Day 16: New Mexico & Arizona

I spent way more time today in NM than expected. Much longer drives between stuff than anticipated. Asking locals for directions when I had bum addresses (or none at all). Driving was stressful as well: dust storms with warning signs “Drive with Extreme Caution: May Be Zero Visibility”. Luckily, that never happened. But the winds were intense and you had to keep strong hold of the steering wheel. And this was all day long. I imagine Sparkle’s not all that aerodynamic when the wind is blowing against her sides. The wonderful sun continued but I found myself taking three shots of everything and hoping that at least one wouldn’t be blurry from the wind gusting at me. I started bracing myself against poles, walls, anything I could find in hopes of being steadier.

Oh, and one other thing that held us up in NM. In Lordsburg, which is truly a dusty, desert, Western type town, Gremlin decided to bolt and it was a good 20 minutes to capture her. I thought it would be safe to cut her loose in this fenced school-yard-y area. Her recall has been so good lately. Happy and quick. And I’ve been working with cheddar cheese which is pretty much her favorite treat. The place seemed pretty secure all around. But somehow, she found her way out and was just blasting around in the desert scrubby bushes. I had to follow in the van as she must’ve covered a half mile. She becomes like a feral dog when she does this. Running willy-nilly, panting, and acting like she doesn’t even know me when she sees me or hears me. I have to be careful how I approach her — slow, kneeling down, praising her like mad (when I really want to kill her). Anyhow, that’s IT — the little shit is on the long-line for good now. I’m going to ask my training pals for suggestions. I have never had a dog like this before.

Enough talk! On the way out of Hatch, NM, I noticed this one. I haven’t seen any other Quail Express gas stations so I imagine this is probably an independent operation. The quail painting was lovely.


This great vintage motorhome was getting some major work done in Deming, NM. I had to look up the BrinkMobile on-line and the concept and photos are pretty cool:


It seems the cactus just gets weirder and scarier the further south you go. Here are three examples from Columbus, NM which is right at the Mexican border. I have no idea what any of them are called. Anybody?


Bisbee, AZ is copper mining country. A cute little town with old buildings and artsy folks but then you get a little south and you see the hillsides ripped apart from the mining. Here’s a pretty rather than gruesome shot of the red hills.


Here’s a shot of a place in Lordsburg. I love the mural and the signage overkill:

6 thoughts on “Day 16: New Mexico & Arizona

  1. She has done this a couple times before but not as seriously. She would’ve have survived the night with coyotes and rattlers and god knows what else. It was a miracle that I even saw that blip of black on the horizon and knew where to drive to. She is SO busted now. She’ll be tethered til we get home.

  2. Hey DJ –

    I am truly enjoying your commentary, and have been sharing it with the guys from Rare Visions. You are about a month ahead of us…although we won’t be traveling with renegade pups (just a non-vegetable-loving vegetarian…the camera guy)

    I have had an unfortunate encounter with the “fuzzy” looking cacti…”jumping cholla.” It seems that they are attracted somehow to passerbys—jumping on them, and their needles are many and quite small. Keep your distance, I was picking needles for days.

    – kelly

  3. I’m glad you are finding entertainment in my postings. I’m also a vegetable-hating vegetarian: nothing more disgusting than cauliflower and broccoli. Though carrots and some others are okay.

    I have heard of these jumping chollas. Thanks for reminding me! I’ll have to look them up online to know what to watch for. I’m more worried about the dogs than me. One of my dogs (Fixie) has been licking her foot for days and I can’t find anything stuck in it. I’m sure it must be some nasty microscopic cactus residue.

  4. Oh,no, Sean! Was I standing that close to one of these jumping cholla monsters! I must go over to Google Images immediately so I can avoid these suckers.

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