The Ride – Eastbound and down…

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“Eastbound and down…” Songs from the Burt Reynolds’ movie, Smokey and the Bandit keep running though my head. 👮

Recapping our trip through New Mexico: Corey and I have been flexible as we enter our 4th week of peddling and camping. We have had to deal with rain, wind, cold, and flat tires. But we did not anticipate the issues that being so close to the border would create. For the most part, the road is relatively flat and pretty good (no potholes like we have in Maine). It became clear early on, that our southern border is nowhere as friendly as our northern border (Canada). On our first night in New Mexico, we were going to camp on some government land (most of the land out here is government land). Our path skirted the Mexico border. After our 5th conversation with another border patrol officer, I asked him about camping. He strongly suggested the state park in Columbus, NM or get a hotel. It is not a safe area to tent (see picture). After checking the state camping area, we decided to drive north to Deming and check into a Motel 6 (for safety reasons). The next day, we biked to Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Monument and stayed in a campground there (Las Cruces, NM). We were at 5,720’ elevation where it was cold and snowy.

Ominous sign. The border is somewhat sketchy…illegals

And all of our issues on this trip seems minuscule compared to what returning soldiers have to deal with. And why Corey and I are on this “mission”. It is hard to have empathy and understanding of what combat soldiers encounter and deal with. Most (almost all) do not or can’t talk about their ordeal. It is so foreign to people who haven’t served. Having said that, I would recommend people to read Platoon (Vietnam era experience) and The Outpost (a first hand account of early battles in Afghanistan). I want to emphasize the books, not Hollywood’s version. Also, if you know a vet, thank them…and if you have time, listen to their stories. (If you ask, some will talk – it is therapeutic for them.)

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This will be a short post with many pictures. This land out West is remarkably beautiful. I hope everyone who reads this blog will get a chance at sometime to see this land first hand. I am already planning my next trip out here with my travel trailer (and my wife). There is so much to see … and so much history!

Tumbleweed is everywhere (a bunch in the fence). tumbleweed                                                              All plants seem to have thorns (not just cactus!) Tumbleweed is no exception!

Here are a few things I want my RES friends to answer. At White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, there is not much sand. So what is the white stuff that makes this place so remarkable? When did New Mexico become a state? What river runs down the eastern side of the state eventually forming part of out southern border with Mexico? Where did New Mexico get its name?

Back in Texas! 🐮

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Mission 22 – They are a veteran service charity to help men and women in uniform with PTSD, TBI, and Suicide. Click on “Mission 22” name or the logo to access the contribution page.

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