Welcome (back) to Texas?

May 31 & June 1, 2017

After leaving the underground portion of Carlsbad Caverns I drove around some of the scenic surface roads in the National Park there and then went back to the Visitor Center to study many of the indoor displays there.

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I then headed out to the main road and continued about 40 miles further south to see a  National Park I have not been to yet.  This meant crossing back into the state of Texas from where I had been in southeast New Mexico.

I hadn’t noticed when I first entered Texas almost three weeks earlier that the entry signs welcoming you to the state were rather puny:

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When I crossed from Louisiana into Texas I did so by crossing a river on a bridge, so I really didn’t notice a sign indicating I was then in the Lone Star State.  The photo above is of the sign I saw when I crossed back into Texas from New Mexico.  Evidently the people who made this rather nice sign out of stone didn’t get the “everything’s bigger in Texas” memo…   More on that later.

I continued south and stopped at the Visitor Center for the Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  I learned there that there are no roads in the Park and that the only ways to access the Park’s rugged peaks is by hiking in on foot or riding on horseback.  Not for me…

The weather had become rather threatening anyway so I stayed in the Visitor Center for a while to wait for the heavy rain which soon arrived to pass.

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I drove around a little more before heading back to Carlsbad.

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While I was going through pictures for this post I discovered a few I had taken of a rest area in another part of Texas which I had seen about a week earlier (obviously on a much nicer day):

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Since they were in Texas I figured I’d include them in this post.

I headed back to Carlsbad for dinner (tacos at a highly recommended food truck) and went back to my Airbnb to monitor the weather radar.  I decided against returning to Carlsbad Caverns for the nightly bat exodus which, as it turns out, was cancelled for that evening anyway.

The next day I headed northeast from Carlsbad to travel to the Texas panhandle and the town of Lubbock, where I would be spending one night.  This meant crossing into Texas one more time, and another small, stone sign:

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Before getting to the Texas state line I  had driven through the town of Hobbs, New Mexico.  They are not at all shy about welcoming people to their little slice of the world:

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To demonstrate how large those letters are, that’s my car parked off to the left.

OK, Texas, it seems that Hobbs has thrown down the gauntlet.  Looks like you have your work cut out for you….