Friday morning we went to the patio area of the Lazydays campground for the breakfast buffet which was also part of our free night’s stay. Nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, oatmeal, fresh fruit and pastries along with juices and coffee. We then left Tucson and headed homeward. Our 274 mile trip took us from Tucson to Las Cruces, New Mexico on I-10. Crossing into New Mexico we lost an hour of time as we crossed from Arizona time ( Arizona does not change to daylight savings time so even though it is a mountain time state at this time it’s time corresponds to Pacific daylight savings time) to Mountain daylight savings. We stopped in Las Cruces because Tom was interested in the town of Hatch, N.M. which is about 40 miles north of Las Cruces. After getting situated in Coachlight RV and Motel park we hopped into the Jeep and drove to Hatch. Hatch is well known for chiles. We saw several little stores that appeared to be an extension of a home that had red chilis hanging outside. We did stop at one store and purchased some red and green chili powder. The town was small and had little else- Tom was hoping to find a nice restaurant that had dishes with red and green chili but that wasn’t to be. So we returned to Las Cruces where we found a Mexican restaurant and had dinner- again we were a little disappointed that it was not the New Mexican style of food that we had become familiar and really liked in the Albuquerque/ Santa Fe area. Returning to the campground we talked with our camping neighbors about their 1977 Barth motorhome and 1970 Volkswagon beetle that they were traveling in. It is nice to see vintage campers still being used.
Today, Saturday, we continued on our journey homeward as we traveled from Las Cruces to Lamesa, Texas. From Las Cruces we took state route 70 to Alamogordo then route 82 to Artesia and the a jog down to route 180 at Hobbs into Texas stopping at Lamesa. This 338 mile journey took us through many changes of environment. The desert at Las Cruces, the white sand at Alamogordo, then up through mountains to a peak of over 9000 feet at Cloudcroft. In the ski resort of Cloudcroft patches of snow were still on the pine treed mountainsides and streams were flowing with bank high water. After descending down the mountain the land leveled out. We had a bit of excitement when a deer from out of nowhere, it seemed, darted across the road directly in front of us. Tom’s quick reflexes saved the deer and our motorhome As we drove on toward Artesia fields were being prepared for planting, cotton is one of the main crops in this area. Just east of Artesia for about 30 miles, we saw more oil wells than any other place that we have encountered- on both sides of the road wells were about 100 yards apart and were seen as far as you could see. After passing through Hobbs, N.M. we were soon in Texas and Central daylight savings time, another hour lost and we began looking for someplace to get off the road for the night. We passed through the little town of Seminole and then on to Lamesa where we spied a campground as we entered town. La Verda R.V. Park (translation is an RV park off the beaten path) has full hookups, looks well cared for, and is reasonably priced at $25.00 per night. Since we had not eaten any lunch as we had hoped to find something in our travels and weren’t successful, Tom plug the electric in so we could get the A.C. running (it was 95 degrees outside) and we took the Jeep to a local restaurant for dinner. After dinner we finished the setting up for the night and relaxed. Lamesa (not LaMesa) is known as the “home of the Chicken Fried Steak”, most every restaurant in town has chicken fried steak on their menu and the last weekend of April there is a chicken fried steak festival.