Friday, August 12, 2005

New Mexico

AUGUST 12, 2005
Lake Brantley State Park
New Mexico

Odd coincidence today. We met a group of girls in the bathhouse.

We got to talking and found out that they’re road-tripping too - in the exact opposite direction as us! They started in Seattle and are heading to NYC, looping along the southern route, stopping at most of the major places we just came from. And they just came from Vegas, where we’re headed next! How odd is that, for us to cross paths sharing a campground in the middle of the New Mexico dessert???

We went out to the Caverns today, only to find out that we are exactly on time for the Bat Festival we thought we we’re going to miss!! The whole thing starts tonight at 7 when the bats leave the cave. There are 2 lectures, then at midnight there is a star party.

Turns out, the festival co-incides with the Perseid Meteor Shower and also the night Mars is supposed to be most visible. At 3 am (yes, am) there is a Ranger-led desert hike, 4 is a lecture on the bats, and at 5 am is a breakfast. The bats all return to the cave around 5:30/6:00 (sunrise), and then the first 120 guests get a free lantern tour of the cavern main entrance. We’re planning on getting there about 3 because we can see the Meteors from our campsite, assuming that those damn storms burn off.It’s been raining all day.

We went on a scenic driving tour of the National park and got caught in a storm. My poor car got quite the mud bath going through all the puddles though! Now I’m sitting on our picnic table watching a field mouse search through the cacti for some food. We have a family of wild rabbits that keeps showing up, too.

I should be napping for tonight like Liz is, but we just got this obnoxious family camping next door. Two vanloads of the LOUDEST people…. And the keep driving one of their vans somewhere and back again. The poor van must not have been serviced in a gas because every time it passes by, a huge cloud of black, foul-smelling exhaust kicks up. It’s horrible!I went out on one of the hiking trails since I couldn’t sleep. Got about ½ mile along and ran into a skunk. I figured it was time to turn around and leave before he decided that I was a threat.

So I did, and now I’m sitting here waiting for Liz to wake up so we can barbecue. YUM! Can’t wait! It’s been awhile since we’ve had good food.I guess I should add an addendum to my entry on the 10th.

My uncle did call at about 8:30 when we were nearly to Ft Worth. When I told him that we’d just decided to move on, he said he was disappointed and felt like he’d “chased us off”. (Well, guess what, genius, you did!) He said that he wanted to visit that night. (Um, we would have made it back to his house around 9pm if we’d stayed at the restaurant for 2 hours, and he goes to bed early so he can go to work in the morning.

Not to mention that we were tired and wanted to go to bed so we could drive 500 miles the next day.) No, he should have come home when he said he would, dammit! At least had dinner with us in the hour before his meeting. Visit, my ass. I’m sure he knew that I was going to bitch to my mom, (which I did), and start some sort of family fiasco.

Oh! Guess what we saw on the road today? A herd of wild cattle! O the road!! I managed to take a picture, hope it comes out. The male had REALLY big horns, and there was a calf who was nursing. On the road. Guess it goes to show you how far out in the middle of nowhere we are, huh?


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