I got up at seven and went for a run through the groves again. This time I startled a roadrunner who flew up into a tree and watched me for awhile. Later when I came to the far side of the groves I came to a smooth stretch of sand full of animal tracks, including tiny mouse tracks, so clear I could see each distinct toe.
When I finished my run I got a cup of coffee and walked around for a bit, enjoying the peaceful desert morning.
Dan and I got on the road around eleven, heading south.
Our first stop was Socorro, where we stopped at a grocery store for a few supplies. Then we continued south, passing this sign:
The odd thing is that San Marcial hasn't existed for eighty years. It was my grandmother's home town and was destroyed by flood in 1929. New Mexico is a strange place where maps often show the location of defunct towns where nothing but a single shack remains, if that. Of San Marcial, there's nothing.
When we got near Truth or Consequences, we saw signs for Cuchillo and turned off 25 to see if we could find an old saloon turned café and souvenir shop we had read about recently in the news.
Unfortunately, we didn’t find it. So I took a picture of the local church instead.
We got back onto 25, heading south.
In Las Cruces we picked up I-10 and went into El Paso. Our first stop was the information center, where we picked up some information brochures and maps of Big Bend.
Then we called my cousin Chris and went to his house, passing Juarez along the way.
The strange thing about El Paso is that it extends out only a couple miles from I-10 to the north or south, but runs around fifty miles from east to west. Chris's house is about twenty-five miles from the info center at the state line. Other than nearly getting sideswiped by a Mexican woman (or at least a woman in a car with Mexico plates) who tried to change lanes into us, we arrived at Chris's house with no trouble, went to dinner and hung out most of evening talking about our crazy family.
Tomorrow Dan and I head south to Big Bend. According to the literature, there will be places for me to get online, so I’ll be able to post pictures.