This post was edited on November 29, 2016 to include later blog posts related to this one.
Tonight, I officially hand over the keys of my home to its new owner. I'm too worn out right now to be very sentimental about it, plus there is lots to look forward to! The past week has involved selling stuff, moving stuff, packing stuff, trashing stuff, and cleaning stuff. I hope to never have that much stuff again.
On October 23, 2016, I begin my travels. My ultimate destination for the entire month of November is Las Cruces, New Mexico. I am taking a few detours along the way to see some new sites and one location that has special significance to me. My stops will include:
At the suggestion of my mother, I will be spending a short time in Eureka Springs. This city is located in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas. As an historic architecture enthusiast, I was excited to see that the entire city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I'm sure I will find some great photo ops and welcome a chance to feast my eyes while I stretch my legs.
A big fan of our National Parks, I've wanted to see Hot Springs for quite some time, so I couldn't resist adding a stop there. I will be spending a few days enjoying the sights of the town as well as the scenery along the National Park's hiking trails. I'm especially looking forward to seeing the wealth of art deco architecture there.
Leaving Hot Springs, I will take a drive on the Talimena Scenic Drive, a 54-mile route that twists and turns throughout the foliage of the Ouachita National Forest. The byway is known for its stunning views of the highest mountain range between the Appalachians and the Rockies.
I will continue on and stop for the evening in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in the heart of the Cherokee Nation.
My next destination is the only one along my route I have previously visited. Actually, I did more than visit Enid, Oklahoma - I was born there and lived my first two years in the city. I have not returned in the 38 years we have been gone. I plan to check out the "Queen Wheat City," which apparently has the most grain storage capacity in the U.S., and snap a photo of two of the old homestead on Kiowa Drive.
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo's where I'll be... great song, George Strait! I'll admit it, though, I haven't found a place in Texas that I love yet. Necessity has me giving the state another try in Amarillo. Apparently Amarillo was once known as "Helium Capital of the World" for its helium fields (I never really thought about where helium came from...). The "The Yellow Rose of Texas," Amarillo operates one of the largest meat-packing areas in the United States. As a vegetarian for the past 24 years, I'm super excited about that. ;-)
With the nickname of "Alien City" and kitschy touches like street lamps painted to look like aliens, Roswell looks like a place with a sense of humor. I plan to visit the International UFO Museum (when in Rome...), Roswell Museum & Art Center, UFO-shaped McDonald's, and other sights around town. And, hopefully, avoid becoming a part of an X Files story line.
7. Landing Point for November: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces looks like a great place to soak up some fantastic November weather. I look forward to enjoying views of the Organ Mountains, eating lots of New Mexico chile, patronizing their extensive farmers and crafts market, and day trips to locales such as Mesilla, White Sands National Monument, Silver City, Gila Cliff Dwellings, City of Rocks State Park, Cibola National Forest, and Gila National Forest.
Where to in December? I'm figuring that out! Stay tuned...