A Trip (Short and Long) to Remember

It all began when our younger, Sarah, decided to come out to San Diego in her car with her dog Billie.

Sarah’s car is Maureen’s 2001 Acura with over 250,000 miles. The trip is 1300 miles through some of the least friendly summer country in this country.

After considering the trek she faced, i decided Daddy would not be sane if she traveled that route by herself. So Monday, Maureen took me to the airport at dark thirty. i caught a ride to Austin, arriving before noon. That evening, we had burgers with Blythe, Jason, and my hero Sam, which was a highpoint of the very short trip.

Sarah and i took the car in for repairs and a final check to see if it was fit for such a trip. Good thing it was scheduled. The air conditioner went out about an hour or so before i arrived. Now about the only thing i can think of less attractive than the already scheduled trek across West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California is to try it without air conditioning. So we got it fixed also.

The repairs were a little bit more than expected and the whole thing delayed our getaway until 2:30pm Austin time. i took the wheel for the day.

So there are no photos in this post from Austin through to Deming, New Mexico. It is pleasant although Hill Country hot and humid through Fredericksburg and the ranch territory to the west is…well, it’s Texas summer ranch land to Junction where it’s remote enough and hot enough for Bear Bryant to use Junction as the site for early football practice when he was coach of the Aggies. After that, not much. Just West Texas. The entire trip was much greener than i had seen in my gazillion traverses, surprising. But West Texas is still a pretty desolate territory until you get to El Paso.

El Paso is worse. It is my least favorite place of the entire journey between East Texas and the Southwest Corner. It decided to reinforce my dislike on this journey. When we were about 100 miles out, i thought i saw a lightning streak in the dark high clouds over the western horizon. Soon there was another. The frequency increased turning into a verifiable and no BS thunder and lightning show lasting until we reached Deming, New Mexico, almost perfectly halfway in the trek. But El Paso added some fun with a couple of detours, a couple of miles of one-lane traffic, and more than a couple of severe rain squalls, several of which came close to me pulling over and stopping.

But we made it and i pulled into a Deming motel around 12:30 mountain time morning.

The next day, Sarah did nearly all of the driving except for my midday substitution for a several hours. We arrived home almost exactly at five.

Since there are probably a bunch of folks who have not made this trek, i thought i would show a couple of landscape shots to give them an idea of what such a journey is like. If you would like to get some idea of the route between Austin and Deming, you’ll have to check out Sarah’s post about the trip.

A rock mountain about an hour west of Deming.
Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona from I-8 New Mexico
Mount Graham, Arizona
Riley Peak, Arizona
Mount Mica, Arizona
Saguaro Mountains, Arizona
Rocks, Arizona


Rocks again.


Rocks, yep again.


Rocks ad nauseum.
Tucson Mountain, Arizona
Sonoran Mountains, 1


Sonoran Mountains, headed to Yuma.
The sands of California, west of Yuma. People actually drive RV’s out here for weekends or longer to ride their dune buggies in 110 degrees.
More sand.
More sand again.
The wind turbines on the rise through the Cuyumaca Mountains, guardians for the Southwest Corner.
Cuyumaca Mountain rocks.
Viejas Tribal lands coming down the mountain to home. 1300+ miles in two days. It was worth it.

And that my friends is what’s like to travel between the Southwest corner and Austin. There are many interesting places to stop along the way. i don’t think i ever have seen them. i would recommend the trip to anyone…as long as they can figure out how to bypass El Paso, and going through Lubbock is not a good alternative.

2 thoughts on “A Trip (Short and Long) to Remember

  1. Rocks and sand and mountains in the background. Very few cars on the road. Must have been pretty boring driving. At least the two of you had each other to keep you awake!!

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