Las Cruces - Rodeo, New Mexico
|We now use "marfa" as an adjective to describe a level of cold we want to avoid.|
Monday morning we continue west through El Paso where we're once again in awe of the crush of humanity that stretches to the mountains on both sides of the interstate. 1.6M in Juarez, Mexico, and 685K in El Paso, and we're happy to get through it and back into the wide open spaces!
I've added a few days to our time in Las Cruces where we set up at Hacienda RV Resort. It's a typical snug urban park - level asphalt sites with easy to access FHU utilities. The WiFi works well, our satellite connects, and the nearby interstate noise isn't too bad. The staff are helpful and the office/lobby/clubhouse is one of the nicest I've seen anywhere.
We always enjoy our stops here, it's a good size city without being too busy, and we're definitely happy to have warmer temps!
Everyone (but us) has stopped at the Recycled Roadrunner Rest Area to see the large (two-story-building large) art piece. Tuesday we head out to see it for ourselves. Like the sculptures made from ocean trash, there's something special about this huge bird made from discarded items. Kudos to the artists and funding sources who make these pieces available for all of us to enjoy.
Unless this is the first post you've read, it will not surprise you to learn that we have a high school friend to visit here :-) Dara was in Bill's class and she's been to at least one of the reunions. But this is really the first time we've had the opportunity to share all we've all been up to the last 45 years. It's fun to see her, and now that we know she's here we'll be sure to see her again!
|Dara and Bill - I forgot she's so tall (lucky!).|
|Lots of quirky characters throughout the restaurant.|
|Old signage is one of many collections on display.|
|No one passes through Hatch without taking their photo :-)|
We continue to hear stories of issues in some of the national parks during the continuing government shutdown. But like Big Bend, Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Monument is in great shape. No trash, clean restrooms, no one parked off the roads, and there are even a couple people with trash bags checking the parking lots. People-people, not ranger-people. It's a nice reminder that we do the right thing most of the time.
The moving clouds are giving us such a great show over the mountains, that we decide to drive to the other side. We know White Sands National Park is closed during the shutdown, but Bill finds us a great back road into the Aguire Spring National Recreation Area. The primitive campground is closed but roads and trails are all accessible. It's a very pretty area with wonderful views and lots of rock formations - I highly recommend making the short drive when you're in the area.
|Overlooking the missile testing range.|
|The other side of the Organ Mountains.|
|Hints of snow among the rocks.|
|A variety of textures.|
|A handsome surprise across the long views.|
|Golden grass hills.|
|Ghost bike along the highway, a memorial for a cyclist who lost their life here.|
A few more miles and their day is over. Likely for good. Upside down in the center median, the driver's body hanging out the open door, none of the people who rushed to the accident are interacting with anyone in the vehicle - there is no sign of life. The front of the guardrail is smashed where it looks like they hit it and went airborne. The Jeep shows signs of having rolled several times.
I only share this experience here because it was such a vicious reminder of how precious life is, and how in the blink of an eye it can change, or end.
Rodeo, New Mexico, is beyond the middle of nowhere, in a beautiful valley at the base of the Chiricahua Mountains. Rusty's RV Ranch is one of three commercial locations in the area - the others are a new brewery and the local museum. Our large site is level dirt with FHUs. The park WiFi works well, which is a good thing as there is no cell service for miles.
This is a dark-sky park that takes that designation very seriously. No headlights or flashlights are allowed at night - they do sell red lens flashlights if you want to walk around at night. Several large, professional-looking telescopes are tied down beside RVs in their sites.
|Beautiful 360 degree views from our 100' long site.|
So Monday we're off to the closest medical care in Douglas, Arizona, on the Mexican border. Urgent care sends him to the emergency room who wants to send him to Tucson. After two hours of IV antibiotics he checks himself out.
|That bump in the road......|
|Tessa and I enjoy an Arizona sunset while waiting.|
After a quick set up at Far Horizons RV Resort which is the closest park to the hospital, we head to the emergency room. Where we spend seven hours before getting into an exam room. Lots of tests and Bill gets admitted - he's in his room 11 hours after we arrived. So exhausting!!
He spends six days in the hospital where they remove the infected toe. He's never in pain, is able to walk without assistance both before and after the surgery. He does nearly die from boredom. I did very little over those days with a few exceptions.
I had to move the rig to a different site, visited my favorite artsy street in Tucson, went for a couple nice walks in the perfect weather, and had a wonderful visit with our dear friends Dawn and Darryl - and their delightful family visiting from Michigan.
|The best medicine.|
|Historic Fourth Avenue has several beautiful murals.|
|"Lock Your Love" project has several different shapes along the street.|
|Local figures honored.|
|A rustic coffee house for meeting good friends.|
|Dawn and Darryl. After we had to change our plans to visit them in Quartzsite, I'm so happy we were able to meet up while they were visiting Tucson!|
|Enjoying the sunshine on a lovely walking trail by the hospital.|
|A pretty butterfly mosaic on the foot bridge.|
|Ezra sends his PopPop this photo telling him to get better fast.|