Wednesday June 14
Day 3
Albuquerque to Clinton Lake, OK

Once I had climbed up out of the Rio Grande valley and emerged on the high desert, things got a lot prettier. No more flat dirt surrounded by dirt hills... we got a little green stuff, we got some bushes, we got sparse grass, we got red rock hills, we got pretty! There are patches of some vegetation -- looks too coarse to be a grass -- that is a distinct bluegreen, very striking amongst the regular green grasses. Wonder what it is? Northeastern New Mexico

This was not a lazin' down the road day -- I planned a straight-through 9-hour drive to Oklahoma, because by and large I-40 through the Panhandle is reallly boring. And it seems I've done it so often in the last few years, it feels like commuting. To my surprise though summer in the Panhandle is an attractive time of year. By now in California, the green is all gone and the grasses are tawny; but starting east of Albuquerque, things just got greener and greener. Northeastern New Mexico Northeastern New Mexico Northeastern New Mexico

I passed a puzzling mountain. It had absolutely regular projections along its ridge, looking like they must be man-made -- but what on earth could they be? Who builds huge buttresses along the top of a mountain, for what?
                                                      Closer look ---
Northeastern New Mexico Northeastern New Mexico
Here's the Panhandle itself -- totally flat and featureless, as usual, but redeemed by a skim of green.. Panhandle west of Amarillo About an hour east of Amarillo I had the thrill of the FIRST TREE. By the time I crossed into Oklahoma, the countryside was soft and sweet -- even sunflowers blooming by the roadside.Trees! into Oklahoma into Oklahoma

The heat remains a problem. This morning the generator ran pretty good, succeeding in keeping the temp in the house down below 85. By afternoon however the generator was stalling out every 15 minutes, and half the time flooding so it wouldn't start again for a half hour. Sometimes it would stall out the minute the A/C switched on and put a load on it. Eventually I just gave up on it. Temp where I was sitting was then in the low 80's, tolerable although not the 72 I maintain my car at! The poor dogs however had to ride in 92-degree heat. They were not very happy about it.