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Day 44

July 13, 2010 9 comments

Location: Carlsbad, NM

Miles Driven: 254

Total Miles: 10,113

Whew, over 10,000 miles already on this trip, and I’m only in New Mexico.  Some friends have been concerned that I might be sick of driving by this point, but so far I’m still feeling good.  By the end of my last roadtrip, I had added 11,500 miles or so to my car.  When planning this current trip, I suspected I would easily surpass that mark, but probably not at a still relatively early point in the journey.

I spent the majority of the day in Midland.  I woke up, used the computer for a bit, then planned to shave as I have almost a week’s growth of facial hair.  But apparently there was a water main in Midland that busted, so I had zero water pressure in my hotel room.  Alas, no shave (but thank god I showered the camping funk off me the previous night).  So not a huge deal, and the hotel ended up cutting my bill in half because of the water issue.  Score!

Spent the morning cleaning up the car, and then I was off to go find a place to get an oil change and tire rotation.  Took a little longer than I thought it would, but eventually found a Walmart “Tire and Lube Express”.  After all that was done, I took the car to get a badly needed wash.  My last task for the day was to take care of some laundry that piled up since the Big Bend excursion.  I stumbled across a laundromat that offered free WiFi, and by 5PM or so I was all done and ready to hit the road.

Headed west on I-20 towards Pecos, TX, and from there headed north into New Mexico via Hwy 285.  Didn’t take long to cross the border, and the sun was going down as I made my way towards the town of Carlsbad.

I grabbed a bite in Carlsbad then decided to head about 15 miles west of there towards Carlsbad Caverns National Park.  It was late, after 10PM, but I figured I could get there in the late evening and hit the park early in the morning.  When I got there, it seemed the road into the park was closed, and I saw no signs indicating a detour.  Either I missed something, or the park isn’t accessible.  (Guessing there’s another entrance somewhere).

No big deal, I can catch the park at a later time.  I headed back towards the town of Carlsbad, and just pulled over on the side of the road to enjoy the night sky (not as clear as Big Bend, but still pretty spectacular).  Took out the camera and grabbed a few shots.  With just a little practice in Big Bend, I’ve already gotten better at capturing the dust bands in the Milky Way.

And then I managed to catch something streaking in the sky.  It wasn’t visible to the naked eye, but the camera picked it up.  My hunch is that it is a meteor, but there is a chance it is also a satellite orbiting above.

A very beautiful night.

On Tuesday I’ll make my way to Roswell, NM, and try to determine whether or not aliens crash-landed there in the summer of 1947.

joe

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