I woke up today in Carlsbad, NM. I was to drive west through the Lincoln national forest and across the Sacramento mountains. I began the day late since I was waiting for my Airbnb's dryer to finish its task.

So I headed out to La Patrona to grab a breakfast burrito. I ended up ordering pork soaked in a chili sauce with beans. It wasn't what I intended, but I it's difficult to communicate in an N95. The burrito was good, not very large, and came wrapped in aluminum foil as well as a plastic bag. The novice burritoist might assume that too packaging. And I certainly did just that. But I found out the burrito dripped and was an all around mess. It was spicy and I found myself in tears and my hands soaked red with chili sauce.

A pattern I saw twice at Carlsbad was the combination of a taco truck and a coffee/smoothie shack. In both cases they operated as two separate vendors with two separate drive-thrus. I ordered an iced mocha at Nick's Coffee Hut. Was good, but I spilled it on my shirt while I was driving.

I headed north across the desert and through a sandstorm. The winds were strong so I drove well below the speed limit. When I stopped for gas I was glad I had a mask on.

I turned west and headed towards the mountains. I don't have photos, but the road was remote. When I reached the mountains the landscape changed gradually. The desert gave way to idyllic valleys with a Mediterranean feel.

There was a snowstorm which caused my car to glide just once.

Then I came down and headed to White Sands. It feels vast, with mountains in the distance in opposite directions. Above you could hear, and sometimes glimpse fighter jets which use the area for training. Anyway, here are some photos of the sand:


At some point I mean to write about the traffic patterns found in Las Cruces.

  • Four-way stops on highway exits
  • Parallel highway roads (35 mph)
  • Protected U-turn lanes on highway exits