Friday, November 25, 2022
Thursday, November 24, 2022
Sunday, November 20, 2022
The tiny town of Santa Clara, New Mexico, just over the mountain from here, held its annual tamale festival yesterday. Music, dancers, custom cars and, of course, food. We loaded up on tamales and empanadas.
Thursday, November 17, 2022
The weather has shifted into Get Ready for Winter mode. Highs in the low 50s with nighttime temperatures in the 20s and, oh my, teens. According to my inside-outside thermometer it got down to 17°F last night. Oh brrrrrrrrrr. And it was 35°F inside the Rolling Steel Tent, thanks to not running any heat once I go to bed. Speaking of the bed, it was sufficiently warm even though the windows were completely frosted over.
Friday, November 11, 2022
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Monday, October 24, 2022
Saturday, October 8, 2022
I left Guadalupe Mountains National Park dashed to — and through — El Paso. My goal was the Dripping Springs dispersed camping area on the east side of Las Cruces. The Organ Mountains were cloud shrouded, so I expected it to be a wet night. I didn’t expect it to be as windy as it was. The van got shaken and knocked around all night.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park (featuring the highest point in Texas) is just down the highway from Carlsbad Caverns. I didn’t really expect much, especially compared to the caverns, but it was an enjoyable time.
I was feeling a little... blah that morning. It was a little chilly and overcast. It had rained during the night and probably would again during the day. Not the kind of weather I’d choose for hiking. Maybe I would just hit the visitor center for a sticker to add to my collection then take off for home. Nah, it would be cheating to say I’d been to Guadalupe Mountains if I didn’t at least stroll a little down a trail.
So I did. I set off without any gear other than my phone. No water, no jacket, no hat, no trail map... because I was just going a hundred yards or so. However, the trail and scenery were nice, so I kept on walking. And walking. I passed people with backpacks and hiking poles. I was the foolish old man heading into the wilderness totally unprepared.
After about a mile and a half the clouds closed up, the breeze increased, and the temperature dropped. Most likely rain was on its way. So I turned around. Just in time. I got to the Rolling Steel Tent and started on a fruit & cereal bar when the sky opened. I must be getting more savvy about this outdoors awareness stuff.
Friday, October 7, 2022
Back in 2014 I had planned on visiting Carlsbad Caverns as I headed north from Big Bend. But a combination of things put me in a horrible mood and I didn’t stop. I figured it was time to come back. It’s actually the main purpose of this trip.
Also, in the meantime, the cameras on smartphones have become amazing. The NightSight mode on my Pixel 4a takes amazing photos in very low light situations. It practically sees in the dark. Here’s evidence.
Thursday, October 6, 2022
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
The last time I was at White Sands it was a National Monument. Now it’s a National Park. Also, it was sunny the previous visit. This morning it was overcast, making the sands look beige instead of blindingly white. Kind of a moody morning.
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
I’m taking a few Me Days, traveling a bit, but sticking to southern New Mexico. First stop, Aguirre Springs campground, nestled against the base of the Organ Mountains, overlooking White Sands. I’ve stayed here a couple of times before and I’ve been too long coming back. Took a short hike from the campground.
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Sunday, September 18, 2022
Thursday, September 15, 2022
After 330,000 miles the Rolling Steel Tent’s front suspension was getting a little wonky. When I took it in for an alignment a few months ago they came back and said it would be pointless because my ball joints and hub bearings were too worn. I was not surprised. I had more important things to deal with, so I put off the repairs until yesterday. Now my home tracks straight and even steers a little easier. Onward!