52 States in 8 Months

Visiting Dean, the Cattle Chaser.

Posted in Las Vegas to El Paso by Ulf on May 19, 2009

Wow, the amazing March 28, Part III. The previous blog post ended with our departure from the Chaco Culture National Park. If you look at a map you’ll quickly notice that there are no paved roads leading to the National Park, so we had to take one of the dirt roads:

Luckily we had a GPS device, so we asked for the fastest route to Albuquerque. The GPS did its job and lead us directly out of the National Park:
2009-03-28_18-16-59 Springbreak 7166 Ulf

Honestly, when we had to open a gate to follow the road, I really felt like being in the Western United States. Vast empty areas, amazing! Our GPS took really took us to one of the emptiest but still most beautiful places where I’ve ever been:

2009-03-28_18-08-03 Springbreak 7162 Ulf 2009-03-28_18-08-44 Springbreak 7164 Ulf

I have to admit that we were not the only people around. A couple of miles after we left the National Park we went past a few farmers, but aside from them this was really an empty piece of our Earth. Just beautiful.

To give you an impression of what the roads were like, here is a short video: “after 800 yards, turn right”.

The only problem was that our dirt road was becoming more and more “dirt” and less and less “road”. Additionally the cartographic material in our GPS turned out to be a bit outdated in a few places: some roads had been shifted by a few meters. One could still see the old roads, but sometimes there was a better one just next to it. Meanwhile it was getting dark, so I was also a bit worried about that. The only real problem however turned out to be a fence which crossed our road. Unfortunately the GPS didn’t know about the fence, so it wanted us to go straight through it. No chance for us to get any further…

2009-03-28_18-18-37 Springbreak 7170 Ulf 2009-03-28_18-23-04 Springbreak 80517 Matthias

We then decided to drive back to the farmers that we met earlier on our funny detour. This time we didn’t silently drive by, but we stopped and talked to Dean. Dean is a Native American cattle chaser. The name “Cattle Chaser” was actually his fathers name! Oh, this is such a great country :-).

Dean said that when we drove by for the first time, he thought that we might be coyote hunters. It turned out that we were the first visitors that came to his place for years :-).


I’m so sorry that the picture is blurry. To my defense, it was already dark at that time.

Oh, and we had to promise to close the gates along the way back. Dean, we did close them, even though the following picture shows us while opening them ;-).
2009-03-28_18-46-02 Springbreak 7184 Ulf

Dean told us where to go to avoid further dead ends. The remaining journey to Albuquerque was rather boring, but we had really experienced enough on this single day :-). Thank you, south-western America!

2 Responses

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  1. steffi said, on May 20, 2009 at 4:26 am

    What I liked most about this post: “Unsere eine Dorfstraße (oder Dorfpiste ?) ist auch nicht besser.” Are you sure, no one from Mangelsdorf was with you?
    Anyway, thanks Ulf!

  2. Ulf said, on May 20, 2009 at 8:09 am

    hehe, Steffi!
    I believe it was Paul who said this, and actually I’m not sure where he grew up. Does the place “Mangelsdorf” really exist? The name is great! :-)

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