Thursday, April 30, 2015

Day 20 - Leaving Texas and On Our Way to Deming, New Mexico!

We were up at 6:45 and the 4 of us were leaving the CG at 8:12 (Guess who picked that time?).  It was only in the upper 40's.  We needed to travel about 217 miles on Interstate 10 to arrive at our destination of Deming, NM.  It was a nice, relatively easy drive.

Busy driving around El Paso, but some nice mountains in
the background!

They had several fancy bridges!
This was far off in the distance on top of a mountain!

Leaving the lone star state of Texas!

Next state for more adventures!

Don't know what this flower is called, but the blooms
were gorgeous!

Another pretty cactus!

The "caravan" stopped at the visitors center as soon as
we entered New Mexico!

Ken and I were fascinated by the huge cattle "lots" where they raise and feed thousands of cattle on a "ranch type" setting and the sprawling pecan orchards. (That is the tree we saw in Texas when we were driving to Van Horn).

Cattle, cattle and more cattle!

It takes a lot of feed to keep the cattle full and growing!

The pecan trees!

The pecan orchards were beautiful!

This was a large metal sculpture of a roadruuner that
was high on a hill along Interstate 10 in New Mexico!

We arrived at the Escapees Dream Catcher RV Park in Deming, NM around 11:45 mountain time.  The park is a very typical park for this area with level, pull-through stoned sites for $18.00/night.  Set-up went well and we were eating lunch on the picnic table by 1:30.  After some chatting about activities for this area, we drove separately to the Wal-Mart about 3 miles down the road. Wow, civilization!!!!!  Ken and I stopped at the Deming Visitors Center for some additional info on the area.  After unloading and putting the groceries away, we decided it was time to take a short nap.  After all, this was a driving day!!!!!

The 4 of us sat outside chatting and deciding what things we would like to do while in the Deming area.  Then it was time for supper.  We went inside to get our salads ready for dinner and then we all ate together on the picnic table. After cleaning up, we got together in Waldo for Skip-Bo and 5 Crowns.
It was the men's night to win!  ( We always feel like we should be "kind" on the days they have the pressure of driving!)  By 10 we were all ready to call it a day.

Looking forward to a fun time in Deming!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Day 19 - Guadalupe National Park Hike

The 4 of us left the CG at 8:30 and drove in our CRV to Guadalupe National Park about 70 miles from our CG. It was the same route we took yesterday but still a very beautiful drive.

We stopped at the main visitors center to use their facilities and check with the Park Ranger about needing to show our pass for getting into their State Park. From there we went to the visitors center at the McKittrick Canyon area we would hiked that trail to Pratt Cabin, a 4.8 mile round-trip hike.

Saw 3 mule deer on our way into the park.  Only this one
cooperated for a photo!

What a nice trail that included some blooming flowers, cacti, unusual trees, stepping on rocks to go over small streams, and ending the hike at the Pratt Cabin.  We all agreed that the surface of this trail, stones, was so much harder on our feet and backs than a dirt trail. 

What beautiful views!

A Sotol Cactus

Love the blooming flowers in the DESERT!

The trail was well-maintained with the loose stones,
but it was hard on your feed and back!

Interesting bark that looked like mosaic!

This is an agave plant.  (not a cactus),  All parts
of this plant are used for something.  This is the
plant that provides agave nectar, a natural sweetner.
The syrup from the blue agave  is also used to make
 "high end" Tequila.  Indians used the pointed leaves
for pins and needles and the blooms are edible and usually

Mr. Pratt, an oil man, was taken by a friend to see this area canyon area.  His friend told him he wanted to show him the most beautiful spot in Texas.  Mr. Pratt fell in love with the canyon and in 1931 decided to build a stone cabin in the center of this most awesome setting.  The home consisted of a large LR and Kitchen, plus 2 bedrooms, each with their own full bath.  He also built a stone "garage" that was used as a stable.  He even built a stone entranceway and wall.  All the stones were brought to the building site by 2 local cowboys who had their horses drag the stones up the mountain from 3 miles away.  Those stones were more symmetrical and did not need to be chiseled when used for building the home.  He also had a front porch the entire length of the home to have a place to relax and view all of his surroundings.

Mr. Pratt constructed these pillars for a gated entrance and
 a stone wall.

That building is like a garage, but was the stable area.  Even
the roof was stone (flagstone)

Built in 1931, this cabin was amazing!

The view from the back of the cabin!

We enjoyed the rest and the view!

This is what you could view from the front porch!

The bark of these trees was soooo smooth!

We walked back down the trail and Ken's heel and Melissa's feet were sore from the rough, stony path. My back was a bit sore from this rough trail too!  We ate our packed lunches on the benches at the Visitors Center.  

Quite a ice place to eat lunch!

On the way back to the CG we passed the 290,000 acres owned by Jeff Bezo, the CEO of Amazon.  He founded a secret, private space craft company, Blue Origins, to ferry astronauts into space.  Also looking to provide affordable space travel for interested parties.  We passed his "space center", 30 miles outside of Van Horn. One of Ken's pictures include a launch pad and what appears to be a rocket. 

The rocket launch area!

Very tight security!

Back at the CG, I did a load of wash while Ken put the bikes on the CRV and disconnected everything but the electric.  At 6:15 the 4 of us walked to the Van Horn Cattle Company Restaurant about a block from the CG.  We were told they have delicious hamburgers and we had to agree!  Of course, we had to have some beef - after all, we are in Texas!

We played a game of Skip-Bo and Pinochle and we each won a game.  Can't believe it is time to move on to Deming, NM.  We have been in Texas for 2 weeks and we have certainly made some terrific memories.  Texas has been very good to us.  We hope to do a little relaxing the next few day (who am I kidding?)  We also have to find a grocery store or Wal-Mart.  We have been in the middle of nowhere at these last 2 CG's where there hasn't been a grocery store for miles and miles.  We haven't been near one since leaving San Antonio! Time to stock up!