3442 miles $6,170 in donations

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Saturday, May 8, 2010


Scoot, Bob and me did not advance out of Artesia today.  Too cold.  89 yesterday, 65 today, 93 tomorrow, so tomorrow it is.  65 might not be real bad, dry cold you know, but Artesia is at 3,500 feet. The journey works it way up to 9,700 feet and I know it is cold there. So, we are taking the day off and smelling the cactus.

I went looking for the "table", but the restaurant where I had breakfast, Cafe Chaos, did not have a table. On my morning walk, I passed the Wing Restaurant and it had a "table", but I just took a photo through the window. Back at the Heritage Inn, Sue said the "real table" is at BB News next door, but it is closed on weekends. You used to open the door and smoke would roll out, she said, but when they made it no smoking it gave them something to talk about for 6 months.

The first thing we did was go visit Gary the computer guy.  The wireless on the computer had quit but Gary worked on it while I went to lunch at Henry's BBQ.  John Henry is from New Mexico, but after college he had worked for large companies like Marriott, but had decided to come back here and open a restaurant like his father's in the next town.  The BBQ was excellent and John Henry could not do enough to help, from getting hot sauces to checking on the local baseball schedule.  Back at Gary's, he had fixed the computer.  He did not know what he had done but it worked.  Not knowing what he was doing cost me $53 and I was glad to pay it.

Artesia is genuine west America and in this part of the country high school football is the biggest thing going.  With the population of 10,000 they have a football field that would make a lot of colleges envious.

I saddled up Scoot and went to check out the areas that I had not walked to.  We visited working friends at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. It was built out here in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest air service or terrorist. But, at least they are getting their part of the pie.

This town is all about oil.  The first well was discovered in 1924 and it has been through the boom and bust oil times since then.  I was going to throw in a picture, but you have seen it before.  Just imagine any oil refinery and put some 10w40 on a rag and take a whiff every now and then.  It is a nice town, despite the occasional whiff of oil.

After cruising around town, we took off for the Copperwood Winery, LLC that is about 6 miles out of town. "Winery" is a stretch.  It is a metal building in the country and not a grape in sight.  The wine growing and bottling is done by another winery in New Mexico and Copperwood just sells bottles with their own label.  The owner, Dal Taylor, came out and opened the gate for me. He is a farmer whose doctor said he should have a sip of wine every now and then, and he wasn't doing so well as a farmer.  He kept getting that buy low, sell high formula backwards, so he got into wine.

Down the road they were having a farm equipment auction.  I pulled in and parked Scoot next to a really good looking red Farmal tractor that was in line to be auctioned off.  This made him nervous and I had to go hide him in the trucks, so there would be no mistake that he was not for auction.

Leaving the auction we took a back road to town and came across Miguel and Alfredo on their horses. We visited a while and they invited me back to the house to see the colt of one of the horses.  They let out the colt and the goats and would not let me leave until I had petted all of them. Like everyone here, friendly is a way of life.

I parked Scoot at the side door off the main street and Sue came down and let me put him in the garage. Sue and the Heritage Inn are great.  When I got ready to pay for a 2nd night she would not accept the payment and told me take that amount and put in the pot for the school  If you ever pass this way, please stop by for a visit.  It is a very comfortable place and you can not find a more helpful Inn Keeper.  In fact, it would be hard to find a more friendly town in general.
Visit www.artesiaheritageinn.com

ps: I got carded at the convienence store when I bought alcohol.  Must be all the Fed's in the town.
I am glad to announce that someone stepped up and has sponsored Robert Elain Mourillo for the whole school year. The children we listed here are the poorest of the village and we  are so glad that you helped sponsored them.