Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Seeing It With Eyes Of Appreciation

I really don't know what the big difference is on this journey thru New Mexico or Texas over past trips through these states along Interstate 10.  We've crossed the country on I-10 probably a half dozen times over the past 20+ years and previously I would sort of dread part of it. 

Once you get into New Mexico a few miles, and all the way through West Texas until almost San Antonio, the landscape is rather brownish with some smattering of green sagebrush and the like.  There are mountains to see, but those are mostly brownish in color also.  This time it was different for us.  We were seeing this area with "eyes of appreciation".  We rode through this area the past 2 days with a feeling of excitement and joy, I guess you could call it.

This time we really looked at it with different eyes.  We could still see the brownish landscape of New Mexico with the stark and sometimes barren look of it all but we saw the contrast of the brown mountains with the blue sky.  We saw how some of the rocks and mountains were a different shade of brown.  Some mountains were jagged and some had been sheared off by centuries of stiff winds until they were turned into a plateau.   Same thing for West Texas.  As we looked at everything, we talked about how difficult it must have been for the early settlers to cross that desert like terrain, filled with all sorts of unknown dangers. 

(click on any photo for a larger view)

Here are some beautiful rocky mountains in Arizona just before you get to New Mexico.  Awesome!
Just after entering New Mexico we could see some beautiful yellow wildflowers.
The wildflowers lasted only a short time and then the landscape turned into a dry prairie with the mountains in the distance.
Just after you cross from New Mexico into Texas,  the folks from the Lone Star state greet you with a huge sign.
Another wonderful part of Texas is their pride in their home town and the entire state.  In even the smallest towns, they honor their high school teams by painting the water tanks with the sports teams achievements.
Here is a photo of west Texas many miles east of El Paso.  The wide open spaces of this area hold great appeal to the residents of this part of the state.  They don't want close neighbors as they prefer to farm the land or graze cattle.
Before we got to the turnoff for Hwy. 290 toward Johnson City, we could see many of the wind machines erected on the hills and plateaus here.
The Interstate took us through more hills, with green shrubs and sagebrush, and then we saw our turnoff for Hwy. 290.  Making our exit from the Interstate, we were now heading into the area known as the Hill Country.  We will be here for 4 nights.
I think most people travel to see different places and experience new things they don't find at home.  That is why we travel.  We are not content to sit all year long looking at the same scenery.  Every traveler will have their own preferences on what is most important to see.  How boring would we find life if everything looked the same?  If there were nothing but large cities to visit, I wouldn't be happy.  If there was nothing but desert to visit, I wouldn't be happy.  If I could never see the ocean, I wouldn't be happy.  We may have been driving through barren land most of the past 2 days, but how refreshing to NOT SEE constant strip malls, gas stations, fast food joints, and rows and rows of homes that look identical to the one next door.

So this is why we could see this area with our eyes of appreciation.  We appreciate the diversity of this state of Texas, but we also just appreciate being able to be fulltime RVer's and go where we want.  We are so blessed and that makes us very thankful, too.

Until next long for now!


Happytrails said...

Great post! We haven't traveled many places yet but can certainly understand how you appreciate different places for their uniqueness.
We were also impressed with the pride Texans show in their state. They certainly do support their high school teams and such. :)
Hope you all enjoy your stay!!

Travel safely!
Mike and Gerri (

Paul and Mary said...

We're looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Thanks for your wonderful perspective on West Texas. We're gonna need it!

See you soon,

Wild Blue Yonder said...

Great post! I haven't been there yet, but I can't wait to see the same sights through your perspective!

Take care, drive safe

Rick and Paulette said...

Nice post Margie. It's nice to read your comments about NM and TX as we'll be going through the same area in just a few weeks. I'll try and remember your thoughts about "eyes of appreciation" as we drive across the state of New Mexico on I-10!

Ali said...

Margie you say many of the things we say as we travel. We try to find the beauty in each area. It is funny how Ron will see something and point it out to me and then a bit farther I see something and point it out to him. Thanks for sharing part of the USA that we have not had the chance to see yet...we love being able to travel along with others.

squawmama said...

Yes Margie I agree with you 100%... Beauty is everywhere we travel you just have to look for it... Even the drabbist areas have thier own charm. I loved looking at the rocky mountain scapes and the desert cactus... Would I want to live there no but I did see and appreciate its beauty. And there is no state's pride stronger then Texas you see it everywhere! We love our roaming around the USA... Travel Safe and Have fun!!!

Carol K said...

Could it be that looking at the sights as a blogger makes it all more interesting? When you are thinking about what would make an interesting picture to share does it make you sit up and take notice of all your surroundings?

I know I look at daily life and traveling a bit differently now that I have people that are interested in what I post.

John and Ellen said...

I really liked this post Margie. I think all of us should be pleased about where we are at that moment in time. I know many people have told me that driving through West Texas is the worst. I happen to think those people are like horses with blinders on, they can only see the road in front of them and are not able to really see the beauty that is around them. As for me, I always try to remember that God put everything in place and he knew ahead of time that I would be coming along to take a look. If HE did that for me, then I had better appreciate the effort.


It is truly a beautiful country in all it's own rights. Whether it be mountains & deserts, flatlands, or lush green foliage & trees. If one's thoughts are positive about the landscape, one's eyes will appreciate what they see.

Dinah Soar said...

I used to feel the same about TX, NM, AZ, felt barren. I remember living in west TX as a child--I experienced my first blizzard and my first tornado. Scary stuff. But now I long to visit those places again. I think having seen some movies that I enjoyed set in the 'barren' west gives me a new association. The barren west is such a contrast to the north west...I also lived in Montana near Glacier National Park and that was green and beautiful..and the wheat fields on the Montana/Canadian border were like a giant ocean when they undulated in the wind.

Jerry and Suzy said...

We hear many people saying the desert is dry, barren, ugly. We love it, and see it's beauty everywhere. We hear people comment that Nebraska is flat, hot, boring. We loved it -- especially the lakes, mountains, waterfalls, and the International Clown Museum! Eyes of appreciation, for sure!