Friday, September 9, 2011

We stopped in the village of Ramah long enough for a picture of the old Bond home, now standing vacant. This was the residence of my mother's oldest sister, Esther Burk and her husband, Marius Bond. While Marius cared for the cattle and horses and the other responsibilities of ranch life, Esther looked to the needs of her children and taught school. She was fluent in Navajo and the native tongue of the Zuni Indian children that attended school in Ramah. She was a dear Aunt for whom I had a deep love and regard. Her son Laverl, my same age, still resides in this community with his wife Mary. In this modern age of so much change it is good to know that some people stay where they were born and raised, happy and fulfilled.
At Grant's, on a whim, we turned south from the Interstate and took the road toward El Moro National Monument and Mormon pioneer community of Ramah. To our surprise and pleasure we found ourselves in a winter wonderland in the middle of May! A late Spring snowstorm had passed over this mountain range the night before.

What a pleasure us as we drove through this historic landscape with all its history for us and our pioneer heritage, covered with a fresh blanket of snow!
Thursday, May 19, was the final day of our Virginia Trip. After a overnight stay in Albuquerque we took I-40 toward Gallup.

New Mexico very properly calls itself the Land of Enchantment. It remains largely unchanged by man's mark.

This picture was taken as we drove west along I-40, east of Grant's.
Wednesday, May 18, we passed through dry and dusty Clovis, New Mexico at the Texas border and continued on toward Albuquerque.

We were back in the land of our nativity!

What a contrast these dry, wild and wide open spaces were to the wet, green and deeply forested environment of the southeastern States we had been experiencing just days ago.
Wednesday, May 18, after a night's stay in Lubbock, we made our way toward Clovis, New Mexico on US 84, saying our goodbyes to the Texas Panhandle.

This photo was taken as we traveled northwest from Lubbock, toward the New Mexico border.

We found east central New Mexico in equal need for moisture. It was dry, dry, dry!
Tuesday, May 17, we continued northwest from Lampasas, heading toward Lubbock, using the state highways. We drove through one small farming and ranching town after another.

This photo, taken as we drove through a small town north of Lampasas, is typical of what we saw mile after mile; a land suffering from lack of rain.
May 15, we stopped for the night in Beaumont, Texas. This was our last stop on US 90 as we wanted to avoid the congestion of the Houston area, directly to the west.

The next morning, Monday, May 16, we struck off along Texas highway 105 for Lampasas, some 300 plus miles to the north and west. The route we would be traveling would take us through the heartland of this great state. We didn't know it then, but we would be driving through a drought-ridden land, so starved for rain, the further we got from the gulf.

This picture was taken as we drove west along Texas 105 out of Beaumont, toward Lampasas, where we would find another lodging for the night.
This is a view of the catwalk that extended out from the Visitor's Center at the Louisiana/Texas border on US 90, giving visitors opportunity for close-up looks at the birds, reptiles and other wildlife that make this interesting place their home.