I left the Davis Mountains and Texas to drive what I'd estimated would be four hours up to Roswell, New Mexico. This was driving on a miserable two lane road through miles and miles and miles of oil and gas fields, and nothing. Also, somewhere along the way, I crossed over another time change, and so added an hour to an already long trip.
It was a full moon, and I thought it would be a hoot to spend the night in Roswell. The town is on the map because of a meteor strike? An alien spaceship landing? And lots of lights in the night sky that make people anxious. My memory of the story is that the US Government and/or the military was heavy handed about security there, fueling all sorts of UFO cover-up conspiracy theories.
I didn’t have the time or energy to tour Area 51, because Kath invited me to join her family for Thanksgiving, and I spent every last minute at the McDonald Observatory in Davis, Texas. So I needed to boogie very early next day. What I did see was that murals and logos that included the classic little green men were all over. I’d say the town has had some excellent branding since 1947, and has probably had a vibrant economy in sales of tee shirts and souvenirs. I had a long driving day ahead of me, and needed a good night’s sleep, so I didn’t go on the late afternoon tour where the guide would try to scare the hell out of us.
I did however take a walk after getting my Rigamarole hooked up and settled for the night. The woman in the campground office told me that “There’s a good steak place about a mile away, just around the corner and on down Main Street.” I thanked her for the recommendation and set out in my hiking boots. Good thing too, because for half of that mile I walked along Main Street there were no sidewalks, so I was tromping along on the margin of three lanes of traffic in each direction.
As the sun set, I noticed that there were also no streetlights. And I had only my wallet and my phone in my pockets. No flashlight. Well, I have one in my iPhone, but my battery was pretty low. This sounds like a setup for a Roswell yarn, no? Be reassured, dear gentle reader, I enjoyed my NY-cut (what else?) steak dinner, chatted with the waitress and the restaurant owner, and walked home safely by the light of that full-moon-rising. I did stop numerous times to photograph it rising over the graveyard. It really is too bad that this is a piece of nonfiction!