Saturday, February 11, 2006
Douglas, AZ to Lordsburg, NM
Now when you book a room at Motel 6, I fully understand that they don't have to give full disclosure of the local environs of the motel. I was however I little surprised when I go up this morning that the place next door is a prison, full of prisoners (unless orange jumpsuits are suddenly a fashion statement) On top of that, our room is at the end of the building, as close as you can get to those would-be escapees. So, where we should have been trembling in fear all night, waiting for someone to break down the door in desperate search for beer, we slept in ignorant bliss. Such a missed opportunity.
Anyway, our reason for choosing bordertown Douglas was so that we could slip across the border into Mexico and purchase some goods. So we headed over bright and early at 8:00 thinking commerce would be thriving. Wrong! Even though stores advertised their opening time at 8:00, 90% were still closed at 9:00. So, while Anne did her morning prayers in one area of a restaurant, I ordered breakfast, consisting of eggs and some other stuff. It tasted just fine. Worked our way across the border again and headed north to a park called Chiricahua, a mountain park.
Montezuma's revenge struck suddenly and without (much) warning. With the car stopped and Anne taking a picture of the desert and mountain background, I was forced to unload, taking great care not to get any on me. Fortunately, the road was deserted, sparing any unwiling spectators the gory details of this gruesome event.
Towns are sparse in this part of the US and money in those towns is even sparser. Most houses are technically classified as 'shack' (category 1) or 'poor excuse for a shack' (category 2). Nonetheless, their inhabitants are fiercely patriotic and flags are flying wherever one's gaze lands. The landscape, in the eyes of the writer, is extremely beautiful. Wherever you travel, you are always surrounded by mountain ranges, perhaps not extremely high, but mountain ranges nonetheless. In between these ranges is the desert floor, relatively flat, consisting mostly of coarse gravel, more or less the consistency of a parking lot after a building has been torn down. Topsoil appears to be at a premium.
One of those mountain ranges was the target of our visit. The Chiricahua Mountains were formed 27 odd million years ago when a volcano blew its top with a force 1000 times greater than Mount St. Helens, though I'd like to know who is counting. The type of lava it spewed out was instrumental in leaving behind the most wondrous rock formations I have ever seen. Thousands upon thousands of spires all looking towards the heavens for help, but ultimately all will fail and fall.
We made sure that this time we got a nice, easy 2 hour walk over relatively flat terrain. The scenery, along with the most gorgeous weather ever, made for a wondrous event. We left the park, put the car into cruise and didn't stop until we ended up in Lordsburg, New Mexico.