The stretch of road between Roswell and Artesia should forever be known as the "The Ole Factory Highway". Accessorized with roadside signs that read, "This section of the road sponsored by....." and are licensed to Lysol Air Cleaner (aerosol and spray) and Renuzit Car Freshener. For the first 30 miles or so, US 285 south of Roswell, is rimmed by one of the world's largest and continuous dairy cow plantations...with 10's of thousands of bovines feasting upon all of natures finest synthetic vitamin laced natural ingredients. Waking up on the floor of a locker room the morning after a Deviled Egg Eating Competition (sponsored by Budweiser) would be a distant Silver Medalist in this Olympic Aromatic Showdown.
Not to be outdone, the last ten miles into Artesia has it's own sensory claim to fame. The skyline of Artesia, visible from 10 miles away, can best be described as a 1950's Hasbro Erector Set Christmas present that was hijacked by 1960's MIT freshman overdosed on hallucinogenic drugs. Mile upon mile of 3-4 story natural gas drilling and refinery apparatus highlighted by a continuous and overwhelming noxious, gaseous stench. An odor that would put the most insomniac among us into a long and comfortable death engaging snooze. I kept looking for signs that read "No Smoking Within 10 Miles Of Artesia", fearful that if I fired up a ciggie within the confines of this government sanctioned environmental disaster zone, I would go down in history as the two-legged equivalent of Mrs. O'Leary's cow.
Ten miles from Artesia is the customary "Welcome to Artesia" sign that is a requisite in rural American approach arteries.
Just within a street walker's operating radius from that welcome sign, and MILES from anything else, was one of the finest looking, cleanest, largest, most modern Barnes and Noble equivalent of an Adult Video Store known to humanity.
Roadside Sign/Billboard of the Day.
Ever been on a rural highway approaching a town in the middle of nowhere and see billboards/wallboards spaced about 100 yards aparts encouraging road warriors to visit a gas station/curio shop in the approaching town?
Carlsbad New Mexico (remember in the 60's how every cool dad had a bumper sticker that read "I visited Carlsbad Caverns NM"?
Yesterday......final descent into Carlsbad there were about 6 short and spiffy roadside signs spaced about 100 yards apart along 285 promoting a Curio/Souvenir Shop in Carlsbad. One of the signs read...
" KODAK CAMERA FLASH BULBS FOR SALE"
WHAT?? ...........Anachronism? Twilight Zone? or a Brilliant Flashback to days gone by?
(I wonder if they sell Kodak flash bulbs with blue dots on them?)
Just my opinion.