Good Morning, Hobbs, New Mexico! It is 14 degrees, with light snow …
One more time we unpack the Tahoe, and dig out the winter coats, which, by design, are behind and below everything else. The wind is blowing and it sure feels cold.
We head out on Highway 18, still in oil country. We talked with a nice young man at breakfast; he worked for the one of the big oil companies. They own all the land around here. He told us that a properly operating oil well produces about a 100 barrels a day. Considering we drove for 2 hours and saw nothing but oil wells, one every few acres, it is hard to image how much oil is produced in this part of the country. The oil companies do not appear to spend their profits locally, though. Not much around for anyone living here. Finally we leave the oil fields.
The land becomes very flat. Farms and Ranches replace the oil wells and it feels wide open again. There looks to be for the first time, some crops being grown, with one I never would have expected; cotton. Cotton, although less of cash crop than it used to be, is still grown here; big cattle and dairy operations too.
Valley of Fire
Driving along, the signs announce that we are approaching the Valley of Fire. Not sure what that might be about, I checked with Google. In the brief moment when I had cell data coverage I learned that the blacken dirt was not the remnants of a famous wild fire, but actually a 20 mile lava flow from volcanic activity as recently as 1000 years ago. Who knew? Across the immense valley, for as far as you could see, were mounds of black ground. That was quite an amazing site.
In the distance, you can see that the landscape is going to change. We are driving between the Captain Mountains on our right and mountains of Ruidoso on our left. We drive through a beautiful valley and the town of Lincoln. Warning history approaching. Lincoln, New Mexico was the childhood home of none other than Billy the Kid. All I know is that this valley would be a nice location for sweet little ranch next to the Rio Hondo river and the mountains in the horizon.
We wind around heading back up the mountains. Each curve displays a new vista.
This is one beautiful country. We are so glad to be here to see it.