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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What's Photo Worthy?

New Mexico might have been the last place worth taking any pictures. At least until the Natchez Trace Parkway.

The above picture is taken from what I call "My Mountains." They are mine because this is where I grew up. White Sands National Monument is in the background there against the Oregon Mountains. This photo is taken headed up to Cloudcroft on Hwy 54 from Alamogordo in the Sacramento Mountains.

When we left Alamorgordo, we got a couple of good photos with the Sullivan clan who we stayed with in Alamo.

Steve "Sully", Moises, Steve, me, Lynn, Carol and Jim Sullivan. Thanks for letting us stay with you Lynn and Moises.

Steve, me, Sully and Glenda.   

Once we had a nice breakfast and coffee in Alamogordo, we stopped by my Mom and Step-Dad's house for a minute. Since they don't live there anymore, I don't feel bad about it only being a minute. I didn't want you to think that we dissed my Mom on this trip. The house has been uninhabited for several years, but hopefully with some updates over the next year, Mom and Bruce will be moving back. This will give me a reason to visit Alamogordo. That's the key word, "visit." I would not want to move back there.

This is the house I spent the last few years of high school in.

We were taking our time getting out of Alamogordo. Knowing that this would likely be the last time I would see Alamo for several years, made me kind of want to take my time heading out. On the way out, we were leaving by way of My Mountains. I took a helmet cam video of the ride up to Cloudcroft, which I'll load at another posting, since it will take some time to edit and then load.

We stopped at the tunnel. This is the same spot from where the first picture in this report was taken. We also went across the street to the place I used to go rappelling every weekend. We even climbed up to the "whole shot" spot. I will try to explain in the captions what that means.

On this cliff, we would tie the ropes off at the very top. There is a cliff in the middle, then a third layer, which you see closest to the bottom, from where the photo is taken. The middle cliff is the "whole shot" spot.
From this perspective, I'm standing at the "whole shot" spot, or the middle cliff. The rope comes from the top of the cliff. The Whole Shot means you jump from where I'm standing and you have to clear the lower cliff without touching it to land at the bottom, which is about 80 ft. The bottom is not visible in this photo.

After my trip down memory lane, we continued up to Cloudcroft. I had to get a photo in front of the Western Bar with the bikes. Another massive memory jolt.

We went inside for a soda. I saw my old friend LeRoy in there and it was great catching up. So, by the time we really hit the road, it was about 2 p.m. with Midland, Texas as the goal.

Once you leave the Sacramento Mountains from the eastern side, there is not a lot to see. Eastern New Mexico and Western Texas is very unattractive. Oil derricks as far as the eye can see and the smell of oil in the air, pretty much all the way to Midland. I got no photos of this trip until we hit the Starbucks on the way out of Midland. (The hotels on I-20 in Midland by the way are outrageously expensive. We got some great advice from a guy in the parking lot of one to go about four miles toward town for a better rate.)

From Midland, we went to the Austin area. Again, nothing much to see from the route we took. Eventually, there were some obviously wealthy farms or ranches, and that made it a nice ride, but not really photo worthy. We stayed the night at my EX-husband, Rob's house. He and his wife Alison were gracious hosts. It's great that I can still be friends with my son's father and his wife (especially since we've all known each other since we were kids). Rob and Ali have a daughter, Asa, who is two. She's a cutie. Reminds me a little of Taylor when he was that age.

Rob, Ali and Asa. Thanks for the hospitality.

Asa is ready for the trip. 
The next stop for us was Natchez, Miss. We didn't really expect any weather, but right about the time we hit the Texas-Louisiana border, we saw some pretty dark clouds ahead.

Looking back at Texas looks nice and clear.
Looking forward to Louisiana not so good.
We stopped to put some rain gear on and ended up with only a few sprinkles. Better safe than sorry. We arrived in Natchez, Miss. before dark and now I'm all caught up on the blog. We will start the Natchez Trace Parkway tomorrow morning with a goal of doing the whole 444 miles to Nashville, Tenn. in one day.

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