Day 18. July 18, 2016 Globe AZ to El Paso TX
Left Globe and drove through Apache territory. Temp a pleasant 82 degrees. Saw mountain covered in cactus. Drove through Gila Valley on the Old West Hwy with beautiful mountains all around us. Passed into New Mexico and it was flat in every direction. Started to see extinct volcanos near Denning where we stopped at the Black Hat Trading Post. Saw Baker’s Hotel where Dandy had camped. Further along we stopped for lunch at the Adobe Deli. Saw huge mountains in the distance but the land is still flat. Passed through one area where we saw seven dust devils. Stopped in historic La Mesilla and walked through to see the historic buildings and shop. Temp now 104. Drove into El Paso TX and could see the town of Ciudad Juarez Mexico right beside the interstate. Camped for the night at the Hyatt Place. Mileage: 334.3
We left Globe AZ on the other end of our own US 70 (our connection to home) and headed east because there is no going any further west on that road. We took hwy Indian 6 and hwy Indian 170 though Apache territory and had a history lesson on the Apache Indians. When we got back on US 70, we passed quickly (65 on another 2 lane hwy) by a mountain covered with large saguaro cacti. We stopped to clean our windows “I can see clearly now the streaks are gone…” and turn around to go back and get some pics. We saw a sign that said watch for animals next 7 miles. Susan declared that she really wanted to see animals and told everyone to watch for them. I, sitting in the backseat, said that there were two sitting in the front.
We went through Geronimo which was half a block long. We had wanted to sto, but by the time we saw it we had missed it all together. Since there was nothing there we didn’t bother to turn around.
In Pima, we had to turn around yet again for the road sign “Old West Highway”. Further along the highway, we kept seeing cacti and Pam googled the age. We realized that some of the same cacti that we saw were there when Dandy went thru. It seems they grow very slowly. A ten year old plant might just be 1-2 inches tall. A 40-60 ft plant is 150-200 years old. Some of the big ones weigh over 2 tons. Now you’ve had your science lesson for the day too. The temperature was still in the high 80’s and it seemed very pleasant.
We left the cactus behind and entered yucca territory. There are yucca plants everywhere. We had to take a bathroom break at the only convenience store in the middle of nowhere, and there were prisoners working nearby. We all had to go so we went in.
Right after that we passed into New Mexico. New Mexico is flat, flat, flat with mountains in the distance. We saw a cow all alone in the middle of NOWHERE , 1 cow, all by itself. About 10 miles later, we saw a group of about 20 cows. We assume the 1 was a teenager cow that just had to get away. 😉 After we saw a couple of dust devils beside the road, we also saw a sign that said: safety corridor for the next 20 miles. We had to turn on lights and we can’t figure out why. It is flat, flat, flat and the road is straight. Not sure why it was a safety corridor. About half way thru we passed the continental divide (elevation 4585). How could they tell that was the divide? It was flat, flat, flat. We started seeing extent volcanos and we didn’t realize there was so many volcanos in the area. In Deming we stopped at the Black Hat Trading Post and filled the car up with rocks. These were bought rocks, too. We like rocks. We then drove into town and found the Baker Hotel building where I think Dandy camped in the parking lot. Denning was not a happening place. As we drove out, we started to see these large mountains in the distance but it was really flat all the way up to them. We just can’t capture the perspective with pictures.
Trip Advisor reviews led us to the Adobe Café outside of Deming for a late lunch. I mean it is outside of Deming in the middle of farm country, in the middle of nowhere. It was weird. It’s like an antique store, junk shop, restaurant, bookstore, I don’t bloody know what all they must have put in a bag and then just randomly pulled out. That’s about what the reviews said too. We did eat lunch but we didn’t order the Rabbit Roadkill Reuben. When we left and it was 100 degrees. We saw more flat land, cows, and lots of dust devils. At one time we saw 7 dust devils at the same time.
When our road merged back onto the interstate, we saw the sign for the town Truth or Consequences. Yes this is the name of a real town. There was a giant bird on the right at the top of the hill.
Our best find of the day was historic La Mesilla. It was a perfectly kept old Spanish town with a plaza in the center. All of the buildings around the plaza and down the side streets were old west buildings made of adobe. It felt just like going back in time and standing in the middle of a pueblo. We got out and went through the stores and did a little shopping. We didn’t buy any more rocks but Susan did buy some earrings. This is the kind of town we thought we would see more of on our trip. Billy the Kid, Poncho Villa, and several presidents had visited the town in its heyday.
On our way out of town, we passed a bunch of pecan farms. They irrigated the farms by flooding them. At first we thought there had really been a hard rain storm, but then realized that it was just irrigation.
When we passed into Texas we drove right along the border. You could look out the right window and right beside the interstate was Mexico. I mean it was where the frontage road would usually be. This was Ciudad Juarez Mexico and it was literally right there. We then headed to the hotel, Hyatt Place. I used 8K Hyatt points but I get back 10% for the July-Oct promotion.
We thought we would be on Central Time now, but NOOO, El Paso and one other county are in the Mountain Time Zone. We will switch about 30 minutes outside of El Paso, tomorrow.
I have now been in 45 of the 50 states. I have Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin to go. This trip gave me Kansas and now New Mexico.