Deming, NM, to Nogales, AZ

I had a decent stay in Deming. My hotel room at the Grand Motor Inn was really good and a bargain at $48. It was freshly renovated and the bed was super comfy. I got my best night’s sleep in a long while there. But I did not appreciate that they vacuumed from 8PM until well past when I finally fell asleep past 10PM. It didn’t stop me from going to bed, but it did make it hard to listen to the show I was trying to watch and it felt almost impossible to relax. So points off for that, but after such a good night’s sleep, I can forgive a lot!

The only real restaurant within walking distance was the one attached to the hotel and it was well rated, so I ate there. First time reviews have lead me completely astray. All but one thing in my meal were appallingly abysmal — the watery salad, the super cheap instant potato flakes covered in canned gravy, and the overheated frozen veg. But the steak was absolutely perfect by my standards, a sharp contrast to the rest of the meal. They at least got the important part right! Thanks, Ed and Linda, for commenting so late with restaurant suggestions. 😉 😉 😉

After dinner, I walked to the Walmart just for the leg stretch to see if they had what I wanted clothing-wise. Nope, it was all plus size cold weather gear, not a tee-shirt or a pair of sandals in sight. So that confirmed that I needed to stop in Benson today.

I had thought to do a lazy morning at the hotel, but was ready to go around 7:30. Or, rather, I wanted to hang out with a huge pot of coffee and a book. I didn’t even trust the coffee at the hotel restaurant (even though it smelled good) and didn’t feel like making my own, so I decided to drive to the IHOP down the street because I knew I could get a giant carafe of good coffee for just $2. After sitting for a bit, I decided to try their food for the first time and ordered two pancakes with bacon, which wound up being surprisingly good. Glad to know that a pancake house knows how to make pancakes! 😀

I left Deming just shy of 9:00 and headed for the Walmart in Benson, directly on my way to Nogales. I discovered it on the way to Nogales last year from Tombstone and like it a lot better than the one in Nogales. I got there around 10:30 local time, so 11:30 by my body clock.

Unfortunately, they also didn’t have any warm weather clothes. I guess Walmart stocks its stores the same regardless of the climate. 🙁 I did get one thing on my list, some comfy cheap capris to wear around the house. There were two identical size medium pairs in black, so I snagged both. At $3 a pair, I would have been silly not to! But I struck out on tee-shirts. They had lots of camis and tank tops, though. I also got all the things on my friends’ shopping list.

I then made a stop for lunch before pointing the truck towards Nogales. I like this drive a lot, off the interstate and through some windy and scenic backroads.

My first stop in Nogales was the post office, where there was a package waiting for me. I was amused that my driver’s license signed Rae was not good enough to prove that I’m Rae versus my legal name (it’s been good enough for banks and other post offices), but my business card was satisfactory!

The hotel was just a half mile from the post office and if it hadn’t been so dang HOT, I would have parked there and walked. It would have definitely been easier than driving. Nogales isn’t an easy to city to drive in.

Even though my reservation said check-in was at 3PM and it was only about 1:45PM, there was no problem with letting me have the room right away. I’d booked through Priceline.com and had followed up with a request for a quiet room preferably upstairs because I would have to work. The hotel is undergoing major renovations, so they put me up in a block at the back that is not in service yet, in a HUGE newly renovated room, and told me to make sure I ask if I need anything because they might forget I’m there! 😀 They also put in a proper desk and computer chair for me! Wow, talk about service! I also get a full cooked breakfast every morning, all for just $65 per night including the tax! I figure I can take advantage of breakfast by monitoring emails on my phone as I walk to the restaurant and bring my laptop there to do any assignments that come in.

I just wanted to crash by this point and not have to go out again for a bit, so I went right back to my truck and drove to Mariposa Road to run a few more errands. First stop was Don Smith Insurance, where they still had me on file. I got a liability only policy with legal coverage for $127, roughly the same price as last year in USD. I was in and out in probably two minutes!

Next stop was Safeway, literally next door, to get some lunchy and snacky stuff to make simple meals in my room. I also got a six-pack of Bud Light and have four nights to get through six beers… 🙂 Final stop was Panda Express for dinner.

I’m ready to drop; it’s been such a long weekend! But I’m so pleased I made it here without incident! I start work in 12 hours (5AM), so I’ll be turning in very, very, very soon.

Nogales, AZ, to Silver City, NM

I got my work done this morning, then went to Walmart to get a SIM card for my phone. That did not work out and that’s all I’m going to say beyond the fact that I haven’t missed shopping at Walmart. 😀

Fuel was $2.39/gallon and I took on 12.5 gallons ($30), which was almost three quarters of a tank and plenty to get me to today’s destination. It was weird to pump my own! I had to go in an pre-pay and did that in Spanish, too, adding yet another new linguistic accomplishment. 😉

I pulled out of Nogales around noon local time and headed for Silver City, New Mexico. I knew that there is a huge Walmart in Benson not too far from I-10 right on my route, so that was my first destination.

Coming up to Benson, there was a customs check point…

The two cars ahead of me slowed down and were waved through without stopping.

I was not waved through, so I stopped and quickly removed my sunglasses. I was asked how I was doing, given a once over, and told to go on. Much more pleasant than my inland customs encounter in Texas that I never blogged about.

Walmart in Benson had the Go Phone SIM cards, but no refills. I figured I could just buy the refill online with a credit card…

While there, I had a look at shoes because I wanted to replace the pretty walking sandals I wore right through this winter. The pair I bought in Mexico are good for short trips, but not long walks, and so a good pair of walking sandals I can wear with dresses and skirts was on the budget for this trip. Walmart has the exclusive North American distributorship for the very high quality, yet inexpensive, ‘Earth Spirit’ brand and I had a look at what they had in Benson. I found the exact model I just wore through in a different colour (neutral beige) and they had one pair left in my size for just $19! That was a no brainer of a purchase!

From Benson, I continued on to Willcox to use the internet at McDonald’s to set up the phone.

That didn’t work out too well seeing as you can’t buy time online with a Canadian credit card. So my phone is a brick until I can get a refill card. Thankfully, there’s a Walmart here in Silver City, so I’ll check there in the morning.

The landscape driving east along I-10 was much like my beloved rolling hills of southern SK, but the hills were a tad higher. Lots of olive green and bright blue sky.

Texas Canyon was amazing!

These rock formations are amazing!

These rock formations are amazing!

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Not even the most impressive!

Not even the most impressive!

Before I knew it, I only had five states left to visit…

Five states left!

Five states left!

!!!

!!!

I stopped at the New Mexico welcome centre, but it was, of course, too late in the day and it was closed.

It was spitting rain by the time I got to Silver Springs and cold. I had to pull out closed shoes, socks, and my heavy coat!!!!!!

Needless to say, I was not going to sleep in my truck. So I took a room at the cheapest place in town, which was NOT cheap, more than 50USD, the Motel 6. But it’s a rather nice room, with hardwood floors rather than carpet and there’s a fridge and microwave. I have a budget for this trip and if I run out before the four weeks is up, I run out and I rush home, that’s all there is to it.

So I got, in logged into my email, and found a HUGE out of the blue rush project waiting for me. Huge as in I have to type all day Weds, Thurs, and Fri if I want to get it done by the deadline. Needless to say, I’m getting a motel in Truth or Consequences tomorrow for up to a week, depending on the rate!

Pizza sounded good for dinner since I could have cold leftovers with coffee for breakfast. I was happy that there’s a Little Caesar’s here as that meant supper and breakfast for under 6USD and, as I’ve said in the past, I think their pizza is very decent.

Tomorrow, I am going to the Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument. It is the only thing in New Mexico that I have to see. Not quite a bucket list item, but it’s something I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. I’ll then move on to Truth or Consequences. Lovely readers are expecting me after that in Albuquerque, then Santa Fe (thank you!), so my route is taking on a life of its own.

Even with hills and wind today, my gas mileage was at normal levels. I can’t believe the improvement!