We made it out of Texas today and I never even saw a “Welcome to New Mexico” sign. I guess if you aren’t driving on the major interstates like I-40 you don’t get the big welcome!
Just about when I thought we might be approaching the state line, I saw a small sign that said, “Welcome to Tatum, NM.” And we were here… in the Land of Enchantment once again.
Nothing exciting to write home about today. We drove on one of the straightest roads I’ve seen in almost a year, through the flattest, reddest, southwestern grazing lands I’ve seen since last year too.
One thing that struck me was the lack of cattle. The big open range was not only grazed clear down to the dirt, leaving stony nothing, there were no cattle for miles and miles. Occasionally – like every 10 or 15 miles – we’d see a handful of young cattle, and I truly mean a handful. Five or six – no more than 10 – at a time.
It was overcast and 44° when we left Lubbock this morning, and it continued to be overcast until we were well into New Mexico. We got some rain somewhere along the road in New Mexico, and then there was a big bright blue stretch up ahead.
Meanwhile, I felt like I could have put the steering wheel in the hands of fate and if the alignment was perfect we could have ridden hands-free all the way to Roswell.
On our trip last year, I wrote a lot about finding interesting places to eat, or visit, searching for dog parks and off-leash areas for Max, and I posted lots of photos of him in all those places.
I realized as I was driving today just how much his near death experience and recovery has impacted this trip. I am grateful that he made it out alive, and that he will recover fully. However, his injuries and the fact that he can’t play or interact with other dogs have changed the daily focus of this trip.
Until we get to Silver City where we will be settled for a month, all I am focused on is getting from Point A to Point B, with enough stops to give Max (and me) a chance to stretch our legs and take bathroom breaks. As a result, there have been no iPhone searches for dog parks, off-leash areas, points of interest, or good places to stop and eat.
A part of me wishes I had turned around in Florida and taken him back home to familiar surroundings. Another part says, “Wait a minute! He’s okay. He’s happy to be with you. Once he’s healed up, you can have some fun again…”
For now though, I’m missing that sense of adventure I had last year. That feeling that the road goes on forever, and the party never ends – the feeling that whatever is over the horizon will be amazing.
I’m hoping we both get our gypsy mojo back…