New Mexico - Fill up when you get the chance.
Carrizozo Travel Blog› entry 16 of 40 › view all entries
After dropping Mia off, we pushed on a few miles. Since we were no longer on any schedule, I switched the GPS to "shortest route" instead of "fastest route" in the expectation we would get to see more of the real scenary and locals, and less of the stuff you see when you go zooming along the interstate at 80 MPH. However, I was wrong. At least in new Mexico, this does not hold.
For the first while, we followed the Rio Grande south. It provided a thin lush corridor in the midst of the desert. It was easy to see why the road (this was still an interstate) took this particular route. It was scenic and interesting. But it was still zooming along at 80 MPH. I supposed I could have driven more slowly, but that seemed somehow wrong and unmanly. I mean, if I can go 80 MHP, then I should. Doug would understand. It was time for a secondary highway. We took a highway that promised the shortest, not fastest, distance to our next destination. As an aside, i would like it Magellan add "Most scenic" to thier routing options. anyway, with narry a glance back at the freeway, we heeled over to port and pounded up this secondary highway, without a backward glance at the gas gauge. This last point has some bearing on the rest of the story.
First of the road was completely untraveled. In the 50 or 80 miles (not really sure how long the road was), we saw two trucks, one car and two minivans. And I counted ourselves as one of the vans. There was not one building. Not one highway sign. Certainly not one that said "Next Services in XX miles". There was, however, rain. It stated out with a few drops. By few, I mean not many hitting the windsheild at one time. But they were big. We guessed we were getting a tablespoon of water per drop - 15 ml - and that is an honest estimate. After a few minutes of this, the rain got serious and increased in quantity. Still these huge drops. Then the wind came (and the gas gauge kept dropping). The wind and the rain were so strong, that at 60 MPH (110 KPH) I would hear the rain hitting my side of the van. If sounded like gravel being thrown at it.
Then the sun started to go down. A quick look at my cell phone indicated that there was indeed no signal at all. And that gas gauge kept dropping.
Well, of course we made it, and we did not run out of gas.
But where we nade it to deserves some comments.
When the economy hit the skids late last year, Eva and I realized that our road trip would help it. Not our specific road trip, but if lots-o-people took trips like ours (maybe not 8 weeks) then maybe some motels, or water parks or tourist attractions would stay open. I work for Intel and I like the elegance of tiny solutions that easily scale up in the millions (talk to me sometime about the planet saving powers of backyard composting). So we are confident in our ability to (along with the millions of other doing the same thing) save some small businessses. Well, we went to the right town.
Corrizozo, New Mexico has more shuttered building than otherwise. There are abandoned buildings and vehicles all over the place. And the hotel selection was downright scary. We found a gas station (whew!!) and a motel (finally). The place was pretty gritty and neither of really cared for the level of scum on the bathtub. But it would suffice. It even had free wireless internet. It was of course, across the street from an active railway. What is up with these southwester hoteliers? Why build thier places of repose across the street from the tracks?
Anyway, we did not even dicker with the price. It was low enough that we just paid.
Oddly, the internet connection was pretty fast, and stable.
In the morning, we are headed to a missle museum.