Friday, January 29, 2010


Heading west from Marathon, Texas, we stocked up in Alpine and experienced more winds and cold weather camping in Ft Davis and the Guatalupe Mtns. We've been told these are abnormally low temps for this time of year and we hear it's the same all across the southern US. We were so pleased when we had a couple sunny days at Balmorhea State Park. There is a beautiful spring fed swimming pool at Balmorhea,with water temperatures of around 72-76 degrees; still too cool for us to get into the water, but we enjoyed all the aquatic wildlife.

Just before reaching New Mexico we stayed at Hueco Tanks State Park. We were in for a treat. There was a line of cars waiting to get into the park with license plates from all over the country. Then we started seeing large rectangular pads with legs walking towards the trails. I stopped a couple of guys and asked what the pads were for. They explained that these are crash pads for "bouldering" and this is one of the world's premiere bouldering areas. We had never heard of it. It is very interesting to see. The rock formations here are so unusual, and besides Dick's escapade with the campground host, it was very peaceful.

Bouldering at Hueco Tanks State Park
We've been having problems with our refrigerator so decided to stop at Camping World in El Paso to talk to the service department. We ended up talking with a salesman whose father had owned the airstream dealership in El Paso during the 60's and, like Dick, his family traveled with an Airstream when he was a kid and attended several of the same Airstream rallies - Hershey, PA, Seattle etc... The reminiscing went on for over an hour. It was late so we decided to stay overnight in the Texas Welcome Center across the street. My parents had been there and said it had 24 hour security guard and cameras. We never stay in rest areas because of all the truck traffic and noise, but the RVers even had their own area to park. All went well. The next day we headed over into New Mexico and stopped at their Welcome Center to get some info. It was really nice and we said we should have stayed there. A few days later we read about a January 4 murder at the Anthony, New Mexico Welcome Center. Well, that did it for me. I will never stay at a rest area or Welcome Center again - even if it says Security! It's not worth it and I would never rest anyway.
Dick and I were both reading a historical novel about Pancho Villa. So we headed for Pancho Villa State Park, in the town of Columbus on the border of Mexico. Reading this book beforehand made our visit to the museum more interesting. In 1916, the Mexican Revolutionaries under the leadership of Pancho Villa raided the small town of Columbus. Every year, as an expression of goodwill and friendship between the US and Mexico, up to 100 riders on horseback from Mexico cross the border and are joined by American riders and parade through the streets of Columbus and into the park.
 We had heard two stories, good and bad, about crossing the border into Palomas, Mexico. I asked the park ranger and a friend from Michigan who used to be a campground host here and they both said it was no problem. They both highly recommended going to The Pink Store for lunch which is within a block after you cross the border. We enjoyed the food, the people and the atmosphere.
Polomas and The Pink Store
It's amazing the difference a few short steps mean economically, socially and politically. A line in the sand marks the stark contrast between two varied types of governments and the way people live. As we crossed the border back into the US, the song by John Lennon came to mind. No war, hate nor poverty, only peace. Everywhere you look along the border you will see Border Patrol vehicles. We've had to go through several checkpoints, answer questions and be sniffed by dogs.
We planned to only stay a night or two at Pancho Villa State Park but ended up staying eight days. Out our picture window we watched the Gamble's quail running through the cactus landscape with a view of the Tres Hermanas and Cedar Mountains in the distance. The sunrises and sunsets were beautiful. The main street of Columbus is within walking distance of the park where there is a post office, library and a couple cafes. Besides places to beautiful places to hike, and peace and quiet, these are the only requirements I need to enjoy an area. A movie theatre would be nice but we did get a library card for free and borrowed movies on DVD. The library even let us keep a book Dick is reading and said to just return it when we're back in the area. So it's on to Portal, Arizona and another adventure.

Imagine theres no countries

It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...                                             
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one  -- John Lennon


  1. I thought about you and Dick today when I received the following email from a friend in Washington DC where 26 inches of strange white stuff is on the ground - ESPECIALLY the last Sentence! That is Dick through and through. Do you get any hummingbirds this time of year down that far south? Jean:
    ""And please remember that the beautiful birds in our yards need all the help they can get now. If you don't have bird seed, they'll also eat bread and peanuts or other nuts (non-salty). You can put a thin layer of peanut butter on the bread too; that will give them some extra protein. If you have any suet, that's especially good now. The birds also need clean water. A flower pot saucer works well for that; you'll just need to keep refilling it since it freezes in a few hours. I've got food and water on my deck and see cardinals, blue jays, blue birds, nuthatches, chickadees, finches, juncos, titmouses, woodpeckers (3 different types), doves, wrens, pine siskins, and more almost daily. And yes, sometimes a hawk comes to the trees hoping to catch a meal too. And the squirrels come too. But as my Dad used to say, he only fed the birds, so those grey things with the big bushy tails must be fat furry birds!""

  2. Enjoyed the video on bouldering but doubt that I would have the courage to do that. Plus, my movement isn't that great anymore!! Did you guts do that??

  3. How awesome it that you are able to go like that. . . Showed the kids and they want to go. . I think next road trip we may have to tag along. . lol