"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Mar 12, 2018

My Routes Have No Access

I’d forgotten that at least once during a road trip you’re likely to kick yourself for a bad direction decision, and I’ve had mine pretty much out of the gate.

I never should have left I-10 for Pecos. From there the road to Carlsbad turned into a migraine, complete with Brontosaurus-size trucks, potholes rivaling only New York State and pebbles just waiting to nick your windshield. I tried getting off early but the side road was worse, and damned if I wasn’t heading back to El Paso.

Too late to do much else. After filling the tank at a generic station in Nowhere-land the sign said No Services for 150 miles. My tank is 17 gallons and I’ve never accurately gauged my mileage, because I haven’t wanted to compare my estimated 10 mpg to the 12-15 of other Warrior drivers. But I was never put to the test.

I pulled over early because headwinds kept me in one place. There was no cell phone or Internet reception and hardly anyone on the road to begin with. Better wait until morning when the winds should be lighter.

At dawn I discovered a cube-shaped black plug on the floor under my steering column, knocked loose during that road from Hell. I couldn’t find where it had been connected, but did determine my rear lights weren’t working. Front lights and emergency blinkers worked; so instead of silence for 110 miles we heard, CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK. I thought I’d go mad but eventually BC and I tuned it out.

I was nervous, because I’ve been on stretches of road when your tank looks pretty full and next thing you’re near empty, with many more hills until the next station. Of course I did some,

“Prayin’ to Jesus; help me, Jesus; Jesus is coming to save US!” 

We made it with gas to spare, and I averaged about 11 mpg. Not bad with all the excess weight I've collected.

So four days from Austin to El Paso.  Absurd. The plug was reinserted, Trigger got an oil change and new filter, and I'm headed for California. 

A new friend from my time at Community First pressed a bill in my hand as we parted and said,

“Buy yourself a nice dinner.”

Well, thanks to Susan I treated myself to a doozie.  New Mexican cooking is different from Tex-Mex, and certainly nothing resembling taco-chains.  Back in the ‘70s La Posta in Old Mesilla, outside of Las Cruces, NM, was one of my favorite places to eat, but dangerous since there were several turquoise jewelry stores nearby.

You wouldn’t recognize Old Mesilla from New Mesilla nowadays, disappointedly, but why should I be surprised? Revisiting people, places and things are rarely as expected, but I was thrilled to find the food at La Posta just as delicious as the first time. Hot as Hades but the Margarita helped. Thanks again, Susan!

1 comment:

  1. Such a wonderful thing! Glad the restaurant was as good as you remembered! Missin you on this end,the block's not nearly as fun! Safe travels!


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