The image above is about the best representation I was able to make of what I'm looking at right now, sunrise over the valley where Las Cruces, New Mexico is located. The picture is lousy, the actual view is insanely better. Waking up to this the last two mornings has been a real treat.
The climate here is also a treat, after San Antonio's muggy oppression. The air here is dry, and feels comfortable well into the 90s. At night, things cool off dramatically, and there is a breeze off the valley. It's quite wonderful.
The drive out here was fun. East Texas was neat, but still looked somewhat familiar. The trees and foliage weren't the same, but there were plenty of trees and foliage. Once you cross the hills west of San Antonio and head into West Texas, however, things become more arid and the flora becomes the sort of scrubby desert plant life you expect from the stereotypical "west." We also saw our share of mountains and canyons. That drive is fairly well documented on the flickr page.
Yesterday we took a side roadtrip and went up to Roswell, New Mexico - site of the supposed 1947 alien saucer crash. They were having a convention to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the crash, and there were lots of brightly costumed folks about. We also stopped in White Sands to see the national monument and missile base there, and in Alamagordo so I could buy a T-shirt with the name of the first Atom Bomb test site on it. I posted a few pictures of that trip on Flickr, but I'm running out of bandwidth on my flickr account!
Today is Carlsbad Caverns and El Paso, Texas. El Paso is of interest because it is closely connected with its counterpart city immediately across the border, Juarez, Mexico - so it becomes a site to investigate US/Mexican relations and Chicana border culture. Carlsbad is mostly of interest because it is home to a species of massive, man-eating bats. I am unafraid, however, because I am extremely brave.