Day 111 – Tuesday, October 15, 2013
We left Elephant Butte State Park and headed in to Truth or Consequences to run some errands and look around a bit more. We found the ubiquitous WalMart and did some grocery shopping and also replaced our indoor/outdoor thermometer guy. After we stocked up the RV, we were off to find a US Post Office. The first one was closed for lunch, but we found the main branch and Julie was happy. One, because they were open, and two, she could mail her items she has been carrying around for a few days. Julie notes “The first one was a great old looking building right downtown and was actually closed for the day at noon. Everything including the US Post Office looks quaint with the name ‘Truth or Consequences’ on a sign above it. Again I heard the clerks chatting through the mail slots but just quietly slid my already stamped items through the mail slot. Off we went to the other branch. Seriously this teeny town has 2 working post offices. (Well 1.5 as the other closes every day at noon.) My quest for stamps was met with a bit of a delay though. The first woman smiled and said they were out of my special international stamps but they were on order and smiled at me some more. But the other woman thought the stamps were in the back just not yet inventoried. The one woman smiled at me some more until the other woman spoke again and said ‘Maybe you could check if they could get those ready now.’ My woman continued to smile at the both of us now. The other woman explained to her ‘You just have to walk back there and ask Florence (made up name).’ ‘Oh’ said smiley woman. I think maybe she thought I was going to go and check with Florence. It was a hubbub of activity there in a small town kind of way and I heard more gossip as I waited for the stamps to make their way from ‘the back’ to ‘the front’. And Florence (made up name) when she arrived with the stamps, could possibly be seen as a bit intimidating with her red hair and long nails and very efficient manner so I could understand my smiley woman’s hesitation. Things got mailed though and I do really enjoy Post Offices as there is always something going on. Laundry mats are still my favourite though.”
After driving around checking out the town and some restaurants, we picked a restaurant for lunch, but as luck would have it, they are closed on Tuesdays. Julie notes “We knew yesterday that this place was closed today. We even knew that yesterday was Monday which isn’t always the case as days meld together as we travel. But sometime between yesterday and today that information flowed out of our brains. I blame it on the fact that we are without our working thermometer boy plus we think we may have changed time zones again so we can’t really be expected to keep track of days of the week, hours of the day or remember stuff, can we?” We decided to just head out to our next destination and have lunch somewhere along the way. Julie notes “Empty promises and empty stomachs. There was no real place to stop along the way as we soon found out.”
We planned to travel Highway 152, the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway, from the little town of Oasis on I-25, over the Emroy Pass, to San Lorenzo, and then south on Highway 61 to the City of Rocks State Park. This route would take us through Kingston, NM. Kingston, ON is where it all began 36ish years ago for Julie and me at St. Lawrence College. I am glad I had the idea to travel this route. It quite rightly earned the name “Scenic Byway”. Julie notes “Oh ya. Here we go! Everyone knows I’m the one in control of the big map with the little green dots on it telling us the most scenic routes.”
A classic trailer, including laundry in the sun shelter, at Elephant Butte State Park. Julie notes “2-4-1 shot. My clothes line fix and Brad’s fondness for old stuff that needs work. Yes I know I am setting up a joke about myself. But honestly how much more work can I get done? I think I’m looking almost as good as this classic if I wore something sparkly.”
Our WalMart grocery stop. Julie notes “I’m surprised we weren’t overwhelmed with the urge to camp here. But despite our WalMart aversion, it was a very nicely stocked, large, modern store. Brad sent me out like a wide receiver fetching things like liquid hand soap and paper plates, etc. from the furthest corners of the store while he leisurely strolled through the grocery aisles. I did get to see lots of the locals milling around. My favourite was a little old grandma carrying around a new hunting rifle, as long as she was tall, in its camouflage case, while she was shopping in the kitchen section. Just looking ahead to how she was going to cook that venison perhaps. Having left Brad alone in the grocery though, I had to do a quick pat down of his person to ensure he wasn’t trying to buy yet another container of cream cheese. We are carrying 3 with us presently, all purchased in different countries. His excuse is always “But I bought bagels!?”
And the happy girl because we have a new working thermometer. I am really lucky it doesn’t take much to make her happy. I keep the bar pretty low for the rest of you guys. You’re welcome. Julie notes “Yes I think everyone knows how lucky you are! And yes I am happy with the new thermometer ‘man’. The little fellow on the screen looks a bit like Brad. Same impish grin and hair tousled in the wind and right now he is wearing one of Brad’s sweaters. I had to operate on thermometer ‘boy’ in the middle of the night the other night. I was finished reading for the night, turned off the music and getting ready to enjoy Brad’s soothing snores as I fell blissfully to dreamland when I heard this little ‘chirp’ followed by another ‘chirp’ and so on. First I thought our little toad was still around or that we had a very consistent cricket. No way to ignore it and fall asleep so after some ‘in the dark’ investigation, so as not to disturb my sleeping giant, I found the culprit under a pile of Brad’s clothes and miscellaneous camera and lap top bags practically under Brad’s leg, chirping sadly. It was the last heartbeats of the now blanked screen dying thermometer. I surgically removed its batteries so we could all be at peace. We actually will miss him.”
Funky Town; Truth or Consequences, NM Julie notes “The pictures below are of a t-shirt store where we had stopped as there was a particular one we had seen that this store sells. Well our timing as usual did not line up to the hours of operation of the store. Despite the 2 neon flashing ‘open’ signs that beckoned us from the car, the list of hours of operation had a caveat written under it saying ‘most of the time… sorry I missed you…come again’. Well who do you think I saw at the post office? Not hard to recognize as he looks exactly like someone who runs a tie dye and sign business, plus his car was tie dyed with the store name on it. Also not available was the tarot card reader as Brad was looking for some idea as to what direction we should travel today. Luckily, as I said before, I had the big map book and showed him the way.”
I love this sign. It is a very appropriate name for the Municipal Court, don’t you think?
South on I-25
West on 152 – the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway.
Julie notes “Do you see it? A beauty isn’t it?”
Passing through the town of Kingston, NM. They even have a Spit and Whittle Club. Who knew?
Our GPS track from the Emroy Pass. Our altimeter indicated and elevation of 8,207′ above sea level. Julie notes “Despite the fact that I decided we should go this route, even I was surprised by the beauty at every twist and turn. Mother Nature is busy at work repairing some of the fire damage we saw along the way. An incredible way to spend an afternoon.”
Entering City of Rocks State Park, NM. Julie notes “I had just said ‘I think we took a wrong turn. We’re heading away from the mountains’, then SPROING! There it is!”
It was a great travel road and a good day. I’m really glad I picked this route. Julie notes “Did Truth or Consequences not teach you anything?” We found a nice site, one of the few left, with a view to the north-west across the prairie. We had an easy supper of salad, pasta, and a WalMart roast chicken followed by a fire of the Yellowstone pine. Really sorry to see it go but it was nice and dry after 2+ months in the back of the truck. Julie notes “Yes if that wood could…we’d probably sell it to the circus. They would not let us return it at the WalMart. They needed the manager for that and he was at the post office. And Brad was giddy to have a campfire. It turned out to be a very nice evening. Perfect temperature and only enough wind to send the smoke away from us. The fire lit up the giant rocks behind us and we watched the stars and planes and possibly satellites pass over and talked about how much Mom and Dad would’ve loved this site. Mom and Dad if you are listening, we still have no idea what the bathrooms are like here.”
…over and out, the muleskinner and his sidekick