An afternoon at the dog park…


Much to my surprise, we woke this morning to about 2″ of snow on the ground!  There’s a rain barrel outside my kitchen window and the water on the top of it was frozen…   I knew Max would like to get out in the snow, so I sent him out into the walled back courtyard while I made coffee and started breakfast.

After he came in, I offered him his breakfast, and he basically turned up his nose at it! For several days, I’ve had to hand feed him one or the other of his daily meals so I could get food into him and give him his antibiotic.  This morning, with one pill left to go I said, “Screw it!  I’m not hand feeding you any more.  If you don’t eat this, you can eat if for dinner – and get your pill then, too!”

He did not eat.

I, however, had a lovely breakfast of fried egg, toast, Greek yogurt with banana and kiwi, and two cups of coffee.

For the first time since Max had his run-in with the pickup truck, I got my cello out of its case to practice.   Needless to say, it was horribly out of tune.  Took me about 15 minutes to get it back into playing shape.  I spent about 45 minutes playing scales, and trying to get good sound and the right notes out of it.  It felt good to be playing, and I’m planning to get back into my daily routine again.

photo of Max looking out living room window

Max, watching the street this morning…

photo of Max on couch looking back at me

Can we go out now? Please???

Later – around 2:30 – I invited Max to go with me to the High Desert Animal Shelter about 2 miles from where we are staying so I could give them the portable crate that he has outgrown.  They were extremely grateful to have it, and I am happy to have lightened the load a bit in Tumbleweed!

After that, we headed over to the dog park for some play.  I had his favorite ball, and a new tug toy, which he was most anxious to have.  When we pulled up there were 6 or 8 dogs and their owners in the park, and I just didn’t dare let him in there with his still-healing wounds exposed.

So, we drove back here and got his red sweatshirt that I bought solely to protect those wounds.  I cut the hood off so nobody would have an unfair advantage (holding), and got it on him in the car, and we went back to play.

Once I released him, he was out of the car like a shot and at the gate ready to go in and get acquainted!  I had the ball in my pocket, and was prepared to leash him up and take him out if things seemed too rough.

That was not the case.

There were two dogs his size, a dachshund, a small white terrier, an Aussie, and a medium sized terrier, and they were all friendly, playful, well-behaved dogs.  Max was beside himself with joy at being in the park with a gang of new friends, and soon was leading them a merry chase!

After about 1/2 hour, the Aussie and terrier left with their owner; shortly after that, a guy came in with two miniature pinschers and a 10-month-old English Mastiff named Lola.  Lola weighs 119 pounds already, but was a gentle, delightful addition to the group.

I met a woman I met last year when we were here – Jane lived in Portland for many years, and she and her husband moved to Silver City to get away from the Maine winters.  Her two dogs – Jeremy and a girl whose name I forget, were well-matched with Max, and they had a good time playing together.

We stayed about an hour and a half, playing ball, running with the other dogs, and generally having a grand old time (Max, that is.  I spent my time talking and watching, occasionally going from one end of the park to the other to keep an eye on the play).  When I leashed Max up to go home, he walked willingly with me to the gate and hopped into the car.

He was pretty wiped out from his first real play session since before the accident.  When we came in, he headed to the kitchen for water, and was sidetracked by breakfast – still sitting in his bowl on the floor.  I guess fresh air and exercise really do build an appetite, because he stood there and ate it all, licking the bowl clean when he was done!

I’d say my guy is definitely on the mend, and I’m looking forward to daily sorties to the dog park – sweatshirt at the ready!

photo of stirfry

And for my friend, Carolyn, who wants some foodie posts like last trip: Dinner Saturday night – broccoli, garlic, onions, tofu stir fry over Jasmine rice. It was wonderful to make dinner after three weeks of travel!

Posted in Coffee, Friends along the way, New Mexico, playing with a poodle, Silver City, traveling in a Honda Element, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Update on the patient


After yesterday’s positive dog park experience, I was really looking forward to our training session today – and it was a really good one.

Gail is almost as good as our great trainer back in Maine, Diana Logan of Pet Connection Maine.  I mean, who can beat someone who has not one, but two, extremely well-behaved Standard Poodles?  And to top it all off, loves Max to pieces?  OK, I’m biased… but that does not lessen the fact that Diana is an amazing trainer.

photo of Diana Logan with Astro and Dory

Diana Logan holding a young Astro; Dory beside them. (I “borrowed” this photo from Diana’s Facebook page.)

So, Gail reinforced some of the things Max and I learned early on with Diana – things like clicking/treating when he turns in my direction, getting him to touch an offered hand for a click and reward, playing hide-and-seek and rewarding him for coming.

He’s a willing worker, and a fast study so he was zipping between us in no time as we called him back and forth.  As a matter of fact, he was bounding to Gail any time she said his name and a command (partly because she had different treats from me and he liked them, but also because he recognizes someone who “speaks dog!”)

She gave us a homework assignment for the week to work on getting him to pay more attention to me by playing games, playing hide-and-seek, using toys as well as treats to reward him.  Basically, reconditioning him to focus on me, and reconditioning me to be consistent and to keep him engaged at all times.

She also gave me some insights into why recall can “fail.”  If your dog doesn’t consistently come when called it can be because he has perceived it as “punishment” and that could be as simple as taking him away from smelling something like a bush or a tree.  What to us seems like a reasonable request may appear to the dog as punishment or deprivation of a pleasant experience (sniffing new spots, for example).

I told her how sometimes at home when we are at Mariner’s Park, as we get a certain distance from the car, he will run off and refuse to come near me.  That’s because he doesn’t want our play to end.

She gave me some good tips on how to keep him coming, without spoiling his fun.  For example, when I leash him up to go to the car, keep playing games with him – a tug toy, ball, touch and reward, etc. – so that the playtime is extended and he doesn’t feel deprived.

All in all, a great session, and I look forward to working with him this week on our assignment, and returning next Monday for another class.

After that, we went to the vet…  Seems Max still has some healing to go.  The stitches are staying in longer – the vet says they are self dissolving and not to worry about them.  He still has a little swelling around the larger cut on his head.

The two big road rash scabs are another matter.  Seems the one on his shoulder is doing okay, and will more than likely continue to heal on its own.  The one on his back, according to the doc, is “dead” and may need to be debrided.  If so, he will need to be put out while they do it, and may need stitches.

We are returning in a week for a followup, and in the meantime, I have a spray antibiotic/cortisone to use on the scrapes every 12 hours to help them heal.  I’m hoping that the one on his back heals up on its own and my guy doesn’t need more procedures.

We took a walk around the neighborhood this afternoon, and there were two young boys, maybe 10 years old, in the park about a block away.  They came over to meet Max – “Is that a poodle? Is he or she friendly?”  Then “What happened to him?”  When I told them he was hit by a car, they gave him a LOT of sympathy.

We spent a fun 10 minutes talking while they patted Max, and asked me what tricks he could do.  Most of the time, (after greeting the boys enthusiastically) Max sat patiently by my side.

I showed them some of his tricks like “BIG UP!” where I say that and he springs straight up in the air off all four feet.  They liked that one a lot.

Max shook hands all around, and we headed off for home again.

And that is Monday in a nutshell…

Posted in New Mexico, playing with a poodle, Silver City, traveling in a Honda Element, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sunday at the dog park… and more


Sunday afternoon, Silver City.  After yesterday’s gorgeous 64° welcome, it was a bit of a shock to wake up to low 30s and tiny hail this morning.

For most of the day the sun comes out, the sun goes in, it rains or “hails,” it stops.  Right now, at 3PM, the sun is out.  I feel right at home – this could be Maine, right??

Max is looking better again today, and he ate all of his breakfast without the need of encouragement or hand feeding.  By late morning, he was looking bored enough that I thought I’d chance a trip to the dog park.  If there were no other dogs inside the fence, we’d stop in and let him decide how much he wanted to play – or not.

As luck would have it – and perhaps due to it being Sunday and a raw 44° – there were no other dogs at the park.  I pocketed his favorite ball, leashed him for the short walk to the gate, and off we went.

Didn’t need the leash.  Max knows dog parks, and will always make a straight run for the gate, and today was no exception.  I unleashed the beast and let him loose in the park.

Of course, any self-respecting dog has to sniff the perimeter to see who’s been here before him.  As Max patrolled and stopped to leave P-mail, I watched to see how he was moving, etc.

Finally, after deciding that it WAS a dog park, there HAD been other dogs, and he probably had an obligation to play with me, he turned and looked expectantly at me.

The look said it all. Where’s my ball?  Did you bring it??

Well, as a matter of fact, I did – and here it is!

I threw it and he was off like a shot. Caught it in mid-run, galloping in a big circle with the ball in his mouth – just like before.  He made his way back to me, dropped the ball on command, and was rewarded with a click and a treat.  (Clicker training is amazing.)

I picked it up, threw it, he chased after it.  And so it went for about 15 minutes.  I cannot begin to tell you how ecstatic it made me to see my boy running, leaping, fetching and returning with all of his usual enthusiasm.

So, I decided it was time to mix it up a bit.  Return, drop, click, reward.  OKAY.

Now, Max sitSTAY.  I walk about 30 feet away, ball in hand.  He STAYS.  OK!  Catch!

We did this a few times, with him returning and dropping for his click and reward.  Then I added another element.  SIT. STAY.  I throw the ball off away from us… and he sticks the STAY!!  GOOD BOY!  OK – GO!

Down. Stay. Throw.  Give him the OK to go fetch.  He was flawless!   Whew.  Feeling good about the upcoming training session.  Confident that he will be ready to work, and learn.

After all that, we stopped at the grocery to get some soy sauce and a few other things, then returned home where I fired up the oven and made roasted kale chips.  I found a recipe online a few months back, and I make them every now and then.  They totally satisfy my crispy salty food craving – which means I’m not eating potato chips!

If you’ve never had these amazing chips, here’s the easy recipe:

KALE CHIPS

Preheat oven to 400°F   While oven is heating:

1. Take one large bunch of curly kale (preferably organic); remove the ribs and tear the leaves into pieces (not too small) and place in a large bowl.

2. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the leaves, and massage well with your hands.  Coat the leaves really well.

3. Spread the coated leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet (use 2 sheets if you need), and sprinkle with salt.  I like using a salt grinder.

photo of kale ready to be oven roasted

Here they are, ready to go into the oven. It’s hard to see, but they are well-coated and glistening with olive oil.

4. Place cookie sheet(s) in oven and bake for 6-7 minutes; remove and check to see if they are crisp enough.  If not, return to oven for 2-3 more minutes.  Keep a close eye on them at this point because they can easily go from perfect to burnt in no time flat!

Remove from oven and enjoy!  You can store these kale chips in an airtight container for several days (assuming you don’t eat them all at once); just wait until they are cool before closing the container so they don’t get soggy.

You can see how they “shrink” in the oven. Boy, these chips have to be one of the easiest and healthiest snacks to make!

Even Max loves these things! Let me know if you try them…

One other item of note: this morning, on our early walk around the block I saw two pairs of bluebirds!

photo of eastern bluebird

Eastern Bluebird, courtesy Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

photo of male western bluebird

This male Western Bluebird looks very similar to the Eastern Bluebird. Courtesy birdinginformation.com

Posted in New Mexico, playing with a poodle, Silver City, traveling in a Honda Element, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Ah, Silver City…


We made it safely to Silver City this afternoon, and are settled in.  We’re staying in the same little adobe we had last year for two weeks, and it truly felt like we had come home!

It was wonderful to see my friend, Ellen, who has so generously provided the adobe for a month.  We arrived a little earlier than she expected and she wasn’t quite ready for us, so we went off to get groceries.

Downtown Silver City was hopping.  Cars crawling along Bullard Street, no place to park, people walking everywhere – in and out of shops and galleries, Girl Scouts selling cookies on street corners.  I mean, it was NUTS!

Turns out that it’s an annual chocolate extravaganza, according to Ellen.  She says you buy a ticket and wander around town sampling chocolate.  She says there are about twenty different venues; you show your ticket and get served chocolate.  Wish I had known sooner…

We stopped in Old Mesilla this morning before heading west to Silver City.  It’s one of the oldest towns in New Mexico – apparently it was here in some form in the time of the Conquistadors, the Spanish, and so on…

Max in front of basilica in old mesilla new mexico

Max, showing off his good side, waits for the puparazzi to get a good photo.

They were hosting a lively fiesta of some sort as well – I think tied into Valentine’s Day.  We arrived about 10 minutes before the starter’s pistol for Cupid’s Chase – a road race.

photo of mariachi musician in old mesilla new mexico

Waiting for the race to begin. I think this guy was part of a mariachi band…

start of race in old mesilla new mexico

And they’re off!

photo of racers in old mesilla new mexico

There must have been a couple of hundred people running in Cupid’s Chase this morning.

We also saw that NPR’s Story Corps was in town, with a shiny Airstream parked in the plaza.  I went over and talked with Anna, who asked if I knew anyone or if I myself wanted to tell a story.  I said that I did, but then learned that they are booked up for the next two weeks!  I figured I could just walk in and that would be that.

photo of story corps airstream in old mesilla new mexico

How cool would this be for a job? Travel around the country with this Airstream and record people’s sotries?

Now that I think about it, I could go back to do it.  It’s only a couple of hours from here.  H-m-m-m-m…

As we drove into Silver City this afternoon, I spotted Mis Amigos – the place that Ellen told me is owned by a really good dog trainer.  She uses clicker training, positive reinforcement – all the things that our great trainer in Maine, Diana Logan, got us started with.  And all the same things that I still do with Mr. Max.

So, I pulled in, and as luck would have it, Gail was there.  I told her what happened with Max last week, and that I’d like to work with her on good recall, stop and stay commands.  We are on for Monday for our first one-on-one with her, and I think Max will have fun.  He loves a challenge, loves to “work,” and is a fast learner. More on this later in the week…

After settling in, I took Max for a walkabout in our new ’hood.  As we walked a few blocks away, a car ran over a piece of plastic vacuum wand in the street making a huge cracking sound.  Poor Max bolted away from the street towards the houses, almost wrenching my shoulder!

I calmed him, and reassured him that it was okay, then walked him over to the plastic.  His tail was tightly tucked, and he was skittish for a block or so before his tail came up and he was sauntering comfortably again.

I lived in Portland when I got him as a puppy, and I was happy that he had that experience because loud noises – sirens, fire trucks, car horns – didn’t phase him in the least.  This afternoon’s reaction made me realize that he probably learned something from his accident last week.

One other thing I’ve been noticing is that he walks better with me since he got hit.  He tends to stay close, not pull on the leash, and keep checking in with eye contact.  What a hard lesson for a fine young dog to learn.

photo of flowerin cactus in silver city new mexico

This beautiful flowering cactus about two blocks from our home in Silver City looked like something straight out of Dr. Seuss.

As dinnertime approached, I had to acknowledge that I am exhausted.  I think I’ve been so focused on getting us safely here, and making sure that he is comfortable, that I didn’t realize the toll it was taking on me.  Now that we have stopped moving, the exhaustion has caught up to me.

It’s barely 9 o’clock and I am ready to hit the sack.  Max is already sacked out at my feet.  The next couple of days will be for R&R (with the exception of the Vet to remove stitches and check over the wounds, and a training session on Monday!).

Posted in Friends along the way, New Mexico, Silver City, traveling in a Honda Element, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The gypsy mojo…


…is back.

Yesterday I wrote that this trip felt different from last year’s since Max had his accident.  I said I was focused on getting from Point A to Point B and letting him rest as much as possible to recover. I ended by saying I hope we both get our gypsy mojo back.

Well, today was exceptional!  First of all, we were driving through some stunning New Mexico landscape.  Crystal clear blue sky, sun hot on my left arm and cheek, nothing on the radio (which is another whole story), and an alert dog in the back.

It isn’t that I forgot how much I love this magnificent big sky, red rock, undulating, bony landscape.  It’s that I forgot it was there.  I’ve been so focused on my wounded pup that I wasn’t anticipating getting knocked over by the beauty all over again.

And I did get knocked over…

Starting with a quick glimpse of a roadside shrine about an hour west of Roswell.

photo of roadside shrine in new mexico

I just got a quick glimpse of this shrine, carved into the rock way up above the road.

I couldn’t just keep on driving, so I made a safe U-turn and went back for photos.

photo of roadside shrine in new mexico

I got almost all the way up to the shrine and couldn’t take another step…

As I made my way up the steep path to the shrine, I started thinking what a crazy-ass idea it was to do this.  Bone-dry gravel, bone-dry vegetation… If I slip, there’s nothing to stop me until I get to the bottom.  Heart pounding, unable to look back down, I took a deep breath and held my iPhone up as high as I could to get this shot.

All the way back down, as I encouraged myself with each careful step, I also was saying, “What a stupid thing to do.  All by yourself…” Yada, yada, yada…

Obviously, I made it safely down!  I didn’t even look at the photo until I was back in the car.  I’m just glad I got a decent shot, because I wasn’t going back up there!

Back on the road, calm again, taking in the day, the light, the deep blue, the dry red, the warmth, and the joy of being alive, of being on the road, of having this great opportunity once again to be out here in the midst of all this aching beauty.

We went through several small towns, each time with me thinking that maybe this one would be worth stopping to walk around in.  And each time, just keeping on, keeping on. Mostly we were just passing by on their fringes, but they were so small, so rundown, so sleepy, so… whatever, that I just wasn’t compelled to stop.

We did stop once to gas up, and have a bathroom break, but other than that it was onward through the brilliant day. Until.

We came to White Sands National Monument.  And I turned in, stopped at the information center, and decided to take us for a side trip.  This was one of the best things we’ve done yet on this trip!  (Well, since we haven’t done that much since Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina, I guess almost any side trip could qualify for this distinction!)

This is also the least expensive National Park admission I’ve encountered anywhere – three dollars, and the pass is good for six days!

When we first drove in, the dunes made me think that I could be driving on Cape Cod.

dunes_white_sands_NM

At the beginning of the drive into White Sands National Monument, you could almost think you were on Cape Cod…

The further we drove, the less vegetation, and the more it looked like snow.  When I found a good spot, I parked Tumbleweed, and got Max out on the 16-foot flexi-lead so he could have some fun.

photo of honda element by sand dunes
Tumbleweed looks pretty darn good there in the sand dunes.

We hiked up some dunes, Max got goofy and was actually running and digging in the sand – a lot like he does in the snow at home.  It was great to see him frisking around again after a week of slow walks, and lots of rest!

I’m going to let the following photos take over, since we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words!

photo of Max at white sands national monument

I guess you can use this one. I look pretty good, don’t I?

photo at white sands national monument

Looks like a snowscape, doesn’t it? They actually have to plow the roads here to keep the shifting sands at bay!

photo of Max at White Sands National Monument

I think this is my good side…

photo of dog paw and foot

Rufus and I used to take pictures of our feet in the water wherever we traveled. I thought a photo of Max’s paw and my foot in the sand was a nice memento of our visit to White Sands, NM.

photo of sand in shoe

Don’t you love the tracks and footprints in the sand? And doesn’t it look like that great dry snow that sort of squeaks underfoot?

All in all, it was a great side trip.  We  got outside in an alien, yet somewhat familiar, landscape, and played around for a little while.  I think Max thought it was snow.  I wonder if he was curious about why it wasn’t cold.

As we continued on, I saw this billboard somewhere and snapped a photo:

photo of billboard with the word BELIEVE

I couldn’t resist this photo. No attribution – just that one word…

And this is the landscape we saw as we left White Sands and headed for the other side of the mountains and our arrival in Las Cruces:

Today, we got our Mojo back.

heart in sand white sands NM

Happy Valentine’s Day from White Sands National Monument!

Posted in National Parks, New Mexico, playing with a poodle, South Carolina, traveling in a Honda Element, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Land of Enchantment…


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!

photo of clouds and side view mirror

That’s Texas in my sideview mirror. And a peek at the blue skies ahead.

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.

photo of partial blue sky in new mexico

Blues skies 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.

photo of road to roswell, nm

Set the cruise control for 65, put her on autopilot and ride on down that road…

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…

Posted in New Mexico, Texas, traveling in a Honda Element, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The future of ranching in West Texas…


Well, I did it again.  Another screen shot of the iPhone – this time trying to make a call.  Now I know how I did it.  With the iPhone unlocked and ready to use (for example, trying to make a call), I press both buttons, there’s the sound of the camera shutter clicking, and Voila!  I have taken a screenshot…

photo of screenshot of iPhone keypad

Momo calling! Anybody out there??

Don’t even ask why I was pushing both buttons while driving!  (OK – I was trying to use voice commands, but don’t remember how to get them to work.)  If only I had Siri to help me…

When we left Abilene this morning, it was overcast and cold.  Heading west on I-20, I saw a sign for Noodle Dome Road, but it would turn out not to be the most unusual sign I saw today.  More to come on that…

As we drove through the rangelands, seeing scrubby piñon, sagebrush, prickly pear cactus, and flat mesas off to our left, I was struck by the lack of herds of cattle.  Maybe the drought that Texas had experienced put a crimp in the ranching game.  Or maybe this particular area wasn’t really big cattle country.

Here’s what I think will be the future of ranching out here in West Texas:

photo of wind turbines near Roscoe Texas

This is NOT a wind farm – it’s a wind RANCH! These turbines ran for 34 miles from Roscoe to Snyder, Texas along I-84.

photo of wind turbines near Roscoe Texas

Here’s a good shot for scale. These things are BIG!

I noted the mileage on the odometer when we started seeing these turbines – because I could see that they went on for many miles.  I was shocked to rack up thirty-four miles from one end to the other! Roscoe to Snyder, Texas.

They got me thinking about black gold – Texas tea – OIL, that is.  We’ve been seeing those little oil derricks pumping the black stuff out of the ground.  What I was thinking was how these turbines were changing not just the face of West Texas, but also the output of energy from the range out there.

As we continued beyond the wind ranch, we started seeing fields of oil derricks working away, pumping, bobbing up and down like some sort of alien creatures.

photo of oil derrick in west texas

Note the sign on the fence…

photo of oil derricks in west texas

This photo shows one of the oil fields with derricks pumping away.

photo of oil derrick in west texas

Most of the derricks are black, or rusty-looking things. This field had these nice sea green derricks.

Do you remember the little glass bird that you could set up to “drink” from a glass of water?  The derricks, as they bob up and down, remind me of that little bird.

We stopped at a “picnic area“ for a pee and lunch break.…

photo of no swimming sign

Note that the “swimming hole” is dry!

I can’t get photos of every funny sign, but I do try to remember them so I can list them here.  How about STINK CREEK ROAD??  Another place I wouldn’t want to call home.

One of the things I liked on our trip last year was seeing mile long freight trains.  This train was passing close to the road we were traveling, and I wanted to snap a picture of some of my favorite containers.

photo of container train in west texas

I’m still wishing I could build a container house, and if I did I’d love to use a couple of CHINA SHIPPING containers – love the color, and the Chinese characters on the left end.  I also like ITALIA and EVERGREEN containers.  How cool would that be?!

And finally, I saw a sign for Belly Acres, then a sign saying “Paint and Quarter Horses, Performing Halter Horses.”  That reminded me of being in Costa Rica a few years ago, where they have dancing horses known as Paso Fino horses.  Here’s a link to a Youtube video of one dancing.

Rufus and I were walking on a country road near our lodge when we came upon a man on horseback – and the horse was dancing and prancing along the side of the road! It was absolutely stunning.

And once we got to Lubbock and checked in, I took Mr. Max for a walk around the neighborhood.  He was really bouncy and prancy – a lot more perky than yesterday.  At one point, I accidentally kicked an acorn and he pounced on it!  Then, a little further on, he began the same crazy antics that got him free of his collar and hit by the truck back in St. Augustine.

While it was nice to see him frisking around, it brought those horrific moments back in a big way and I made him settle down and walk with me.  I knew he couldn’t slip his collar, and I knew that we were on a very quiet side street, but those awful memories just took over.

He was OK with settling down, and we headed back to our hotel room where he’s peacefully napping.

Tomorrow, we head across into New Mexico and a return to Roswell.  Not that we are aliens and need to re-visit there…  We couldn’t book a room in Hobbs, NM because there are no rooms available.  I tried Googling to see what’s going on, but it seems that there is NOTHING going on in Hobbs right now!  Go figure.

So a little re-routing and there you have it – back to Roswell…

Posted in New Mexico, On the Road, St Augustine Florida, Texas, traveling in a Honda Element, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments