September 26, 2001

9/26/01 Mesilla, NM

79.3 / 8359 miles

Thought about staying one more day, but that 'get home' feeling is too strong. In a way, that's kind of bad because I've had offers to stay awhile at Mountainaire, Socorro and now here. But I've been on the road too long, too alone. Home is where I need to be. The world will always be out there for me to wander.

Had breakfast with Max at Bar-B-Que On Broadway. He just finished working eighteen months on a 200-foot power yacht and now is headed to South America to buy some land and settle down for awhile. Said he'd been one the road for the last eight years.

Much of the morning was continuation of yesterday. Rode the interstate all the way to Hatch where I stopped for lunch. It was a welcome relief to get off the highway and on the back-roads again. Although the road rarely went straight, it was fairly level as I paralleled the Rio Grande. The desolation was gone as I found myself passing farms and ranches again.

The Rio Grande

The whole area began a radical change as I reached the Fort Selden State Monument. Ranger Elva and I chatted a bit about the fort ruins. "All evidence of the adobe structures will be gone in the next 50-years." she said. Hopefully by that time, funds will be available to completely restore the fort. Elva also told me that Las Cruces completely removed it's old town in the 1970's, even a 100-year-old church, all in the name of urban renewal. The city regrets that now.

Fort Selden

The road now went straight from farm to farm. An extensive network of irrigation ditches helped provide needed water for crops like cotton, red chili and pecans. In fact, the largest pecan plantation in the world is here, Stahman's. Lots of traffic on this two lane but as I got closer to the city, the shoulder kept me safe.

The RV Doc's Park & Service Center is between Las Cruces and Mesilla. The staff was wonderful, especially Chris. When she heard what I was doing, she said "Do you need a chair to sit on?" She couldn't believe I'd riden over 8,000-miles. Even though I didn't get any discount, this has to be one of the nicest places I've been; 24-hour rec-room with TV and a hot-tub. Plus the tent sites have a thick carpet of grass closet to everything. Even the showers are top-notch.

At Chris's recommendation, I headed to Old Mesilla to have dinner at La Posta []. Billy the Kid was tried and convicted in Mesilla back in 1881 but he escaped after killing two guards. Dinner was good but I've felt queasy all day. Not sure if it was the communal dinner last night or the breakfast special I had that was giving my bowels a fit. Back at the campground, I was more than a little shocked to find copious amounts of blood in the toilet after one of my trips to the bathroom. Kind of scary but I'm not sure what to do. I don't have any pain so I'll just keep monitoring it. If it hasn't stopped by morning, I'll call my doctor.