Thursday, April 17, 2014

Arizona to New Mexico

Here it is April already. Debi and I are trying something new this year. As most of you know, this is our fifth year of full time traveling. We've enjoyed our travels, having been through and visited 42 States so far. We still have the New England States to visit. That said, last year we spent several weeks at the Bella Terra RV Resort in the Gulf Shores area of Alabama. While there we were asked if we would be interested in doing some work kamping. That is, working around the resort in exchange for our space rent and utilities. We had never done that before but it sounded easy and interesting. The fact we also loved the area helped a lot, so we decided to try it this year. We left Mesa mid March and headed east to Alabama. Since there's not much to see along this route, my intention is to gloss over some of the area as we didn't spend much time there as we visited the same places several times in the past couple years. Given our 3 hour travel window limits us as to which campgrounds we'd like to visit. We did try several new ones so they will be somewhat featured here. Enjoy.....Dennis

Welcome to New Mexico, goodbye Arizona.

About half way between Lordsburg New Mexico and Deming, we passed the Continental Divide. From this point in New Mexico, all waters falling to the west flow into the Pacific Ocean and all waters east of it flow to the Atlantic Ocean. The Great Divide starts in Seward Peninsula in Alaska and extends to the tip of South America.

We turned off Interstate 10 and headed north east into Las Cruces, New Mexico. As we crested the hill, we could see the City below nestled in a basin below the towering mountains.

We finally stopped for the night at the Hacienda RV Resort. Wide spacious sites awaited us. I was pretty tired even though it was only a three hour drive. The dreaded "Check Engine" light on the dash decided to illuminate causing me some distress. Fortunately, there is a Cummins dealer in San Antonio. I'll have it checked there.

After spending a couple days at the Hacienda RV Resort we headed east once again. We hoped to arrive in Junction before the sunset. Our destination is the North LLano RV park, formerly a KOA.

El Paso, like so many border towns, appears to be a contradiction. On the west side of Interstate 10 lies the Mexican town of Juarez. On the east of the Interstate are upscale shops and stores.

The sign says it's the Gateway to Juarez but one has to simply look down from the Interstate to see the poverty below. They ask that you do not bring your firearms into their country.

We've visited Juarez in the past and found it typical to most of the border towns along the California, Arizona Texas border. Street vendors hawk their wares everyday along their sidewalks. We stayed the course this day and continued our journey.

Here you can see more poverty along the Mexican side of the freeway. Ciudad Juarez is a city of 1.5 million people and is considered Mexico's fastest growing city, despite being known as the most violent zone in the world outside war zones! Even though it appears pretty bleak from this vantage point, there are affluent areas within the City.

Leaving El Paso and heading east once more, we pass an abandoned RV left for Mother Nature to reclaim. It appeared to have been a home for someone but was now left to the coyotes and rattlesnakes.

Another abandoned RV. This Winnebago was way beyond being able to be saved. To think of when this was built and the dreams it provided for families as they traveled as we now do. It's sad in a way.

We left the valley floor and climbed up and over the small mountain range and arrived at a small campground along Interstate 10. In the past we have simply gone on to our next destination. However, this trip we decided to try a new campground. It turned out to be a real gem.

In the past we've stayed at Balmorhea State Park but this is the Saddleback Mountain RV Park which is right off I-10. For $10/night you get full hookups, a nature trail full of birds and butterflies, a service station, small store and a restaurant.