Friday, March 28, 2014
Road signs en route today. I ain't making this up:
1) If You Smell Gas Leave Immediately (But where am I to go?)
2) In A Sand Storm, Pull Off The Road and Turn Off Your Lights.
3) Watch For High Winds. (What do they look like?)
4) Prison Zone Pick Up No Hitchhikers. (In zebra pajamas,)
Yesterday evening I met Perry, in a '53 Scotty, "Tiny Boy" trailer painted with peeling latex--the rear end recently side-swiped. He was older than yours truly and going blind--proclaimed, the day before, that he had come to the desert while he could still see it. In his old Chevy he had a Yamaha dirt bike with a rifle holster attached. Said he used to hunt on horseback till his eyes got bad. No, I didn't ask him if his bad eyes enhanced his motorcycle riding. Then, there was Bullet--"Yep,that's my name." in a pop-up. "Bet your pappy liked to hunt; that's why they named you Bullet." I said. "Yep, that's my name. You want a Natural Light? It ain't much, but it's cheap. Hee-hee--hee." "Sure, that'd be nice," I say. Then, there was P.S. Dean who's Great-Grandfather was killed during Pancho's raid--called him a terrorist as bad as Osama Bin Ladin--"...matter of fact, proportionately, he killed more here in Columbus, N. Mexico than Osama did 9/11. I'm working like hell to get Pancho Villa St.Pk's. name changed before 2016--the 100th anniversary.." P.S. was mumbling something under his breath like that sounded like"GD Mexican terrorist." His eyes were glowing like something you don't want to see in the bushes at night while you're hustling to the bathhouse.
Here at Roper St. Pk, lots of yapping dogs--mostly lap dogs-- and a father or two snapping at their kids--the real reason for their anger being that the father can't figure out how the hell to put up the tent.
Note photos. Later....
Panho Villa is remembered as either a folk hero or a ruthless criminal or terrorist. Naming a N. Mexico St. Pk. for him continues to be a source of consternation for many anglos.
In the early 1900's Mexico was in a state of perpetual revolution. During the prior decade or so, Porfirio Diaz had ruled with an iron fist; Mexico prospered, but on the backs of the pions. The nation was ripe for revolution. Villa, & his co-revolutionary adversary, Carranza, were both vying for control and Carranza had gained the upper hand. Villa's lack of resources forced him to prey on American mining companies & ranches but this wasn't sufficient, so in the middle of the PM March 9, 1916, Villa's 500 strong army attacked Columbus, N. Mex. --the major target being Sam Ravel's general store both for supplies and probable revenge--legend being that Ravel had sold ammunition to both Villa and Carranza, with Villa's ammunition being underloaded, resulting in a battle victory for Carranza in which 3,000 of Villa's troops were killed.
President W. Wilson ordered Gen. Pershing to capture Villa in the "Punitive Expedition." It didn't happen. However, the Expedition constituted the US Army's final use of the US Calvary, the 1st use of autos, trucks and airplanes, even though fuel for these "newfangled" machines often had to be transported on pack mules. (Note attached photos for this stuff & other related Expedition stuff.)
Pancho Villa St. Pk. is in the middle of the desert. A dry, fierce wind (gusting to 35mph) has been blowing since arrival. The EGG is-ah rocking 'n and hopefully not rolling. Humidity is running around 10-12%. If you have sinus/allergy issues your nose may well do some bleeding. Heading for Truth or Consequences, N. Mex. tomorrow. It's been said (by me) that with Truth, sometimes the consequences ain't so good. Later.....
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
White Sands gypsum dunefield is unique in the world. It consists of several square miles of gypsum, the same stuff sheetrock is made of---a very fine material almost like powdered sugar. It was deposited at the bottom of the shallow sea covering this area 250 million yrs. ago. and uplifted into a giant dome 70 million yrs. ago when the Rocky Mountains formed. Ten million yrs. ago the dome started to collapse, creating the Tularosa Basin. The remaining sides of the orig. dome form the San Andres & Sacramento mountain ranges that now ring The Tularosa Basin. This seemingly hostile environment teems with wildlife. Tracks of rodents, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, porcupines, and other nocturnal animals are seen in the sand in the morning. Lizards, beetles, and birds active in daylight can be seen in vegetated areas. A few animals--a pocket mouse, two lizards, and several insects--have evolved white colorations to blend with the sand. In the blinding, intense sunlight, one can hardly stand to look at this white, white gypsum "sand," even with sunglasses. Off in the distance I spotted a herd of frolicking lap dancers,
March 18th: Yep...it was breaded, flat, deep fried & served on a jumbo+ slice of white bread with white gravy, but they called it fried chicken. Baffled, I shrugged, applied A-1 Sauce and ate the P-turkey out of it while watching south Tex. Halliburton oil workers jawing and forking in the food. Strange, but I've been pondering the relativity of fried chicken a good bit.
Friday, March 20th, I think. The dates and places are muddled. Any how,
Uvalde is where I had the head trip diabetes sugar low in the H.E.B.E 's parking lot & where Ann discovered Matthew Foxx vintage vino. That PM we spent the night at Garner St. Pk., 23 miles north. Great spot, but we weren't psyched about hiking & left left Sat., early, & pointed the bow toward Ft. Stockton Good Sam trailer park....a goofy spot out in the barren desert that stays busy 'cause there ain't nothing else available for a 100 mi. in any direction. Reportedly, Good Sam ain't no more and the place needs a face lift. When I pushed back the shower curtain the rod and curtain hit the deck and came apart. Oh well...the water was hot & they had either brown or white gravy for your mashed potatoes. I thought this was pretty dandy; the 'tators were good, as were the fresh green beans and BBQed pork with red, Tex. sauce (unlike eastern NC vinegar-based BBQ like I was teethed on. Who cares, huh?
Today, March 23rd: Left Good Sams and beamed down at Hueco Tanks St. Historical Pk. out in the desert in the El Paso, Tex. quadrant. Now....this is a mind boggling site. We just got here and it's late & we're cooking burgers. More later....
Mon. March 24th--We're far off the I.T. grid so this, and the 3/23 posts, won't publish till 3/25.
Tanks, are western U.S. words for water containment spots-- natural or human made. The Hueco Tanks are indentations in the stone earth's surface--surface pushed up from beneath +-34mil. yrs ago, as magma rose from below and then cooled. These tanks hold rain water, and of course the flora and fauna flourish in the desert where's there's water. Thus, Hueco Tanks is little oasis. From hunter-gatherers 10K yrs. ago traveling across the desert in pursuit of game, to curious tourists in goofy trailers, we each have our reasons for for showing up at Hueco Tanks. Our camper is at about 4800 ft. Today, Ann and I hiked up to the top of the bolder mountain looming behind us, to an elevation of +-58-6000 ft.. It was rough going over huge boulders, but we made it to the top. Descending was the pits. We became muddled & came down a different route, while asking each other several times, "what the hell are we doing this for?" But once you're up ya gotta come down & we made it.
And then, there were the pictographs---stone drawings of animals, birds, and large-eyed figures that may represent rain or storm deities. Furthermore, among these pictograph images is the the largest assemblage of painted masks in North America.
There are a good number of photos of the above that'll be tagged onto this blog (hopefully) when it's published tomorrow. Later.....