We are in Big Spring, Texas (110 miles west of Dallas/Fort Worth) this morning. Yes, “BIG” Spring, Texas! Everything is “bigger” in Texas than anywhere else, or so they tell me. This one thing I do know, Texas as a “BIG, BIG” state and it will take us another day or so to drive through it. I have also noticed that the bugs that splatter on the windshield of Odysseus here in Texas do seem bigger than any bugs I’ve encountered elsewhere.
Driving eastward from Alamogordo, NM yesterday morning, we drove through Lincoln National Forest and over the Sacramento Mountains (8,750 feet) where snow still lingered in shadowed nooks and crannies. What a beautiful and scenic drive—on route 70—without a lot of traffic and with speed limits between 55 and 35 mph. This was our first opportunity to drive this particular road and I hope we can do it again.
Then, after such a scenic drive, we came to Artesia, NM. It has a population of about 44,000. As we drove through the town, I wondered what the people did for a living there. It didn’t take long for me to know the answer. On the eastern side of town was a big refinery of some sort, and scattered all about on both sides of the road were the remnants of the oil business: old tanks, pipes, pumps, trucks, and machines rusting in the sun. It was one gigantic junkyard! For the next thirty miles or more we observed oil pumps at work among the sand dunes (I could even smell the oil in the air). What a desecration of the land! Oh, I know the land is just simply “sand dunes” or “desert,” probably only good for cows—but do we have to make it another kind of desert—a desert of the Apocalypse? That’s what it looked like—a barren, desolated, dirty and ruined earth.
Driving into west Texas, we passed by cotton fields and newly tilled land with oil pumps and tanks in almost every field—but they were clean areas—not junk heaps. The farmers apparently are concerned for their land and are protecting it. Which apparently is not the case in the desert near Artesia, NM.
I know nothing about the oil business, but I do know something about the sacredness of the land and of our responsibility to use it and also preserve it. I didn’t wake up grumpy—but now I am!! Confound it!
|I find a wondrous beauty in the Desert|