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Heroes and herons

Lake Elephant Butte, 15 February 2009 -

(pics in photo gallery)

The heart of the Elephant Butte State Park and New Mexico's  largest lake. It was about 15 degrees when we entered via the Visitor Center. 'Yes, camping is possible, wherever you want. And be careful, off the road the soil might be very weak.

Camping at the lake, inaugurating our tent (1 or 2 person?) and withstanding wind (and twirling sand) and maybe a cold night.

Actually the tent appeared to be very small, very appropriate for a cyclist with some stuff. After some rebuilding the back side of the car was transformed in a mini-bedroom. So we had two locations to sleep.

The mornig was gorgeous. Being awake at about six due to the cold (in the car!) seeing the sun rise above mountains and lake was gorgeous. And herons already on duty, finding their food in the waveless lake.

We were the only ones at the lakeside. Somewhat higher was the decadent type of the tourist specimen watching tv in his/her RV. Very American and the only article not to be bought in the Walmart And not made in China.

Camping in the wild in a tent and a second house... a lifetime experience. One in the list of the recent bestseller Thousand activities you must have done before you die. This is nr. 278. We're still young and have time!!!

It didn't take long before number 279 was there.

Our so-called 4wheel-drive (front office desk manager Budget Rental Car in Phoenix) appeeared to be only front wheel drive. So after some yards we were ploughing in the sand like an experienced farmer. The car refused to continue.

Pieces wood, mats and Edwin pushing: nothing worked out  and we surrendered. ANWB or Route Mobiel, no this is USA: the rangers should help us out.

No way. Every year about 2500 drivers bite in the dust, i.e. the sand. But when we considered to phone the helpdesk to tow us for 150 dollars, Bill arrived.

Bill: fully tattood, waistsize 52, grey  long hair and his face the spurs of a wrought life but more important: a giganatic 4wheel drive. A big cloud of dust was his introduction performance. It seemed he tried to take off in the air but after every attempt his car landed again after some yards. 

We stopped him. Bill got out. His American (not British!) bulldog got out too. I saw a chance: three strong 'items'.

Bill didn't say much, took a solid rope and attached it at the rear wheelbar.  I had hardly time to put the handle from the Parking stand to the Rear to give a bit support.

The car survived, my bloodpressure decreased and Bill started talking.

No problem, I have still bigger cars at home, etc.

A pram almost fell out of the car: 'my baby' he said. And he had still nine other  children. Edwin said: He likes going 'Van Bil', but only hours later, climbing the Emerald Pass to Silver City he explained me. Double Dutch sense of humour.

Thank you Bill.

Silver City was marvellous. Much more character than the artisan-like Sedona. The art and the atmosphere made the former coppermine town one of the highlights of our tour.

And the road from Caballo Lake was a gem too.

Though some coppermines are still open or reopened due to the high copper price.

Much unemployment now told the petrol station lady who was taking a smoke outside, not to close to the fuel providing place. More than 60 % of the Silver City people worked in the coppermines and plants. Nowadays hardly 10 %.

But today it's a bit chilly. And that's why we decide to head for Lordsburg, much lower (4000 feet) and more southern and probably 'warmer'.

In the shabby town with Greyhound and Amtrak (bus and train) station, the obvious series motels, gas stations and fast food chwe sains. We selected Super8: criteria were the price, wifi , a tub and a microwave.

Now Edwin is checking the tub after preparing a great meal and coffee and installing/impementing the computer. I only drove the car today at the moments New Mexican soil allowed me to do so.

Arie

NB Zie ook de prachtige fotoserie in Fotogalerij

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Edwin Kok

And so it was ! You forgot to mention that it was freezing. Ice was on my tent. Before the night we went hiking. Several (s)miles. After that we had a rest and later I went walking some other miles to get some hot food. No condor seen . We met some other wild animals I don't know their names or brand. We sure had fun!

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