Saturday, May 5, 2007

Road Day

Saturday, May 5 Happy Cinco de Mayo folks

Today is travel day again, but not in any big rush to make it out of here at the crack of dawn, so to speak. Today I go to Socorro to spend some time with my son, Jim (or as his mom calls him-Jimmy). He works overnight and doesn’t get home until around 8 a.m. But, because Cinco de Mayo activities are taking place at the town plaza, he’s going to get up earlier than usual so we can go see the flamenco dancers at the Town Square at 4 p.m. The rest of the time that week spent with him is open. I know we will go eat at my very most favorite Mexican food restaurant there in Socorro a couple of times. I’ve been saving up for this.

I actually spent a quite day yesterday, sitting outside under the table canopy reading, watching the birds and the cactus blooming! It was around 90 degrees, according to my thermometer I put outside but really quite nice. A southwesterly wind was blowing and it made it feel cooler. High clouds starting coming in during the afternoon.

Columbus is interesting in that you find various businesses in the oddest places. it has a brand new Post Office, which serves pretty much as one of two ATM places. The public library is very nice for a small town and they have WiFi. I enjoyed my visit with the librarian. I visited the Museum here at Poncho Villa (spell it right this time) and it told me enough to keep me interested but not a lot of detail so that you skipped thru a lot of stuff.

On March 9, 1916 very early in the morning, Pancho Villa raided Columbus and the military camp here called Camp Furlong. Several buildings were burned and some people and soldiers killed during the raid. From here General Pershing launched his march into Mexico after Villa but never succeeded in capturing him. The Camp became a training base for aircraft and maintenance of military vehicles. Many of the remnants of those training facilities are still here. For some reason the brig is still standing while many of the other buildings are gone and just their foundations remain. There is a very thorough botanical garden here at the Park also. I went thru it in the early evening after it had cooled down.

Right outside my trailer door is a century plant with a very, very long stalk on it. I tried to put my fingers around the base of it (yes, it poked me a time or two or three) and I could not encircle the stalk. The yuccas and prickly pear are just starting to bloom where as in Texas the cactus were already blooming. I observed coming from El Paso 4 different changes in terrain. The first was volcanic, second I drove thru sand dunes, third was grasslands with lots of longhorn steers and here back to high desert. Something interesting I saw in the volcanic rock region (and I was told by Brad of Santa Fe to watch for this), was interesting little mounds of rocks alongside the highway. Some of them were like pyramids, others looked like arrows pointing, some were in circles. Brad told me that he learned that these are the efforts of one man who goes out to keep them current and they are directional signs for safe crossing by people crossing the border illegally. The Border Patrol and highway crews do knock them down, but he is right back out there putting them up.

I cannot ignore the Border Patrol. You can’t if you tried! Every third vehicle I saw coming to Columbus was a Border Patrol. You could see them out on the terrain where there was no road, they have helicopters going by every now and then. They have been very noticeable since I was at Seminole State Park. I have noticed them more here though. I think we are just a couple of miles from the border.

Suntan lotion, remember to bring suntan lotion.

Just like it’s okay to change your travel plans, it’s okay to do nothing, but observe and listen. It’s like watching the cactus bloom (sort of like we say - watching the grass grow.).

This morning I awoke early, fixed my coffee, did a few trip preparation things. When the coffee was done I went outside. The sun was just peaking over the horizon. The symphony of bird songs I heard, the scurrying around of the quail and cottontail bunnies, the baby birds wanting to be fed, watching the sun move across the ground, people getting up to take their dogs out for a morning walk. There goes a Western Tangier. Wow!

Until later.

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