Day 5: Larkspur, CO to Dumas, TX

Wild Horses
The wild mustang, in its native habitat. Well, not really. Artificial mustangs, like this one, tend to dislike dirt roads. But I made an exception in this case to start out at the Urschels’.
Pretty Rocky Mountains, somewhere north of Colorado Springs.
The Cone Zone
Difficult to see from this vantage, but the “National Bridge Replacement Program” continues. That’s a term I came up with to describe the apparent replacement of all the bridges in the country over the last several years.
No Monkeys Here
The terrain here in southern Colorado reminds me a lot of northern Arizona. Mountains in the distance, stunted forest in the foreground.
Rest Stop
First rest stop of the day. Flags at attention in the stiff wind. The Colorado flag appears to have a stylized "C" in the middle. This place pissed me off. The usual blue rest area sign preceded the place by two miles, but there was no more mention of it until after the exit. This is the first rest area I’ve ever seen that was actually in a town. Thus, I wasn’t expecting to get off at that exit, missed it, drove to the next exit and turned around and came back. Guess I’ll have to pay more attention in the future
Right Side
Rocky Mountains to the west...
Left Side
...absolutely nothing to the east. Colorado, contrary to common impressions, is mostly a plains state. I’m surprised there’s not more agriculture.
Rear Window
A view out the back of my car, simply because I’d never taken such a shot before. (It’s just the camera facing backwards, I still had my eyes on the road in front at 67mph).
Rest stop at Trinidad, Colorado. The wind was even fiercer here and threatened to not only take my hat, but my lunch as well.
Self Portrait
Somewhere in Colorado, close to the border with New Mexico, I was bored and decided to take a shot of myself. This shot also demonstrates why it’s nice to wear a hat at midday in the desert when you have a sunroof.
Weigh In
That yellow sign is the first "Welcome to New Mexico" sign. The off ramp for the weigh station on the New Mexico side is actually in Colorado.
Pizza Pizza
The second "Welcome to New Mexico" sign, about 2 miles into the state. The joke in Arizona was "Q: What do you get when you fail the driving test in New Mexico? A: A yellow license plate." (License plates in NM are yellow). My point is, Why are there two welcome signs?
Road of Dreams
I took US 87 from Raton, NM, as it cuts off about 200 miles from my trip. This shot shows three things: 1) pretty terrain typical of the northeast corner of NM, and TX panhandle; 2) pretty clouds typical of the southwest US; 3) off to the left is construction on a divided highway. I saw that construction all the way to Dumas, TX. I thought it was cool at first, but after a while, I came to realize there’s not nearly enough traffic to warrant that big of a road. Perhaps if they build it they will come?
Spacial Disorientation
Somewhere in the northeast corner of New Mexico is Capulin Volcano National Monument. This shot is not it, though it appears to be a likely candidate.
The actual Capulin Volcano National Monument. I considered driving up to it, but a weak AM station was broadcasting information about it, including a $5 fee. I was too impatient to for my destination to justify the expense, both monetary and temporal.
Oh, But for a Song
"...and the antelope roam." A few miles later I saw both cows and these beasts, but couldn’t get the camera on in time. That would have made for a more complete lyric as a caption. For about 50 miles, there is only one FM station, and they play crappy oldies. And a little NPR garbage and soliciting.
Between the tree and the tower is the “Welcome to Texas” sign. It would have been closer and clearer, but you can see the construction on the divided highway between me and the sign. There was a severe side wind coming from the south the entire time I was on Highway 87. Occasionally I would come to some large silos which would block the wind temporarily, and cause me to swerve a little. Seriously strong wind.
Beverly Hillbillies
Yep, definitely in Texas. Tea anyone?
I stopped at the Super 8 in Dumas, Texas, but looked at the hotel guide in the lobby as I considered continuing on to Amarillo. Three things kept me here: 1) both I and the car were tired; 2) Dad mentioned Amarillo is a crappy town; 3) There is internet access in Dumas, but not in Amarillo Super 8s. Decision made. As I got into the room, I also saw that I had lost an hour. I’m now in Central Time.

last modified 4 September, 2006