Day 10 – Out of Texas and on to New Mexico

Today is Mom’s birthday! She opened cards and a present this morning before we left. Several friends and family members called while we were on the road.

The last 200 miles of Texas were pretty much what we saw yesterday, pretty but once you’ve seen a few yuccas, well, you’ve seen enough! And the trek was capped off with a hairy drive through El Paso at lunchtime. Let’s just say we were a little white knuckled, but we managed to escape into New Mexico. The visitor center hosted our picnic lunch – pbj and chips.

Shortly after arriving in New Mexico, we headed up I-25 in Lac Cruces to visit White Sands National Monument. White Sands is a unique geological site – it’s part of the inland sea (as was) and the “sand” is actually fine gypsum powder that would normally dissolve in water, but – of course – there is no water in the desert to dissolve it. It looks like fine, powdery snow. It’s really pretty. Did I mention it’s surrounded by a missile range? Fortunately, they weren’t firing today.

The drive was through a 5,100-foot pass and it was a challenge; overdrive was OFF and the special RV brake was used. About a 10-mile uphill to the pass and a very, very long down!

The U.S. Border Patrol was very visible throughout the trip. We were in view of the park – less than a mile – and all traffic was herded into a large covered area. The questions were: Are you American citizens? How many in your party? (they only looked in) And then we were passed forward to go our merry way…

I’m thinking that our money could be spent better. I mean, if you’re going to do this stuff, ask for ID and, in the case of an RV, ask us to show you. Not to mention, don’t put up a permanent shelter – if folks know it’s there, they won’t take that route; right? But, hey, who am I?

Tonight we’re at a fancy RV “resort” in Las Cruces. Hot tub, heated pool, breakfast in the morning… wow. Tomorrow is a short day and then we’ll make landfall in Tucson on Saturday. Phew.