We were fortunate to have a grand tour our first day here from Jim & Debi, listeners to our RV Navigator podcast and local residents. They told us that Las Cruces is the second largest city in New Mexico, which was a surprise. Santa Fe feels much larger and is certainly more affluent. This is a university town which adds some culture and dimension to what to us feels like a small town with a lot of poor people. Las Cruces is bordered on the east by a dramatic rise of mountains, the Organs, so called because they looked like organ pipes to early arrivees. Our guides tried to take us places they like that we would not have known about on our own. They drove up into the Organ Mountains to a small campground that they enjoy and we looked back toward the city. We could see a dark bank of clouds moving toward us. The forecasters have cautioned that six lines of storms are coming our way so we were not surprised. After this lengthy drive north of town, Jim drove over forty miles west to the Adobe Deli, a quaint restaurant in the middle of nowhere that has been there for years. The quality of the steaks and the french onion soup keeps people coming back. The restaurant looked like cowboys would love it and it was decorated with all manner of taxidermied animals. There is huge herd of oryx here which someone introduced and they flourished in this non African climate. Today there are hunted sparingly since they have no predators and a few were part of the animal tableau at the deli. Altogether our tour involved driving well over one hundred miles, which Jim & Debi said is the way things are in the west. The drive gave us lots of time to talk and for us to get to know them. As regular podcast listeners they already know way too much about us. On the drive west on I-10 we were surprised to see an eastbound van cross the median and start driving toward us. It was quickly followed by police cars flashing their dome lights. It would be interesting to hear the end of that story.
Since the weather was still gray and cool, we turned to home improvement today. When Ken tried to drive the motor home out of the parking lot at home, the electric screen would not move and he had to wind it up manually so he could see to drive. He hoped that we could stop at the manufacturer near Dallas on our drive out here for a repair, but they were closed for the entire holiday period. They said it was probably the motor and sent a replacement. Ken is fearless with such projects, but it was one of those things that you could do much more quickly and efficiently the second time around. When he got it all hooked up the screen still would not go up, but he remembered that these shades have to be programmed. This was a process more complicated than it needed to be, but we now have a shade/screen set that is fully operational. A good use of a rainy day.