Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"On the First Part of the Journey"

We left our AZ home on Friday, April 19 for the trip back home. I had hoped to stay long enough to see our saguaro in bloom but that was not to be this year.

Our house is across a wash on a rutted, dirt road and yes, we have a barbed wire fence. I think I may have mentioned that we live in the country. It runs along the road and I suppose is there to deter trespassers...of whatever species they might be!

I'm posting these next two photos to show you two very different species of Prickly Pear Cactus. The first on is a Blind Prickly Pear and you can see that there appear to be no spines sticking out from the glochids (those reddish brown tufts). Don't be fooled by this one, there are many short barbed spines emanating from each tuft.

This next one is the most common; it's an Engelmann's Prickly Pear which you see everywhere. Notice that it has very long whitish spines making it much more obvious that you want to keep your distance.

There's not a lot to see on this section but even the most desolate stretches of highway can offer surprising sights...like these four dust devils dancing across the land in the distance.

My favorite part of this drive along I-10 in eastern Arizona is Texas Canyon. The rock formations there are awesome!

See that round rock above the car? I can never shoot it when we're traveling west and this time I was so excited and ready...then this car appeared in front of it...geez.

We spent the first night of this journey in Lordsburg, NM. A decent day's drive since we didn't leave home until about noon.

Saturday, April 20th was a good driving day, a long driving day so I was able to work on photos and a blog post as we drove through small towns with internet access. We left the I-10 at Las Cruces, NM driving HWY 70 well into Texas.

This is the dry-as-a-bone Rio Grande River in Las Cruces...one big sandbox!

The Organ Mountains overlooking Las Cruces.

Of course we stopped at White Sands National Monument for lunch. It's a favorite stop along this journey because it is such a unique natural landscape. If you follow me on FB, you've already seen these photos.

Before the pavement ends, driving into the park.

Yes, kids of all ages bring saucers or other flat items and go sledding down the huge dunes.

Rich and The Girls, of course.

A Soaptree Yucca in the foreground.

Dunes and sand pedestals with plants growing out of them.

Driving out we saw this professional photo shoot. I have no idea what it was for but, after seeing this, whenever I see models standing in the snow I'll wonder if it was really shot here on the white sands.

Continuing on through NM, this is Sierra Blanca Peak, northwest of Ruidoso, with an elevation of nearly 12,000 ft.. It is such a lovely sight, framed as it is by the pines.

As afternoon turned to evening, we saw deer...

...and pronghorns.

We stopped in Roswell, NM just long enough to pick up a few things at WalMart which was a first for us because we enjoy spending time there. It was nearly dark when we left Texico, NM and crossed into Farwell, TX with another 100 miles to go. By the time we got to the KOA in Amarillo, TX we were feeling every one of the 522 miles traveled that day. That's a pretty typical day's drive in a car, but that's one very long day in a motorhome!

Lovin' Life ~~ On the Journey

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