Sunday, May 1, 2011

2011-09 Last Week in New Mexico

Last Week in New Mexico

Blackwater Draw Site, National Historic Landmark

Campground:  Oasis State Park, NM. Near Clovis.  $14 Elect. & Water.  All sites are pull through sites overlooking the prairie landscape.

I’m spending my last week in New Mexico.  It’s there windy time of the year.  Today and tomorrow are expected to be exceptionally windy with highs of 50-70 miles per hour.  I may have to throw the anchor over the side of the camper to keep it in place. My friend Alex O says it's the annual "Great Springtime Real Estate Transfer"

I’m back at Casino Hollywood, San Felipe where my campsite is only $10 a night.  Waiting for my Doctors appointment on Thursday.  Then I’ll be heading back out on the road.  I’ve been following the news on gas prices and they are saying the price of fuel could reach $6.00 a gallon by summer.  Not something we Rv’ers are looking forward to nor anyone else who has to drive.

route 66 tour cars
While re-cooping from my hernia surgery, which I might add is progressing very nicely thank you, I saw a caravan of  Route 66 cars drive past my camper yesterday.  They paused, a scout jumped out of one of the cars and began checking the dirt roadway that winds around the scrubby hills surrounding the RV park and casino.  Come to find out, it is part of the original Route 66 and the tour master was bringing the group along this section to experience a bit of the original route.

They ended up having to route around a gully before getting onto the Route 66 dirt road.  Slowly winding their way up and around the pinion pine and cedar dotted hill, disappearing into the distance.  About 20 minutes later, they had backtracked, so I can only assume they reached a dead end somewhere on San Felipe Pueblo Reservation land.  But what an adventure they were having.  Me taking pictures and them while they  were taking pictures of we Rv’ers in the casino campground.

Thursday.  My doctors appoint complete.  I’ve been given a 100% clearance, no restrictions and I can get ready to head back out on the open road.  Whoopee!  Imagine, only 10 days to recover from a hernia operation.

This evening while enjoying a windless evening with the sun setting to the west over the barren hills warn into soft rounded hills, four wild horses came down out of those hills in search of desert grasses.  Two black stallions with ribs showing a rough life of foraging for food, one blond beauty with a long main looking as showy as any model on a runway and finally a lone palomino  all painted black and white keeping his distance from the others.  Wild horses, what one would expect to see out west… right here, one hundred yards from my campsite.   This is one of the reasons I travel.

Saturday.  My heart is once again soaring.  I’m back on the open road heading west and eventually SE on a rural road hwy 84.  I’ve decided to head closer to the Gulf of Mexico to hopefully avoid any problems with the horrid weather the country has been experiencing.  I don’t want to become another Dorothy flying overhead in a tornado.  I’ll be heading SE all across Texas in a day or so.

Abandoned church, near Clovis NM

As I head east about 150 miles outside of Albuquerque,  the topography changes from those wonderful mountain ranges to flat and gently rolling plains landscapes.  I stop to take some pictures of an abandoned church.  It’s windows and doors long since removed or broken, the white paint sandblasted off of the clap board siding.  But it still has so much character.   Surprisingly still in fairly good shape.

I’m heading towards Clovis and the site of North Americas (Blackwater Draw) traditionally accepted as the oldest evidence of  Native American culture.  Some 12,000 years old.  A site where a cache of  fluted Clovis points were discovered.  Where  Mammoth bones were found with spears and Clovis points embedded in them.  The oldest hand-dug well.  Bison bones, camel and horses before they became extinct in North America and eventually reintroduced by the Spanish explorers.

They’ve built a metal two story building over one of the excavation sites so that I was able to see the bones still in their exact location after discovery.  Evidence of Clovis, Folsom and later still Paleo-Indian cultures.

road leading into old gravel pit, site of Clovis discoveries

Imagine a young farm boy discovers the bones and tusks of a giant extinct mammoth on his farmland.  Literally sticking out of the wind swept sands of this barren prairie landscape.   But after the discovery, the land is purchased and becomes a gravel pit.  The owner permits archeologists to dig up the bones and do research, all while the gravel pit continues to dig up this treasure trove of archeological discoveries.  Destroying much of the evidence along the way.  Eventually the site is sold to the state of New Mexico which now overseas the site.

Of special interest is that these bones of Mammoth, camel, saber-tooth cats are not petrified.  They are the actual bones preserved by the special dynamics of the area.

My campsite overlooks the dry grass prairie as flat as a pancake.  Giving the impression that the earth really is flat.  At night with the sky turning black, twinkling lights appear off on the horizon miles away.  Civilization at a distance, the rest miles and miles of dry grasses, a lone tree off in the distance.  Not a house or building of any kind to be seen for miles.  Open land providing space for the mind to regenerate and  revel in the solitude and peace out here.

Next Week, Texas.

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