Friday, June 6, 2008

Snow in June

Finally a little update as day three dawns.

The trip is well and truly underway now. As I write this I am looking at the sun coming up over some hills just outside of Grand Junction, Colorado. I see purple, orange, blue of several shades, and what can only be described as the color of a ripe peach. In the length of time it took to write that I can now add orange sherbet the pallet.

Packing the car proved to take a bit longer than I had anticipated. We departed my house at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning. That was only about 3 hours later than my "planned" departure time. That has set the pace for the entire trip so far.

(Add neon red to the array of colors in this sunrise. Gorgeous.)

Killough Monument

Our first stop was Killough Monument.

The monument marks the approximate spot of the most deadly Indian attack in East Texas. Eighteen people were killed or captured into slavery. Some were never found so it is hard to say just exactly what the fate of some may have been. The monument is located about seven miles from my home. If you ever stop by to see Killough Massacre Monument, let me know; you are welcome at my house.

(The sun is almost above the rim of the hills. The colors are muted. The clouds have just passed from pale yellow to dingy white.)

The first day was a meandering path across central Texas to avoid the DFW Metroplex. It took a little longer but was well worth the time. We stopped for fresh veggies and peaches at a little stand in Athens, TX. Very friendly lady who overpriced her wares by about 40%. That's OK. We needed the fresh squash and she needed the money.

We passed through the wind farms that stretch from Abilene to Lubbock. An entire service industry has grownup in the area to supply the needs of the contractors building the giant turbines on a stick. I heard on the Wall Street Journal Morning Report just a few weeks ago that Texas is the number one producer of wind generated power in the US at 600 Megawatts. At the rate they are building out here in the panhandle that figure is going to grow substantially.

The first day ended at Post, Texas in a Budget Inn. We had been fitting a very stiff wind all day. The air conditioner in the Mule will never win any prizes for efficiency. It is barely adequate to compensate for the Texas heat but we glad to have the cool air it could provide.

Cadillac Ranch was on the agenda for a visit on the second morning. We came. We saw. We photographed.

In Logan, NM, we stopped at the A1 Muffler Shop to attend to a broken exhaust hanger. That stop turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. The older couple running the A1 Muffler Shop were friendly, gracious, and gregarious to a fault. The old man fixed the drooping exhaust, filled the transmission with ATF, and calculated that I owed him $32. I gave him forty. It was money well spent. I needed the repair and they desperately needed the money. Experiences like this are why I travel on old mules along paths others shun.

We stayed the second night in Cimmaron Canyon State Park. $10 to throw up a tent. It is about 80 miles from Taos so we had not traveled as far as I would have liked on the second day.

The third day dawned overcast and cold. The closer we got to Taos, the colder it got. It started to snow. It snowed heavily. It snowed in every mountain pass all morning long. It turned to rain before we got Grand Junction. This morning is beautiful.

(The sun is fully up now. We have to get on the road. More later)

Here are some pictures of wind turbines and cogs. More pictures and words later.


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