The Trip – Day 13

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Quality Inn in Deming, NM, is not the classiest place around, but they sure have good free breakfasts. A great assortment of hot and cold stuff. We paid $65 plus tax for the room; the breakfast would probably have cost us $15 to $20 total elsewhere. If you like Country music 24/7, you’ll like the dining room of the Quality Inn in Deming

We got back on the road at 7:01 a.m. Mountain. The day’s journey would hopefully end at Cedar Park, TX, at the home of our son Pat and his family. We completed our drive through New Mexico at 8:22 a.m., when we hit the Texas state line at mileage 53,474. We started noticing Border Patrol vehicles zipping around in New Mexico and the sightings continued in Texas. (I failed to mention in yesterday’s post that we left I 8 and got on I 10 near Casa Grande, NM at 1:47 p.m. Mountain, mileage 53,109.) Just west of Sierra Blanca, TX, we had to stop at a Border Patrol inspection station. An officer on the right side of the car held a drug sniffing dog on a leash. The dog sniffed the car during the few seconds we stopped. Another officer on our left motioned us through after asking if we were American citizens.

Later, I found out that if you have drugs in your possession, stay clear of Sierra Blanca. From Wikipedia:

In September 2012, singer Fiona Apple was arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana and hashish, and spent the night in jail there.[14] A few weeks later, a Nelly tour bus was stopped at the same checkpoint, and ten pounds of marijuana were found on the bus along with heroin and a loaded gun. The singer was not arrested, but a member of his entourage was.[15] Previously singers Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson as well as actor Armie Hammer had all been arrested separately for drug possession in Sierra Blanca.[14] The U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint at Sierra Blanca sends the county thousands of drug cases a year and inspects 15 to 20,000 vehicles every day.[14] The county is unable to prosecute the vast majority of these cases as the federal government no longer funds such activities.[13]

Luckily, we avoided jail in Sierra Blanca.

We spotted many wind turbines between Fort Stockton and Bakersfield in Texas. It seemed to be a very good area for them, because we were buffeted almost continually by winds blowing across the highway and there were numerous signs warning of high winds.

While driving, Barb texted Pat, asking if there is an alternative route to Cedar Park without having to take I 10 to San Antonio. He suggested we take US Highway 377 at its intersection with I 10 near Junction, TX, then Texas Highway 29 to 183A. We followed his advice, and made excellent time on those highways even though they’re not interstates. Speed limits ranged between 65 and 75. Traffic was light, and driving through the several towns along the way was painless. Plus, we got to see some of the Texas countryside we wouldn’t have seen from I 10.

We arrived at Pat’s house just before dark. Our grandson, Jack, was sitting on the hood of one of the family cars, waiting for us.

We spent the evening relaxing, talking, and winding down after a long drive.

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