special it is to have you for my friends, and to be told that I am family. What a week! Scanning photo albums ... making signs ... professional photographer ... culminating with much laughter over a simple piece of white paper in a yellow envelope!
Thank you Imogene and Perry for a truly wonderful week.” Signed - The Roadrunner.
2,070.0 7:44 Leave from Imogene’s and Perry’s but before heading out for Phoenix I am going to Beaudry motors Body Shop to get the car paint touched up.
2,074.2 7:55 Stopped at the traffic light just before entering the ramp for I-10. As I drive south on I-10 there is a hot air balloon in the sky - it looks gorgeous.
2,092.2 8:20 Leaving I-10 at Exit-264A for Palo Verde Road South.
2,093.0 8:22 - 8:35 Beaudry Motors Body Shop for paint touch up!
2,094.1 8:38 Back on the Interstate.
2,108.3 Marana Town Limit. Imogene and Perry live in Marana - but their address is Tucson.
8:55 And I am past Cortaro Road.
2,113.1 8:56 75 mph starts.
9:00 There is already a haze or smog hanging low in the valley. The road, both sides is strewn with tire pieces.
2,125.9 The police are also busy along this stretch of road - I have seen three already with cars stopped!
Besides tire pieces there are all sorts of other garbage. As I have said previously, Arizona is one of the dirtiest states as far as their roads are concerned.
2,129.6 There are lots of blue bags which a clean-up crew have filled with stuff and it doesn’t look as if they have made a dent in the mess.
2,138.5 Passing an ostrich farm where I can see hundreds of ostrich.
2,148.9 The start of a large orchard, presumably pecans, both sides of the road.
2,149.9 End of orchards.
2,155.8 9:30 Leaving the highway at Exit-203 to check the map for my route into Mesa.
2,156.0 9:32 - 9:47 McDonald’s in Toltec for coffee and a rest stop.
2,156.6 9:49 Back on the highway and phoenix is just 57 miles now.
2,175.3 The countryside is less flat now - mountains and hills - also it is not being farmed so it is the desert scrub which also includes some saguaro cacti.
2,176.8 There has even been a cutting made in the hills for the road to pass through and after that the road goes towards another valley.
2,180.2 Back into lands that are being cultivated and irrigated.
2,184.7 10:11 Leaving the Interstate at Exit-175 and take AZ-587 north through Chandler. What homes there are along this road look as if they have just been plopped down on the desert - no gardens, no upkeep, lots of garbage blowing around the road - a rather dismal way to live!
2,190.9 10:19 AZ-587 ends as it comes to the junction with AZ-87.
2,196.6 10:27 Stopped for road construction.
2,203.4 10:41 Welcome to Mesa - just as I crossed Baseline Road and the GPS is guiding me to take US-60 east at this point then go north on another road, but I want to go straight up to Main street, then turn east. AZ-87 becomes Country Club Road.
2,205.8 10:49 The junction with Main Street.
2,205.9 10:51-10:53 I am now on Main Street and am stopping to get out my address book.
2,208.5 Passing the Best Western Mesa Inn where Mary and I stayed.
2,209.3 Drove past Beaudry Motors RV on the north side of Main Street.
2,212.4 11:06 Turning into Mesa Regal off Main Street.
2,213.0 11:11 Arrive at Sander’s, Mesa Regal at 4700 E Main Street, Mesa.
After lunch we sat around and talked and looked at pictures.
5:00 We went to a Christian Women’s dinner to which husbands had also been invited. Mike Moore, a successful baseball player was the guest speaker - he was playing in the World Series in San Francisco at the time of the earthquake.
After we arrived back at the trailer we spent the evening playing Rummikub.

The day’s total - 143 miles
Trip Total - 2,213 miles

Day 11 - Wednesday, February 18 - Phoenix, AZ

2,213.0 Fran and Otto went in my car to take me out for the day. We drove into the Superstition Mountains as far as Tortilla Flat and back.
2,242.0 11:29 Arrived in Tortilla Flat, an old mining town where we had lunch in a historic building. The walls of the restaurant were covered in dollar bills, including a surprising number of Canadian $2.00 bills as well.
On the return journey we made a couple of stops.
2,256.0 2:28 Leaving from Goldfield mining town near Apache Junction.
2,260.0 2:52 Leave Superstition Mountain Museum.
2,274.0 3:24 “Home” - Fran stayed to have a nap whilst Otto went with me to buy some oranges and grapefruit. We stopped in at the place closest to Mesa Regal, but were directed further afield, although still not very far.
2,276.8 Citrus stand where I bought oranges and grapefruit.
2,280.0 “Home”.
After supper we again played Rummikub.

The day’s total - 67 miles
Trip Total - 2,280 miles

Day 12- Thursday, February 19 - Phoenix, AZ to Roswell, NM

2,280.0 7:10 Leave from Sander’s.
I am driving along Main Street east then head out on Higgley to US-60. It is daybreak and there is quite a bit of color in the sky from the rising sun which you can’t see as the sky is cloudy.
2,283.0 7:20 - 7:27 GAS - Mesa, AZ - $1.759/gal. - 13.645 gals. - $24.00
2,283.6 7:32 Stopped at a light, waiting to turn onto the ramp for US-60 East. The west-bound lanes are full and there is a lot of traffic on the east-bound lanes but not nearly as much as there is on the west-bound.
2,283.8 7:33 On US-60 east.
2,287.6 Big road construction - haven’t got very far with it yet, but there are three layers of roads going over the top of each other - a really big interchange.
I don’t think it is going to be a very nice day, clouds are hanging heavily over the hills - out my right there is a slight break in the clouds, a little bit of blue sky and rays from the sun shining in that direction, so the sun is up and above the clouds.
Have just passed Exit-97 for AZ-88.
2,293.9 Am now passing over AZ-88 ... If you went straight north from there you would come to Apache Junction at the end of Main Street which runs through Mesa.
2,295.0 The freeway ends in 2 miles.
2,296.3 The road turns after going along a long straight stretch and the freeway ends, but for the present it remains a divided road ... and as the road turns there are hills or mountains on the left.
2,303.0 Currently I am still driving across the desert and am heading towards that hole in the clouds where the sun is poking through. I know that probably wont last once I turn into the mountains which are to my left, two or three layers of them.
2,309.4 7:58 Passing Exit-212 for AZ-79 south to Florence and Tucson.
2,310.0 The road turning towards the mountains and it wont be long before I am right in them. I also have the sun’s rays on my right side.
2,311.0 End of the divided highway.
2,313.5 You can a peak which is narrow and goes up quite high which they call The Needle, I believe. We saw it yesterday from the other highway.
2,314.4 Curves and Mountain Grades For The Next 5 Miles ... still seeing saguaro cacti and lots of cholla.
2,316.7 8:04 Gonzales Pass, elevation 2,651 feet ... I can’t believe how many crosses there are along this route, just since coming into the mountains - I have already lost count. There were six at the sign for the passing lane and I don’t know how many there have been just along that one stretch alone! Most of them seem to be in pairs.
2,320.0 A sign: Entering Private Land - an unusual sort of sign on a major road!
2,321.2 Passing the Bryce Perrypson Arboretum.
Crosses continue.
2,322.6 8:10 Superior City Limit, founded 1888, elevation 2,888 feet ... and to my right there is a lovely hole in the clouds showing beautiful blue sky, but I don’t think that is the direction I am going.
The mountain scenery is wonderful, steep cliffs.
2,325.0 The road is heading straight into the mountains which means going through a canyon.
2,326.5 It is starting to rain, a drizzle that is.
2,326.7 Entering a tunnel.
2,326.9 End of the tunnel and deeper than ever into the canyon. WOW! High rock cliffs.
2,327.6 My ears have just popped and there are rocks ahead which are balanced on pedestals. How they ever stay there I don’t know.
2,328.5 At the top and out of the canyon and the end of the passing lane. If it was a nice sunny day that would be a gorgeous spot to pull off in the various bays that are available to get photographs of the cliffs, the rocks, the balanced rocks..
2,329.3 Lots of sotol plants with last year’s flower stalks still standing; there are also agave.
2,329.7 6% downgrade for the next 12 miles.
2,330.4 Entering Devil’s Canyon and the rock formations are just incredible ... a lot more balanced rocks - the number of these balanced rocks are unbelievable. It is a wonder that they stay put - I guess that earthquakes don’t occur here!
2,332.2 End of the passing lane and again sign: Entering Private Land.
The road is wet and a very fine drizzle continues.
2,334.7 Still going down ... the whole landscape is covered in boulders.
2,335.6 To the left you can see some of the workings of the Miami Mine.
2,336.0 Around a corner and seeing a big bridge ahead.
2,336.4 Starting to cross the bridge over a deep canyon.
2,336.5 End of the bridge ... another white cross.
2,338.7 Elevation 4,000 feet.
2,339.1 Passing mine workings, a very large mine site.
2,340.0 Going through a large cutting and dipping down into another canyon.
Judging by the plump flower stalks on the sotol plants last year’s flowers must have been absolutely gorgeous.
2,340.6 Huge mine workings continuing out to the left.
2,341.0 8:31 Entering Miami City Limit, elevation 3,411 feet - founded 1907.
2,343.7 There looks to be a smelter on the hill to my left.
2,345.5 Passing the turnoff for AZ-188 which goes to Roosevelt Dam and would go on to Tortilla Flat (where I had lunch yesterday).
2,346.0 Entering Globe, elevation 3,544 feet - founded 1877 ... temperature 46° - a bit different from the 80° in Phoenix when I arrived two days ago!
\2,351.0 8:46 - 9:00 Globe, AZ - McDonald’s for coffee and rest stop (I needed to go very badly!). Oleanders were growing around the perimeter of McDonald’s parking.
2,351.3 Junction with US-70 to Tucson, or in that direction and I am turning east on US-60.
2,352.2 141 miles to Springerville ... the hills now have junipers growing on them, sotol, agave ... there doesn’t appear to be any more cacti.
2,360.5 The rain seems to have really set in now.
2,361.7 Show Low 73, Springerville 122 miles.
2,361.8 Elevation 5,000 feet ... a few prickly pear cacti ... watch for animals the next 77 miles.
2,364.6 Clouds are covering the peaks of the higher mountains.
2,367.8 There are some trees with white trunks to my right - I am wondering if they are sycamore!
LP and I drove this route on one of our visits to Fran and Otto, and I am wondering how far it is to, I believe, the Salt River where we wind down into the canyon and up the other side. Also I am wondering at what point I go over the Mogollon Rim - looking at the map it is just before Show Low.
2,374.1 Traces of snow on the embankment to my right
2,374.4 The road is so built up that it drops away on both sides.
2,374.7 9:23 I am driving into snow - snow is actually falling.
2,375.0 Sign: Watch for Elk next 10 miles.
So much for LP’s forecast ... patches of snow in among all the trees.
2,376.1 A couple of crosses at the side of the road and there looks to be Christmas decorations all over a tree next to the crosses.
2,376.7 Currently out of the falling snow.
2,378.3 The embankment on the right is white with snow.
2,378.9 Just drove into sunshine, but that wont last for long because it is just a little hole in the clouds
Well! It is certainly an interesting drive. The road is very good, the speed limit is 65 mph, occasionally 55 on corners.
2,381.2 6% downgrade for 3 miles
2,381.8 Entering the San Carlos Apache Reservation.
2,382.4 A patch of blue sky ahead now as the road descends.
2,383.4 Some wonderful cliffs to my left and ahead.
2,384.4 Entering Seneca.
2,385.2 A pullout for the trucks to check their brakes.
2,385.3 Entering Salt River Canyon, and this is where all those wonderful cliffs are.
2,386.5 9:38 Ready to leave from a pull off from where I took three pictures from the car.
2,386.8 Some old mine workings on the side of a hill to the left ... unbelievable scenery and sometime I need to come in the opposite direction because the pull offs are on the other side of the road and I shouldn’t be crossing the double line to get to them
Winding down the side of the hill and here is one where I can pull out.
2,388.2 9.:41 - 9:43 Pulling off. This is just an unbelievable road and I guess we were just as awed by it the last time we came this way.
2,390.2 9:47 - 9:58 Rest Area at the bottom of the descent and just before crossing the bridge over the Salt River.
2,390.3 Entering White Mountain Apache Reservation - this is after leaving the other reservation.
2,391.0 10:00 - 10:03 Pulled into another lookout point, this as the road climbs the other side of the canyon ... it sure is a rugged landscape. Oh! I came round a corner and there are all these cliffs with caves in them, precipitous cliffs ... amazing scenery.
2,394.5 10:08 - 10:13 Pulled over for a Scenic Viewpoint ... there are canyons leading into the main canyon.
2,396.5 The mountainsides are more heavily forested now with, I suspect, junipers, which seems to be the main tree or shrub growing in the area.
2,283.5 Now there are also some pine trees.
2,399.6 More snow in patches on the ground.
2,400.3 Snow between all the trees on the northern-facing slopes ... to the left in the distance the clouds seem very black.
2,402.0 More sycamore trees, if that’s what they are - I’m pretty sure they are in the sycamore family - there was some mention of them at the Rest Area.
2,403.0 The snow is thicker on the slope to my right ... another fine drizzle is starting, but I am also going in and out of a bit of sunshine as well.
How I wish this pain would go away!
2,405.0 A distant view to my right one mountain range after another.
2,405.5 Starting another fairly long descent.
2,406.2 Some deep reds showing up in the cliffs of the cuttings as the road descends ... also the hillsides between the trees you can see the red ... I haven’t seen any animals or any elk.
2,410.5 Now the road descending again between high rock cliffs and this was just after a fairly long flat straight stretch.
2,412.5 What an interesting lot of layers of hard rock with softer soil in between.
2,412.8 The bottom of that descent. Also with only 22 miles to Show Low I must be fairly close to the Mogollon Rim ... and the road is now climbing.
2,413.6 Entering Navajo County - I am saying this so I can check with the map where the Mogollon Rim is (looked at map - it is still closer to Show Low). At that point also the road started to go downhill again and what I thought was a canyon is off to the left.
2,413.6 Looking through the canyon. Then it climbs again.
2,415.0 Elk the next 20 miles.
2,415.3 The junction with AZ-77 to the right. Show Low is now 24 miles, Springerville 70. It is hard to tell where the road is going as there are canyons all over the place, to the left and to the right, and if the sun was shining there would be some wonderful colors in the cliffs of reds, golds, yellows, ochers.
2,417.7 Reddish snow at the foot of the cutting to the right ... climbing up the slope on the right hand side of a canyon.
2,420.0 Looking around now you would hardly know there were any canyons in the area.
2,421.0 Seeing all the burned trees - they had terrible fires here last summer ... to the right there are lots of pine trees, whilst those to the left are all burned.
2,423.5 Lots of snow on the ground again, between the trees.
2,426.5 Another fairly long straight stretch, burned trees to the left, forest to the right, pretty much all pine trees.
2,432.0 I am facing north at the moment and there seems to be more blue sky appearing, so maybe the day will improve.
2,432.8 A car coming towards me had snow on the hood. If I remember correctly there was a lot more snow in Show Low when LP and I passed this way than there is now
2,434.5 Show Low City Limit, elevation 6,631 feet - founded in 1870.
2,435.4 I am driving under blue sky in sunshine with shadows of the trees across the road.
2,437.3 The junction with the road to Heber and to Payson, AZ-260, which follows parallel with and to the north of the Mogollon Rim. As I came into Show Low I was not aware of any specific feature(s) which would let me know I was crossing over said Rim ... it is a gorgeous day in Show Low.
2,439.0 11:02 The junction with AZ-77 north to Holbrook, the road which LP and I would have taken after having lunch at the Country Kitchen.
Springerville is 45 miles ahead.
Traveling across high juniper-covered plains now - no pine trees, and supposed to still be watching for elk.
2,442.4 A long straight stretch of road ahead.
2,447.5 Still going straight, but ahead, there is a road which goes off to the right as well as one which continues straight ahead, but I don’t know which one I will be taking! It is the junction with AZ-61 and I think I will be veering to the right.
2,449.9 AZ-61 is the road which goes straight ahead and US-60 veers off to the right.
2,450.2 The New Mexico State Line is 49 miles, 15 miles beyond Springerville.
2,450.8 Lots of snow on the hood of a car.
2,452.5 Snow-covered mountains ahead ... since leaving Show Low I am crossing high plains. The grass between trees is a golden brown.
2,457.0 My GPS is showing an elevation of 6,824 feet and this country is being used as ranch land - there is a beautiful home set up on a hill to my left overlooking the entire area. Carrizozo is only 186 miles, so that is going to be easy today.
2,458.5 The road is descending into a valley where there are not many trees, mostly grasslands.
2,459.4 Passing a dam or a large pond with a number of water fowl or ducks in it and opposite it is a place called “The Ranch” and “The Ranch” is responsible for this two mile stretch of highway.
2,460.5 Another ranch on my left called “Timberland Ranch” and at this point there is also quite a lot of snow on the ground ... it is out in the open with the sun shining on it, but nevertheless a lot of snow ... and a bald eagle flying overhead - I think that is what it is - a very large bird with a white head.
2,461.4 There are drifted snow banks to my right.
2,464.0 The ground is covered in snow.
2,465.0 Elevation 7,550 feet at the crest of a hill and now the road is descending - I can see for miles ahead. I guess it is no wonder that there is a lot of snow - when all is said and done, it is winter and I am at a high elevation! However, looking ahead there doesn’t appear to be as much snow.
11:28 I am 17 miles west of Springerville on US-60.
2,470.2 There looks to be some mine workings to the right - a lot of the hillside has been cut away.
On a sign for taking care of the road is a group called Mountain Meadows and this was just as I was wondering if the land had been cleared or was always open like it is now, so I am thinking it was a meadow area.
2,472.4 There looks to be a large power plant in the distance to my left forward.
2,474.1 Still bare grasslands, but knobs which are sticking up are rocky like rocky outcrops - little ... some of them are quite big!
2,474.9 Again descending down towards a valley ... What a broad expanse of grasslands!
2,480.0 Hundreds of head of cattle grazing to my right. It continues to be a glorious day, blue sky, sun shining, a few fluffy white clouds - too bad it wasn’t like this at the Salt River Canyon.
2,481.8 Springerville City Limit.
2,482.2 The grasslands have a lot of rocks scattered over them now.
2,482.9 Elevation 7,000 feet - Welcome to Springerville, Gateway to the White Mountains.
2,484.5 Crossing the Little Colorado River, and there is water in it, and about half a mile back I omitted to say there were rocky cliffs on each side of a small valley or canyon - maybe that is where the Little Colorado River goes!
Springerville has an elevation of 6,968 feet - founded 1870 ... it looks like a well kept little town - nice statue of a woman with a child at her feet, a monument to pioneer mothers ... 44° ... nice motor inn here, Eljo - several motels here.
2,486.5 11:46 US-80 and US-191 turn south whilst US-60 continues straight ahead. New Mexico State Line 13 miles, Socorro 158 miles.
2,489.0 Off the plain and climbing the edge of a hill, rocky cliffs and cuttings and at the top of the climb there are grasslands again, but there are also a lot of junipers across the landscape so it is not like the open meadows before Springerville.
2,492.2 The top of a hill and starting to go down into a cutting and the road goes ahead straight for a long distance.
2,498.5 It is 305 miles to Roswell in New Mexico.
2,499.2 The end of that straight stretch and again the road is winding a bit through cuttings, hills on the left with vertical rock cliffs to the top, just below a mesa, or a hill with a flat top.
2,500.1 Arizona/New Mexico State Line ... more meadow-type land, a few junipers but far more scattered.
2,505.3 A post with mail boxes on it, about nine all attached to each other, the kind you find in new developments. That indicates to me there are about nine ranches and the people all come to that point to collect their mail
2,508.1 Passing a Rest Area with picnic tables, but I don’t think there are any facilities.
2,509.3 The top of a big hill and I can see the road crossing a wide valley, undulating after descending and all the way to where it goes up again in the distance.
2,510.9 Entering Red Hill - Cimarron Land Office selling lots.
2,511.4 Red Hill and I think it said Quemado was 24 miles - a Nebraska car going in the opposite direction - I miss not having my Nebraska licence plates ... the road has been going straight ever since I started that long downhill.
A sign for a Guest Ranch ... more mail boxes and a larger collection of them.
2,516.5 The road has a curve in it, then another long straight stretch, undulating with the countryside.
2,517.3 Pie Town is 40 miles.
2,519.3 Datil 55 miles, Quemado 15 miles ... these are the names of all the town I gave LP that I couldn’t find any motels for along the way. I also need to keep an eye on my distance because at 237 miles the gas needle is just below the half way mark - I shouldn’t have any problems getting gas
This is truly a lovely drive across the open countryside and there is hardly any traffic whatsoever in either direction, so to all intents and purposes I might say I am out here all by myself and enjoying the space!
It is amazing how far back I can see.
2,525.4 More snow among the trees.
2,526.5 12:20 Elevation 7,529 feet (0n the GPS) - just before mile post 26 in New Mexico.
2,527.3 Some high mountains to my right now.
2,528.0 The road curves.
2,528.4 7,549 feet and from here the road descends again ... sign for Elk at the side of the road and after coming over that summit the hills are forested with large junipers ... the road is descending through a cutting then I think the road will be crossing another high plain ... snow on the north facing embankment ... on the other side of the valley precipitous cliffs with lots of color in them.
2,532.1 Going down towards Quemado which is on the other side of the valley ... beautiful colored cliffs coming down into the valley.
2,534.8 Entering Quemado.
2,534.9 12:27 - 12:29 Pulled off for a Scenic Historic Marker ... it’s a pretty road looking down - does have a café and a motel and, I guess, there is a school here, and a gas station, but not a lot of things.
2,535.4 12:30-12:32 Pulled off the road again to turn around - nothing coming - Christmas tree made with elk antlers - one picture and turning around again to continue ... some old wooden windmills.
2,540.3 Now starting to see some sagebrush.
2,543.0 Passing Omega - just looks to be some ramshackle buildings with garbage lying around.
The sun is still shining and there is a lot of blue sky, but there are also a lot more clouds around.
Another long, long straight stretch, slightly undulating with mountains to the south of the road. There are also mountains to the east.
Sign: Pie Café on the Great Divide ... I imagine that will probably be at Pie Town
2,549.0 12:45 The road is still going straight and getting closer to the mountains.
2,551.7 The next curve in the road and rising slightly, mountains ahead, also more thickly forested.
I was just thinking about that place called Omega - Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet meaning the end and that little group of hovels certainly looked like “The End”.
Sign: Pie Ahead ... then it is written “Pie-o-neer”.
2,555.0 7,480 feet (GPS).
2,556.5 7,565 feet - quite a lot of snow around again.
2,557.5 Going through Pie Town, 7,729 feet (GPS) - I think that might be crossing the Great or Continental Divide ... Socorro is now only 83 miles.
2,559.4 12:55 Continental Divide 7,796 feet and the GPS is showing 7,769 feet, so not too far off. The road is now going through a more rugged area with mountain peaks and vertical rock cliffs, lots of forest, rocky outcrops - very interesting, especially the formations to the north of the road where there are some bare hills, some rocky hills, some pillars of rock standing vertically by themselves, sagebrush and junipers on a gentle slope leading up to the rocky cliffs.
2,564.0 Some pine trees as well as juniper.
2,564.5 Cibola National Forest.
2,568.7 The road starting to wind through a valley in the mountains ... lots of snow on the ground between the trees on the north facing slopes ... I am glad that the snow fall through which I drove did not last for very long.
2,572.1 Small pond at the side of the road the surface of which is frozen.
2,572.5 Suddenly the hills on the left give way to giant rocks - steep big rocks at the side of the hill - otherwise the hill is smooth, covered in little pebbly rocks and has junipers on it.
2,573.6 Passing a hill which has bigger rocks on it and rock cliffs sort of spiraling around it to the top.
2,574.5 More big rocks on the hill, protruding from it, steep, vertical and some of it standing alone.
2,576.0 Leaving Cibola National Forest ... still a lot of pine trees to the right of the road.
2,578.3 Water in a stream is frozen.
2,578.9 1:12 Entering Datil - not much here, a few houses and a gas station ... Socorro is now only 61 miles.
2,579.6 There is a high mountain range ahead, although at the moment the road looks as if it is going to be fairly flat and straight for quite some distance.
Sign: Watch For Snow Ploughs ... I don’t think I have to worry about that today!
2,581.0 Yes, the road looks as if it will be going straight for miles.
2,582.5 I am pretty much leaving the junipers behind - grasslands and very small sagebrush - not much else. In fact sometimes not even grass.
2,586.0 Still up at over 7,000 feet as the road crosses this fairly flat valley between the two mountain ranges - I don’t think that I am quite at the middle of the valley yet.
Another Nebraska car going west!
2,589.1 Passing a modest ranch house, which looks neat and tidy.
For some distance I have been seeing something and wondering what it is, whether windmills or trees, and now I am getting closer I see that it is numerous dishes, like radio telescopes capturing information from outer space or what? I hope that there will be a sign when I get there.
2,590.5 I think I am about half way between the two mountain ranges and the elevation is 6,916 feet.
There are over twenty-two of these big dishes to the right of the road and they are all pointing towards the mountains ahead - I will stop ahead at the historical marker.
2,592.4 1:24 - 1:31 National Radio Astronomy Observatory, but I may stop again shortly to get one more picture of the dishes.
2,592.8 1:32 - 1:34 Stopping briefly for another picture.
2,593.7 Sand dunes - not high ones, but just little hillocks which are very sandy ... and there is a little more traffic on the road now than there was earlier/
2,594.8 Passing the turnoff for NM-52, a road which might take you to the Astronomy Observatory - I think it is about 4 miles into it.
I am still on the same stretch of straight road, and still going through sand dunes - this is definitely a sand dune area.
2,598.5 The road seems to be past the sand dunes and there are larger sagebrush bushes on each side of the road, though not very large on the other sides of the fences. The road appears to be going straight for a mountain range ... looking at the map on the GPS I think the road may finish up going to the north of this range.
2,602.0 Roadside picnic tables.
2,603.1 End of straight stretch and the road curves to the northeast ... after the curve the road goes into hills which are covered with juniper, then it goes down and there are more roadside tables.
2,605.8 I am turning around briefly.
2,606.0 1:46 - 1:49 Turning into where the roadside table are ... a very interesting Historical Marker about the Magdalena Livestock Driveway.
I am pretty sure that the road will be going north of the mountain range ... the highest point on the mountain range is above the tree line.
2,611.5 An actual cutting which has been made for the road to go through, rather than around or over.
On the outskirts of Historic Magdalena, and there are a few pueblo-style houses.
2,614.5 Entering Magdalena, elevation 6,548 feet.
2,614.9 1:58 Leaving from an Historical Marker after a picture ... there is a Wells Fargo Bank here, and another old building which looks as if it might be getting restored.
2,615.8 2:01 - 2:02 Stopped for another Historical Marker ... this is still in Magdalena. Some of the houses look very depressed, rather sad to see.
2,618.2 Another sign for elk.
2,618.7 The road goes to the north of the mountain range that I was approaching, the highest peak being South Baldy, elevation 10,783 feet ... and just before I go around a bend at that mileage there is a range of mountains to my left, another one on the other side of the valley to the north, another one to the east, so there are many mountain ranges separated by broad valleys.
Now the slopes have yuccas and cholla cacti on them ... the road is going south southeast approximately
2,618.7 The start of a long stretch across the valley again ... to my left there has been a gravel road at one time - I am going to come back to this story because at........
2,625.2 The road is curving around to the right, so is the end of that straight stretch.
........there has been a gravel road at one time and wherever there has been a stream or a wash there have been bridges which are no longer there, but the supports are still visible.
The Magdalena Mountains are the range towards which I drove then wnt to the north of.
2,626.8 2:17 Leaving the Historical Marker about the Magdalena Mountains.
Interesting - it looks as if I am OFF ROUTE at the moment, judging by where the circle and arrow is on the GPS, so I am thinking that this road must have been rebuilt at some time and the GPS developers are using old maps for the CD!
2,631.8 The road is now winding around through foothills of mountain ranges.
2,632.1 Start of a long descent down through a valley ... this road has a very good surface, but it has to have been rerouted judging by the GPS ... I am certainly in foothills or mountains and away from the plain that went off to the east when I stopped for the last Historical Marker.<.td>
2,634.4 The very rocky hillside to my left is a lot of black rock and looks almost lave type.
2,635.3 Huge rock to the right of the road and the road is still winding around and going up and down hill. I can see to the left the supports for what at one time was a bridge over a dry creek bed, and maybe what looks to be the old road.
2,636.1 Lots of rocky outcrops and there are cuttings as well for the road to pass through - different colors of rock.
It shouldn’t be long now before I can see traffic on the Interstate.
It’s a very long time since that other road was there just looking at where the bridges used to be.
2,639.4 The road is turning north and this will go back to where it is supposed to be to join the Interstate along which I can now see traffic moving..
2,641.1 The junction with where I should have come out on that highway.
2,641.3 2:31 - 2:33 I am pulling up for an Historical Marker for Socorro. I will be leaving US-60 at the Interstate because I need to go south to US-380 in order to continue my trip to Roswell where I hope to stay tonight.
2,643.4 2:38 Start of the ramp for entering I-25 South and I will only be on the Interstate for about 8 miles.
2,643.7 2:38 On I-25. I have previously done this section of the Interstate as well as US-380 as far as Carrizozo with Mart in 1999.
2,651.7 2:44 Leaving I-25 at Exit-139 for US-380 East to San Antonio and Carrizozo.
2,652.7 2:47 Pulling out from an Historical Marker just as I was about to enter San Antonio, a town with a lot of adobe ruins.
2,654.0 2:55 - 3:06 GAS - San Antonio, NM - $1.699/gal.- 11.772 gals. - $20.00
The gas pump in San Antonio was so old you could not tell how many gallons were being pumped. After arriving home I used a calculator to arrive at 11.77163 gallons!
I came back into San Antonio to get gas at a very old gas station where the pump didn’t work very well. Incidentally the gas light came on just as I pulled in here.
2,654.1 I am turning off on NM-1 South to go to the San Antonio station. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is also down this road - I could wish that I had heard a speaker at N4C Springbrook presentation before passing by this way especially as the sandhill cranes would have been here at this time of the year. Oh well! There’s always another time!
I was actually in search of the San Antonio railway station and other than finding a silo I can’t see any sign of a station, so I am going to turn around.
2,655.7 3:09 Turned around. There is a building on my left which is the old railway station.
2,656.8 3:17 Leaving after a couple of pictures, one of a stone building and one adobe. I have not been able to identify which place might have been Hilton’s birth place ... again a very depressed little town.
Nor did I see the Owl Restaurant ... when I mentioned San Antonio NM to Sam and Jo their first reaction was, “Did you have a green chile cheeseburger at the Owl Restaurant?”
2,657.5 3:19 The junction with US-380, Carrizozo 64 miles, Roswell 153 miles and Lincoln Historic District is 98 miles.
Cattle grazing to my right.
2,658.1 Two canals with water in them.
2,658.3 Start of the bridge over the Rio Grand River.
2,658.4 Crossing quite a bit of water.
2,658.5 End of the bridge.
2,658.8 3:22 Leaving from the San Pedro Historical Marker.
2,662.1 Crossing more sand dunes, which are higher than the last lot I saw earlier today. These also have rocks mixed up in them as well, so maybe not quite as sandy.
2,666.3 Stopped at a Marker, but left right away again - it was about some people who had something to do with mining!
Yuccas and maybe creosote (that’s the name I have been trying to think of all along).
2,668.0 A small crest and the start of a long straight stretch of road and a broad valley surrounded by mountain ranges.
2,669.4 3:33 - 3:34 Historical Marker for the Trinity Site ... this is right where NM-525 turns south - and two security vehicles with flashing lights went by. An ambulance came up that side road and its lights are flashing also, followed by a fire engine and they are all heading east. I think the ambulance has turned north.
2,673.1 All the vehicles turned north.
Another security vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
2,674.3 Lots of yuccas to the north of the road and I think that I am starting to see some of the black lava rock of the Malpais Lava Beds ahead of me.
2,676.0 In 1,030 miles I am supposed to have the car serviced. However, it will be more than that because I think I still have 1,000 miles to Dallas.
Another security vehicle with his red and blue lights flashing.
2,679.7 Sand dunes, also a picnic table, but no shelter over it to the right.
2,679.9 A picnic table to the left, but it has a bit of a roof over it ... red soil sand dunes.
2,680.4 Another picnic table with a shelter to the right ... you can see all the ripples in the sand from the wind.
End of the dunes and what I thought were the lava beds are hills covered in large shrubs the color of sagebrush - I don’t think they are sagebrush.
2,682.1 A curve in the road - the first curve.
2,684.9 Another curve in the road and the elevation is 5,351 feet ... soon after that another picnic table.
2,686.6 Entering Bingham - one little store and a rock shop!
2,687.3 36 miles to Carrizozo, 56 miles to Capitan.
2,687.7 Another curve in the road - I’ll be getting seasick if there are too many curves! The countryside is also becoming a little hillier and there are junipers on the hillsides again. The cuttings and the surrounding land are a kind of brick red color.
2,689.9 5,633 feet.
2,692.6 Passing a Rest Area, but no facilities, just picnic tables.
2,694.5 6,151 feet ... the road has continued to cross over a fairly high hilly area and I have passed the range of mountains which runs to the south.
2,697.5 6,509 feet as I came over a crest in that range and I got a glimpse of the next broad valley ahead. The crest was followed by a long winding descent.
2,701.0 Still going downhill through foothills, but on the other side is a mountain range. Forward and slightly to the right there is a lot of snow cover.
2,705.4 Still winding down through the hills.
2,706.4 Hundreds of cholla cacti, both sides of the road. Where the cacti started the land flattened out a bit from the hills - there are also yuccas.
2,708.3 Crossing a bridge over a dry creek be the elevation was 5,347 feet which is possibly the lowest point before starting to climb over the next range.
2,709.5 Crossing another dry wash just before starting to climb - elevation 5,318 feet ... there are a number of cattle grazing out to the left ... that was also where the road entered Lincoln County.
2,711.0 Back into the hills.
2,712.5 5,810 feet then going down again.
2,714.0 I can see vehicles moving along the valley, probably on US-54 - way across the other side.
2,714.7 Around another corner as the road goes down and I guess it is Carrizozo out on the plain and between there and where I am now there will be the Malpais Lava Beds.
2,715.5 Driving towards the mountains the highest ones are slightly to the right.
2,716.5 Start of the lava beds - there are a lot of sotol growing in amongst the lava. The last time I was here, in the summer 1999, I was with Mary and took a number of photographs of the various wildflowers blooming. It would be marvelous to see it next month or the month after when the sotol are blooming - there are just so many of them.
Valley of Fires is half a mile - not sure what that is!

From AAA Tour Book
     "Valley of Fires Recreation Area covers 463 acres of mal país - bad country - and was named for an American Indian account of ancient volcanic eruptions creating a valley of fires. The Magma flowed from Little Black Peak 1,500 to 2,000 years ago and covered about 44 miles .. nature trail .. Visitor Center .. tent and RV camping."

2,716.5 Passing the turnoff for the overlook for the lava beds - something to do another time! I really don’t have the time to stop today, otherwise it will be dark before I reach Roswell.
2,720.0 End of the lava beds and now the road is just about flat as it crosses the valley.
2,722.1 4:20 - 4:23 Stopped for Malpais Valley of Fires Historical Marker.
2,722.9 4:24 Entering Carrizozo.
2,723.6 4:25 Crossed over US-54.
2,724.0 Lincoln State Monument 32 miles.
2,724.4 4:29 Leaving from Historical Marker - Carrizozo eastern Town Limit, elevation 5,425 feet. Since leaving Carrizozo I am traveling on what for me is a new road.
2,727.0 Lots of yuccas both sides of the road.
2,728.0 A dozen or more pronghorns to the south of the road. That was a surprise! The road is following a valley traveling east through hills, very high hills to the left, one in particular has a lot of rock protruding from it and the snow capped mountains are to the south
2,732.1 The turnoff to go to Ruidoso - Roswell is now 81 miles and Capitan 12.
2,734.0 Back into hills, lots of juniper covering them and the road winding through them.
2,735.5 Speed limit down to 45 mph for the sharper corners. Also there is snow in among the trees on one of the slopes to my right ... more patches of snow on the north facing slopes ... the road is climbing.
2,736.5 It has reached 6,558 feet and still going up ... snow along the embankment.
2,737.9 Indian Divide, elevation 6,940 feet (GPS - 6,873 feet) and now the road is going downhill.
2,739.0 Sharp curves the next 2 miles (also downhill).
2,740.8 I can see lots of buildings scattered in among the trees from this point - probably I think entering Capitan. The houses in this area seem to be in much better shape, nicer homes and better cared for ... a couple of very big houses on hill tops.
Entering Capitan, elevation 6,350 feet.
4:37 - 4:38 Stopped by Historical Marker for Capitan, also one for Smokey The Bear.
There are actually some beautiful homes here as well as some of the more modest ones.
2,743.7 Start of a tree-lined street, a carved wooden bear at Smokey Bear Restaurant and Motel
2,744.5 Leaving the town and going uphill.
2,745.1 Going down again past rocky headlands to a kind of canyon and there is a stream running through.
2,748.8 Hondo, which is on US-70, is 18 miles and I have been through that part of the road before.
2,750.0 There is a valley to the side of the road, a narrow one with a lot of trees in it, a stream running through it - I think the trees are probably cottonwoods.
2,750.9 Entering Lincoln Historic District, elevation 5,710 feet. The valley is becoming narrower and the road is winding through it at the base of the hills.
2,752.7 Passing a big huge single boulder at the side of the road - people have written all over it.
2,753.0 5:01 Driving in shade part of the time because the sun is getting lower in the sky and I am on the eastern side of the mountains.
2,756.5 5:05 Pulling off for an Historical Marker for Lincoln -

     "Spanish speaking settlers established a town here in the 1850's after the US Army began to control the Mescalero Apaches, first known as Las Placitas del Rio Bonito. The name of the community was changed to Lincoln when Lincoln County was created in 1869."

Old Lincoln Town presents the last escape of Billy The Kid and there is an annual pageant the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August. The Murphy Dollan Store was built in 1874, so these are all historic buildings and the whole town is preserved as an historic place.
2,756.7 I am moving on. There is a dining room and hotel, ruins of another building, some quite attractive buildings, adobe buildings, some pretty old looking ones and Historical Markers all the way through. One would need to be here earlier in the day and prepared to spend some time here as the whole town is full of historic buildings and historical markers.

From AAA Tour Book for New Mexico
     "Lincoln’s main street is lined with adobe houses and commercial structures dating from the lat 19th century, when stock raising, farming, mining and the status of a frontier county seat sustained the village. But Lincoln’s prominence in Billy the Kid lore is by far the town’s most well-known aspect.

     Billy was tried, convicted and sentenced to hang as retribution for a life of rustling and murder, but instead he killed his guards and escaped from Lincoln County Courthouse. Sheriff Pat Garrett tracked him to Fort Sumner, where two shots from his pistol ended the outlaw’s story July 14, 1881."

From AAA Tour Book

     "along the half-mile stretch of town, immortalizes the memory of the 5-day gun battle that was fought in 1878 for the control of the area’s economy. The locale comprises the Tunstall Store Museum, the Montaño Store Museum, the 1887 San Juan Mission, the Old Courthouse Museum and Dr. Wood’s House, a 19th century doctor’s home."

2,757.2 Leaving Lincoln.
2,757.6 Passing another Historical Marker with more information on it.
2,758.4 An interesting building tucked down in the valley - you can just see the roof with triangular shaped windows protruding from it, maybe 5 or 6 windows.
Sometimes you wonder where the road is going to.
2,761.6 The road is taking a turn and going in between more mountains. It’s not really a canyon, but another flat valley between the mountains and there are a number of homes, farms, ranches, horses. There are also a lot of trees in the valley whereas on the slopes there are only junipers
I will soon be coming to the junction with US-70 from Alamogordo ... there is even a cultivated field in the valley now.
Roadwork the next 18 miles. Expect Delays. Monday through Friday ... Good!
2,766.0 A cultivated field in the valley.
2,767.1 5:19 Stop sign at the junction with US-70. After turn onto US-70 the road goes through the town of Hondo.
2,768.9 Orchards to my right and cattle grazing under trees which have no leaves on them at the moment.
2,769.6 Half a dozen deer on a field. Since coming onto US-70 there has been roadwork because the road is being widened to four lanes.
2,773.7 A green field which is being irrigated with the big irrigation system on wheels and it moves in a circular direction and you can see the lines where the wheels go round.
2,774.7 About 10 deer out to my right and just near there is an historic bridge that has a sign by it (I’m not stopping any more because of the lateness of the hour).
2,776.5 A beautiful home set back off the road to the right.
2,776.9 Cholla cacti - quite a lot of them.
2,777.7 More cultivated fields ... the valley may not be very wide, bounded by bare rocky hills on both sides, but the people living here are making good use of it, sometimes cattle and maybe some of the planted fields are hay for the cattle.
2,780.0 There is still a lot of work to be done for the building of the road, a lot of blasting needs to be done back into the left hand side.
2,782.0 Entering Riverside - there doesn’t appear to be much here - a couple of buildings and it looks as if the road is more or less finished - four lanes with a median strip in the middle - the median is paved and just has a yellow line on each side of it.
2,783.0 4,701 feet and the road is climbing, going up over a range and I might even get into some sunshine momentarily!
2,784.9 5,039 feet - elevation of the summit.
2,785.0 5:40 End of roadwork and start of divided highway - 65 mph - and it is 32 minutes to Roswell, 28 miles.
2,786.5 A brief moment in the sun before it sinks behind the mountains.
2,789.0 24 miles before Roswell, I have plugged in Mike’s and Meryl’s address so I could get an idea of how far it is to their place, so according to this the GPS wants me to go to US-82 - 532 miles and 9¼ hours. It looks to be pretty much the way I was intending to go.
2,792.0 Quite an interesting strata in the cutting on the right hand side there - sort of wavy with gray rocks, then a layer of yellowish clay, then more rocks. The sunset probably wont be much tonight as there are few clouds in the sky.
2,796.0 Now, after coming out of the hills, the road is crossing rolling country.
2,796.9 Passing some nice picnic tables.
2,799.0 Just before going down another hill I can see in the rear vision mirror that the sunset is a little better than I had anticipated, though still nothing spectacular.
2,799.0 Just before going down another hill I can see in the rear vision mirror that the sunset is a little better than I had anticipated, though still nothing spectacular.
2,799.8 A lot of black cattle grazing out to the right - they seem to be in groups, one here and a little further along another group and ahead is a third group.
2,800.4 Just before the third group there are also some pronghorns grazing. It is getting a little hard to see them now as it is starting to get dark. It doesn’t take long in the winter once the sun has set.
2,803.5 10 miles to Roswell - haven’t yet been able to see any of the pecan trees - I know there are many of these in this area.
2,809.0 5 miles to Roswell, but now I am starting to see a number of houses and they seem to be somewhat closer than they are in the country, though still on larger lots.
2,809.4_ Over a hill and the lights of the city lie before me ... the lights are really spread out.
2,811.5 On the outskirts of Roswell.
2,811.6 Entering Roswell, pop. 45,293 and elev. 3,570 feet ... it is not completely dark and I can still see a little. Most of the motels seem to be off this route and I will keep going ahead to see if I can find something. I think that I will follow US-380 through town and maybe there will be something on the other side, otherwise I will come back.
2,815.4 6:11 Stopped at a traffic light at Main Street which is also US-285 to Artesia and on to Carlsbad.
It looks as if all the motels are back on the other side of town! I will have to find somewhere to turn around. I thought there would have been motels in the east as well as the west.
2,816.9 6:16 Welcome to Roswell, Dairy Capital of the Southeast - this is where I turned around.
2,819.3 6:23 Stopped at the Crane Motel.
2,820.0 6:28 Checked in Crane Motel, Roswell (Room 12). According to my GPS I had 505 miles to go to friends in Euless, Texas..

The day’s total - 540 miles
Trip Total - 2,820 miles

Day 13 - Friday, February 20 - Roswell, NM to Euless, TX

2,820.0 7:15 Leave Crane Motel, Roswell (Room 12) . I could have left earlier except when I put my things in the car there was glass from a broken bottle over the pavement behind my car. I went to the office to have it cleaned up so I could back out. The lady in the office tried to hand me a broom to sweep up the glass. When I refused to take the broom she told me I would have to wait till she put on shoes!
I have turned down Main Street to get something to eat and have just passed a lovely Courthouse.
2,821.0 7:19 - 7:25 McDonald’s for breakfast ($2.97).
2,821.4 Passing the Roswell Pioneer Plaza - a park, has an Historical Marker and some statues.
2,821.6 7:28 Turned onto US-380 East.
2,823.7 Am on the outskirts of town and already there are flat fields to my right, some with green grass and cattle grazing.
2,824.2 A young orchard to my right, I suspect pecan trees, and there are bigger trees further back off the road.
The sky id pretty well clouded over this morning although there are a few patches of blue, the sun is already up.
This is the most flat country I have seen since before arriving in Mesa, Arizona, that is between Tucson and Phoenix. There is no sign of any mountains now, nor will there be for the remainder of my trip.
2,828.6 Approaching a hill which almost has badland-type erosion on the face of it.
2,829.0 Crossing the Pecos River which has some water in it - not nearly as impressive here as my last crossing of the Pecos River!
2,832.1 78 miles to the State Line.
After coming to the top of the hill the land is just gently rolling prairie as far as you can see.
2,834.8 Passing a house off to my right, one lonely ranch, the only house I can see anywhere around.
2,839.5 The ground cover or plants are getting larger than they were further back.
2,840.9 A number of oil drilling pumps scattered on both sides of the road, more than I can count. There are also the collection tanks.
2,841.6 A higher point, where the oil pumps are - elevation 3,759 feet - and from there the road is going down a bit and it is a long straight ahead stretch of road.
2,845.3 More oil pumps both sides of the road ... the straight road just kepps going on and on and on.
2,856.6 3,397 feet and the latitude is 33°25'08" - the longitude, of course, will change constantly.
2,860.4 Passing the turnoff for Mescalero Sands (according to the AAA map the road crosses the Mescalero Sands) and looking down to my right I can see sand dunes.
2,860.8 A lot of cattle grazing to the left.
2,861.4 Now the road is crossing sand dunes, which are on both sides of the road.
2,862.9 Maybe this is the end of the sand dunes.
2,863.6 There is a curve in the road then it goes straight again. At the curve the latitude is 33°25'04" and it was 4,078 feet elevation.
There is some blue sky to be seen, but currently the sun is hiding behind darker clouds - some rays are pushing through little holes.
2,866.8 A lot of horses to my left.
2,867.2 Another curve in the road.
2,867.5 Cattle grazing to the right ... cholla cacti are the tallest things on the landscape.
2,870.2 Little heaps all over the left hand side where people have been clearing the land of the cholla cacti and have them piled in little heaps.
2,873.7 Another area of oil pumps both sides of the road ... I can also see one of the big irrigation pipe lines to my right in the distance. This is a more extensive area of pumps and they extend a long way back from the road on both sides and I am still seeing them ahead of me plus there are far more collection tanks.
2,878.1 Maybe the last of that group of pumps.
2,883.1 A few more pumps scattered across the landscape.
2,887.8 A large bird nest on a pole to my right. Actually there have been several along the route - I’m not sure how the birds manage to fix them except that occasionally there is an extra piece of wood jutting out from the pole.
2,888.9 A lot of cattle grazing to the left and there even appears to be green grass.
2,892.1 Police and habitation ahead.
2,893.7 Entering a town.
2,895.0 8:35 - 8:38 Pulled off the road in Tatum, El. 4,000 feet as I needed to change the batteries in my tape recorder.
As I drive through town I am noticing that they have a lot of metal art work, birds, animals, windmills. There are also a number of boarded-up houses, ghost town type places, although there are some people living here. Also driving through the town there is metal art work attached to the light posts, and the first one is “Welcome to Tatum, New Mexico” - for me it is the last one!
2,899.2 Passing Poor Boys Metal Art - here someone is making much larger cutouts.
2,899.6 A picnic area with about half a dozen tables ... the plains here are pretty bare, although you can see a few houses, a long way apart, and I see another oil pump.
2,903.9 Turned around momentarily.
2,904.1 8:49 - 8:52 Stopped to take a picture of what was once someone’s homestead. A few trees and the foundations are all that are left!
2,905.1 More oil pumps and tanks and while I was taking that picture, a tanker turned into where one of the collection tank was presumably to pick up the stored oil.
2,909.4 More oil pumps, much bigger ones, also more collection tanks both sides of the road.
2,910.5 A large drilling rig.
2,911.0 8:59 The New Mexico/Texas State Line and there are a few derelict buildings here on the border and, maybe, a couple of homes where people are living. This is also where I enter the Central Time Zone, making the time now 9:59. I still have 416 miles to go and according to the GPS 7 hours and 13 minutes, so when I told Marg I would be there around 6 o’clock, I was about right.
The flat country which I have been crossing since the border appears to be cultivated and there are large sprinkler systems at various places.
2,917.9 More oil pumps and I have the feeling I will continue to see these during my drive this morning - this is a very extensive oil pumping area.
Well, there is a lot more blue sky and I am driving in sunshine - have been for a while now.
There must be hundreds of those pumps throughout this area.
2,925.4 Welcome to Plains, Home of The Cowboys and Cowgirls - and the pumps are all the way into town. There is a large school plus high school here in Plains which must serve the area.
There doesn’t appear to be any oil pumps on the east side of Plains and having said that, at
2,929.1 there is a big one to my left.
2,931.1 The soil of a ............ I think I am going to turn around for a moment! I notice that there is a lot of cotton caught on the side of the road.
2,931.1 Turned around.
2,931.6 10:18-10:23 Red soil pictures.
2,932.4 Passing a circular field which has a big irrigation system there. These fields must be used for growing cotton because of the little puffs of cotton caught in the weeds along the shoulder of the road.
I did notice whilst I was out of the car that the red soil seems to be quite sandy.
2,934.9 More oil pumps, so you might say that this area produces both white and black gold!.
Farmers are out ploughing their fields.
2,940.3 The irrigation system is actually working, a very fine spray coming from all the pipes which hang down from the main pipe, so I assume the planting has already been accomplished here.
2,941.9 10:33 Entering Tokio - it doesn’t look as if anyone lives here now - the whole town looks to be a ghost town.
10:34 Leaving after stopping to read the Historical Marker about the school which used to be here, but did not take a picture.
2,942.9 There looks to be a small line of sand dunes and prairie flora are growing on them.
I am now driving due east at latitude 33°10'58". The traffic along this route is minimal and mostly cars of Texas, that is local.
2,947.6 Just passed a house where people have put in some effort to making it look beautiful on the outside. I was just thinking that this is a road seldom traveled by tourists. Besides being US-380, it is also US-82 and the GPS has me routed along US-82 into Lubbock where I would join up with US-84, but it is my plan to continue east on US-380 until I meet US-84.
2,949.9 Still passing fields where cotton is grown, but the soil is not quite as red now as it was further back.
2,950.9 A farmer is out working his field and, because of the wind, is creating a lot of dust across the road. The soil looks to be very sandy.
The year when LP and I went to Big Bend National Park, we drove south from Amarillo, through Lubbock, then on US-82 to Brownfield and continued south from there through Seminole and onto Odessa. I will be crossing that route.
2,953.7 Entering Gomez - just a church here!
2,954.1 10:43 - 10:48 Historical Marker for Gomez - two pictures, one of the Marker and one of the surrounding countryside. After that I changed the CF card in my camera because that was the end of # 2 and I have replaced it with # 3.
2,955.9 Still on latitude 33°10'52" and the elevation is 3,280 feet ... there are large elevators as I approach Brownfield.
2,958.8 10:53 Entering Brownfield, pop. 9,488.
2,959.4 Start of a brick-paved street.
2,959.5 Passing the County Courthouse.
2,959.6 End of the brick paving.
2,959.8 The junction with US-62 ... have turned north with US-82 and US-380, but hopefully US-382 will turn off shortly.
2,960.0 10:55 Turned off with US-380 East. Now the GPS shows I am OF ROUTE! It was 372 miles when it started to recalculate!
2,961.0 Post, where I will be joining US-84, is 51 miles.
2,961.6 I am just about on the outskirts of Brownfield - it is very sandy at the side of the road.
2,962.9 Vineyards both sides of the road, this in addition to the cotton fields.
2,964.9 11:01 Turned around because I saw a flock of birds in the air and I wasn’t sure what they were. Now I see some on the ground and recognize them as sandhill cranes.
11:07 Leaving to continue east. That was exciting! There must be something else besides cotton grown there. Why else would the cranes be in there feeding?
2,968.9 Cattle grazing to the left; also there is a sign: Watch Out For Water. Actually there have been a number such signs along the route particularly when the road seems to be a bit lower.
2,970.3 Passing a nice picnic area - three sets of tables and there have also been some trees planted at this one..
2,974.4 11:15 41 miles to Post, 15 miles to Tahoka. Also at this point there is an orchard - I don’t know what they are - they don’t look like nut trees but then again maybe they are. There is also a very nice house at the farm where the orchard is.
GPS is not making any recalculations - just leaving it at 372 miles. US-380 does not appear on the GPS map!
2,976.7 Two more abandoned houses, one on each side of the road.
2,977.9 A big cloud of dust to the left where a farmer is ploughing his field ... on the right is all the stubble from the previous crop and at .........
2,977.9 There is a sand dune at the edge of the field on the right and after that the land has little shrubs all over it as if it has never been cleared, maybe creosote or mesquite. It is interesting that the land to the left is all cultivated whilst that to the right hasn’t been cleared.
2,980.3 Uncleared land both sides of the road.
2,981.4 Back to cultivated fields both sides, that on the right is being done in strips with bits of grass being left in between each strip.
2,981.9 An abandoned house out to the left.
2,982.4 More uncleared land.
2,984.0 Cattle to the left.
2,984.9 Cultivated land both sides of the road and it looks as if it continues all the way into the little town ahead. This is a very good road, so I don’t know why one would go all the way up to Lubbock and back! I am surprised that the GPS doesn’t at least have all the US highways. Yes, the ploughed fields go right to the buildings of the town.
2,987.9 11:28 Entering Tahoka, pop. 2,910. This looks like a much nicer little town with quite attractive homes, not pretentious, and landscaped and well cared for.
2,990.0 11:31 - 11:56 GAS - Tahoka, TX (also a rest stop and a subway sandwich)
- $1.499;/gal. - 16.012 gals. - $24.00


     The gas pump did not accept my credit card and I was informed to see the cashier. She told me they were having trouble with the card reader due to the previous day’s dust storm! Later, when I was having my lunch at the Rest Stop a worker asked me if I was traveling from Lubbock and told me about the dust storm which had occurred between there and Post (the point at which I had joined US-84) and had caused an eighteen car pile-up in which two people were killed!

2,990.0 The junction with US-87 which is a divided highway going south, and north.
2,990.1 The north exit. From here US-80 is now showing up on the map and has me going that way with a mileage of 320, which is 52 less than going the other way, and less than 5½ hours.
2,990.8 Passing an abandoned house, which would have been a rather nice home at one time. Also Post is only 26 miles..
2,991.3 Another abandoned house.
2,993.0 Another abandoned house. I wonder where everyone lives now!
2,994.1 Finally a house where someone is living. Every time there is a dip in the road there is a sign: “Watch For Water”.
2,996.0 Another house where somebody is living.
2,996.7 A sign: Texas Plains Trail.
2,997.6 The Texas Plains Trail turns off, and there seems to be a number of houses where people are still living.
2,999.3 Cotton fields both sides of the road and almost right up to the shoulder, no fences, and some fields have been ploughed ready for a new crop, others still have the stubble from the old plants, but there is no doubt that they have been cotton fields because of the little puffs of cotton scattered along the road.
3,002.8 House, not only abandoned, but also tumbling down. This would be an interesting route to travel in the fall about the time when all the cotton is being picked. The plantations are huge, and with it coming right up to the roadside, it would look very pretty to see.
3,006.0 Some working oil pumps to the north of the road, also collection tanks.
3,007.3 Passing two very attractive houses, close together, with a large elevator situated between them and surrounded by evergreen trees\.
3,007.6 Another house, this one on the north side of the road, also with evergreens around it for a windbreak.
3,011.3 12:15 The road divides and becomes four lanes.
3,012.0 2,811 feet - the top of a hill, and as we come down from a high area and there’s kind of bluffs overlooking the valley.
3,013.8 12:17 3,708 feet - entering Post and there are working oil pumps within the city limits. This is where I will be leaving US-380 for US-84.
3,014.7 Stopped outside the high school in Post and all traffic has to turn to the right for a detour, all trucks that is.
3,015.0 12:19 Turned onto US-84 and the distance now to my destination is 295 miles (by my calculations a saving of only 23 miles by not going to Lubbock).
Rolling, uncultivated land with bluffs to the west, oil pumps here, there and everywhere - quite a rugged area away from all the cultivation.
3,018.1 Heaps of rock which have collapsed as the softer soil beneath has eroded away.
US-84 is a four-lane divided road.
3,024.3 Passing a picnic area. The road is going in a more or less southeasterly direction and there are a number of hills or higher lands which have flat mesa tops.
3,025.4 Looking out to my right there is a very big mesa which has a lot of windmills on it capturing the wind for generation of power.
3,025.7 The mesa in front of me has a lot of windmills on it as well, so many in both locations it is impossible to count them.
3,029.6 Entering Justiceburg, where I crossed the Mountain Fork of the Brazos River and I am still approaching all the windmills on the bluffs ahead There is a railway line to the right running parallel with the road ... a church, and maybe a store along the road..
3,030.3 Sweetwater is 68 miles.
3,032.7 The road is veering to the right and will be going near the base of the bluffs and closer to the windmills.
3,036.0 The bluffs and the windmills are on my right.
3,036.6 More oil pumps to the left and ahead.
3,039.5 Starting to pass the eastern end of the bluffs.
3,041.0 Passing the last of the windmills.
3,043.0 Now, and since the end of the windmills, I have already seen three squished skunks on the road.
3,045.7 Passing a picnic area.
3,047.9 As I am entering Dermott there is a lot of cotton at the side of the road so I am thinking I must be back where there are cotton fields in the area somewhere.
3,049.2 The other side of Dermott - nothing there.
3,053.3 Cultivated fields, oil pumps and uncleared land - quite a mixture.
3,054.0 By-passing Snyder which is 7 miles to the south.
3,055.0 There looks to be an oil refinery to the south.
3,055.2 There is a drilling rig right alongside the road on the left/
3,056.5 Passing two shocking pink houses.
3,057.7 This exit is for Welcome to Snyder - there must be two parts of Snyder, the one that said it was 7 miles to the south and this one which I am passing now. This must be a larger community also because there is a college here.
3,062.0 Passing the exit for US-180, which is a road I could take all the way into Dallas. However, I have decided that I will take I-20 instead, so I have to continue further south yet before joining the Interstate.
3,065.4 Some yucca plants to the right of the road and since leaving Snyder and up to that point there have been some pretty poor homes with a lot of mess around them.
3,068.0 Cultivated land both sides of the road - no fences.
There is a lot of cotton grown in Texas and it would not surprise me if more cotton was grown in Texas than in either Mississippi or Arkansas.
I didn’t noted when the roadwork started but it has been a long stretch and at....
3,085.0 It is still continuing, one lane being completely ripped up ready for rebuilding, so there is only one lane open to travel in my direction.
3,086.0 End of roadwork and back to two lanes.
3,088.8 1:22 On the outskirts of Roscoe. I-20 West goes to Big Spring and on to El Paso. US-84 must end here because ahead there is a Y junction and the right lane goes to El Paso and the left lane turns onto I-20 East to Abilene and on to Dallas.
3,092.3 1:25 Junction with I-20 and you come in from the left side of the road.
3,094.5 1:26 I-20 with all its traffic is a bit of a shock after driving across Western Texas with all its wide open space, where I encountered very little traffic. Entering I-20 there is also a sign for Sweetwater City Limit.
3,096.7 Rolling Plains Cotton Cooperative, and there are sacks and sacks, and sacks of, I guess, cotton.
To the right of the road are more than I can count windmills.
3,099.5 Abilene is 40 miles.
3,104.2 A lot of prickly pear in amongst the shrubs growing on uncleared land, both sides of the road.
3,106.0 Now have to my right lots of mesa-topped bluffs with windmills on them.
3,108.1 A high point in the road - 1,963 feet ... the windmills stretch for a long way as I am still going past some.
3,110.4 Exit-256 - What a name! Stink Creek Road.
3,111.0 1:39 Leaving the Interstate at a Rest Area. The location of the Rest Area is in Nolan County which is unincorporated, latitude 32°29'11", longitude 100°12'31" and elevation 1,938 feet.
3,111.0 1:41 - 2:01 Rest Area to eat my sandwich. Whilst eating my lunch a lady here asked me if I got caught in yesterday’s dust storm. When I said, “No” she told me about the huge dust storm between Lubbock and Post in which two people were killed in an eighteen-car pile up. I guess visibility was nil and people either didn’t get out of the way or weren’t able to before the dust was upon them (note at 2990.0). Now, having had my lunch, I am ready to go on my way - 201 miles to go, 3 hours 15 minutes.
The rest room here at this Rest Area was rather lovely - it was all tiled with a mosaic picture plus a border of tiles showing various cattle brands.
3,111.2 2:02 Back on the Interstate - am still passing windmills and there are oil pumps and collection tanks along the way.
3,112.8 The bluffs to the right where the windmills are located are further away now and it is also about the last of the windmills.
Noodle Dome Road - another funny name.
3,129.8 The sky has more or less clouded over completely except for some blue straight ahead in the east.
3,130.5 Green both sides of the road and cattle grazing.
3,131.0 Fort Worth now 160 miles.
3,132.1 Billboards both sides of the road, just a barrage of them - something you don’t get polluting the back country! I didn’t miss seeing them at all!
3,133.3 Abilene City Limit ... also Exit-280 for Dyess Air Force Base - five miles or so back I saw some planes and at the time thought that there had to be an air force base around somewhere!
3,137.7 2:23 Passing Exit-283 is for US-83 and US-177 south.
3,138.3 The north Exit-283B.
3,144.8 Seem to be on the east side of Abilene. From the Interstate there is no indication as to how big or how small the city might be. Since Abilene the countryside is much more thickly populated, at least certainly near the highway. Also the homes are much better looking, that is generally speaking, because then you see one which could use several coats of paint and all garbage cleaned up from around it!
3,162.1 A lot of prickly pear cacti on the embankment and beyond.
3,163.3 The road is crossing a hillier or more rolling area.
3,164.1 Starting a large cutting made for the road.
3,164.5 At a crest in the cutting the elevation was 1,591 feet.
3,167.3 Some cattle grazing in a cleared area and some resting under some trees. There is actually a lot of scrub land at the moment.
3,168.3 An area to the left which has been burned, either to perhaps clear some of the area, or maybe an unwanted fire!
3,170.9 Cleared areas, green with grass, both sides of the road - just saw a hawk on the other side of the road looking down the hill and watching the traffic coming up.
3,177.9 Crossing Cooper Creek and the side road actually goes through the creek bed like a ford and there was a marker at the side of that to show the depth of water.
3,179.7 Some healthy looking cattle grazing in a green field to the right.
3,180.5 More to the left. I haven’t seen any oil pumps for some time now.
3,182.3 Passing a picnic area, no facilities however.
3,187.6 Exit-332 for US-183 I assume that when I am passing an exit number, such as 337 that I am 337 miles from El Paso. I have since checked the map and I-20 does not go to El Paso, but rather ends at its junction with I-10 which goes to El Paso. So Exit-337 is 337 miles from that junction and El Paso is another 184 miles!
3,193.8 Dallas is 130 miles.
3,195.1 An oil pump to the right ... still driving under a mostly cloud covered sky with what blue sky there is straight ahead.
3,198.5 Crossing the Leon River - couldn’t see any water in it - just a river bed full of trees.
3,199.8 Passing the first policeman I have seen in some time, certainly today, with a car stopped at the side of the road, his lights flashing.
Name of the town - Olden - this would be a good place to have some special celebration called “The Olden Days!”.
3,209.6 A hawk to the right. This is generally hilly country, covered in trees, some pine trees or junipers and some deciduous trees. Judging by some of the twigs they may even be live oaks, but I have no idea of what generally grows in this area, but it is all forested.
3,215.2 Top of a crest, El. 1,332 feet and as you come around a corner you can see for some distance and there was a sign for 6% downgrade.
3,216.6 Down in the valley - 1,056 feet ... the little car the policeman had stopped at the side of the road has just gone past me!
3,219.3 Passing another picnic area, though no facilities.
3,221.7 A lovely fenced field, a railing fence, brown grass and cattle grazing to the left.
3,230.9 Roadwork the next 10 miles.
3,242.4 The gas needle has dropped to the halfway point.
3,243.3 3:50 Passing Exit-386 is for US-281 - I believe that highway comes down through Nebraska.
3,244.1 There is no sign up for the end of the roadwork, nor is there any sign that roadwork is in progress.
3,246.6 Passing a Rest Area and the next one is 120 miles, which means that it is on the other side of Dallas.
3,247.4 Speed Limit reduced from 70 mph to 65 mph.
3,249.7 Start of the bridge over the Brazos River and yes, there is some water in it.
3,250.0 End of the bridge.
3,265.3 Lots of motels at Exit-408 and more at Exit-409.
3,268.8 4:10 The traffic is starting to be pretty heavy now. Fort Worth is 26 miles and Dallas 52 miles.
3,272.3 Three lanes begin.
Exit-421 is for I-30 to Downtown Fort Worth. The road comes to a V as I veer off to the left for I-30 to Fort Worth and to the right to continue on I-20 through Dallas and Shreveport.
3,278.8 The road divides and I am taking I-30.
3,280.5 4:22 Fort Worth City Limit.
3,281.9 I can see the skyline of Downtown Fort Worth in the distance ... loads of cars coming out from Downtown.
3,284.4 4:25 Leaving I-30 at Exit-5B for I-820. This is on the fourth level of highway, three above the one at ground level.
3,288.9 Start of the bridge over Lake Worth and Downtown Fort Worth is now to my right - I am looking over the lake to the Downtown skyline.
3,289.5 End of the bridge.
I have just passed the exit for I-35W to Denton and the traffic leaving at that exit was backed up.
3,298.9 4:39 We came underneath it and our traffic isbacked up, too. Even the traffic leaving at Exit-19 is lined up trying to get off the highway.
3,301.4 Exit-19 for the Denton Highway, US-377 and there has been an accident just after that exit. It is no wonder there are fender-benders and so on the way they drive here.
3,302.6 Beginning of roadwork.
I’ve made a mistake and left the highway at the wrong place! And now I have to try to find my way back on again!
3,304.6 4:48 Trying to correct my mistake - currently stopped at a traffic light. It is 68° here.
Well, I think I got back on and am in the right place - Yes, I am.
I am going to stay on TX-121 north rather than going on TX-183.
3,310.3 The road is divided.
3,311.3 4:59 I have left the highway at Harwood Exit. I realize that this is not the way GPS wants me to go, but it will still get me there.
3,312.2 5:00 Stopped at Industrial Blvd.
3,313.3 5:03 Turning onto Euless Main.
3,315.0 5:06 - 5:21 GAS - Euless, TX - $1.579/gal. - 13.299 gals. - $21.00
This was at the corner store just before turning into McCormack Farm. I thought that Marg may not be home from work yet and I needed a rest stop, plus I thought that if I got gas now I would not have to get it when I left Monday.
3,315.3 5:25 Arrive at my destination to find Marg at home. Mac arrived a little later. We had fish grilled on the barbecue for supper.

The day’s total - 495 miles
Trip Total - 3,315 miles

Day 14 - Saturday, February 21 - Euless, TX

3,315.3 My car stayed in the driveway!
Mac was out for the day, having taken the dogs, Cooter and Aussie, for a training session. Marg and I went to Fort Worth to visit the Central Market grocery store which had an excellent array of fresh produce, also a great selection of Australian wines as well as wines from other countries.. We bought our lunch at the store and sat in the sun outside to eat it. She had not been there before and knew I liked looking around in stores that had a wide variety of food items.
Mac barbecued fillet mignons for supper and we enjoyed the bottle of red wine I had bought, one from the Coonawarra area in South Australia.
After dinner Marg and I played cribbage.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Trip Total - 3,315 miles

Day 15 - Sunday, February 22 - Euless, TX

3,315.3 Again my car remained in the driveway all day.
Today I went with Mac and Marg on a drive south of the Metroplex, mainly to look at the area and get an idea of some of the acreages that were for sale.
We had ettoufe made with wild goose for supper. (For breakfast we had tortilla wraps with scrambled eggs and sausage made from deer meat - very good).

The day’s total - 0 miles
Trip Total - 3,315 miles

Day 16 - Monday, February 23 - Euless, TX to Memphis, TN

3,315.3 6:33 Leave for the last leg of my trip back to Memphis. I had breakfast with Marg before I left and before she left for work. I am really getting a good early start - it is still dark, but there is a slight glow in the eastern sky, so it shouldn’t be too long before sunup
6:36 Pulling out onto Mid Cities Blvd. I had stopped briefly to set the GPS for home.
496 miles, 7 hours and 48 minutes.
3,334.2 7:00 Skyline of Dallas immediately ahead and I am quite close to it now.
3,336.4 7:03 Leaving TX-183 for I-30 to Texarkana.
3,342.0 7:08 I am east of the Downtown area now and the sky is becoming quite light, though there is a lot of cloud and the traffic has diminished somewhat; all the lanes going into the city are full.
I don’t know what the traffic would have been like later because Marg suggested that I leave at the same time as her so as to avoid the morning traffic. Well, it was very heavy in parts and stop and go slowly especially coming into Dallas and I am still seeing roads which are chockablock full. So, if I left to miss the traffic I am wondering what it would be like later!
3,354.7 7:20 Starting to cross the Ray Hubbard Reservoir - large flocks of ducks or geese flying south just ahead of me. There are thousands of them, just a constant stream, so many I can’t even count how many V formations there are. They looked more like ducks than geese
3,358.5 7:24 of crossing the water.
3,372.2 7:36 Speed increased to 70 mph. It is daylight now, but too cloudy to have seen the sunrise.
3,382.1 7:44 Entering Greenville ... I-30 is also US-67, which joined in after I left the center of Dallas. Out driving with Mac and Marg yesterday we were also on US-67 for a bit and I have also been on this particular highway in Arkansas and Missouri.
3,388.9 Crossing the Sabine River.
3,399.0 A hawk watching the road. I often wonder what hawks are thinking about as they as they survey the passing traffic and I just had a very funny thought - they usually sit motionless watching for prey upon which they can swoop down quickly, but the objects moving along the road are a bit large for them to tackle!
Yesterday when out with Mac and Marg driving around south of the Metroplex I saw many hawks.
The countryside remains fairly dreary with leafless mesquite, live oak trees - the grass, however, for the most part brown, is starting to look a little greener.
3,414.3 8:10 Sulphur Springs City Limit - 53°.
3,418.9 Passing a plant on the left - Ocean Spray Cranberries
3,423.7 A lot of cattle grazing to the left.
3,423.9 Passing a huge home - it had something like Villa Maria on the gateway - a very beautiful place (a big mansion).
3,426.9 A hawk sitting high up in a live oak tree ... live oaks are very interesting with all their twisted twigs and I guess, from talking with Mac and Marg, that most of the trees up to about 15 feet are mesquite. They don’t know anything about creosote.
3,433.8 Rainbow Ranch to the left has a lot of cattle, both near the road and far back into the fields.
3,437.3 Exit for a Rest Area, the first one since leaving Dallas.
3,437.9 Daffodils in flower by the entrance to the highway from the Rest Area.
3,444.5 A big warehouse to the left of the road with the name of Lowe’s on it - probably Lowe’s Distribution Center.
3,444.7 A lot of daffodils in flower along the fence line on the right.
3,452.7 A small cemetery virtually at the side of the Interstate - quite small.
3,454.4 8:42 Exit-60 where US-67 and US-271 leave the Interstate.
3,468.3 The road is elevated above the surrounding countryside, which in addition to being forested is also marshy.
3,472.0 A lot of dams or lakes both sides of the road.
3,474.5 The median is full of pine trees as well as the right hand side of the road.
3,475.6 Start of the bridge over the Sulphur River.
3,476.0 End of the bridge, and immediately back into fairly heavily forested area, pine trees both sides of the road, including the median.
3,476.7 End of the pine trees in the median.
3,477.2 The pine trees on the right give way to mixed forest.
3,483.8 Suddenly it is a little brighter, the clouds not quite as thick or as heavy. The sun, however, still has not penetrated the clouds.
3,485.4 Passing the exit for a Rest Area.
3,486.0 The sun is pushing through the cloud cover a little and creating shadows of the vehicles in front of me. The sun did not last for long, but is still struggling to push through the clouds.
3,500.1 A young pine forest to the right, one which I think has been planted and it continues all the way to Exit-206.
3,501.0 9:19 Exit-206.
3,513.5 Looking at the GPS there is a very winding river north of the Interstate and it joins into another river which I will be crossing a little further down the road.
3,514.5 Texarkana the next 6 exits and the speed is reduced to 60 mph.
3,515.8 A lot of work being done to the left and the soil is a deep orange.
3,518.9 9:34 Leaving the highway at Exit-223A ... I have just realized that I-30 western terminus is just west of Fort Worth at the V where I-20 divides.
I have left the highway because I need to use washroom facilities and since it is 297 miles to Memphis I might get gas here as well.
3,519.5 9:37 - 9:55 McDonald’s, Texarkana, AR - sat in car eating whilst looking at the map and I decided to get gas before continuing on.
3,520.0 9:57 - 10:01 GAS - Texarkana, AR - $1.539/gal. - 7.799 gals. - $12.00
Well, that was interesting. I have done over 200 miles and the gas tank would only take 8 gallons!
3,520.4 10:02 Back on the Interstate, and I think that road must have been right at the State Line because I am now in Arkansas.
3,522.1 10:03 Passing Exit-2. Since returning to the highway there is a lot of blue sky and the sun is shining.
3,531.5 A small body of water to the left of the road and an egret nearby, and on the opposite side of the road a hawk on a fence post.
3,532.2 Another hawk. Actually I have seen several which I didn’t even mention. I have just passed another one - obviously there are a lot of hawks around.
3,536.0 A large field of green grass to the right and big irrigation sprinklers on wheels.
3,537.0 To my right is a double pipeline, possibly gas or oil, elevated for a bridge, then it comes back down to ground level. This is over the Red River.
3,537.3 10:16 Starting the bridge over the Red River.
3,537.5 The end of the bridge. Back at ground level the pipe lines continue underground.
The speed signs in Texas were 70 mph and below that 65 mph at night and now here in Arkansas the signs have 70 mph and underneath 65 mph for trucks!
3,542.6 Back into pine trees in the median and on both sides of the road.
3,549.0 Hope, Birthplace of Bill Clinton, the next 2 exits.
There certainly are a lot of hawks around - I wonder if there are as many back from the road which can’t be seen!
3,560.5 Cattle ... the is a bit of mistletoe, although there doesn’t seem to be as much mistletoe here as what I saw in Texas.
3,575.8 10:46 Little Rock 83 miles.
3,581.7 A planted young pine forest to the left of the road.
3,596.4 The start of what seems to be some rolling country and I am going downhill at the moment, maybe into a valley, but I’m pretty sure that Hot Springs is in a hilly area. The elevation at this point is shown as 206 feet. (I think it has to be 1,206 feet!)
3,598.7 Starting to cross the Caddo River and just after this I will be leaving the highway at Exit-78 and the distance to Memphis is 3 hours and 33 minutes - 219 miles.
3,599.2 11:05 Leaving I-30 at Exit-78 for AR-7, and the GPS is indicating that I am OFF ROUTE and that will continue for the next ......... whatever!
3,599.7 Hot Springs National Park is 29 miles.
3,600.8 Pine trees are all that there is to see at the moment, with the odd break here and there for a home.
3,601.5 Entering De Gray Lake.
3,602.2 The turnoff for the spillway at De Gray Lake and, yes, I am into hilly country, maybe not very high hills, but at ...........
3,603.2 I am entering a cutting.
3,603.5 The start of the dam wall for De Gray Lake, a rather large lake which extends a long way to my left - a rather beautiful spot.
3,604.5 End of the dam wall. Since the dam wall the road has wound round quite a lot.
3,606.3 Passing some farms. I am the third one back of six vehicles following a motor home which is moving along at about 30 mph.
3,607.4 How nice! He pulled over at the first opportunity to let everyone go by and in the meantime about 3 more cars had joined the long line.
3,609.3 A lot of daffodils in flower at a place on the left, and the hills are becoming bigger. It is fairly heavily settled along this road.
3,611.0 El. 462 feet just as entering Bismarck (maybe the 206 feet near the Caddo River was right, because studying the map I see there is a Blue Mountain, El. 2,300 feet in the Ouachita Mountains, and the highest point, Magazine Mountain, El. 2,753 feet).
3,611.5 A cemetery, without a fence, right alongside the road.
It should look very pretty here in another month or so when the trees get their leaves.
There are also places which are ranches.
AR-7 has a very good road surface.
3,616.8 Although forested the hills look to be very rocky now and the trees are a little sparser.
3,621.4 GPS shows AR-7 crossing another large lake.
3,623.5 Going through the Community of Lake Hamilton.
3,624.2 11:35 First view of the water of Lake Hamilton.
3,624.6 Starting to cross the lake - there looks to be lots of condos, cottages and wharfs, fishing areas.
3,625.0 End of crossing that part of the lake.
3,625.3 The road crosses another part of the lake.
3,625.6 Over the lake. There are also lots of motels.

From AAA Tour Book

     "Entering Hot Springs, pop. 35,750 and the elevation is 632 feet."

From AAA Tour Book
     "Elevations in Hot Springs National Park range from 600 feet at the corner of Central and Reserve Avenues ro 1,420 feet at Music Mountain."

3,626.0 11:37 Hot Springs - car dealerships, shopping malls, all kinds of stores, restaurants, motels. It is certainly a busy area.
3,629.1 It is 3 miles to the Visitor Center for Hot Springs National Park ... I am driving along the main street through Hot Springs, Arkansas.
3,629.5 Must be some race course or an Arena because there was a statue of a jockey and on the wall there was a mural of what looked like a horse race.
3,629.9 Yes it is a race course - I can see it now.
Bumper sticker: “Marriage is an institution, but I’m not ready for an institution yet!”
3,630.5 Getting into what might be an older part of the town.
3,631.0 There are some very large church buildings just ahead of me - some beautiful architecture ... Central Baptist Church one of them.
3,631.3 The old original part of town with some lovely old brick buildings.
I am wondering if the big building out to my right is a hotel. It is a very impressive light-colored brick building. I don’t think that it is a church building.
Sign: “Welcome to Hot Springs, Home Town of Bill Clinton”.
What an interesting town! There are some very interesting buildings.
3,632.0 Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa, and there’s a rock wall out to my left ... I’m driving through the historic downtown area.
3,632.3 Away from the historic area ... There was a turn off for the National Park East Mountain and one for West Mountain and I think that I have probably missed the National Park.
3,632.9 Some magnificent old homes.
3,633.5 Out of town but there are still some buildings. I was looking for 70 and I should have been looking for US-70B. I missed it so am going to turn around and return to 70B.
3,638.4 12:05 I have stopped and am turning around.
3,642.6 12:11 Turning off AR-7 onto US-70B - entering the National Park - Gulpha Gorge. This road is away from all the buildings and going under a canopy of trees, or would be when all the leaves are on the trees.
3,643.7 Passing a beautiful picnic area near a stream and just a little further along is a campground - Gulpha Gorge Picnic Area and Campground.
3,644.3 Junction with US-70, except I think I am taking the service road because I want to find the Visitor Center which is 2 miles along here, that is taking US-70 West ... I have just notice a tower with an observation deck on it out to my right.
3,644.8 Turning off US-70 to go to the Visitor Center.
3,645.8 12:19 I’ve turned around. I can’t find the Visitor Center! I give up.
3,646.6 12:21 Back at US-70.
3,650.2 End of the four-lane divided highway ... construction is in progress for widening.
3,650.9 Uprights in place for a big overpass.
3,651.6 End of the current road work.
3,656.2 Passing a Rest Area with picnic tables and facilities ... a variety of scenery between Hot Springs and the interstate ... lots of houses on hillsides, some up the hill, some down the hill ... meadows ... pastures ... cattle grazing ... a number of horses
3,670.2 Passing under I-30 and now it is 186 miles and 3 hours and 3 minutes to home.
3,670.9 12:46 Junction with I-30. I joined the interstate at interchange 111.
Exit-114 is for US-67 South.
3,674.0 Crossing the Saline River.
3,675.0 Back into road work, the lanes are outside the main highway, which is being rebuilt.
3,676.2 An Exit-for AR-5 - I wonder if it is the same AR-5 that we came down on through Mountain Home.
3,678.8 12:54 155 miles to Memphis, 177 miles to home
3,679.4 I am now driving on the new highway, but it is two lanes between New Jersey barriers. The wall to my right looks to be a pretty permanent one and so I am thinking that the lanes east and west will all become west ones and where they are working now will all be east lanes.
3,685.2 Moving out of the center part of the road to the outer right hand side - still two lanes. The road construction goes for miles.
3,688.7 Passing Exit-129 for I-430 around the western side of Little Rock and the construction is still being done here.
3,690.0 Back in the center of the road.
3,691.6 1:07 Leaving the interstate at Exit-132 and it is 165 miles to home (2 hours, 51 minutes) I have left the interstate because I want to take US-70 East for a while ... I am following US-70 East ... this is also US-67 North. This route is lined with businesses, car dealerships mostly. I seem to be on 70B and I am not sure if that is the correct route or not, but I’m sure I will find my way!
3,695.5 I can see some tall buildings ahead of me, maybe downtown.
3,696.0 Am going through a poor part of the city now.
3,697.3 A large cemetery to my left.
3,697.6 The entrance to the Arkansas State Fair Grounds and Stadium.
3,698.5 Some interesting old homes.
3,698.9 Turned onto Broadway, which is still US-70B and there are some rather large homes along this street.
3,699.9 Crossing over I-630 East and West.
3,700.0 A glimpse to my left of the dome of the State Capitol. I am driving through Downtown Little Rock.
3,700.3 I saw the State Capitol as I crossed over Capitol Drive.
3,700.7 I am still on US-70B and am starting to cross the Arkansas river.
3,700.9 Over the water, then I turned right immediately with 70B, which will return to I-30.
3,701.6 Passing the Alltell Arena. I’ve decided to get of 70 and get back onto I-30.
3,702.1 I am at a stop sign just before the ramp and GPS says I have 2 hours 34 minutes to go.
3,702.3 Joined I-30 at interchange 141 and I have 155 miles to go.
I-30 joined I-40 near that beautiful church which I have seen before.
3,703.7 1:32 On I-40 to Memphis.
Well! I sure wasted a lot of time today for nothing. I missed the National Park and I don’t think I took the right road through Little Rock, but now ...........
3,705.5 1:34 I am on the last leg towards home - 152 miles, 2½ hours.
3,713.4 The fields to the left are looking greener and there is a lot of cattle grazing ... back into flatter country and catfish ponds. Also for much of this section of road to the Mississippi, the road is often built up above the surrounding countryside because of marshes or bayous.
3,718.7 Passing a big Remington plant to my right.
3,721.8 Big elevators, most likely for rice to the right and forward.
3,736.2 Hawks, just one after the other in shrubs and bushes to the right of the road. It is beautiful to see so many of them when you are traveling.
3,740.2 I have just passed a truck that has written on the side of the cab “3 Million Mile Award” ... Isn’t that something!
3,741.8 More huge elevators to the south.
I was just thinking that this road is lacking Rest Areas, but now I see a blue sign ahead for one - I will get off to get an apple and a drink.
3,749.7 2:10 Leaving the highway for the Rest Area. This is one of those funny ones where you turn into the parking then go back out the same way you came in.
3,750.2 2:11 - 2:20 Rest Area for a rest stop and a snack.
3,750.5 2:21 Back on the highway and it is 108 miles to go, 1 hour and 53 minutes.
3,751.0 Start of the bridge going up to cross the White River.
3,751.2 Middle of the water.
3,751.5 End of the bridge.
3,756.7 A great blue heron in some water just outside the Cache River, which I am crossing now.
3,757.0 In the middle of the water.
3,759.0 There is a lot of water in this area. The road seems to cross a lot of creeks, but besides these there is other water as well.
3,763.2 Hundreds of snow geese flying around in the air to the south of the road.
3,767.3 2:35 Passing Exit-216 is for US-49 north to Jonesboro, south to Helena. It is also the exit for a cotton plant and for the Louisiana Purchase site.
3,771.0 Three egrets by water to the left.
Well! That was a good snack - couple of slices of cheese and an apple.
The sky has completely clouded over again, so no sign of the sun anywhere.
3,786.0 Crossing flat wetlands.
3,786.4 Crossing the L’Anguille River and ahead is Crowley’s Ridge. I don’t understand how the trees can live when they spend so much time standing in water!
3,793.0 Elevation 160 feet as the road starts to go up for Crowley’s Ridge.
3,794.0 One of the high points - El. 252 feet.
3,796.5 Another high point - El. 232 feet and from here you are looking out onto the plains again.
3,797.7 Crossing the St. Francis River.
3,805.7 Road work - right lane closed.
3,806.2 Moving over to the west-bound lanes.
3,806.5 A new, relatively long bridge being constructed.
3,806.8 End of the bridge now.
3,806.9 Back on the east-bound lanes.
3,813.0 I have suddenly run into a whole slew of semi trailers, both lanes.
3,830.0 3:25 Passing the Exit-for I-55 North to St Louis.
3,830.8 The junction with I-55 from St Louis and you can see the skyline of Memphis. It looks as if all the concrete is down for the road for I-55 after I-40 branches off and all the way to the bridge. It is now two lanes without having to slow down for road construction.
3,835.0 3:30 Start of the bridge over the flood plains ... it is not all bridge but rather a causeway.
3,836.9 There is a huge flock of birds, hundreds and hundreds of black birds all down on the ground to the right
3,837.1 Beginning of the actual bridge which will take the road up and over the Mississippi River.
3,838.1 3:33 End of the bridge and in Tennessee.
3,852.7 3:48 Leaving I-240 for TN-385.
3,857.8 3:53 Leaving TN-385 for Winchester.
3,859.0 3:56 - 4:01 GAS - Memphis, TN - $1.529/gal. - 13.087 gals. - $20.01
3,860.0 4:05 Arrive home.

The day’s total - 545 miles
Trip Total - 3,860 miles