|Joke shamelessly stolen from Iain Banks|
East across the scorching plains™ first, to Carrizozo. On the way you pass the top end of the White Sands Missile Range - somewhere in this lot:
|A SEEKRIT military base, yesterday|
Turn north towards Corona. They are turning this bit of US-54 into a dual carriageway. 16 miles of roadworks pass very slowly at 45 mph, but the trucks on the site have some wik strobe lights, like a Hawkwind gig with a diesel engine. Corona consists of not a great deal which is why, although considerably nearer to the 1947 crash site, the incident was reported to the La in Roswell.
Turn left here onto NM-42. The first mile promises much. Corners! Hills! Oh. It soon turns back into one of those non-scorching plains™ and the smoothest way is to hug the centre line that one will not rock up on the Day of Judgement and hope that TEETH WILL BE PROVIDED! There, I knew I'd get Ian Paisley into this year's Automatic Diary somewhere. Eventually you end up here:
|And there's more where that came from...|
Then Santa Fe, where all the "gas" stations are on the opposite side of the road. I must have passed the Wol Liquor Store three times before finding one which wasn't disguised as a branch of Burger King.
Where to stop for the night? Taos is too far, plus it's bound to be a tourist trap (see also: Moab, Carlsbad, large chunks of Colorado, etc.). Aha! Los Alamos!
The road up to Los Alamos provides much in the way of scenery.
|The view from the road both to and from Los Alamos|
Not the most inspiring day, all told, but at least teh Intarwebs seems to have woken up a bit.
On scrap metal dealing: In New Mexico there are two sorts of single carriageway roads, viz. those that traverse the scorching plains™ and those in the mountains. The latter have blind corners and frequent changes of gradient while the former lack the twisty bits but have plenty of dips and crests to trap the unwary, fill with flood water and provide cover for Billy the Kid. Thus both have frequent "no passing" zones. At the start of each and every such zone there is, on the left of the road, one of these:
while on the right there is one of these:
And at the end of the zone, one of these:
These three, by the way, were no more than a hundred yards apart. The signs are quite large and made from aluminium. We have similarly-constructed signs to mark off the distances at Battle Mountain; had they not fallen off the back of Don Schroeder's then-employer we'd have had to stick with the ancient home-brewed wooden ones which never quite recovered from spending a Several of months in a shipping container half-full of snow-melt. Anyway, there must be untold thousands of these signs in New Mexico.
You can guess the rest. It's probably safer than nicking railway signalling cables, anyway.