We really did come around the mountain when we entered Taos, New Mexico, through the Cimarron Canyon just as we were loosing daylight. We seem to have gone in a complete loop and entered as no one else does, from the North. But before we headed out of Texas and into New Mexico, we had a thorough morning in Amarillo at the Grand Canyon’s “Mini-me“, the Palo Dura Canyon State Park. Recommended twice, seen once and reputed to be the second largest canyon. The perfect day. Clear skies and sunny with the slightest breeze and the absence of humanity. We seem to have had the Canyon to ourselves as we gently wandered the sixteen miles loop road into and out of the Canyon.
And then onwards to … well … Nothing USA. Literally nothing. Up RT. 385 through the open fields of Texas, scattered with meaningless suburbs, to vast expanses of … again … nothing. Rolling hills, short grass, scrub growth and yellow sand as far as the eye could see. Fascinating. A grassy moon scape.
We stopped in Dalhart, TX, for Dairy Queen and to celebrate the return of T-shirt weather. Also for gas though only half full. I suspected that there would be infrequent gas stops and I was glad that we did. No warning, of course, just no gas. A quick car wash in Texline, TX, and then wondered why we bothered as the next few miles were road construction. These Texan towns are bread basket towns all shades of golds and yellows and lined with every imaginable truck for hauling grain.
And then into New Mexico and Mountain Time. Probably the last time I will have to reset the clocks as Arizona does not do daylight savings time. Fun checking to see if our cellphones were more cooperative … and they were. They switched over to the hour gained immediately. Onwards still to … well … Nothing USA thrice. Made the comment to Dee, “Are we there yet?” and received her response, “Are we anywhere there yet?” Hours of driving, harvests of gold and “towns” like Gladstone and Abbott whose status was more pretension than reality. One blink towns. If they had more than two buildings either side of the road, that was considerable. We did stop upon open plains to hear … well … wonderful nothing. Absolute silence. Can’t remember when I last experienced … nothing. Sound of silence.
The drive was steadily upwards. I thought TIC had lost the spring in her step until I realized that we started at 3,676′ in Amarillo, climbed to 7,413′ at Eagle Nest, NM, and back down to 6,952′ in Taos. An ultimate gain of 3,276′. No wonder she was panting slightly. And even though she did not get “her kicks on route 66“, she certain entertained the 6’s. Her clock clicked over into 66666 miles. Go Tickie.
One small blip was a “bridge out” on Rt. 58 after Springers so we ended up on a long loop road on Rt. 21 and then connected back to Rt. 58. Nice scenery, greater anxiety and a relief that I had a full tank of gas. Not a sole in sight. Well, except for a lonesome cowboy sitting atop his cattle carrying trailer playing his guitar. I kid you not. We realized that he was probably just killing time when his breakdown relief truck passed us by.
Cimarron Canyon illustrated like convoluted entrails on my GPS, so twisted and turned and switched back as it cut through the Pine canyons with earth Burgundy Red. Not the best way to end the day after five hours of driving and failing light … let alone failing eye sight. Very happy to end the day at Hampton Inn, Taos. Mexican for dinner of course.
Oh. And my other life. The cube. My worldly goods arrived in Phoenix yesterday after a jaunt to South Chicago.