In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

It Was a Good Trip - Part 3

The first thing I noticed about New Mexico was the immediate reduction in the speed limit. In Texas, when the highway is in good condition, and the conditions are favorable to higher speed limits, it's not uncommon to find 75 mph maximum speed limits on roads some might think is too fast for conditions. Whether that's good, or bad, isn't nearly important - in my opinion - as allowing those the opportunity to cover the same distance in a shorter period of time. The 65 mph speed limit was way too slow in my opinion. 

The long highway had power poles on the south side of the road, and at least every other pole had a bird nest in the crossbar. The appearance of the nests reminded me of those made by crows in my part of the woods. A little research by my wife, and the only birds to be seen during the drive, made me certain we were seeing the work of ravens. At first, I thought they were crows, but they were larger, as were their nests. 

We stopped for my wife to take a photo of one in its nest. Unperturbed by our intrusion, it just watched as she got out and took the photo. 

Considering the surrounding area, the lack of water, and the general desolation of the plains, I wondered what they had to eat. I, also, wondered if the number of nests were the current, or a combination of new and abandoned nests from years past. I'll probably never know, but if some were old, they must have been built well. There is nothing to block the wind, and strong winds are known to blow in the High Plains. 

I have to add at this point that the High Plains in this area were in a drought during our trip. The dry, arid landscape probably has some better foraging for cattle during wetter seasons. There are fences, which indicate cattle ranching, but it would take a lot of acreage to keep only a few cattle alive. We didn't see many, which either indicates they're moved to other pastures, or sold at auction at whatever price that could be had. Oil wells dot the landscape, so regardless of the cattle business, oil could still provide income.

We passed through a small town named Tatum which is part of a large county, with a seat in Lovington, New Mexico. There's a lot of territory between the county seat, and Tatum. As far as I could tell, Tatum is a necessary location for those living in the northern part of the county. I didn't see a grocery store, but it might have been off the main drag, but there was fuel, convenience stores, and the customary Family Dollar. It didn't take long to pass through and on to a longer section of empty highway.

During this stretch, we came upon signs for the Mescalero Sands. I'd never heard of the area, and a road offered access. It didn't take much of a drive down the road to make us turn around. The road became progressively worse, and the large rock provided for traction wasn't what I wanted to drive on. It may be a great place to visit, but from what I could see, it was like a really big beach. I'm not much for sandy areas after years of dealing with it in construction. It's always gritty, can ruin a good sandwich, and very unpleasant when the wind is blowing hard.

We crossed the Pecos right before Roswell. Nearly dry, about two dozen feet long, and only some muddy water was all to be seen; except how the channel, and bridge, can take a beating if the river is in flood. 

Roswell is much larger than I thought. With a population of over 40,000 people, and being a county seat, it's far from a small town with kooks capitalizing on UFO's and aliens. Only a few small businesses are related to the incident, and Roswell is best described as a clean, prospering smaller city. We only stayed long enough to have lunch and stop at a pharmacy for something we forgot to pack. For someone wanting to visit, there are plenty of hotels, restaurants, and from what I've researched, it's close enough to many things to see in New Mexico, including what is in Roswell. As far as where the "spaceship" crashed, that location is about 75 miles away near Corona. Roswell only played a part because of the Roswell Army Air Field was involved with the investigation of what a rancher found on their land.

We soon headed west and toward our destination. It was early, so we had time to dawdle and see what we felt like seeing. We weren't far out of Roswell when I saw something in the distance that caught my eye.  At the time, I didn't stop to take a photo, but did on the way home.

That's the first sight of the Capitan Mountains. On the way there, there were clouds behind the mountains, and the view wasn't nearly as clear. Still, it was a sight for me, since I was born, raised, and worked most of my life in the flat areas of the Coastal Plains of Texas. Mountains are far away, take a long time to reach, and views with anything poking above the horizon are not to be found. I was impressed, and the flat land soon turned into rolling foothills without much vegetation. 

We'd soon be in the Lincoln National Forest, and I was anticipating the visit. 


  1. Rozwell was kinda cool , last time there was 1998

    1. It was an interesting city. Far cleaner than many, some strange, which I'm assuming part of those that relish the alien mystique. There are things to see, but my intent was the Lincoln National Forest.

  2. Nice. I remember the nests. Always there.

    1. For those that find the number of ravens disconcerting, I wouldn't recommend traveling that route.

  3. pretty sure the aliens crashed there. they got lost, looked down and saw roswell. figured they were home and decided to land but hadn't figured on gravity. i've traveled the whole country, that area gave me the weirdest feeling. not frightening, just strange vibes....i live in the blue ridge mtns. you can almost throw a rock to the next peak. out there you can see it but its still 5 hours away. i wondered why every truck had a blue water can in the back. now i know.

    1. With that vast expanse of nearly nothing, I still found I felt someone was always observing.

    2. YES! that was it.