On Monday, I left my friend Annie's - both of us had a few tears in our eyes. I picked up I-10 east of Palm Springs and the Interstate's road surface really was deteriorating. I am calling the Interstate the desert tire shredder/peeler. Either the CDOT wasn't doing a very good job of removing tire pieces on a frequent basis or there were a lot of lousy tires on vehicles running up and down that highway. Be a good job for some folks in county jails to earn their keep, like they do here; or, doesn't California do that?
I stopped at an AZ road side rest area just across the Colorado River and had some lunch, beautiful day. At Quartzsite, I drove around a little to see where the "squatters" are located. The area is noted for the huge influx of RV people January to March, along with vendors tents and all kinds of things one can buy for their RVing pleasure. On the south side of the Interstate is BLM land and one can go anywhere to squat for awhile. There aren't any electrical, water, or sewer hookups so one is boondocking/dry camping. There were a fair number there scattered all over the south side of the Interstate.
It was interesting to see the cotton "bales" as they do it now. They are huge truck size and can weight up to 25,000 pounds. Each module is marked with the growers number and then special trucks come along and pick up the modules and take them to nearby for separation of lint and seed.
Arizona likes to name the ditches that cross under the Interstate. I saw one that said "Palin Ditch". It was empty. Natch. Too bad it wasn't next to "Rubbish Ditch".
At Buckeye, I took AZ-85 south to Gila Bend, then east on I-8, avoiding going through Phoenix and hooking up with I-10 again south of Casa Grande. In Tucson, I had hoped to find some place to stay; but, I was going through during rush hour and when I did see something I was in the wrong lane to exit. So I kept diving on I-25 until I came to Benson and stayed there.
The next morning, headed east on I-10 to AZ 191, just east of Willcox. I wanted to see Roper Lake State Park, just outside Safford. The Park had been recommended by my friend Geri as a place to visit, and I agree with her. There is a small hot spring that one can use, a lake for fishing and nice clean sites. It's on my list of places to visit w/trailer.
I headed east from Safford on US70 towards Lordsburg, but turned north on NM90 towards Silver City to remind myself why I didn't really like Silver City. US70 is known as the Old West Highway and runs from Globe AZ to Lordsburg NM. The little town of Duncan AZ on the Gila River proved to be an interesting place to slow down and look at. At this website it looks like there is lots to do and see. Another place on my return to list.
I headed eastward on US180 and at Santa Clara, I took NM152. I stopped and read some historical information about the Santa Rita Copper Pit- the site of the former little town of Santa Rita that disappeared when the copper pit started growing. That's a BIG hole. Before entering Silver City, you can see reclamation work on some old mines around the area.
Wellllll, wish I had Googled NM152 a whole lot closer than I did. That is one of these most "curvaceous" roads I have been on in many, many years. I liked the west side before hitting Emory Pass at an elevation of 8,828 feet. Quickly noticed there were some campgrounds and Geri has told be that they are dry camps. I wished I had had more opportunities to enjoy the view coming down the east side of the Black Range mountains. Iam sooooo glad I didn't have my trailer with me. I would have been able to see the back end of the trailer using my side mirrors some times, the curves were so sharp. The little town of Hillsboro, which like a lot of NM towns, has interesting history. From there, it was across Lake Valley to I-25 joining at the little town of Caballo, where Caballo State Park is located.
I drove north on I-25 to Socorro and to spend the Thanksgiving week with my son, Jim. And while there I got to eat at my favorite eating spots - Lupe's and Socorro Springs. Thanksgiving Day, he took me to Steve (pic on left is son [left] and host Steve [middle]) & Lisa's (waving at us), in Albuquerque, for Turkey Day dinner. What we got to enjoy was a German dinner and that was a nice change. They had catered the meal as there were other friends who joined us. After dinner, us (or is it we) girls talked - a lot about politics and when I said something about "as soon as we can get those early baby boomers out of the political/management positions. . . . ." and oh boy did those younger generation women open up once they learned about my position on those "baby boomers" I missed it (thank heavens) by 4 or so years. It was a really enjoyable time. Am so glad they invited us up, otherwise Jim and I would have probably just stared at each other! Oh, I played my very first Wii games - I bowled with Steve & Lisa's son. That was fun.
Saturday, Jim and I drove down to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge south of San Antonio NM. This time of year, thousands of migrating birds spend winter here - including sandhill cranes, snowgeese, mallards are the birds we saw. I loved the snowgeese.
Monday, it was time to head home. Nothing to report, other than I stopped at a very nice family owned motel - Holiday Motel in Clayton NM on US87N - a sort of retro 50's motel but extremely clean, comfortable bed, and very nice owners and I had a delicious Mexican dinner that I obtained from one of those food vendor trailers in town. If you are thru Clayton and need to spend a night, then I recommend this place.
Made it home safely after 3384 miles.