driving into Las CrucesWe’ve gone in a big loop these last 2 days. Approaching Las Cruces, NM, I was struck by the beauty of the San Andres Mountains.  Unlike the other peaks around, they looked like a group of rocks that had been stacked vertically.  We were fortunate to drive on the back side of them as well, only to notice they have snow on that surface.  This evening, we are camped on a 4000 ft mesa with a clear view of these same mountains.

Yesterday we drove from Lordsburg, NM, just east of the state border to El Paso, TX and then to Carlsbad, NM where we camped for the night.  Interstate 10 follows much of the Mexican border at this point.  When we got to El Paso, Leon mentioned that the houses seemed very tired and the neighbourhood poor.  Then he realized we were looking at the Mexican side, Juarez.  The border wall gave it away, of course.  As it happens, the Pope was in Juarez yesterday.  I saw a huge flag on the Mexican side and wonder is that was in his honour.  I can’t recall it very well, only that it was not a US flag or a Mexican flag.  It was mostly white and blue, but I don’t recall the yellow of the Vatican emblem.

We turned off the interstate and went cross country into the mountains.  One of the most beautiful settings was the Guadalupe National Park.  Guadalupe Peak towers over many other peaks in the area.  Have a look at the picture of the plaque for more details. There are also salt flats leading up to this area.  We stopped for a photo just as the sun was setting, amazed by the sheer grandeur of the mountains.  There was a truck stopped in the viewing point that seemed to be in some difficulty.  At one point the engine let out a huge puff of smoke as he restarted it.  The driver had his 2 young sons with him.  I thought he would probably not make it home for dinner on time.sign at guadalupe peak

As we travelled along this highway, we saw a pronghorn antelope grazing in the field.  There were cows and the odd hawk, but no live coyotes, only roadkill.

It got dark before we stopped at our campground.  We had a late dinner of grilled pork chops and slept very well far from the noise of traffic and trains.shooting the mountains