A Drive Across Arizona

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On Valentine’s Day we drove 650 miles across Texas: from San Antonio to El Paso and then up to Alamogordo, New Mexico (it was an easy but exhausting way to spend a pointless “holiday”).

Driving across i-10 in Texas

The last hour of a long drive is always the hardest, so by the time we were in New Mexico we were exhausted and fighting a losing battle to stay awake; this is when we reached our first interior Border Patrol checkpoint. It looked like a rest stop parking lot but the entire highway was diverted into it. You have to stop and wait for a Border Patrol agent to question you. I was mostly asleep so I don’t remember exactly what we were asked, but we apparently answered correctly (or just didn’t fit the profile) and were on our way.

Looking down on White Sands, New Mexico from Cloudcroft

Looking over White Sands from Cloudcroft, New Mexico

After our time in Cloudcroft and White Sands, we were back on the road until we hit another interior checkpoint. This time it was the middle of the day on i-10, so there was a lot of traffic and we all had to stop and wait while one car at a time was scanned and questioned.

New Mexico interior border patrol stop on i-10Border Patrol checkpoint on i-10 in New Mexico

As we waited, I got pissed and started looking up info on these checkpoints. In all our travels we’d never encountered one and now in the course of 100 miles we had to pass through two and both were more than 50 miles as the crow flies from the Mexican border. Since these checkpoints are well established, the i-10 one has its own Yelp page, they aren’t catching any “bad guys” off guard and the constitutionality and legal authority of these stops are questionable. So I don’t see what the point is other than to harass people who look “foreign” and inconvenience everyone. It was a disheartening reminder that our rights (and especially the rights of minorities) can be taken away at the whim of any law enforcement officer.

Train parallel to i-10 West from New Mexico to Arizona

On i-10 West into Arizona

We continued west through Tucson and into Phoenix.

Sunset in Tucson, Arizona

Sunset in Tucson, Arizona

Everyone in Phoenix seems to be escaping winter. Many of the people who have settled in Phoenix permanently tell us how great it is and that we should move there. When we asked if the heat is intolerable in the summer, they shrugged and said that there are only a couple of weeks in when it’s 100 degrees at midnight.

Phoenix City Hall

We were there in mid February and, while the rest of the country was suffering through the polar vortex, we heard many people on the street complaining about the unseasonably hot temperatures; the high temp that day was almost 90.

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