We had high wind accompanied with dust, a typical spring weather for New Mexico, for our last day in Leasburg Dam State Park. After staying in Southwest New Mexico for about three months in winter, we finally headed east to see other parts of New Mexico.
We took highway 25 passing Las Cruces towards El Paso. Half way between Las Cruces and El Paso lay miles after miles of cattle farms. The air was filled with the smell of manure. At first we thought those were feedlots. Now we looked it up on the map, it was Big Sky Dairy. There were farms with center pivot irrigation system near the dairy where hay were grown.
We were leaving New Mexico – “Land of Enchantment” and welcomed by Texas – “Drive safely – the Texas way.” A big outlet conveniently located by the highway near the state line. We took 375 heading east. The long drive on the steep (8% grade) mountain road winding through Franklin Mountains State Park was the most difficult part of the trip. We took this road when we went to Alamogordo. After passing a big army base, we took highway 62 driving east.
It was a boring vast desert area filled with yucca and brown weeds and grass. A few rundown houses and signs of lands for sale dotted the desert. And I started to doze off in the passenger seat. “Pronghorns!” That exciting word from Stephen woke me up. Wow! There were at least a dozen pronghorns grazing near the highway. That was the highlight of the trip. There were salt flats near Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The prominent peak of the mountains was seen from afar. The road took us to the foot of the mountains and we had a good view of the majestic rocky peak. Then the road cut through the rock bed comprised of layers of straight edge rocks.
Leaving Guadalupe Mountains National Park, we were back to the “Land of Enchantment” – New Mexico. As we got close to Carlsbad, we saw quite a few oil drilling machines on the desert land. We had very good millage at about 25 mpg because of the tail wind. We finally arrived at the campground at Brantley Lake State Park after five hours. A roadrunner ran across the road as we drove to our camp site. And a flock of scaled quail ran around the campground. The campground was quite full but we had reservations. Our campsite has a view of the lake. It will be our home for our next five days.
We took a walk to the lake despite the high wind. Part of the trail was submerged by the high water. Salt cedars crowded the edge of the water. Some clumps of small white flowers brighten up the barren landscape. They looked similar to sweet alyssum. Unknown bush with red stems started to grow scaly green leaves. A few small bush with saw toothed leaves covered with yellow blossoms. It was a good size lake but the water was kind of yellowish. Stephen told me that it was advised not to eat the fish from this lake because of high content of DDT.
Three girls at the nearby site tried to put up a small tent amid the high wind but in vain. They took selfies with the collapsed tent and sat down for dinner. The wind finally calmed down after dinner. Just when we were about to go out to help them, we saw the girls finally put up their small tent. Hope they have a good night sleep.