I left Las Cruses on the early side so I could take the back roads some before jumping on the Interstate heading north. I went through the pecan orchards. Acre after acre. It was really something to see. I think Las Cruses is like the pecan capital of the world.
I had spent the night before checking on the Internet for the places I had listed to see that day. I was heading toward Albuquerque, New Mexico. My first stop was in a town called Truth or Consequences. Really. Like the game show of decades past.
Finally it was time to get on the Interstate north. The P71 was in its element. Sending shivers down the spines of traffic as it glided past.
Suddenly there were signs ahead from the Boarder Patrol. An inspection station. The lane started to disappear.
The check point was coming up fast. Well, not too fast as their speed limit signs kept getting smaller and smaller numbers on them.
In a moment I would be there.
The uniformed official saw that I lowered my window and put a question to me. “Are you an American citizen?”
I thought about it. Sure I had been born here and I paid taxes, but was I really a citizen? Did I really do my part as a true citizen of these united states? I had never served in the military, but I did have a draft card. Hmmm. What really makes a citizen? Did you have to integrate yourself in the community that you lived in? Did you have to have studied the Constitution? Did you have to know all the words to the Pledge of Allegiance? Could I sing the National Anthem without messing up the words or losing my way with the key that it should be sung in? All these thoughts went through my mind. I was having my doubts. I did vote, most of the time. But I don’t like apple pie very much. I am a fan of baseball.
The guard was eyeing the P71 and was starting to look around at the rest of the guys in green uniforms. A bead of sweat trickled down from behind his reflective sunglasses, or was it a tear?
“Yes,” I said.
“OK,” he said, and waved me on.
I think we both relaxed. I punched the right pedal and the P71’s exhaust growled with an ever increasing tempo as I watched the speedometer climb.
Back in the US of A.
The road continued to stretch out before me. Truth or Consequences was on my mind.
It wasn’t long before my exit came up and the GPS directed me to the Callahan’s Auto Museum at 410 Cedar Street. But first I had to fill up.
Wow. Ever since I went through Roswell my car’s mileage has tripled! Maybe it was that strange little guy I picked up that wouldn’t talk to me. He had a big head and sunglasses…
Well anyway I was hungry, too. I hadn’t bothered with breakfast before I hit the road.
After filling up I was off to Cedar Street.
Dammit. The museum was gone. No one was around. All those promises of Truth or Consequences web site were hollow. Another dud.
I took a handful of anti-depressants (also known as Necco wafers) and with a determined heart headed toward Albuquerque.