We find ourselves in our familiar southwestern desert, greener than I expected, rain--good. This rich, beautiful landscape of mesquite bushes imitating short trees, sage brush, and creosote bushes with a backdrop of rugged rocky mountains is my home. I love it! Our trip is coming to an end. We decided
to extend it one more night after 11, 270 miles and only 120 miles to go. This is our 75th night on our Great Northern Road Trip.
We've managed to avoid summer heat most of the way home. We've stayed in high elevations since Idaho. It wasn't until yesterday when we descended from 7,000 feet to the desert floor that we could feel that wonderful dry heat I'm so familiar with. In hindsight, we chose the perfect time to head for Alaska. We entered Canada the 26th of May. The day temps were a cool 60 degrees. Mosquitoes and tourist crowding were not a problem. All the tourist books painted such a bleak picture of the mosquitoes, black flies, no-seeums that my fear rose along these concerns.
Last night, we once again reunited with our traveling partners as we parked our Casita in their driveway--a well-known spot for many travels throughout the years. As I was backing the Casita into their driveway, they seemed to skip out of the house cheering us on. We had such a majestic road trip with them. Lori greeted me with a chuckle saying, "I've never known anyone who could take so long to get home." They've been home since the 4th of July. Once we hit the states, the road trip, the force to push forward ended and it became more of a wandering vacation for us. And here we sit, doing it again, extending it one more night.
We now are traveling along the Rio Grande river (my river). Ah, the Rio Grande, green farmland flank the banks. Our campsite is in one of our favorite state parks of New Mexico: Caballo Lake State Park--Riverside Campground. Outside my windows I see 30-foot salt cedars, desert willows, and lush, towering cottonwood trees. I love New Mexico State Parks. Next, I say this in a whisper, because if they hear they may raise the prices: New Mexico State Parks are such a bargain. Camping with water and electric is only $14, no utilities is $10.
This whole trip has been about appreciating the beauty and wonder of the world. There is such diversity. We were able to meander through a landscape I've only seen in photographs. Yes, it really exists. Then, upon returning from that far, far north latitude, I've always known, but have re-realized that this lower portion of the land I live in is just as beautiful, just as majestic. This has been such an awe inspiring trip. There is so much more travel ahead.
Tara, our Casita, is going to be busy.