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GO WEST YOUNG OLD MAN

A long day of traveling from Oklahoma City to Albuquerque (ABQ)

sunny 97 °F

"Howdy from ABQ";

Knowing that today would be a long one I got around early, left the campground at 0730 and headed west on I-40 for the next 9 hours, traveling 545 miles total. It was a challenge for the wind blows constantly out here and it requires much attention at the steering wheel. I took a mid-afternoon break for I was nodding at the wheel. A twenty minute 'power nap' does wonders to refresh.

The landscape from OK City going west was fertile with vast farm fields dotted with oil wells. It became more arrid with poorer land as I progressed toward NM. Little did I realize that the TX panhandle stands between the western OK stateline and NM. Amarillo,TX sits about halfway between the states of OK & NM. The soil is a pinkish-red sand and with irrigation they actually grow crops on it. They use Center-pivot, or wheel & circle irrigation devices which water very large circular areas thus providing the needed moisture for crop growing. Areas not watered looks like a desert. When I finally arrived at the NM state line I still had 200 miles left on my journey to ABQ. By then, I had been on the road 5 hrs. - 4 more to go. Along the way, in OK, TX, and NM I saw hundreds and hundreds of wind farms. The professor at the OK Capitol shared that the oil/gas industry has shifted their focus to wind for electrical generation over exploratory drilling. The wind never ceases to blow out here. Why not capture its benefits is their new philosophy. Can't say that I disagree with them.

New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment, as their license tags read, is a land of 'Buttes, Steppes, and Mesas'. From my point of view, it is a vast wasteland of sage brush and small bushes dotting the terrain. The flat-topped buttes rise from the plateau's or mesa's. A steppe is a large unforested grassland, which in this case has little grass. Occasionally, I came upon an irrigated valley with crops growing in the circular fields. There was a subtle increase in elevation all the way to ABQ so the MH downshifted from 6th gear to 5th, and occasionally to 4th as it struggled with the hills. The MH has a Ford V-10, 375 hp engine and it worked yesterday. I will expect more of the same as I continue into the Rockies.

Arriving in ABQ I found the KOA campground to be very nice. With a pop. of 550,000 ABQ has all the amenities. Fairly isolated, it is 4 hrs. from any comparably-sized community. The U of New Mexico is located here, and of course the town has a strong Spanish/Mexican flavor. More will be shared once I have had a chance to explore.

Posted by dixter 09:17 Archived in USA Tagged to trip abq

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Dick: visit Old Town. Not very large but Anita and I enjoy dinner there whenever we were in ABQ. Hope it hasn't changed.

by kafera

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