Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Problem As I See It

In my last blog I wrote about the Burger King trainee not having been taught how to securely put the lid on the very hot coffee, and the subsequent back floating cell phone because I was more concerned about the hot and the stains. I resolved to swear off of fast food drive throughs and most specifically Burger King for all time. In and out.

Friday I drove to Raton, New Mexico on one of my periodic trips. I generally start out early after coffee and require a pit stop at some point. The outdoor johns in Cimarron Canyon State Park have been a timely favorite but they now want to charge us women $5.00 just to pee when men get to do it right beside the road. Another option is always the St. James Hotel in Cimarron but I feel every third time or so I should stop and enjoy breakfast perhaps. So the New Mexico State park is cheaper but I get no food there.

Cimarron also has a visitor's center but it is never open on my way out to Raton. And as you can see by the picture above there are not a lot of trees for even scant privacy. So eliminating all those possibles I cruise into Raton trying to cross my legs while driving. The first reasonably clean restroom is the McDonald's and I hit it about the time for an Egg McMuffin and another cup of coffee. So I am thinking as I neared the exit I didn't swear off of fast food restaurants for inside service beyond Burger King. But even though I indulge in fast food only a couple times a month it might be a good idea. At least for the balance of Lent.

Where I am heading, Old Pass Gallery, has a restroom but I always feel so self-conscious about walking into a place and heading straight for the loo. So I stopped at the Raton Visitor's Center at the corner. Yes, I headed straight for the loo but I had a couple other reasons to stop. I wanted to pick up some local information to see if I had missed anything. And I always drive by saying I should stop and photograph the mine cars.

Raton Mine Car

Turned out to be a delightful decision. Friendly staff, some good information, a free New Mexico Magazine the town was featured in, and of course the pictures of the mine cars. The one employee also recognized my name when I signed the register as the writer of the Red River Miner's cooking column, Goats Don't Eat Zucchini. Okay, Northern New Mexico is a little pond.

Speaking of ponds, the cell phone that did the back stroke in the console pool of coffee is still working. I feel I should post my solution which seems to be suitable for accidents while traveling where blow dryers and bags of rice and the luxury of not using your phone for 24 hours aren't available. Take the cell phone apart. Best to pull over to do this. Definitely take out battery and SIMS card. Pat the open cell phone on a seat cover, napkins or even clothing if nothing else is available. Wipe away as much moisture as possible from all elements then turn on the defroster on high but low heat and place the cell phone, open back down on the vent on your dash. Do not do this with the back or the SIMS card as you may lose them. Wait as long as possible to reassemble.

Having depended on fast food restaurants for clean restrooms I am going to have to Google the location of all Visitor Centers I pass on my routine travels. I suppose with the Sequester it is useless to ask the state or interstate highway system to fund more rest stops. Or for the New Mexico Park system to have a cheap senior rate for annual permits. I get into National Parks for free with just a one time $10 fee but would have to pay $40 a year for a state park permit.

The End


  1. Why haven't I been reading your blog? This is good stuff and interesting too with wonderful photos. Duh...

  2. Congrats on retrieving the cell phone! You'd make a good Soviet-style cosmonaut. They are famous for being able to improvise equipment. Or a good McIver. Re the need to pee: Since the road looks pretty empty, you might try the car door shelter method: park by the side of the road, open both car doors wide, quickly squat in between. I have done it in Texas, :).


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