Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘back roads’

I Think I Can, I Think I Can Lesson from Dad

Dad's old truck

Dad’s old truck

Hop in the truck. Let’s go for a ride! Those were the words that lifted my heart and put a skip in my step. Often on a Sunday afternoon, Dad would dress in his best white shirt, put on his straw hat, and jump up on the running board of his Chevy pick-up truck. Happy memories were made on a Sunday drive sitting in the front seat between Dad grasping the steering wheel, and Mom clutching the door on the other side.

My job was trying to lose him on the back roads of Guernsey County. At each intersection of the road, it was my choice as to which way we should turn – right or left? But no matter how hard I tried, accomplishing that task was not a possibility.

With a snap of his fingers, he’d insist, “I know the back roads of Guernsey County like the back of my hand.” And he did!

Sometimes he would shut off the engine – to save gasoline, which was 25 cents a gallon at that time. Then we would fly down the hills and see how far we could coast before he needed to start the engine running again. A special enjoyment for him was the ability to drive over the roller-coaster like hills in such a manner that your stomach did little flips. The main goal was to have fun while enjoying a ride with his family.

Some of the hills were very steep and our black Chevy truck was very, very old. Sometimes we would make it part way up the hill, stop, then back down to the bottom again for a second try. That old truck didn’t have much get up and go, so it was quite a struggle to climb those steep Ohio hills! Next time he would get a better run for the hill. His laughter still rings in my ears as he would say, “I think I can, I think I can.”

When our truck finally rattled and sputtered to the top of the hill, he would clap his hands and with a voice filled with laughter say, “I thought I could, I thought I could.”

What a great lesson in life: If we truly think we can do something, it can be accomplished. Lessons like that from Dad have stuck with me all these years. Mom always went along for the rides even though she didn’t enjoy them nearly as much as Dad and his daughter. Shaking her head, Mom would declare, “You two are my favorite gypsies.”

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Lonesome Town Near Mexican Border

Just by accident, travelers might find the little town of Hachita, New Mexico.  As you travel through the Southern part of the state, Hachita is a small town not far from the Mexican border and located in the Little Hatchet Mountains.

This is one of the few towns I have visited where all of the streets are still unpaved. During my first visit to Hachita, the town consisted of a bar, store, and post office along with about a hundred people in residence. The post office is located in the center of town and you can see the dirt road to its front door step, but the American flag is always flying. Another interesting event in years past was the Chicken Roping.  This town was filled with cowboys and Cattle Roping was a year long event there.  One year, the owner of the local bar thought that chicken roping would be an added attraction.  This was a real event and was depicted on the side of the bar by a traveling artist.

This was once a mining area so at one time was a booming and prosperous community. But that was Old Hachita, which is located down the road just a couple of miles and set back off today’s main road.  You have to have a local guide that knows the area to lead you to the remains of the Old Hachita town.

The local guide also took us back in the desert region very close to the Mexican border. We actually had a picnic of ham sandwiches and potato salad with refreshing cold drinks under a giant sycamore tree located near a rare spring.

As we headed back towards Hachita, we came across a sign posted by the Border Patrol which said: Attention!  You are in danger of dying if you do not summon help.This was one of those unusual signs that you come across off the beaten path.

Even attended a town meeting while visiting in the area.  They were discussing their new grant for water for the small town.  Currently, there is an old water tower but water is not really safe to drink.  The new project will have a safe water supply and a better water volume available.  After the meeting, nearly everyone in the town brought a covered dish and had delicious food as well as friendly town talk.

Border patrol frequent the town driving through both day and night as well as covering the surrounding area.  Most of the locals don’t even lock their doors at night as they feel well protected.  This is the place to really get away from it all.

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