Monday, November 23, 2015

Leaving the Bosque

Our volunteering commitment at Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico was an awesome four months that passed quickly.  The winter was nearly truly gone, save for a final snowy farewell. We were honored at a pizza luncheon and received our Blue Goose pins, the symbol of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  We also received lanyards and gift store credit based on our hours of volunteering. Kathy and I received $36.00 each!  I offered to sing a song I created but no one wanted to hear my off key repertoire'. 

We loaded the RV, connected the Jeep, gave our new dear friends Mary and Fay a hug goodbye and headed south.  

Last day 
the sun struggles to rise amidst the clouds
Storms roll in
No Carlsbad since the snow returns
El Paso awaits

One more drive around the refuge 
Beautiful snow
Grateful for a final Crane fly in from the south
One more morning...left at noon
Memories in digital medium

Texas, just a few hours south, held onto a few more glimmers of winter and we were prepared for ice and freezing fog.  We slept in the Walmart parking lot in Horizon City, TX, just east of El Paso and watched a spectacular red sunset over Juarez, Mexico out our door.  We were saddened by the enormous amount of plastic bags along the highway heading east.

Frances was excited to discover she no longer had to wear boots for walks as we could finally walk in parking lots or the sand with no more sticker grass!  After breakfast at What-a-burger, Kathy's favorite, we drove through frozen fog.  Stunning white landscapes and smoky white ground clouds dancing over black top brought us safely to Monahans Sandhills State Park. This is Texas' answer to White Sands but with smaller dunes and darker sand. Monahans is a cool desert delight.

As the fog lifted, we drove around the park and found a large dune to explore.  Kathy jogged quickly to the top.  I scrambled up after her.  We could see for miles!  The day became warm and we visited the visitors center.  I watched birds at the feeders and learned about the local search for oil.  Yes, even this park had an oil derrick on it.

The next morning found us driving on through Odessa and Midland and then south through fracking fields with desert scrub, again filled with plastic bags.  I'm so glad we usually remember to take our reusable cloth bags shopping.  

Large trucks flew past us at high speeds because out in west Texas the speed limit is 80 mph.
We stopped for lunch on a backstreet in Garden City, neither a garden nor a city.  We liked it here for one reason. The locals don't like oilfield people either.  Signage expressing as much was everywhere.  

Based on advice from Kathy's former work husband, Mike, we landed in the Brady City Park campground.  We watched a car of suspicious characters as we took the dogs for an outing until they finally departed. We saw ducks and a bridge walkway over the city creek as we sauntered through a pecan orchard.  It was very green and pretty.  Winter had already left this area.  

I went grocery shopping alone at Lowes, one of Kathy's favorite grocery stores that she discovered in Alamogordo. We find Lowes are always clean and carpeted.  After shopping, I drove around town looking for a friend who lived in there in 1999.   I drove through what would have been her neighborhood and remembered she had died.  I burst into tears, guilty that I had forgotten that I had already learned about her passing.  I wondered about her husband, Charlie? How did he fair?  If anyone knows of Sally Sanford and Charles please let me know.  I tried to call but there was no phone service for Verizon customers in this area of Texas.  

The next day, we drove further south to areas of Texas which we are more familiar - old stomping grounds and finally, Killeen.  

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