Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Day 32: Las Cruces, NM - Socorro, NM

Let's start at the end, said Alice.  Socorro may have its good points but the access to teh Intarwebs at this place is not one of them.  It doesn't work.  Arses.  So if you are on tenterhooks awaiting this instalment of the Automatic Diary, that is why.  And if you are trying to sell me Burial Insurance, or your name is Natalia and you'd really like to meet me, or you're trying to scam me out of my e-mail login details, just fuck off.

Rewind.  You may recall the instalment of the 2012 Automatic Diary that started in Amarillo, Texas and visited the Cadillac Ranch.  Where I met Oliver and Terry Holler and their DeLorean:
At the Cadillac Ranch, September 2012
Outside the motel in Las Cruces this morning was this:
One-point-twenny-one Gigawatts?
Which is different.  Being unable to get to Teh Intarwebs I am unable to divine their purpose, but if you, dear Reader, are reading this then I will have had access to teh Intarwebs and hence, oh, never mind.  You could work in a time travel paradox gag there if you felt like it.  There was also this:
This is a Scion XB.  Scion is Toyota's Yoof Brand over here and this vehicle was designed by the same pre-teen child who also did the Honda Element, the Nissan Cube, the Kia Soul and Postman Pat's van.
I cannot take issue with the "Flying Toaster" sticker but to proclaim it "filthiest" while in the same car park as the Mudstang displays a massive cheek.  Unless it refers to the owners' dogging habits.  Look it up.

Back onto I-10 westwards across the scorching plains™ of New Mexico, where it was raining and the surface was crap.  Where are you heading today, asked Agent Lopez of the Border Patrol at yet another checkpoint.  When I answered Socorro, instead of taking one step backwards as one might when in the presence of Madness, he takes one step forwards, because he is equipped with a .357 Mortalitastic Kill-o-Matic.  Sensible people travelling from Las Cruces to Socorro, you see, go straight up I-25 northwards.  It is shorter.  I explained about my quest for Mountains; he allowed as how it was real nice up there and wished me a pleasant day.  Sir.  You can afford to be polite with that kind of firepower.  The road atlas marks what M. Bibendum thinks are "scenic" roads with little green squares and sometimes the fat rubbery fellow is right, but the scorching plains™ of New Mexico are never going to be "scenic" even when they actually are scorching.

Leave the freeway at Deming and head northeast across the scorching plains™ of New Mexico, where it was no longer raining and almost warm.  Nine or a dozen classic Airstream trailers (caravans to you and me) going the other way.  At Silver City I ask Emily to find the nearest "gas" station as I have overshot and don't think I have enough to get to the next dot on the map.

She directs me to the cemetery.

After Silver City it gets nicer as the scorching plains™ of New Mexico are left behind in favour of the Mogollon Mountains and the Gila National Forest.  The Gila River may be found in these parts too and as I've just recrossed the Continental Divide - last seen atop Wolf Creek Pass and previously at Milner Pass in RoMo NP and La Poudre Pass in the rain what feels like an age ago - it is, natch, a tributary of the Mighty Colorado.    It's supposed to reach the latter near Yuma but as it has to pass very close to Phoenix to get there, I rather suspect that it doesn't, if you see what I mean.

Also up here are the mortal remains of a narrow-gauge railway - the occasional suspicious-looking embankment is still in evidence, as is this bridge:
I suspect the pair on a tandem might have wished they'd turned the track bed into a rails-to-trails path instead of leaving it to rot.  Somewhere near the improbable-sounding town of Reserve (and improbable is highly possible in New Mexico - only sixty-odd miles south of here is the town of Truth Or Consequences!) is this:
I have my suspicions, but can't help but think it's a long way to come to hide the body of Dark Side legend Steve Slade.  There may be as many as three of you who will understand that joke.  Clarion on yacf has just pointed out that it could refer to that bloke who used to be in Guns'n'Roses.  Pshaw!

Back over the Continental Divide for (probably) the last time and turn right onto US-60.  It occurs to me that I have been here before, on the first full day of the 2005 trip, the memory being triggered by the sight of this:
Jodie Foster was out...
It is not used for SETI, in spite of what the late Carl Sagan tried to have us believe in "Contact".  Which was only redeemed from Total Crapness because it has Jodie Foster.  In it.  Also they CGI'ed more telescopes into the film, as if 27 weren't enough.  The VLA is situated on the scorching plains™ of San Agustin whom I suspect is not the same chap who did all that stuff in Canterbury translated into Spaignish.

Finally a long descent into Socorro, on which it was raining.  I managed to make it to the motel without having to stop for the roof, fortunately, as I'd just spent five miles waiting to overtake that livestock trailer.  And for the second successive day I have a chair which sinks slowly groundward as I type.  Outside there is a wik thunderstorm but teh Intarwebs was DED long before it arrived.

Additional: if you use iTunes, be advised that you are not going mad.  No, The Mega-Global Fruit Corporation of Cupertino, USAnia, has really added U2's "Songs Of Innocence" album to your iTunes library without even asking, the cheeky fuckers.  But when I wanted them to sell me a download copy of Samson's debut album "Survivors" they couldn't because it's not currently available in BRITAIN.  Gits.

On DJ Random having a Bad Day: I know it is partially my fault for having six versions of Jimi Hendrix' take on "Hear My Train A-Comin'" on my iPod, but I do think DJ Random was being a bit silly to play three of them on the same day.


  1. I also thought of the horizontal rather than the hairy Slash when I saw the photo of the sign. :-)

  2. I think we've got the the same slash in mind