El Paso, Juarez, New Mexico

Subject: "MOTHER" of all road trips HI guys,What's going on? I haven't received any trip reports in a while from manyofyou. I hope that everyone is keeping a good balance of work andrecreationaladventure in their lives.Just returned from 8 days on the road. Gerry accompanied me last weekend toElPaso. We spent Friday evening in Juarez Mex. Further diluted my Oakleystockby purchasing facsimile Oakley sunglasses. REI tells me that the ones thatthey make in Mexico are very close to the authentic and difficult todetectany differences. Juarez was pretty wild and scary. The drug lords haverecently shot a number of rivals in restaraunts in the heart of the city.Finally, after years of deprivation, I picked up a pair of ostrich Cboybootsat the Tony Llama outlet in El Paso for a great price.Saturday, in Edward Abbey's footsteps-we scaled Texas's highest peak(Guadaloupe peak 8749'-3000' elevation change in 4 miles) in GuadaloupeNational Park. It was a perfect day with minor winds. Temperature in thelowseventies.West Texas is harsh and dry . It has arid plains and bitter winds -highlonesome country. The hike is truly one of the most fabulous in the US!!Atthe summit you get the greatest view possible. We really enjoyed the vistasall around.The Chihuahuan desert, like all deserts has a beauty of it's own and I likeit.I was really encouraged by Gerry's ability to get to the top with a steadypace. She passed a number of young army or college studs that werestruggleing. This was a real confidence builder in her battle witharthritus.She felt fine after the hike and was able to hike again the next day inMckittrick canyon which is touted as the most beautiful place in all ofTexas.It was pretty!We drove over to Carlsbad Caverns and took in the "Big Room" on Sunday A.M.Sunday night we had close to the best Mexican food we have had. We ate in ahole in the wall dive in downtown EL Paso and then put Gerry on anairplanehome. As a side note, on this trip I set my own personal record forcontinuously eating Mexican food. Six straight days- which afforded me theopportunity to thoroughly enjoy my hotel room in the evenings whilewatchingESPN.The next day - drove to Las Cruzes and Almagordo NM to meet with theRegionalPresidents. Was able to take in White Sands Natl Monument in between LasCruzes and Almagordo.Flew to Albaquerque the next A.M. and could not believe my eyes when themoststrikingly beautiful Senorita in the world sat next to me. Normally I getsomefat person that farts and/or snores. She did not understand a lick ofEnglishand I was cursing myself for not taking any Spanish classes. Yo Quero TacoBell did not work. For close to fifteen minutes she kept desperately askingme--Bano? and squirming in her seat. I finally interpreted this one and letherout and pointed to the front of the plane. She seemed very greatful.On Wednesday -took a puddle jumper to Hobbs and Roswell NM to meet withBankers. The high intensity winds made this trip quite an adventure and thevisits to these two "cities" was a real slice of life. Hobbs takes on moreofa Texas culture - an oil town run by independents.In Albaquerque, El Lobo visited UNM and was able to pick up a "LOBO" shirtandpatch. I look forward to seeing the Lobo's play in the "PIT" next year.

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