Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tales of a Travelling Doc -Carlsbad, New Mexico

So I've been absent for a couple months. I've been busy finalizing the edits on my romantic suspense novel, IF MEMORY SERVES, due for release September 15, 2012 through Mitchell Morris Publishing, and guest blogging over at JordynRedwood.com. And yes, I have been travelling, too! Now to catch you up on my tales fron Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Carlsbad is in the southeast corner of New Mexico and soooo far away from my home in New York. To get to Carlsbad from NY is a mere 12 hour journey, not including the two hour time difference. After I cram everything in a carry on suitcase, which is a feat in itself because I refuse to check in any baggage (the subject of another blog), I board a plane in White Plains Airport (the subject of yet another blog) and fly to Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta Georgia. Hartsfield is huge airport but they have moving passengers from gate to gate perfected. Their awesome shuttle trains get you there on time. I give Hartsfield five stars. Plus their electronic boards with arrivals/departures are easy to read and updated.

From Atlanta, I fly to El Paso, Texas. Carlsbad, although a well known tourist destination for Carlsbad Caverns, does not have a significant airport. El Paso, to me, was a surprisingly small international airport. The outside looks quite dated with its green awnings, but the inside is nice, clean, and has multiple gift, food, miscellaneous shops.

From El Paso, I pick up a rental car. And, yee haw, so far I've driven a cherry red Mustang and a black Mustang (pics below.) Then it's a short three hour drive across 62/180. A lot of cacti and no bathrooms. I learned not to drink too much on this stretch. There is a rest stop with facilities, but the road is fairly desolate and I wouldn't risk going into a deserted woman's bathroom. I cross my legs a lot on this journey.

62/180 is picturesque, once I got over the fact that it's flat and not green (nothing like NY in the summer) I enjoyed the different topography. I discovered that there is a border patrol check point on the way from Texas to New Mexico, but not the over way. This was a change. I patiently stood in the line of vehicles until told to proceed forward. Of course I whipped out my NY driver's license as a border patrol agent rounded my Mustang with his German shepherd. Okay. I was allowed to proceed.

Onward down 62/180 which leads straight to Carlsbad, I gazed at majestic "rock" mountains. The pass through the Guadalupe Mountains is impressive.

So 3 hours later, I check into the hotel with legs crossed! Unpacking, I rest up for my stint as a locum tenens OB.

I learned to vent the car windows, having burned my hands on the steering wheel my first day there. Temperatures during the day ranges from 99-107 and at 5 p.m, it's about 102. On my nights not on call or if it's quiet at Carlsbad Medical Center, I like to walk along the paths surround the Pecos River, called, of course, the Pecos Riverwalk. I don't venture out there until dusk as the heat overwhelms me. The Riverwalk is scenic and well lit. I am among many out there in the evenings.

This is how my stint began. More to come. Stay tuned  and I'll catch you up on more of my adventures in New Mexico. For now, enjoy my pics.