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Published: April 27th 2012
West Texas was filled with catus, cattle, dust and heat. Even in April the temperature hit 100 degrees as we came down from Hill Country into the flatlands. But, it did seem to have one very large redeeming factor-OIL. The number of oil transport trucks in that area was phenomenal. We traveled west on HWY 190 and for long stretches we would be completely alone. Then we would come across an area of good oil production and the tanks, derricks and big rigs would be everywhere. The flatlands gave way to a ridge plateau and there up along the bluff were hundreds of the new energy makers in West Texas- wind turbines. It was a strange combination of a desolate landscape combined with a vibrant economy.
Finally, we had to relent and take I-10 for the stretch through El Paso. The wind that day was from the south and the smog coming from all the Mexican factories just across the border hung over the valley. The city has had a population growth of 10% since the 2000 census and I think part of that is certainly Border Patrol officers. They had a large command post and a complete
road block checkpoint on I-10. Every vehicle was stopped, the canine patrol dog gave you a sniff and the nice officer verified that all passengers were US citizens.
We stayed on I-10 thru New Mexico and the landscape began to transition to scenic Mountains and finally we got off the interstate in Lordsburg to take a backroad into Arizona. As the elevation increased we passed through small towns dominated by huge open pit copper and gold mines. The road was called the "Old West Highway" and the local Chambers of Commerce advertize the area with the slogan "Ore, Lore and More". We crossed the pass in the little hamlet of Top of the World and began our descent into the valley of the sun for the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.
Now, we will spend several days with my parents in Scottsdale. It is surprising how many flowers and green vegetation there are in this desert town. The street where they live is filled with native plants and is actually quite lush.
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