Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day Eleven

I got up at 7:00 and left for a run. I tried a different route this time, going up the canal to what we refer to as the “drops.”

Then I crossed the highway and ran along the canal on the other side until it veered off onto a road that went up to the cemetery. On this road I passed fields of alfalfa

and some cows.

It was a nice morning at the cemetery.

But soon it was time to return. I stopped off first at the local church, founded in 1929.

And then ran the back road toward the canal, stopping to visit some new friends along the way.

And at the end of the road, just before I crossed back to the canal to follow the trail home, I made a brand new friend.

I got home, had a quick breakfast and some coffee, and got packed to go. I hardly had any time to spend with my father, with all the scurrying around I had to do. But finally we were on the road, heading south.

One thing people don’t realize about New Mexico, is how quickly desert mesas. . .

can turn to flat valley scrubland

and then to green farm land and pasturage, as one nears a river or aquifer.

In Socorro we stopped at Smith’s grocery store to pick up a few things we needed. I mention the store by name because when you can find a really good, city-quality store in a small desert town, it deserves mention. The produce was fresh, the store was large and clean, the staff were friendly, and they even carried organics! I was so shocked I wandered around like a delighted kid and was giddy as we continued up the highway with new boxes of my favorite granola bars in a sack in the back seat. I had been despondent that I might be stuck for the next few days in the land of wrinkly tomatoes, red delicious apples and high fructose corn syrup, but I was now restocked—and in Socorro, of all the unlikely places!

I almost forgot to watch as the landscape went from hills to mountains.

The landscape changes so quickly from rugged cliffs

To green fields, like these in Hatch. . .

and to mountains.

Finally we got to where we were heading: White Sands. What an amazing place. I could easily fill a whole blog with the pictures I took, but here are a few.

After White Sands, we continued east, into more mountains.

And high mountain meadows.

But soon the mountains became hills again

And then plains again.

By the time we got to Carlsbad, the country was becoming hillier, but the sun was setting and we just wanted a hotel room. Who knew finding a decent one would be so much trouble? They all looked pretty dodgy, and our first choice was completely full. But we finally got a place that is overpriced for what you get, but we’re happy to have internet, at least. And in the morning, we’ll go see the caverns.

I hope to have cave pics ready for posting tomorrow night!

1 comment:

Crabby McSlacker said...

Lots of great photos--thanks for sharing these.