Sunday, January 26, 2014


Some blog posts are a little easier to write then others. The best circumstances are lots of battery power/electricity, a quite evening with a glass of craft beer, our comfy sofa, Cassia sleeping and a good day of photos.

Not so today. Right now I am sitting on a hard and cold concrete bench with the sun in my eye (I know there are worse things - right?! Sun and sitting outside). Well, I am hunched behind my laptop case with 45% battery power and not much chance of electricity unless I find a plug in at the shower building.

Plus, I have so little yet so much to say that it's hard to know exactly what to do. Bare with me - I'll give it my best shot then go take a shower and head back to the van to make dinner.

This post will be a bridge filling you in our last few days - last Wednesday to today - Sunday.

Fingers crossed that it all makes sense by the time I am done.

It took all these pics of craft beer so I may as well show them. Prior to heading out of El Paso - thinking that we would be in Columbus (with almost no chance of finding beer) we needed to stock up.

Mmmmmm……coconut + beer - say it ain't so. I didn't go for it this time but this porter is officially on the list. How can it be bad?

I found Spec's for Derek just across the Interstate from the Home Depot and Walmart. It was on our route anyway - may as well stop in!

We were completely blown away by the selection of craft beer at Spec's. All of our favourites and favourites we haven't even tried yet!

Can you say 'Kids in a candy store!'. Too bad not a penny candy store. Ouch!

One of the things we love about craft beer - besides the beer - is all the great logos and graphics.

We bought too much and spent too much but completely enjoying our selection!

Then west on the #9 out of El Paso and into New Mexico. I am really starting to mess up with my State entry signs. They seem to come up so fast and in this case so small. I have only one chance. This was the second photo I took - the first was too blurry.

We are not strangers to this route - our third time heading to Columbus via El Paso.

This road is heavily used to move large pieces of equipment. Two years ago we were stuck behind plane parts and had to pull over for lunch to wait them out. We surprised not to see equipment pieces this year at all - both times before there have been. 

It's a pretty quick ride to Pancho Villa State Park.

We booked in for 3 nights - at $14 for water and electric. LOVE New Mexico State Parks - great prices. Our sunset the first night.

And sunrise. With the time change on our way to El Paso we were all messed up - we were up before 7:00am all three days. 

Lots of birds in this area. 

Thursday we took a walk over to downtown Columbus to use the library's wifi. I didn't take too many pictures of the park this year since I took many last time. If you want to see more the post is here. I was so glad to see that they still had the book exchange and WOW does Cassia ever look young there!

The old train station is now a museum and gift shop.

Downtown Columbus…..yup - very small. But the town actually does have all the amenities plus it is three miles from Mexico. A good place for snowbirds I think - Derek isn't as smitten with it but I like it there. Plus - Deming with everything is a short 30 miles north.

Another nice sunset Thursday night. Good thing we had electricity and could run our space heater because the nights were cool - cold really - as was Friday.

But that doesn't stop a 4 year old from playing on the playground.

This time we chose a site right across from it so that Cassia could play as much as she wanted.

Although we had planned to stay up to a week we were done after three days. We were going to go into Mexico to get our teeth cleaned but really weren't up to it this trip.

It's a good thing that we weren't on the internet much and talking about our plans because in one day they changed about three times. Plan A was to tour around New Mexico for the next month or so (I know LOTS of time) waiting until we could head up into Western Colorado. Then we moved to Plan B since we thought that we were really kidding ourselves to think that that was a good plan. Plan B involved heading into Arizona from Columbus to the warmth and then on to Death Valley and taking the coastal California route back to BC. 


Since we had to take Cassia's library books back we decided to check our email one last time before we left Columbus.


We won tickets to Gordon Lightfoot in El Paso! Yup! Crazy - right?!

When I was doing the blog on Thursday I noticed that they had a contest via Facebook. Well, we had no chance of winning but enter I did anyway.

When I opened our email I saw CONGRATULATIONS!


So - plans changed once again. Since the concert isn't until Feb. 8th we have some time to kill. Who knows now the route we will take home but in the mean time we are going to tour New Mexico - The Land of Enchantment. Pretty excited about that. Did you know they have quite a few craft beer breweries. Yup - they do.

Up to Deming we go.

And on to Hatch.

Now - what is this? Right?! Well, this is in Hatch - Chile capital of NM. Since we have been planning to really get a good look at New Mexico I have been spending my evenings almost memorizing our New Mexico travel book. Hatch has a 'must stop' at burger joint. 

We don't miss must stop at burger joints - especially for a chile cheese burger!

Sparky's is the place. It was VERY busy when we arrived - obviously THE place to go to.

Oh my …… and this is JUST the drink menu! 

At least this was an easy decision - we both chose the World Famous.

A nice day - we waited outside for our order - plus it was full inside.

Derek got the frozen chile powder and strawberry - good doesn't even begin to explain this drink. 
WoW! Get one if you go! Really.

Derek got the fries as his side and me the pineapple coleslaw. Now, who would have thought to put pineapple in regular coleslaw? But it was good! 

It wasn't as big as it looks - just the perspective - however, Mom and Dad were happy to help Cassia eat this sundae.

Sparky's - a very interesting place.

Definitely worth the stop the next time you are in Hatch. Also detour worthy!

Once we left Hatch at around 3:00 pm we were a bit wayward. Not sure where to go - not sure where to spend the night.

We continued on to Truth or Consequences. The last time we were there was back in 2006 on our first USA road trip.

What did we find? Where did we end up that night?

I'll let you know next post!

With a sore back from all this hunching over……and 24% left on the battery. Whew. Just in time.

If you are looking for more of Rantin' n Raven we are not hard to find out there in the social media world. We are on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest. See you there!


  1. Been to Sparkys several times!!! Used to stop there on days off from my workamping gig west of Deming......definitely a "must go"!!

    Safe Travels.............

  2. You have the best pictures ever...and so many of them. I must quit whining about how much work my blog is when I'm tired. Super job. Always fun to read.

    1. Thanks Kathy! Really appreciate that! Sometimes doing a post is the last thing I want to do but in the end I'm always glad I did - plus it is such a nice record for us and when Cas is older. Glad you are enjoying it - that's what helps in getting it done also! Wish we had Mexico warmth here…..brrrr…….

  3. I could just see you on the concrete bench knocking out that are so good to use keeping us in the loop and sharing all your fun! So excited you won those tickets...I PM'd you a FB message...another contest. One word, Paris!!

    1. Paris! Would be nice right - but we are locked to the road with Rufus ….. maybe one day! My butt hurt after. LOL

  4. Another excellent posting and awesome that you won the free tickets for Gordon Lightfoot, enjoy your wanderings.

    1. Thanks George! Sorry that I haven't been able to keep up with you two….not enough wifi these days.

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  6. Gotta love a Spec's run. We tend to stock up as well when know there might a craft beer shortage in the area we heading.

    1. Ha ha - ya - you two would understand our trip there!


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