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The South West

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Click on Map above to explore the South West

- Great scenery, particularly in Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas.
- Plenty of Indian history and culture, again particularly in the west.
- Ghost towns. Wild West and ranching history.
- Spanish heritage such as Missions.
- Strange time in the South West. In winter everything is logical with Arizona, New Mexico and the western tip of Texas on Mountain Time while Oklahoma and most  of Texas  are on Central Time. Arizona (excluding the Navajo Indian Reservation) does not observe Daylight Saving Time so when the clocks go forward it finds itself on the same time as California and it is possible to drive 3 times zones in less than 6 hours along the I-40 from eastern Arizona through New Mexico and into Texas. Confusing is the only word for it and it means that you don’t get such long summer evenings in Arizona. 
Our View
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What do these four states have in common apart from being adjacent to one another? For Arizona, New Mexico and Texas the answer is that they all have Mexican roots. Some consider Texas to be part of the South based on the fact that it was on the Confederate side during the Civil War. Having travelled extensively through Texas it appears to us that apart from a narrow strip down the east, Texas has much less in common with the South than with the states to its west. Oklahoma is a little more difficult to place as it does not have Mexican roots but became part of the USA under the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France. Unlike the rest of the Louisiana Purchase, the USA initially choosing to use the land in and around Oklahoma to resettle Indian tribes that they had expelled from their ancestral homelands. This Indian Territory remained undeveloped and it became a haven for bandits. It was Texans who developed cattle trails through Oklahoma in order to reach markets in the east, and later they set up ranches and settlements in the territory even though they were at the time illegal.  In the early 20th Century the discovery of oil in both Oklahoma and Texas, created further common ground between the two states. 


© Mike  Elsden 1981 - 2023

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