Roswell to Fort Stockton
Day 4 we kick off with a Martian Latte, it’s a strange green colour! Oh well, still tastes ok, thanks Starbucks Roswell 😉. Today we have about 350 kms to travel, with one tourist attraction stop planned. However, that may change depending on what we come across while navigating to Fort Stockton. Hopefully, the trip from Roswell to Fort Stockton will bring with it a better outlook than the previous days. Instead of vast tracts of flat, boring landscapes. This is our hope we shall soon see. Leaving Roswell, we travel south on highway 285 towards Carlsbad New Mexico. Thankfully we are on a highway where the speed limit is mostly between 75-80 mph. Thus, the first part of the trip goes relatively quick, albeit accompanied by scenery much like the past couple of days. Surely this will change soon, fingers crossed 😊.
Before heading to our one planned stop for the day, we drop into Burger King for our breakfast. Carolyn to my surprise orders a sausage and egg maple biscuit and I order a sausage and egg croissant we both get hash browns and a drink. Carolyn takes one bite and doesn’t like it so I swap mine for hers (what a great husband I am 😊). Upon completion of our brekkie we head back to the car for the ride to Carlsbad Caverns. The terrain is similar to what we have seen through New Mexico with the addition of a hill range running beside us for the last portion of the trip. Reaching the entrance to the park we then climb to the top of the mountain range to reach the visitors centre about 45 kilometres from Carlsbad. Our “America the beautiful” pass gives us free entry to the Caverns. To descent into the caverns you have two choices. Firstly, you can walk down the natural entrance trail which is a 2 kilometre extremely steep descent. Secondly, and the entrance we used via the elevator that descents 750 feet (229 metres or equivalent to a 75-story building).
Once inside the caverns you have a choice of 2 trails, The Big Room Trail that is 2 kilometres long or the short experience that is 1 kilometre in length. We decided to do the longer trail, but we did it in a quicker time frame as we still had a fair way to travel to get to our final destination. The Caverns were interesting formations of speleothems (cave formations).
Check out the pictures of the caverns.
It was worth the trip to see how nature works. Now back to our car for the final leg from Roswell to Fort Stockton.
Roswell to Fort Stockton The Boring Part
This leg would turn out to be the most challenging part of the whole trip. Once we had made it onto highway 285, we are greeted by loads of road works, tons of trucks and cars all navigated the awful roads.
With very few places to overtake, sitting behind large trucks traveling at load speed became the norm for the next couple of hours. The scenery was flat, dull and boring to say the least. We had been warned that this stretch was not the best and how right they were. Crossing from New Mexico into Texas we hoped to see the boarder sign but there wasn’t one to be see.
Maybe due to the road works it had been removed. Finally, after what seemed an eternity the section of road works stopped, and the traffic disappeared.
However, there was still one more twist in our journey from Roswell to Fort Stockton to contend with. This one was life threatening and brought home just how irresponsible some drivers can be. On a straight section of road and clear visibility a car is coming directly at us on the wrong side of the road trying to overtake a truck. How, they, could have so badly judged the distance he had to overtake was mind blowing. Also, the lack of urgency to correct his problem was nonexistent. If not for the car in front of us and ourselves taking evasive action things could have been disastrous. Both us and the car in front swerved to the side of the road while trying to slow down in a hurry, while the overtaking driver just kept coming.
Not sure if they were under the influence of anything but it just reminds you how fast a tragedy can happen, all because of one person’s lack of judgement. Thankfully, God was protecting us and the other drivers. So, after all this we finally arrived in Fort Stockton, finishing off what was an eventful day trip from Roswell to Fort Stockton. While I wouldn’t recommend doing this trip, sometimes you have to travel roads that aren’t the best to reach your final destination.
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