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John B. Deitz

Build: 100521.2

Day 12
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Tuesday, 9 August 2005.  Southern Arizona, New Mexico, and west Texas to Van Horn, Texas.

We regretfully said our goodbyes, and were on the road by 9 a.m.  The respite in Tucson was greatly appreciated! 

The trip from Tucson to Van Horn, Texas on I-10 was surprisingly pleasant. Temperatures for most of the trip were in the mid-80's to low-90's. Arizona and New Mexico deserts are much the same as before. There was some change in Texas to a more grassy fauna, but terrain is much the same. My apprehension that this leg of the trip was likely to be difficult and especially hot was ill-founded.

The day found us in three time zones -- Arizona on Mountain Standard Time, New Mexico and very western Texas on Mountain Daylight Time, and Van Horn and the remainder of Texas on Central Daylight Time. The latter time zone line is just west of Van Horn.

Gas is a bit of a concern along this leg.  Don't wait until near empty!  And what you think might be the last station going east out of El Paso is the last station.  El Paso seemed much busier than I remember it when there some 20 or so years ago.  But to be honest, I don't remember much about the place, and we didn't see much more than what you can see from the Interstate.

There was a Border Patrol check station between El Paso and Van Horn.  Having it here may make some sense, as there are few ways to bypass it.  Some of the similar check points in the East near the Canadian border are silly and not cost effective; bypassing them is ridiculously easy!

The Union Pacific RR (old Southern Pacific) parallels I10 through much of this route. Much of it appeared to be single track, and the traffic did not seem anywhere near as busy as on the BNSF.

Van Horn was much as I expected. Chain motels at the Interstate connection, and a few mom-an-pop motels along the main drag.  Van Horn's main street (Broadway) is pretty dreary, and there appeared only to be two or three local places to eat (and also some of the standard fast food shops). We selected a steak house (Cattle Company), and while the fare was simple and straightforward, the steak was perfectly cooked (in my case ordered medium rare, received medium rare). There is nothing better than a good hunk-a-meat and a pitcher of beer!

We didn't stop to take any pictures this day.

Distance:  About  430 miles Accommodation: Super 8 Cost:  $57

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23 October 2007