New Mexico

The miles of road are blurring, as we’ve been driving east for a long time. Sometime before noon we crossed the Continental Divide. Around 2 pm Mountain Time we had run out of all sodas and we pulled in to Las Cruces for a late lunch and a break at Starbucks. While Peter worked on fixing a partition on his laptop, I drove off to get emergency make up and soft drinks.
I went to an Albertson’s that was decidedly off. It seemed like every third person hauling around their own oxygen and moving slowly. My first cynical guess was that is what happens to you after you’ve been subject to 40 years of experiments at the White Sands missile base. But then, noting that the guy in front of me was freakishly tall, and another was wearing an improbable Harley Davidson Kuwait shirt, I remembered New Mexico is all about outer space, with Roswell, the Very Large Array, and a secretive military base. Perhaps these were all extraterrestrial aliens, and it wasn’t oxygen they were toting around, but rather a semblance of their native atmosphere, and they were still struggling with Earth gravity.
Furthermore, this Albertson’s had no diet Coke for sale. None at all. Sure, it was 95 degrees outside, but sometimes a supply truck ought to get in.¬†Dispirited¬†I bought some diet Orange Crush and Pepsi and went back to the Starbucks. On our way out of town, we went to Blake’s, New Mexico’s exclusive burger chain, and got a Lotaburger, albeit without green chilis on it.
And then we entered the nothingness of west Texas. We stopped for gas in Pecos, and stopping for the night was a lot more appealing than pushing on to Odessa and its fake Stonehenge. We’ve already seen the real Stonehenge, and in 2014 we saw Carhenge in Amarillo, so it wasn’t worth to push on for another hour.
Our motel in Pecos had two smoker style barbecues by the pool, I suppose since Texans on the road will not put up with microwaving their meals. A friendly set of men eating a late dinner (and maybe waiting for their barbecue) directed me to the ice machine after hearing me asking Scout to look for it.
I checked my email and our realtor had sent us some listings: two of the houses had had music studios in them, though like us, the owners had ripped them out for the sake of the sale.
This motel also offered a full breakfast, and we were delighted to find out they had Texas-shaped waffles. Now we knew we were truly in Texas.

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