If you are planning on crossing Southern New Mexico merely to get to the other side, this road along the Mexican border is the good route. US 10 is ugly, full of billboards, littered, and packed with huge trucks that regularly spew tire treads across the highway. New Mexico 9, on the other hand, looks like the picture on the left.
On the down side, New Mexico 9 looks like the picture on the left. Don't get needy on this stretch of highway; there are few services and no cell phone between Douglas, Arizona, and El Paso.
That's not to say that if you break down, you will be undetected for any length of time. This road is used to transport enormous things like bridges and unidentifiable chunks of monster machinery. Going East, you will see flashing lights in the distance and you had better start looking for someplace to pull 'way over, not just on the shoulder but clear onto the desert. A New Mexico State Patrol vehicle will be leading the way for these convoys. You may encounter two or three of them during one trip across.
Coming West, you might be stuck behind one of them, at least until it starts to get dark. It would be unwise to pass, first because of safety issues and second, because of the Highway Patrol car in the lead.
Surprisingly, there are some dead rabbits on Highway 9. Because of the infrequency of any traffic whatsoever (on my recent trip, during the 200 or so miles, I encountered maybe 6 other vehicles not counting the three convoys), you can assume these were suicides.
Now, Highway 9 has some interesting history that ties both sides of it to GWBush and John Kerry. On the Arizona side, before you get to the beginning of Highway 9, you will be traveling on 80, probably up from Douglas. There is a monument there that commemorates Geronimo's surrender on September 3, 1886. Someone said it really should be a deep hole, not a spire. I agree.
On the other end of 9 is Columbus, New Mexico, a town razed by Pancho Villa on March 9, 1916.
So what is the connection? It is said that Yale's Skull and Bones Society, to which both Bush and Kerry belong, has both the head of Geronimo and the head of Pancho Villa. I don't know why the remaining Apaches aren't as sickened by this as I am.
STILL WORKING ON THIS
Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Peter Canisius and Saint Anastasius II of Antioch.
Famous birthdays include Jane Fonda (1937, NYC) and Jane Kaczmarek (1955, Milwaukee).