I honestly thought we would bicker while in the car for long distances. Three teens in a Toyota pickup with their menopausal mom could have been a disaster in the making.
To my surprise we had a blast talking and listening to Codys playlist. That kid has some great taste in music. He loaths todays pop-rap stuff and instead listens to the likes of Modest Mouse, Ugly Casanova, Bright Eyes and has a mix of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s tunes on his phone. Some super cheesy but fun.
We had a choice to head to Ft. Davis mountains or make a beeline north to get to Chama or Pagosa and cooler temps. Temps were in the 100-103 range so the kids voted to hit Ft. Davis on the way home and hightail it to double digit temperatures.
West Texas, including the Edwards plateau and Chihuahuan desert, is stunning. Desert splendor meeting up with red rock cliffs of the plateaus made for an amazing backdrop for that part of the drive. So amazing to know that this is part of our home here in Texas. The kids oh’ed and aw’ed over the scenery until we hit the windmill farm planted on top of the plateaus as far as the eye could see and the incredibly unlucky city of Pecos. Honestly, thanks to the oil industry that place looks like the portal to hell. It is a dust bowl ghost town filled with nothing but white Ford diesel trucks and 18 wheelers. The dust storms that are kicked up from all the workers plowing through the fragile desert made us think we were in Arabia. Some dust so thick on the road, we had to pull over due to visability of zero. Mia started a spinoff to “I Spy” and called it “Count the White Pickup Truck” game. When I say they have destroyed that area from Pecos all the way up about 3/4 of the way to Carlsbad, I am not kidding. So very sad. I can only imagine what it is like to the east.
We got into Carlsbad in time to watch the bats fly from the caverns. We have been there before to see it about 7 years ago, and loved it as much this time as when the kids were little. We sat and enjoyed the hush and quiet as the bats began to swirl out of the opening and the faint smell of cave that their tiny wings swished to us. Such a gentle little show of nature.
I have to do a shout out to a fantastic hotel in Carlsbad. We tried to camp but the office at the one commercial campground nearby was weirdly closed. It was much too late to find a dry camp (after 10pm), so we went on the “exhausted kids and mom, no room at the inn” scavenger hunt. Seriously. Hotel prices of close to $200 for us to use for about 8 hours was a no go.
We lucked into the best kept secret in Carlsbad; Best Western Stevens Inn nestled off of Canal Street. I have to give them a shout out because after all the driving, bats and hotel hopping to find a descent room at a fair price, we finally scored. Clean, very nice rooms and the staff went out of their way to get us anything we needed. Free breakfast with protein!! Eggs, canadian bacon, sausage, and fruit instead of the usual carb loading at most hotels. I think we paid $119. Still about $40 more than I would normally pay but pretty much the cheapest on the fly for this time of year. We would make up for this little splurge with dry camping.
We are having an incredible time but miss Bill, Cory and the pups immensely. We have got to figure out a solution to the dog issue. Skye is so very freaked out by change and strangers so boarding her is simply not an option. It would kill her as she gets bad stress gastritis which causes a bit of intestinal bleeding. I need to find an in-house pet sitter. I have a serious taste of travel now and want to get away like this with us all together in the future, so I will be getting on that when I return. Our motley pack of pups are just not traveling dogs inbetween blindness and scaredy cat tendencies.
Bill, thank you for your selflessness and generous love in supporting my crazy travel ventures. Love you!!!! More manana!!