11 November 2014

Across the U.S., Day 36 - Snyder (TX) to Alamogordo (NM)

Temperatures had dropped to -2 C/28 F over night in Snyder (TX) and when I hit the road at 9:30am it was still only 1.5 C/35 F out there. But it was another marvelously sunny day. No complaints!

The first dozens of miles brought me through rather flat, dry prairies. It was not hard to imagine how this region might have looked like in the past, with buffaloes roaming freely. Today, there are mainly cattle and horses.

The official state large mammal

And there is cotton, as far as I could see! It seems to be a different variety than in Georgia however, shorter plants and smaller bolls is what I noticed as a lay person.

But who would have connected Texas with wind parks? I certainly did not. There are over 40 different wind park projects. Energy research had started as early as 1970 and nowadays Texas produces more wind power than any other state. I was really surprised to read this as my assumption was always and foremost "oil". But that's the thing with assumptions. It's beneficial to reappraise from time to time. ;-)

Millet and water melons were also along my way. The melons looked like a left over from crop rotation. Should they go bad? Of course not, so I picked one up, yet need to taste it.

A nice snack for tomorrow!

Because of its history and recent immigration from Latin America, New Mexico - The Land of Enchantment - has the highest percentage of Hispanics in the U.S. And it has the 2nd largest population of Native Americans, after Alaska. The state flag honors this strong influence. The red and gold come from the Spanish flag, while the ancient sun symbol has its heritage with the Zia, a Pueblo-related tribe.

New Mexico is also very strong in crude oil production. Some sources (wikipedia) rank it #3, some #5. It's no surprise that Texas is the leading oil producer in the U.S., but there weren't many drilling areas along my route so far. Today, I saw thousands of oil drilling machines right after the New Mexico boarder. It might sound silly, but they always make me think of Star Wars or some other futuristic movie. ... Well, who am I to complain about oil drilling. My car does not run on solar either and without fuel I would not have been able to do this trip. An average of 5.1 l/100 km (46 mpg) however is actually not bad at all.

This thingy occupied almost an hours of today's afternoon!

I noticed that my phone did not get charged when connected to the charger in the car. The adapter unit had made rattling noises until this morning, but not anymore in the afternoon. I concluded that it must be broken, but a new one did not help. Could it be the cable? No, didn't help either. Now I know where my car has its fuse box and that one of the 20 amp fuses had blown. One never stops learning! ...

Right before the Sacramento Mountains the scenery became really desert-like, golden-brown with yucca trees and various cacti.

From flat and mostly strait, US-82 changed to twisty up into the Sacramento Mountains, elevation at summit = 8,650 ft. No wonder that the number of motorbike riders also increased considerably. I came through the state's only highway tunnel, yeah! The landscape was just gorgeous, but not enough (photo) light left to show it.

Sure, that red trout was not local but imported from Idaho. I could't help but just craved for fish for dinner and literally obeyed my gut feeling. Very yummy!

Red trout + steamed veggies +
garden salad (disappeared before the photo was taken)

More to come.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my God, Andrea, you entered a private property AND stole a melon - in Texas? I am glad nobody shot you! But stolen fruit tastes the sweetest, right?

    I never heard of wind parks in Texas. That's good news!