“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ St. Augustine ~
This is it… the border.
Today the path did not unfold quite as planned. Late start it was from “The Oasis” as being our first day westbound, errands in Alpine and the thought of camping in Marfa after having lunch at the “Food Shark” vaporized into thin air when I found out that “El Cosmico” campground does not allow vehicles on their camping premises. Parking “is” outside. That was a first. Filled with antique campers I was looking forward to some black and white photography throughout the afternoon we would have spend there. Carting all my bags almost a 1000 feet and leaving “Old Faithful” unattended was out of the question. Plan B. ?. It was too late for us to go on too far and pass through El Paso for also the fact that even if we did a couple times in the near past we are again not riding Freeways. Our jaunts to Tucson were the exceptions, I will detour 500 miles if I have to avoid Freeways. So the next best thing was to ride to Van Horn and get a room, try to figure out again how we would spend the next days off the beaten path.
Past El Paso two choices were present. The northern route or hugging the border. A bit too cold yet for the first scenario, we chose the border. The “Pancho Villa” State Park is in Columbus as along the border is not a space I want to get into primitive camping. The Park sounds as it also has much history and we might spend a couple nights starting to embrace again this road that has been calling us for a bit now. Today was a strange day. My packing, the last of it anyhow this morning, did not go well at all. As usual too much stuff and yet items I truly cannot leave behind. My big black bag I call “the kitchen sink” is too heavy. Too heavy to lift as after a phone call to my Surgeon regarding lingering pain, she reminded me that I had not heard what she had told me. It will be a total of six months before all pains subsides for the right side which now has been operated on 3 times. I guess I had not heard that one, or most likely had not wanted to. I will have three separate bags awaiting in Tucson to lift them out of the “kitchen sink” one at the time, it will make everything so much more easier.
We made it to Columbus, New Mexico that is. It does not take long for us to fall into some local excitement. I actually don’t know where to begin. This is a little village on the border I have been through a couple times, only have stopped for fuel and moved on, an unusual aspect as always deep down knew there was much History and the quaint Historical buildings called for some photos, yet, it never happened till today. We are at the State Park, a site for a couple of nights, we even have power and water. My air card is on 3G with 3 bars. What luxury this is.
Yesterday morning we missed a raid by teams of Federal, State and Local Law enforcements Officers. The Mayor, the Chief of Police and ten others, one is still on the loose, were arrested on arm trafficking charges. I was told grenades, helicopters, SWAT Teams, everything handy was used as it involved arms and the outcome at the time of course was unknown. So, a few hours later we rode into town. Better later than sooner. Another surprise however awaits for us tomorrow. It is the “Columbus Furlong Day” Celebration, it is when over 100 years ago “Pancho Villa” rode into town, there will be much going on, including horsemen from Mexico finishing a Journey while being met by other local horsemen at the border and riding through town with many planned events. Good timing on that one.
Suddenly sensory perceptions are on overload. So much to take in as no doubt also for Spirit too many smells passing by almost not lasting long enough. We have it all here and yet we are back into the minimal approach which I am wondering if all this, necessitating a written map for each bag, "is" really minimalist? My memory not wanting to rely on such maps feels as being on overdrive. The physical aspect is great, body bending over into the tent gazillion times has it’s merits, unpacking and continuously repacking is as a Zen experience demanding time and patience. Maybe it is not the road I am trying to blend with, it is only the logistics of it all while living on the road, not traveling it as a short excursion. Yet every sight, every oddity I am coming across is demanding for us to stop taking it all in. The chatting with the locals is coming back to me, always infinite wisdom and information on the area. Unfortunately some days by the end we need to be there wherever "there" is, camping on the shoulders of the roads or behind a gas station, well, even in an empty pasture, those days of the 60’s and 70’s are over. Even the freedom of the road demands it’s balance.
It is late, we have crossed a time zone, tomorrow sounds as it is going to be a full day and the camera will be working overtime… Till next time…
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Ara & Spirit
Be Safe and well
Peace, Love, Courage