A plethora of oil-related apparatus such as these tanker rigs were common along the route between Sanderson, Texas and Roswell, New Mexico. I took this photo at about 6:30 in the morning in Loving, New Mexico, while waiting for a ride back to Sanderson. I waited at this spot for nearly 7 hours for a ride.
SANDERSON, TEXAS — It first looked like hitchhiking back to Sanderson from Roswell would be a nightmare. In the first 51-hour period, I’d traversed a mere 80 miles. Hitchhiking in today’s day and age, and especially a guy with a 125 lb. wagon, what should one expect? Things were looking mighty, mighty grim.
Diane from the Artesia area saved me from hours of waiting in Artesia: "There's good people here, don't get me wrong, but not ever the type to pick up a hitchhiker."
The mood slowly began to change when Diane stopped and asked how I was doing. When it sounded like I had a “viable” story of being “here” (wherever that really was!) with a wagon (!) and a goal, she offered assistance.
The smart thing she did was asked for my ID and called her husband, who happened to be an officer, and she gave him my information. That made her feel better and of course made me feel better knowing she felt better. Know what I mean?
Diane took me into Carlsbad and treated me to Wendys, the air conditioning, and good talk: her volunteering in the Boy Scouts, and her and her family’s Native American heritage. She talked of some of the hypocrisy she and other Native Americans experience.
She mentioned how once her husband had been offered a position through a government agency to help educate and reinforce that pride of heritage to other Native Americans, but lost the opportunity when they also demanded that his hair be cut.
Thanksgiving, as well, “celebrates sharing and togetherness between whites and Indians when in fact it ‘celebrates’ the complete opposite…”
David was en route from Carlsbad to Del Rio when he stumbled upon me and the wagon in Loving, New Mexico. Here we're photographed in Sanderson where David dropped myself and the wagon off.
David was the blast out of the heavens. After a several week working stint for the oil companies in Carlsbad, he was on his way back to Del Rio when he stopped for the LRWT in Loving, New Mexico.
First thing he said?
“You don’t have a knife, do you?”
My first thing I then said?
“No, you don’t, do you?”
“Well, I just want to be sure.”
Does anyone blame him? Not me!
We ended up sharing the next 200 miles together, the miracle ride of all rides, just when I needed it, and right from where I’d sat in the same spot for 7 hours twiddling sticks, counting stones, ants, you name it, just to pass the time.
David turned out to be one helluva guy. Not the kind of guy who will ever get “recognized” for his simple acts of kindness, but from what he informed me, he oughta be up for honors, indeed. You see, he happens to live right near the Rio Grande, right at the border……
But for his safety I don’t want to go into specifics, though an example is how he’s helped others in need who weren’t considered all that “legal” (hint hint border issues, etc.) with info and water and food and….
Note: Coming back from Roswell and especially the final ride from David, at normal highway speed, it was like being in a time warp. It had only been a couple of weeks since I’d walked out from Sanderson toward Roswell. Yet, driving back it felt like it had been ages ago. It was really strange. I’d see places I’d camped at just two weeks back, and they looked familiar but foreign in memory. And when I got back to Sanderson it was funny because a neighbor came up and said, “Hell, that took you no time at all!” and I’m looking at him, confused, and thinking, “Huh?”
I guess what I mean to get across here is that though in walking the distance between point A and point B took so much longer than driving it, it felt as if I’d experienced much more — timewise — and so time itself seemed like it had stretched out over a much longer period than we’re accustom to.
I’ll need to ponder on this more and get back to it. Right now there’s a community barbecue for the race drivers and community at large for the…
Next Post: The Big Bend Open Road Race, “Live” from right here in Sanderson. Race is this Saturday, April 24, a 64-mile track using Highway 285 between Sanderson and Fort Stockton, Texas.
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