Day 8 – New Mexico. Safer than old Mexico.

After a terrible night sleep in the sauna that is Texas, we were greeted by a lovely sunrise and balmy 90 degree temperatures to start our day. We both enjoyed a juicy peach before snagging a quick shower at the campground. Then we hit the road, planning on driving all day, expecting to arrive at our next stop around 7 PM.

While driving through Texas we noticed that the rest stops offered Free Wi-Fi, so when it was time to switch drivers we made that our pit stop. While Bubba was working on uploading the pictures (which takes forever by the way!), Ally worked to make a quick lunch – yup, PB and J. This time, before she could be attacked by any bees, we saw a ‘Texas-only’ warning sign.

After seeing that, we decided to eat in the truck and before we knew it, the blog was updated! We continued on down the road, past Amarillo, TX and before we knew it, we were in New Mexico. Did you know that New Mexico is a new time zone? Well, we didn’t realize it either until about an hour later when Bubba noticed his cell phone time was a bit different than the clock on the radio. We gained a whole extra hour for our journey – that was awesome!

As we drove through New Mexico, it was weird to watch the landscape change from grasslands, to arid desert, to mountain desert, then to sloping hills. It all just depends on how high you are I guess. The vegetation pretty much stayed the same as well as the general sense of isolation. Except for Albuquerque (Take note AAA guy, it’s not ‘Albert’-‘cookie’), that was a legit city but still with a speed limit of 75. Boy, those New Mexicans like to drive fast! Seeing the mountain desert and all the wicked long trains, it made us feel like “Evil Doctor Porkchop” was about to attack! No worries, Woody and Bullseye were just around the corner! (Seen Toy Story 3? We’re lookin’ at you!)

Continuing through the ever changing views of New Mexico, Bubba made calls to different campgrounds in Grants, NM to see where we could stay. We found the Cibola Sands KOA to be the best fit considering it had, “…Free Wi-Fi, Free Breakfast, and all the Showers you can handle (without getting pruny of course!)…” I kid you not, direct quote from the woman working the KOA desk.

At about 5 PM we had arrived! Yes, two hours earlier than planned. A) We didn’t factor in the change of time zone and B) we didn’t factor in the 75 MPH speed limit either. We were checked in by the same gregarious woman Bubba had spoken to on the phone and we both enjoyed her corny/deadpan sense of humor. She even gave us ‘Welcome Cookies’ – Otis Spunkmeyer cookies to be exact. (Thinking of you Midge and everyone at EWFRC! Miss you all!)

We set up camp and took a walk to check out the views around us. Pretty incredible how wide open the southwest is.

We relaxed for the night and except for tons and tons of flies (not mosquitoes, just annoying ‘we-land-on-you-but-don’t-bite-you’ flies) enjoyed the peace and quiet of our site. We have no real threat of dangerous wildlife AND an expected overnight low of 55 degrees so Ally should have restful night sleep. (Yes, 55! A full FIFTY degree difference from last night’s temperatures.)

Tomorrow, we head to the Grand Canyon!!!

Wichita Falls, TX to Grants, NM – 608 miles

-Ally and Patrick

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