Bill and Kit’s Excellent Adventure Chapter 18

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The Bill and Kit Excellent Adventure Journal-Issue #18

 

Monday February 23, 2009:

On the road again bright and early. Traveling US 90 through small towns and dusty wide spots. Beginning to see more vegetation and the grassland doesn’t seem so white and dried out looking.

Near the intersection of US-90 and US-83 (83 actually connects The Canadian border to the Mexican border…..that would be a fun back road to explore) there was a US immigration “security station”. As we slowly pulled up to the boarder patrol officer’s station I happened to notice he was Hispanic. So drawing from my 8th grade conversational Spanish course I greeted him in Spanish inquiring how he was this morning. After a pause and quizzical look he said “sir do you realize you just called me a jelly donut?” For some reason he asked me more questions than the last guy because a line was starting to grow behind us. In an attempt to redeem myself I offered the helpful advice that if they really wanted to catch some illegal aliens then they needed to move their “security station” farther west to Roswell, New Mexico.

As we gained elevation into the high desert of southwest Texas we noticed larger mountains, white grass giving way to yellow, parched white dirt turning to brown soil, larger vegetation and more greenery. Topped out at 5500 feet on the largest desert in North America, the Chihuahuan…..kinda funny that such a large tract of land would be named after such a small dog. We crossed the Pecos River about 2 miles north of the Mexican border and stopped for the night at Seminole Canyon State Park and Historical Site. We have been pretty lucky in acquiring beautiful places to stay overnight without making reservations and we scored this time as well. Positioned the trailer on a nice spot with east/west exposure and enjoyed this incredible sunset over a Shiner beer and a glass of wine, from our lawn chairs looking across the Chihuahuan Desert.

Life Is Good!

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With no moon and no artificial light and crystal clear skies the stars were incredible, in number and intensity. I could have stayed up all night watching the various constellations as they rotated through the night sky. Now I know what is meant by the song that goes: “The stars at night, are big and bright…..deep in the heart of Texas”.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009: This morning we were treated to this very nice sunrise. Nice thing about the high deserts of the southwest…..180 degrees of viewscape to enjoy.

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We actually pulled in just for the night but decided to stay two…..that’s the luxury of no set agenda. This place is pretty incredible…..the only downside (?) is no cell service so therefore no internet connectivity.

Kit stayed at camp and read while Bill took his bike down a trail to the Rio Grande River. The trail was multi use (bike, hike, horse) and fairly smooth with a little elevation loss and gain and I had the trail to myself this morning.

Bill took his bike down a trail to the Rio Grande River

Bill took his bike down a trail to the Rio Grande River

The only trail hazards were rattlesnakes…..and thankfully I didn’t encounter any…..and these tire eaters which I came perilously close to on a few occasions.

Tire eaters

Tire eaters

Made the Rio Grande River and stopped to enjoy the view of Mexico. Now, while growing up in San Diego we used to go down to Tijuana quite often. Back then the view of Mexico looked far different than from Texas; I didn’t even see any signs for the “Blue Fox” tavern this far up the river.

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I did spot your Border Patrol at work however….nice job driving that nifty boat all day, huh?

Border Patrol

Border Patrol

There were covered rest areas along the trail every few miles to allow folks to get out of the sun. They were usually by a particularly scenic overview or historical area. Many places the trail paralleled the old Santa Fe Railroad bed and there were signs of labor camps here and there.

Covered Rest Area

Covered Rest Area

Early the next morning, before we got back on the road I hiked down in the canyon with a few other folks and a park ranger.

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We were able to enjoy many pictographs made be ancient people from 4000 years ago.

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There were also interesting rock formations in the canyon made when flash floods eroded the softer shell deposits from the harder sedimentary rock. Some looked like abstract art.

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Just so you don’t get the mistaken impression that everything is gray and brown in the canyon here is a picture of Desert Laurel that was blooming all over the place.

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Desert Laurel

All and all another great day in retiree-ville,

Love, Dad/Mom, Poppy/Guma, Bill/Kit

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