Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In The Beginning...New Mexico and a Purpose

I sat down today to compose a blog.  What topic, I had no idea!  My travels through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona so far?  The National Parks, BLM's, and Forestry Service?  Hiking with an old dog?  All topics I will be writing about but then I found 2 blogs that I never published for some reason.  One was from the beginning of our journey last year and the other from the crashing end of it.

I think that I didn't post the beginning of last year's trip because I didn't want it to be a blow by blow of our trip (where we went, ate, camped, etc.).  As for the ending, I think I was just too sad that it had ended to see it published. 

Now that I'm back on the road permanently, I enjoyed reading them both.  So  below, are the 2 blogs.  One from July 2013, the other from January 2014.  I hope you enjoy them as well.

In  The Beginning...New Mexico

Our first day on the road found Lillie and I rolling through flat west Texas land spotted with oil rigs and dancing dirt devils.  The road could be seen for miles in this flat wasteland with sporadic traffic and lots of shimmering heat.  It certainly didn't invite one to get out of air conditioned comfort or have us anticipating a night of outdoor camping!  We rolled into farming landscape and silently crossed the invisible state line into New Mexico.

At the start of our road trip adventure, my Jeep refused to start.  This infused a need to continually check to see if it would start all along the way to White City, our destination of the night.  I certainly didn't want to find myself stranded come day two!  That first night, I put my tent up like I knew what I was doing and actually did a great job!  It was windy and, once the sun went down, promised to be a comfortable night.  Dinner was a PBandJ and reflection over the 444 miles I had driven.  Lillie was drawn to our neighbor's as they actually cooked their dinner.  They were 2 men from Austin, TX who were welcoming to Lillie but did not feed her any leftovers, at my request.  I didn't sleep much during the night simply because it was new to me.  Lillie couldn't hear if any creatures crept up on us, my tent flaps were up in order to let the wind in, and my imagination was rampant.  So I was up early on day 2!

I showered, packed up, and got us to Carlsbad Caverns by 8:00AM.  They didn't open until 8:30AM so we
had a bit of a wait before I was able to get Lillie kenneled and I was hiking the caverns.  It was beautiful and I didn't waste any time.  I rented the recorded tour where you punched in the number of where you are in the caverns and it gives you the details about what you're looking at.  I would pause to look around or take a picture then I listened to the rest as I quickly hiked through.  I was told it would take 4 hours.  I, of course, was done in 2 hours, much to Lillie's pleasure!

Once back on the road, my GPS put us on the wrong path to Cloudcroft and we ended up in Nowhere Land!  We managed to get turned in the right direction and drove on.  We were in no hurry.  The changing landscape was amazing!  From triple digit heat, flat desert land with nothing but oil rigs and weird bushes to mountains and cool temperatures!  It was awe inspiring and I couldn't help but say thanks to God for the beauty He has given us and to me in particular!  I'm so blessed to be able to travel and see it all!

We arrived 8,670 feet up to Cloudcroft and wandered the quaint village. I enjoyed a meal while Lillie fought anxiety from being tied up outside to wait for me.  She received plenty of attention, as came to be the norm during our trip.  After finding the ranger station and receiving camping information, we decided on Silver Campground as showers were available...for an additional $5.  I had just gotten the tent set up and everything we needed into it when the rain came.  Luckily, it didn't last long so I was able to grill some
chicken for dinner before calling it a night.  Lillie woke me up 3 times, out of a deep sleep.  I tried to let her out but she wouldn't go.  She was shivering and shoved herself against me so that I ended up almost on the dirt!  Her actions freaked me out because I thought she may have smelled a creature that scared her.  I later came to think that it was the massive quantity of lightening in the distance that frightened her.  That's a less disturbing thought, at least!

That evening had been so cool that I decided to repack my Jeep before descending back into hot America.  So, guess what?  Yup, the next morning my Jeep refused to start.  So after cooking some eggs and walking the nature trails with Lillie, I implored the resident Host to jump start the Jeep and we headed into town.  After a wonderful lunch of spaghetti at Front Porch Bistro, we decided to drive down the mountain to check out Alamagordo.  The trip down the mountain was scenic but the temperature climbed back into the triple digits!  After figuring out that there really wasn't much to see in Alamagordo, I stopped at a mechanic's to see if he could figure out what was going on with my Jeep.  Other than the temperature gauge not working on my radiator, he found nothing wrong and said the battery and alternator were fine.  So back up the mountain we climbed.  Once back in camp, we relaxed and people watched (there was a large family camping across the road from my campsite) before turning in.

After tearing down the tent and tying my lounge chair to the roof, we took off for Las Cruces to White Sands National Park. 



One thing I've learned since losing my job in October of 2012 is that we are all here for a purpose and that we all NEED a purpose in this life. Otherwise, why be here??

I'm lost when I have NO destination.  There's always more to my journey but there are times that I don't see or feel it.  Being forced to cut short my travels and deal with scum was, to say the least, a killer blow to my existence.  This time last year is exactly where I am now....just with more road under my belt and less money in the bank.

Don't get me wrong!  I feel blessed to have God at my back and the finances to do all that I've done!  I've spent the bank, both financially and emotionally because I took the opportunity.  Finding my purpose while I'm trampled, lost, and disappointed is, at the very least, difficult. Confusion is a heavy coat to wear.

There are things I do know...things I've learned on this journey.  True friends aren't always who you think they are...lessons of love weren't love at all....strangers can give you both love and friendship.  I want friendships and true love and all that is good out there!! I know first hand that it is out there!!

Without a job, someone to look after, something to DO....we sink into our worst selves.  Living without purpose isn't living....it's existing.  I want more.  I'll find a temporary existence until I can find my life...the one God intended for me!  Or maybe, that's what I'm living now.

What I know for certain is that there is so much world out there that I crave to see and experience!  I'm getting older by the day but I don't feel it!!  My travels have taught me that people and all of the differences between us just make us all that more interesting to each other.

Here's to finding purpose in this life we've been granted!!