Subject: Beatlick Travel Report 1: Out of Las Cruces
Date: Aug 20, 2009 9:52 AM
Out of Las Cruces
This time pulling out of Las Cruces for the open road seemed like a small miracle. So many commitments and obstacles are behind us, but it’s a long time coming and I am grateful, just grateful to finally be off.
The van has been officially blessed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church! Then Father Gabriel threw a few drops of rose water on Joe and me as well for good measure. We had a final meal with our good friend/mechanic/greatest enabler Michael Elliott in Old Mesilla. On the way out we stopped in at the cultural center to pay our respects to Denise Chavez, Joe’s old college friend. Then we were gone.
We drove west toward Deming to stock up at Wally World, then picked up Highway 180 toward Silver City and beyond to the San Francisco Hot Springs Campground. When we started smelling skunk and seeing signs to watch out for elk we knew we were headed towards the wilderness. On roads like 180 you can drive for hours through vast distances unchanged since the wagon trains went through. We saw the occasional small road left, due west to Arizona, and hardly a car passed us by.
Right before mile marker 58 we turned into the San Francisco Hot Springs Campground, just at sunset. The campground is now host to a herd of cows. We set up camp without disturbing them too greatly, got out the crackers, peanut butter, pepperoni and beer. I took the time to really look at one of those cows, as it was looking at me, just luxuriated in that moment taking the time to really look at that sweet gentle cow. And it will be rewarded for all its sweetness and gentleness by being eaten. Sad, but they are delicious.
After the cows settled down there wasn’t a single sound. Stillness. No barking dogs. Radios. Sirens. Weird. Joe got out his hand cranked radio and we picked up this awesome station 107 playing all the old 70s and 80s music. It was all those love songs that used to make me so sad back in the old days when I was a single parent, so lost and lonely. But to hear all those songs now, with Joe so near, just filled my heart.
I hit the top bunk early; it was a long and hot drive. I went to sleep with Joe saying, “Pamela you should see all these stars!” I peered out the screen window from my bunk and saw the sky looking like fireworks in freeze frame.