Tuesday, November 23, 2021

A Bright Travel Day, Money Tree, We Love Jello

Benson, Arizona

On Monday, Nov. 22nd we were up with the birds and before the sun. What time do the birds get up anyway? It was 7am for us and we had our tea and coffee at the table. After having some cereal, hot oatmeal for me, I took Gibbs for a walk around the park area. My loved ones must have been smiling down on me as when I looked down near the base of a large tree, I found pennies. Pennies from heaven? Plus 2 dimes, Mom and Daddy.

It was going to be a grand day for driving

I tucked the 35¢ in my pocket and we carried on. It didn’t seem to be a monument or memory for someone, I thought about that, they were sprawled all over, around the trunk. Now it will be a memory for me. 😊 

A little cha-ching for my wallet
and perhaps good wishes for the day

We were packed up and, on the road, out of Brownfield on their red brick streets by 8:30. Within an hour we had gained an hour and were seeing 8:30 again. It makes you blink the first time you notice it. We are travelling US-380W so the NM sign wasn’t very big and I missed it.

The red brick main streets of Brownfield
were neat and not too bumpy

It was a drive of up and downs but only in elevation. Everything else was on the up and up, which is a great thing. The US highway took us into and through Roswell, right down town, but we zipped through the small town. Once we went through the Roswell Space Museum but at $12/pp, we don’t need to do it again. It seemed expensive for what you see. It’s a lot of reading, historical things which I can’t get into while standing and walking. Been there, done that, kind of thing.

For miles, all we saw was flat ranch land

Gibbs settles in for the day so easily

After a restroom break in a Roswell office parking lot, we switched smoothly onto US-70/US-380W and just followed the road west. Our temperature was also rising and surprisingly at 4400’ we reached 58F/15C. 


We drove through rock and the White Sands Monument
The views were changing for the better

We stopped on the west side of Ruidoso, NM for fuel. This looks like a neat place, lots of memorabilia about Billy the Kid, casinos etc. We stopped at Casino Apache Travel Centre to fuel up and ate our sandwiches while there. It was 12:30 for us, old time and we were hungry.

I love this sign as it leaves it wide
open to believe what you want
Just Believe in something

White Sands Monument Park area

New Mexico and their lovely overpasses
never disappoint

We moved on, staying on US-70/W and while Bill marveled at the elevation, we reached 7000’ before dropping, I laughed at him praising Black Beauty for finally getting her mileage up. It has been terrible for a lot of the journey but today, she is showing us her worth. He is entertaining, to say the least! 😊 A keeper. The only problem with this route is that the views are so spectacular that I take way too many pictures. The choice at the end of the day at what to include in my post will be a difficult one.

This train played tag with us through parts
of New Mexico
Three times it was beside us

I went back and forth between my sister, Gayle, and our friend, Lorne, from A Place CalledAway. They are both at Quartzsite and have chatted a few years ago but never met. That always thrills me, almost as much as if it was me meeting someone for the first time. 😊 I hope they find each other.  Back to our route, Bill and I passed around Alamogordo, NM and then the White Sands Monument with beautiful views of the white hills. Very pretty but we weren’t stopping.

If you look off in the distance, through the dirty windshield
you can see the mountains
I'm not able to tell you which mountains though

Fraggle Rock

Same train - Bill's Dad is thinking of us
He always loved the trains


It’s only 1:30 but it seems we’ve already been driving for a full day. We’re not tired, pumped is a better word, for each day brings us closer to Arizona. The day only seems long because of that extra hour. We are back to flat land again, with scattered brush throughout the yellow field grasses. The difference is that there are mountains off in the ‘near distance’. Oxymoron?

Bill pointed out what looks like Ocotillo and Joshua Trees or are they Yuccas? Both of which we’ll see lots of very soon. 

Yuccas, we believe

Once we reached Las Cruces, which is where we were going to stop for the night, it was still early, still because of that hour – so let’s keep going.

Each distance gets us closer to tomorrow’s destination. The temperature warmed up to a lovely 64F/18C and we pulled into one of the nicest Rest Areas for overnight camping. However, we weren't ready to stop and stay.

I love this picture
The sun had already slipped behind the mountains
but at this dip in the horizon, it was still trying to peek through

I had to piddle so badly (I’m not ashamed to say it) that I almost ran from the truck to the washrooms. TG we didn’t have to open up the Suite for this stop! Bill wasn’t in much better shape so when I returned, I took Gibbs for his piddle too while he went inside. This Rest Area is at Mile Marker 61 if you are on I-10W and although I didn’t get a picture, they have little adobe-type shelters spread out for you to park. It could be noisy, I imagine, with the traffic close by and the train. 😊

Driving at night on a divided highway like this
wasn't bad at all
Plus it is very pretty

We felt great after the stop so carried on even further. Black Beauty was getting thirsty but we refused to stop at a Flying J or Pilot. Their prices followed their pattern even here in NM so when we crossed the Arizona state line, we found a SunMart across the road from those two and saved 30¢ a gallon. For 29 gallons that is a nice enough savings to make it worthwhile.

It was 5 o’clock, the latest we’d ever driven but Bill was good for another hour and we headed to a Walmart in Benson. It put us in close proximity for our next campground and the check-in times were more flexible than any so far. We could arrive anytime after 9 am. Bill ran the generator for a while to bring our batteries up and we had our leftovers. Chili for him and pizza for me. Yum, I fried the pizza in a pan like George taught me to do and it was almost as good as last night.

Bill's chili on toast was good too!

It has been a good Jello day, with the jiggles in our plans, and will be a short evening for sure.

Bill could have pulled in but backing in made more sense

We nipped in to support the store and picked up
a cart full of groceries
We were in bed by 9. 😌
Good night!

Thank you for your visit! Hope your day was just as great!


  1. Ohhhhh you are so close to my favorite little town. You are welcome to stay at my place free til about December 20 if you want. I know you have plans but let me know. Covered, elec and water.

    1. I know! However, you'll find out that we changed our mind - it's the Jello's fault. Maybe on the way home we'll stop at Huachuca City and visit Tombstone.
      Thanks for the offer, but we are booked up now through to the end of February.

  2. That was a long drive day but always nice when you are still feeling good. Beautiful route. I may be heading to Carlsbad Caverns and that's the route i will take. Nice of Nancy to offer her place but I figure you're anxious to move on.

    1. That was a long day but worth it. We are now where we want to be.
      Safe travels to you Doug. See you soon, I hope!

  3. Long day of traveling but it seems you all (including Black Beauty) were up for it. Safe travels today as you reach your destination.

  4. Wow super travel day. And looking forward to hooking up with your friends, but two comments.
    You were so close to Nancy's place, have you checked out Tucson, Tombstone and the open space of that part of AZ. That's worth several days delay.

    And you have mentioned a few times, Bill charging the batteries after you stop. Has he considered connecting those batteries to all the available juice Black Beauty generates as you travel all day?

    1. Hi Don, It was a great day. I appreciate your questions and will try and answer them.
      We've visited Nancy's place before in Tuscon as well as Tombstone and places around the area. :)
      Bill says the 7 batteries do get charged by the truck while we drive. Plus our solar panels are charging (when there is sun) all during the drive too. Because we lose daylight so quickly, when it comes time to cook and I need an appliance, he needs to start the generator for that and our evening tv. :)

  5. I am going to guess you are reading this all tucked in nicely at Quail Ridge. Sounds like a good travel day. We have taken that route through New Mexico but going in the opposite direction. The views are beautiful.