Texas is a very odd shape (as you can tell by the Texas waffle I had for breakfast this morning). We spent the last night in the “panhandle” in Hereford, TX and then drove thru New Mexico via Roswell and are now in our hotel room in El Paso. New Mexico was pretty uneventful. A few amazingly huge cow pens owned by Cargill. Seriously, probably 10,000 cows in pens alongside the road. It was crazy! Even though they were in an open pasture area there were more cattle in one spot than I would have thought possible.
While driving through Roswell we made a quick stop at the Roswell UFO Center. Check! Yes, it is actually another of the “1000 Places to See Before You Die.” The Roswell UFO center was very cheesy but mildly interesting for anyone who likes a twist of science fiction in their life. Of course, no actual pieces of wreckage from the famed 1947 UFO crash just outside the city were in the museum. However, there were dozens of testimonial letters from people who have been abducted by aliens all over the world! My guidebook did say it was free but it isn’t. It is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2 for kids 5-15. It was good to get out of the car and it wasn’t that far out-of-the-way.
South of Roswell, going thru New Mexico, we passed some more scrubby brush territory along Hwy 70 but then we went into some small mountains and the road wound thru groves of pine trees and little towns with very traditional southwestern architecture… arches and red and brown stones. I’m guessing this was in the Rudoso Downs area but I wasn’t looking closely at a map. There was a beautiful little church in this small town plopped in the middle of nowhere framed by the hills and pines. It was so nice but we couldn’t pull over to snap a picture because someone was behind us and there were no shoulders. Sad! those simple glimpses of local beauty are my favorite travel moments. When we turned south on Hwy 54 we passed the White Sands National Monument but did not stop. We could see the white dunes glistening in the distance. If I had looked closer at a map ahead of time I would have tried to figure out a detour to get us there because it looks like a very uniquely beautiful park with over 245 square miles of gypsum dunes and it even has a 16 mile loop drive so it would have been perfect for the four of us road trippers. Oh well, gotta have something to do in the future.
So after 23 hours of driving in the car we ended up in El Paso. As we drove down the hill and into the city we saw the largest flag (Mexican) I’ve ever laid eyes on flying high over Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. We have it in our sights I guess… Tomorrow we just plan on finding somewhere to get some pesos and maybe buy a few more things before going across on Thursday.
Sad, our hotel is by the airport and about every 30 minutes it sounds like a jet is going to crash into us. So much for getting to town late and being stuck in a cheap hotel! Good night everyone.