We crossed into New Mexico via Interstate Highway 10. Big rigs filled the highway and the parallel train tracks are busy with long trains, filled with goods, oil and who know what else. NM is a stark contract to Southern AZ; lots of flat brush and wide open spaces.
We continue to stay in the south, as we are trying to avoid snow. However, it has been down to or below freezing on many nights. We will go to northern NM on a return trip. We loved Taos & Santa Fe when we were there skiing years ago.
Deming, NM was our first stop, as we try to limit the amount of “Jackson” driving time on any given day. Grocery shopping in Deming was an education in many kinds of peppers, produce I didn’t recognize and virtually miles of salsa & hatch enchilada sauce.
We went wine tasting, but not the best of experiences as the wine was too sweet with no apparent body. However, we did score a green hatch chili wine that I will use in a stew. For lunch, we drove down a dirt road to a restaurant (Adobe Deli, rated No. 1 restaurant on Trip Advisor) that had no visible sign other than “tavern”. Inside, a dark bar FILLED with stuffed animals. I am not kidding…..I counted 50 dead animals. Gave me the creeps. But the French Onion Soup was one of the best I have ever enjoyed and the people were lovely.
Roswell The road to Roswell is dotted with pecan groves, oil wells, refineries and cattle feed lots. The smell is horrible. Raising animals this way is criminal and unhealthy.
But I have always wanted to go to Roswell and check out the UFO information. The museum documented the event in 1947 and convinced me; again, we are not alone. Followed by a great Mexican meal with Alien Amber Ale, what wasn’t to like?
Carlsbad Cavern National Park: Before we went to the park, we received a local paper with information about the various caves. Here is one description:
Spider Cave: Extremely strenuous. Participants navigate slippery surfaces, belly crawl for extended periods of time and free climb rock chimneys. Not recommended for anyone with fear of enclosed spaces. Holy crap. They had me at “Spider”.
The printed information and web site do not truly prepare you for the Cavern. It is the largest cavern in the Western Hemisphere….and 800 feet below ground. That equates to about 80 stories. Someone thought to bore down through solid rock and install an elevator. Thank God! We walked around the Big Room for about an hour in 90% humidity and about 56º. Humidity on my face felt wonderful, especially after being in the desert for some time.
Bats live here. A lot of bats….like several hundred thousand. Fortunately (for me) they weren’t here, as they migrate and winter in Mexico and points south. While in residence (summer to about Oct) you can stand outside at sunset and watch the bats come out to feed. Several hundred thousand of them. I am not sorry I missed this. Bats are creepy.
I think I was very brave to go down into the cavern. I am a bit claustrophobic and caves creep me out. But, I did it. However, it was my first and last cavern.
Beers: We have been keeping track of the craft beers that we have tried. Some fair, some good, some great. However, even the worst beer was better than mass produced beers. Here’s a list:
Snake Charmer IPA: Score – 8
Oak Creek Amber Ale: Score -5
Old Bieber Brewing Company Pilsner: Score – 5
Tombstone Pal Ale (unfiltered): Score – 9 (enjoyed at Crystal Palace Saloon)
Firestone Union Jack IPA (from Paso Robles): Score – 9
Alien Amber Ale: Score – 5
This list could account for my jeans getting a tight. R&D is tough work!
Now, headin’ to Texas…….