Day 56 - HELL PasoJune 16 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 28 °C
We had an undisturbed sleep, despite the presence of so many ghosts in Tombstone. Apart from my reading glasses snapping!
By 9.30am we were ready & back on the road. We continued east on the Arizona 80 to the mining town of Bisbee. It was dead, as if everyone was still sleeping in from the night before. The town was quaint, but we might have felt slightly out of place if we had stayed here. The whole town was decked out in Rainbow 🌈 Flags. Just south of Bisbee was the impressive Copper Mine, where there was a Viewpoint for us to stop at.
On we went to Douglas, then headed north, still on the Arizona 80 to Road Forks. This road was virtually straight (unlike Bisbee) & virtually traffic free. The road was 81 miles long, through a rocky desert & it felt like you were genuinely in the middle of nowhere. Jackie was convinced that we could get murdered & never be found. We weren’t!
On this stretch, which crossed into the State of New Mexico, we saw our 3rd Coyote which was on the roadside, but had slunk away before I could train my camera on it; then we saw a Roadrunner, but when I stopped a car appeared forcing me to move on without a photo. Finally a pair of Turkey Vultures munching on dead rabbit even evaded me by flying off every time I raised my camera, then only returning as I drove off.
The only thing of note was a Monument commemorating the Surrender of Geronimo on 4th September 1886 in nearby Skeleton Canyon. Geronimo had surrendered several times previously, always escaping shortly after, but on this occasion he agreed to the surrender terms. He was in fact the last American Indian Warrior to surrender to the United States & this finally ended the Apache - US conflict.
At Road Forks, we picked up Interstate 10 again, but came off at Lordsburg for water at the petrol station, then McDonalds for an iced coffee. It felt decidedly rough, mainly Mexicans & long distance lorry drivers. We didn’t hang about, but continued east.
There was nothing to see on this road, but sign after sign warning us of the risk of dust storms & advice on what to do. They warned that in the event of a dust storm we could encounter zero visibility & we should pull over on to the hard shoulder & wait until it passed. We didn’t encounter a dust storm, just the odd dust devil, which was just as well as we had the top down.
We passed by Deming to Las Cruces, where sadly I’d forgotten that we needed to seek out the jail where Billy the Kid was housed. The Interstate than headed south towards El Paso, but for no apparent reason the SatNav took us off on the 404 to Chaparral, not sure if it was ‘High’. It was actually a pleasant route, then we headed south on the 213 & over the State Border into Texas.
We stopped at a Walmart for bottles of water & new ‘peepers’, then continued into El Paso for a look round. We headed for the city centre & drove past the Holocaust Museum, History Museum & the baseball ground called Southwest University Park. It was busy because fans were arriving for a game & resulted in us having a row about whether I should take photos or concentrate on my driving.
By now it was 6.00pm, we had skipped forward an hour, so we decided to sort out our accommodation for the night. I found an absolute bargain on Booking.com, which was just a couple of miles away, but the SatNav was saying it would take 75 minutes to get there. It was in Mexico!
Our next selection looked rough, so we tried again & chose Extended Stay America near El Paso Airport. It looked ok from the outside & was cheap, so we booked it on-line. The receptionist who had been smoking outside the back door had a series of forms for us to fill in, mainly deeming us liable to a $250 charge if we smoked within 100 feet of the motel!!
Instead of dropping off our rucksacks, we went straight out to see what food was available nearby. We ended up at the Corner Bakery Cafe, where we both had very acceptable bowls of pasta & lemonade. After, we returned to our motel & parked our ‘inconspicuous’ car close to the stairwell. The stairwell was a disgrace, with dustbins, not just overflowing, but hidden by stinking bags of rubbish & there were fag butts everywhere.
Our room is large, but the beds were hardly made, the sheets definitely hadn’t been ironed & there were bits on the floor. Luckily we have an end room, so there is no walkway outside our window, but the windows must be single glazed, because we can hear every noise outside. The other residents seem to all have vans & lorries, which they seem to feel the need to have to rearrange the contents of during the entire evening.
As I write, we are in bed praying that our ‘Doodle’ remains unscathed over night. El Paso has a nasty feel about it. Every road junction has people accosting you, trying to sell you something. Jackie doesn’t feel comfortable here, but it is too late to go anywhere else. I daren’t tell Jackie that just 3 days ago, it was discovered that 100s of ISIS Fighters had entered the US from Mexico via the El Paso Border.
Hopefully we will be out of here 1st thing in the morning & will never need to come back.
Song of the Day - El Paso by Marty Robbins.Read more