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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Las Cruces and Beyond

I had always kept most of my CD collection in my car for convenience. I have a 10 disc changer hidden under the back of the passenger seat, an in-dash controller/receiver, with power amps and a huge speaker box with 12" woofers in the trunk. I like my music LOUD when I'm cruising, heavy metal, head banging, neck snapping rock is what I love to listen to, especially on the open road with the cruise control locked on to the max speed limit. It makes me feel alive and alert, country music is ok as long as it ain't the tearjerker, somebody stole my wife and my truck and my dog and peed in my beer bullshit, that stuff puts me in a down mood, I can't understand why so many people like it and I probably never will. Unfortunately, I had listened to most of my collection making my way to Fort Worth the previous day and besides I was now hungry for news about Katrina hitting New Orleans so I turned on the radio by the time I hit Abilene.

People, there is something inherently wrong when you scan all the frequencies on both FM and AM looking for music and news and the only goddamn thing available on the radio is in either Spanish or country music for hundreds of miles. I mean it was just totally depressing, I did pick up bits and pieces of news info although the only word I could understand from the broadcast was "Katrina" with the rest being spoken in Spanish. WTF? I wasn't that close to Mexico that I was picking up stations from across the border, these stations had to be inside of Texas itself! If you can only find 7 stations on the dial and 6 are in a foreign language inside your own damn country, well that's just a bit tough to comprehend. That's just not right!

I had passed thru the eastern side of Texas late at night, but what I could see of it was quite nice, rolling hills, nicely wooded areas, clean highways, a pleasant ride by all accounts. The scenery that I was looking at passing thru west Texas was abysmal, apparently the only thing that grows there are oil derricks and gnarly looking shrubbery. Man that is some of the most depressing looking countryside I've ever seen in my life. Mainly because there is NOTHING to fucking look at and it never changes, the next 100 miles looks exactly like the last 100 miles you've passed thru. After about 4 or 5 hours of that shit you start hoping to see a car crash, or vultures hovering over a dead cow carcass or something, any fuckin' thing at all besides mile after mile of desolate land, shrubs and creaky, rusted oil derricks.

By the time I reached Midland I was starting to get pretty damn tired from not enough sleep the night before and I realized I wasn't going to be able to make it all in one day. I called Magz on my cell and we decided that it might be a good idea for me to stop in Las Cruces, Nm. for the night. She said it would be a much better place to stay than El Paso, which is what I had suggested although I had never been there before. She looked up some motel phone numbers for me on the 'net and I called ahead and made reservations at a Super 8 just off of I-10. We also decided that she would head out from her place and meet me there later that night.

Thankfully the scenery started to change by the time I got past Pecos, there were some mountains looming off in the distance and man what a welcome change that was. Going thru the rocky pass just beyond where I-20 meets I-10 was pretty cool although there was tons of road construction going on, I got stuck behind a convoy of slow moving 18 wheelers where the road was reduced to one lane in both directions, man I thought that was never gonna end!

This was a welcome site, a nice big pile of rocks! And many more to follow! Not a bad photo, with my camera hanging out the window at 70 mph.

I finally hit El Paso, Tx. and it was just about rush hour but not too bad overall, the most striking feature about the place was an imposing looking mountain on the northside that was pretty cool except for when you got close enough, the thing you noticed the most about it was that it was bristling with TV and cell phone towers and antennas, man that stuff just looked like crap sticking out all over. The coolest looking thing in the area was unmercifully marred and defaced. Too bad.

The sun was setting when I finally pulled into Las Cruces and I easily found the motel where I had made my reservation. Magz showed up within an hour and we greeted one another heartily, I finally got to meet her. Short blonde hair, a black dress and dark glasses, she looked pretty cool! We chatted for a bit in the parking lot trying to decide what we were going to do, I was sorta undecided about the motel, the Motel 6 next door looked nicer for about the same price but I already had a reservation. I checked in, the place didn't look too bad from the outside but the inside was pretty crappy, even for a cheap motel. Sadly the decor could only be described as "early mental institution" with drabby yellowed paint and curtains and a beater old TV that had a malfunctioning remote control. I didn't care much though, just so long as I was able to get the major news channels on the satelite.

For the life of me I can't remember if we went out to dinner that evening but we did hit a bar across the highway for a short while. A shitkicker dive, kinda rowdy and loud with a lone guitarist playing and singing requests from the crowd. He was pretty good actually but I was wanting to watch more news of New Orleans on the TV so we didn't stay very long. We went back to the motel and talked quite a lot actually before turning in for the night. Magz is bright and funny, wild and just a wee bit crazy with a wacked sense of humor. For those that are curious, yes, we did spend the night together, and we got along very well. If you want more details than that, well too bad! hahaha!

The next morning Magz decided to leave very early and head back to Arizona to care for her horses where I would meet her later in the day. I wanted to hang about in Las Cruces for a few hours, catch up on more news about Katrina on the tube and eat some breakfast before I checked out of the roach motel. I found this great little mexican place that served up a killer breakfast of bacon and eggs, damn I was hungry! Finally, by midday I left and headed for Benson, Arizona, the small town that Magz lives near. I had almost 200 miles left to go and the trip was pretty cool, especially crossing over this one mountain range in particular, the rock outcroppings were awesome! There were HUGE boulders strewn all about, lining I-10 on either side as the highway wended it's way thru the high windy pass. Very picturesque, although I didn't stop to take pictures until my return trip from Magz place a week and a half later.

I found the exit off of I-10 and made my way north on a dirt scrabble sideroad looking for the gate to Maggiez Farm. I actually passed it up because it's set back from the road just a short distance. I pulled up at the gate and here is a picture of what visitors see when they arrive. I told you she has a crazy sense of humor.

To be continued...