Below Zero…?!? Part 6

[The possible conclusion to our non-RV adventure into the Great White North in January…]

This is Trinidad, Colorado, a little town of just under 10,000, where we stopped on a Wednesday for lunch:

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Double D’s Grill served up a decent lunch, but I honestly don’t remember what we ordered (except that it was good, though not special enough to make our annual Bests list) because I was so caught up in what was going on around us.

First of all, every time someone went to the register to pay their bill, a woman from a different table got up to ring them up and take the money (made me wonder if I was going to be up next at some point).

And this was the week of the billion dollar lottery drawing (remember that?), so much of the conversation around us was about that. At the next table, one of a group of men in from work for their lunch said to his buddies, “You have a better chance of being on death row and getting a last-second appeal, than of winning.” We’d also heard a person is 25x more likely to be elected president than to win that lottery.

We continued south into New Mexico, but — instead of making the right turn at Albuquerque along the same route we’d taken a few weeks earlier — we kept going straight toward Las Cruces. We’d spent time out here about twenty years ago and were curious to retrace some of our trip from back then.

Everywhere we go we see evidence of local pride. Even along I-25 we were witnesses to it:

BelowZero43

Though a little hard to make out in this image, the interstate median was dotted with decorated bushes. Whether they serve as memorials or just to make travelers smile, I’m not sure. Either way, we appreciated people taking the time (and risk) to anchor colorful objects to these plants, glinting in the sun, catching our eye:

BelowZero44

We’d remembered Elephant Butte Reservoir has having more water than it now has, and we couldn’t help wondering if Ted Turner still owns the land on the other side of it. Because it hasn’t been developed, Ted doesn’t have the view from his property we have from here:

BelowZero45

And, as with everywhere it seems, there was no easy or free drive along the edge of the reservoir. Taking a peek from the state park, which we’d done those many years ago, now meant paying for the privilege, so we drove on, wondering if we’d stumbled on the reason why the towns of Elephant Butte and Truth or Consequences looked so run-down.

BelowZero46

Maybe we’d passed through on the wrong day of the week… maybe the local economy hasn’t recovered from the recession yet… maybe…? All we knew was the area didn’t have the same energy it used to, so we moved on through.

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About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
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2 Responses to Below Zero…?!? Part 6

  1. Wow, that town looks deserted. Maybe in a few more years it’ll be designated as a ghost town. That’s sad. I drove through Las Cruces many years ago during my vagabond days (1970 or ’71?). Ever been to Las Vegas? The one in New Mexico, not Sin City, NV. I need to get my small RV fixed and hit the road. You two are giving me the “wandering bug!”
    HAPPY TRAILS!
    Mike

    • Ellen says:

      Since seeing Trinidad and a few other spots, we’ve passed through some very empty villages, and it’s always sad. Of course, when we find ourselves in a thriving little burg, we wonder what all the people in town do without a noticeable, central commercial business to make the town’s gears move.

      Didn’t go through Las Vegas, NM, though we did pass by it. A lot of people don’t know there’s more than one Las Vegas — us included, until we saw the sign.

      And about that RV — YES! You should come out on the road! Of course, if you do, you might not want to settle back down again…. 😉

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