Backroads in Oregon

North to Colorado

Entering New Mexico always elicits a rejuvenated excitement. Like plate filled from a multi-course dinner served with anticipation, abandonment, freedom, joy and exhilaration of just being on the road. This time was no different. And I love the long sweeping roll of the highway in northeast New Mexico; it's like a carpet that just unrolls under your wheels.

The highways were bordered by yellow flowers. In fact, everything seemed yellow and happy. Even the license plates. The terrain was greener than I remembered since the last time riding through in the fall of 2006. Passing by a familiar small lake south of the highway where I had pulled over to photographs cows in the pastures, I smiled at the irony that they were still there.

Small towns in northern New Mexico are different from those in north Texas: smaller, sparse and poorer. Clusters of mobile homes are a common sight. While driving or riding through these small communities, there and elsewhere, I often wonder what the residents are like; what do they do every day? What do they think about? Sometimes it's like watching a movie with actors; they almost don't seem real, but you know they are. To someone.

Colorado, here we come!


Veering north and entering Colorado is climactic. The first thing we do is climb mountains. Real mountains. We pulled off long enough to breathe in the mountains and remind ourselves that they exist. We tend to forget that when living in Texas.

Nothing to see here, folks.


We saw very little wildlife on the road. I was hoping to see a bison somewhere, but this is the closest we got to that. A big wooden (or metal?) bison mounted on top of this hill. Along next to a radio repeater. Ah well.

We also learned to avoid Denver if at all possible. All the major cities on the way to Oregon proved to be  the worst parts of this trip. Traffic jams, accidents, and just plain crowding. It was a reminder why I want to leave the city for good.

Next: Wyoming