Monday, March 4, 2013

Alpine, TX to Roswell, NM

March 3rd was the day we had to make a final decision as to whether we were going to leave Alpine or stay another month.  With Spring in the air it was hard to leave knowing we wouldn't get to see the area in full foliage and bloom!  On the day of our departure we contemplated one more time and decided that we were ready to escape the high winds and move on to a new adventure.  There was a bit of sadness in leaving our Alpine home behind, but also an excitement as to what new things we would discover in Roswell!
The camper packed up quickly, and we were on the road by 10:00 a.m.!  We took Highway 118 northwest to Fort Davis.  At Fort Davis we picked up Highway 17 to Pecos.  At Pecos we picked up Highway 285 north to Roswell.  From Alpine to Roswell our drive was 263 miles.
Fort Davis is 24 miles from Alpine.  The desert is beautifully lush and mountainous.
We would see trees with these round balls hanging in them like Christmas ornaments.  It turns out that the green orbs are Mistletoe!
As we got close to Balmorhea, Texas the desert vegetation became sparse and the land was flat and dry.  This is oil field country!
For the next 200 miles to Roswell the desert vegetation looked dead and the land industrialized with oil rigs and all the accompanying equipment.  I had to wonder if the land looked this way because of some effect of the oil industry. 
 Imagine this picture of desert scrub full of plastic shopping bags stuck in the branches, cardboard boxes, Styrofoam cups, and food containers everywhere.  That is the industrial desert!  It made me think that the inspiration for the movie, Mad Max, may have come from a trip a writer took along this route!  I found myself thinking of how I would organize a clean-up campaign if we lived in the area, and that an invention such as a large shop vac was needed for such a major environmental clean-up!  The pictures I've posted are from the Internet.  I wish now that I had taken my own, as I haven't found Google images portraying how polluted the industrial part of the desert is.  While we were traveling through this part of the desert, I felt there wasn't anything to take pictures of and so I didn't.  In hindsight, I see that there was a lot to document.  There really aren't places to pull over, and with the camper in tow it's less desirable to do so.  I have learned that for panoramic views and many community attractions there are quality pictures on Google Images and that it reduces the extra effort of getting into a position to do our own photos.  I've now learned I'll need to be cautious using that photo technique, as some things we've encountered I'm not finding pictures of online.