Post #16: San Antonio to Carlsbad, NM



I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
— Sylvia Plath

Definitely one of the prettiest drives on the way- full of red rocks, sandstone, cliffs, desert, and etc, and with only 8 or 9 hours of driving it wasn’t terrible at all.

Somewhere in the Texas Panhandle.

We saw a bunch of industrialized farming on the way and I gotta say it’s not exactly a nice view- It stuck out quite hard amongst the other scenery. Just rows and rows and legions of dirty pigs and cows all stuffed into genocidal pens. Other than that it was a nice change of pace from the South, where it seemed everyone around here was a little more relaxed, more into letting travelers feel welcome, and less of the industry and roadside, rundown gas stations.

Once we hit the southern edge of New Mexico what became very obvious was how much wind was going to be a factor- it is EXTREMELY windy out there, like unrealistically windy. Basically the whole area looks like rolling hills, something you might imagine Nebraska looking like- where people used to hunt Bison- That type of place. And because we are true outdoors-people at heart, we decided to camp near the summit of this beautiful overlook on BLM land near Carlsbad.

...and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?
— Vincent Van Gogh

The sunset was one of the most magnificent ones I’ve ever seen and that’s NOT an overstatement- it was breath-taking in every sense. The colors were psychedelic and swirling in clouds that overlapped over layers of rolling green and red-tinted hills.

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.
— Henry David Thoreau

After some windy frustration with setting up the tent, we got it up, I got a fire going with some down wood and dried cow dung found nearby (Thanks Les Stroud and Survivor!). We had grabbed some extremely overpriced lunchables at the local convenience store (Exactly what every camper needs!), some beef jerky, and we had some leftover liquor to make the sleep a little bit easier. 

Once the sun set and night fell, and we got our food in, we realized this tent wouldn’t make the night if we didn’t secure it better, so I went out and collected all the rocks I could to strap this tent down, both on the inside and the out. Once that was done, we had this lantern strapped at the top of the tent inside and with the wind and swaying of this light, it definitely felt like we were two stowaways on a little boat getting thrown and ripped through the ocean- It was exhilarating. Due to the flat ground and all the rocks obstructing our sleeping space, we both only got a few hours of sleep here and there, mixed in with the CONSTANT rattling of the tent- SERIOUSLY, the wind is INSANE there, just remember that. All in all though, it was one of the most fun nights we’ve had on this trip for sure- Definitely one of my favorite. The outdoors were just so alive.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust

Sunrise, the next morning.