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Monday, November 30, 2009 - Brantley Lake State Park, Carlsbad NM

Google map of the TX border at Hobbs NM, screen shot November 30, 2009
Google map of the TX border at Hobbs NM, screen shot November 30, 2009

After being startled on an earlier trip through the west to discover you can sometimes actually see the Texas/New Mexico border on the ground I've been watching for it ever since. The first time I saw it was farther south of here, I forget where exactly but you could distinctly see the different vegetative growth across a fence that ran along the border. The Texas side was scrabbly over grazed mesquite scrub land - across the fence was typical New Mexico desert. I saw the border again today as I crossed out of the irrigated industrial cotton and peanut farms on the east and into the southwestern desert at Hobbs, New Mexico to the west. It's amazing how deeply the cultural differences get etched into the landscape. This is no natural boundary - it's a line drawn on a map now etched into the soil.

My luck may be changing

It's really too soon to tell but things may be looking up. I'm not alone with my problems - Tioga George, a widely followed blogging full-timer I draw inspiration from, has been going through one of these rough spots with his rig too, where things go awry one after the other. Let's hope things will settle down for us both for a while.

After making a fingers-crossed beeline all the way from New York to have Charlie at Charlie's Transmission in Carlsbad NM look at my worn transmission tailshaft bushing before it croaks I stopped by his shop when I got to town this morning. It turns out what I had interpreted as excessive wear in my obsessing over my longstanding driveshaft issues is completely normal - there is nothing amiss. What a relief. Charlie took good care of me last New Years when the tranny blew a seal and I wanted to get his advise on who to see about my tire bounce problem too. He sent me off to see Ruben at Forrest Tire down the street, a shop I had already identified on Google as a likely candidate. Their website shows an alignment machine in a pit, just what I'm looking for. - the usual car alignment machines are too small for LD and a lot of the truck machines are too big. Alas, some time after that picture was taken they pulled that machine, filled the pit, and stuck in a more profitable car alignment machine on a lift. Too small, Goldilocks, too small. They can't align LD but they can give it a good long look at the problem for me. That's the first step to a cure anyway so tomorrow morning after it warms up a bit (they will be working outside) they will have a go at it.

Night camp

Site 37 - Brantley Lake State Park, Carlsbad NM

Masquerade

My friend! Our country is a masquerade! No party, no man dares to avow his real sentiments. All is disguise, vizard, cloak.

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