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Along the Southern border
Much of the friendliness, and freedom has disappeared from this place, since the stream of illegals from Mexico began. Certain areas of the border are nothing short of lawless, and there is a tension, and thickness to the air that I do not recall from my visit a few years ago. Though I ran into absolutely no trouble, I had packed a pair of 45 automatic pistols, for my trip. Unlike the more eastern states, it is quite acceptable to have a gun out here, and the laws are much more relaxed and reasonable. Some would even say that it is necessary. I saw numerous border patrol wagons, and was even stopped at a check point, so that my van might be checked for passengers.

Not all is peace and harmony on the border area. Thousands of illegals stream across every night, and seek places to hole up, as they continue their trek north. Many are the stereotypical hard working types who can't find a job at home, but many others are smugglers, small time crooks, unemployables, and opportunistic types, who  bump up the crime rate, and make living in these areas difficult, and finding an entry level job almost impossible.

A fair amount of traffic here, actually more than I have expected; but that will end soon enough.

A jumble of rocks sits, as if kicked here by some giant.

This is like something out of a Roadrunner cartoon.

Entering New Mexico, far to the south.

Lots to see here, for a midwesterner. I am now just a few miles north of the border, and nearly any right turn will take me down a road to Mexico.

The sense of isolation can be stark, after a few hours of this.

The sense of isolation increases, making every sign on the empty freeway, into a landmark.

A New Mexico rest stop, complete with a shady arcade, wireless internet, rest rooms, and vending machines. I sat here for an hour, browsing the net, with a cool soft drink in my hand. I was almost tempted to stay, since it was getting late, and I knew that my next day's destination (Carlsbad), was still several hundred miles away. My best calculations had me arriving there around  nine or ten at night, presuming that I did not get lost. New Mexico allows travelers to stop for up to three days at highway rest areas. Still, I did not come all this way to spend a day visiting a rest stop. I could hear Carlsbad calling.

You see odd things, if you drive long enough in the heat. Sometimes they are even real. A dome is being delivered for an astronomical observatory.

Here is a person moving everything he owns, and then some. This is not the kind of load I would want to be lugging in hundred degree heat, over grades.

This person is apparently moving out a whole apartment building.

I have crossed the Continental Divide, numerous times, at numerous places, the first being at Yellowstone Park,  thirty years ago. It is not a straight line, but twists and turns it's way from north to south, along mountain ranges, and along plains.

A rail crossing, seemingly built here, to remind nature that man is still around somewhere.

Suddenly things get busy. Lots of things move around the Southwest; but most, don't seem to stay, and are headed to other parts.

Not exactly the place I would like ot have a blowout.

There are many things sitting around the desert. I have no idea what this is, it could be a gas or oil well, or perhaps a water pipeline, or even a Border Patrol detector, or something for the military. Who can say?

Oil storage tanks, indicate the presence of a well. Even into the 21st century, this area is being mined and tapped, more than it is being settled and built up.

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