On the road again
I just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin’ music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again
As I type this post, I’m currently sitting in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Yesterday (Saturday) was a very long day on the road. We left Phoenix, Arizona at 5:45 in the morning and arrived in Tucumcari about 12 hours later … 615 miles (990 km). Whew! That was a very long day.
Fortunately, Al and I took several breaks and switched drivers a few times. What also helped was my focus on fueling us properly. Al thinks about the truck and I think about our bodies. The day before departure, I did some serious meal prep knowing we intended to put in some long driving days.
Yesterday, we started off our day with a rare treat … while driving, we had our coffee accompanied by coffee cake. Ok, a sugary breakfast is not necessarily the best fuel, but it’s always a fun (and rare) splurge to start our travels in a festive mood.
Lunch consisted of Turkey club sandwiches on fresh sourdough bread with a side of crisp red grapes. For dinner, we enjoyed salmon patties (that I had prepped the day before) accompanied by homemade potato salad (also made the day before) – dinner prepared and eaten while parked at a rest area. One of the things that was super important to me when we purchased our RV was the functionality of it while the slides are pulled in. I was able to fry the patties and serve dinner and dine at our dinette all while the slides were left in.
Oh, and did I mention the homemade brownies we had for dessert? Yeah, I’d say I fueled us up just fine for the 12 hour travel day. And then the day ended with one of my famous margaritas and a good night’s sleep.
I love RV travel. Because we were able to enjoy meals at our own table, meals I had made, and use our own restroom whenever the urge struck, it enabled us to arrive at our destination with energy to spare … not much energy, but we weren’t exhausted. Staying hydrated, being well-fed, and making regular stops allowed us to crank out some serious mileage.
Today, we plan on putting in another long day of driving, but not as long as yesterday. We’ll be on two-lane roads most of the day today (Sunday) as we angle up toward Kansas City from New Mexico into corners of Oklahoma and Texas and then into the state of Kansas. Unfortunately, we expect to encounter more wind today. Yeah, yesterday as we headed in an easterly direction, we encountered winds from the south ranging from 15-25 mph. Fun times trying to stay in our lane along with the semis swaying from the gusts.
It was mid August when Al and I were in dire need of a little down time. With obligations behind us, we were able to meander as our hearts desired. Just the way we like to roll.
After a four hour drive, we pulled into the Elks Lodge parking lot in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We found a nice grassy spot to set up camp for three nights. It’s easy to fall in love with Santa Fe, New Mexico.
It is such an eclectic mix of new and old offering a little something for everyone, not to mention a great farmer’s market. Ah, yes… worthy of its own post!
And although we loved our boondocking spot at the Elk’s Lodge, the real camping gem we discovered was forty miles down the road. At Cochiti Lake Campground we snagged a lovely pull-thru site with electric and water.
Each afternoon, a summer storm would roll through gracing me with an artistic show that only mother nature could create. During these storms, I would try to leave the RV door open or at least a window.
The smell of fresh rain in this arid high desert landscape was intoxicating and the vegetation and bunnies seemed to relish in the moisture. And once the storms passed, a rainbow would remind me to smile. Each afternoon as I sat in the comfort of the RV watching the show unfold, I was flooded with a mix of emotions; comfort, relaxed, awed, alive, lucky, life is good ….. and this is why we RV.
The ten days we spent here were just what we needed to relax and rejuvenate. Although the majority of the time was spent around camp, I did manage to venture into Santa Fe a few times and hiked at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument at every opportunity.
This area in New Mexico is definitely a place I look forward to returning to and as much as I was reluctant to leave, hitch itch set in and it was time to put the RV wheels in motion.
Our next stop was in Arizona at the Petrified Forest National Park. On the far south side of the National Park, just outside the park entrance, are a couple of gift shops. They allow free overnight camping. We stayed here last year for a quick overnight when we helped our daughter move from Denver to Phoenix.
During this visit, I was able to linger and explore the park …. well kind of.
The weather wasn’t necessarily all that agreeable and after I took a fair share of commemorative photos, the lightening and down pouring rain had me hightailing it back to the RV.
In between weather fronts, Al and I decided to hit the road bound for Williams, Arizona. Fortunately, the winds were short lived and the three hour drive was pretty uneventful.
While we were trying to back in to a site at Lake Kaibab National Forest, the camp host rolled up in his golf cart letting us know he just received a cancellation for a nice pull-thru site ….. sweet! My how those travel Gods continued to smile upon us.
Williams, Arizona, is known as the gateway to the Grand Canyon, but the town has also done an amazing job of rebranding itself and playing up its Route 66 history. This is a fun little town worth spending an afternoon exploring. It’s also a great place to grab a bite to eat or a hotel room for a visit to the Grand Canyon since the national park is only an hour drive up the road.
I had every intention of driving up to the Grand Canyon for a day of photography, but I managed to come down with a head cold and with the cool temps that are common in this part of Arizona at the end of August, I longed for some heat.
So down in elevation we went …. to the town of Cottonwood. Just east of town is a popular boondocking spot (free camping, no services). It’s amazing how drastic the change in weather can be a mere hour apart. In Flagstaff the weather temps barely hit 70 degrees Fahrenheit while in Cottonwood temperatures were well into the 90’s. The heat felt wonderful, although when it reached 104 inside the RV, even sick lil’ol me thought it was a tad too hot. However, between the RV sauna, chicken noodle soup, and a spicy Mexican meal at Javalina’s in Sedona, I started feeling better in short order.
Three days of boondocking in the desert heat had us moving on down to Prescott Valley in search of electric and air conditioning. We booked a month long stay at the Fairgrounds RV Park.
On October 1st we returned to Phoenix, Arizona, our starting point back in April. We’ve been comfortably parked on the north side of the valley and visiting with friends and family regularly.
So now you’re all caught up on our summer journey. I’ll eventually write some posts and share a bunch more photos on the highlights of our summer stops. We truly had a fantastic six month adventure filled with lots of firsts and a few repeats.
For now, I’m off to finish up my Christmas shopping…..
Should I get this pressure cooker or would this drone be more fun? I like the idea of both, don’t you 😉I ordered this T-shirt for my daughter!and several gift cards as stocking stuffers. Yep, I’m getting close to the end of my shopping and starting to wrap’m up. I’m a shopper and love this time of year 🙂 This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure can be found here.
Some places resonate with me much more than others. I’m not always sure why or what the deciding factor might be, but when I stumble upon a unique landscape that gives me goose bumps, I know I’m some place special.
The blogosphere is one of my favorite venues to search and find exciting travel ideas. The moment I saw a photograph of these cone-shaped tent rock formations, I knew this was a mustsee.
A visit was in the plans last year, but when our daughter decided to move from Denver to Phoenix, all those plans went out the window.
This year was different, and since we didn’t have any firm commitments after mid August, I knew the timing was perfect to lay eyes on this unusual landscape.
The sculpted cliffs and peaked hoodoos were formed from volcanic eruptions that occurred more than six million years ago.
There is a somewhat uniform layering of volcanic material causing bands of white, grey, beige, and pink colored rock. It’s a fascinating and perplexing sight.
Over time, wind and water sculpt these rocks creating canyons, scooping holes, and contouring hoodoos. Mother Nature’s artistic and creative hand had me awed and smiling during the entire two-plus hour hike. I found myself hiking this fun trail several times during our two-week stay in the Santa Fe area, and trust me when I say, once is not enough. I already look forward to returning.
Without further adieu, let’s take a hike…..
As we approached the fee booth station, we were greeted by a ranger. There’s a $5.00 daily fee (as of Aug 2016) or free with your Annual National Park Pass (this is a Federal park after all). From the fee station, we continued for five miles down a paved road that crosses private property owned by the Pueblo de Cochiti.
We are asked to respect the traditions and privacy of the local Indians and thus, no stopping along the way, no photography/video, and no drawing/painting. Also, no commercial photography within the park is allowed without a permit.
Once we neared the trailhead, there were three different gravel parking lots that can accommodate just about any size vehicle (including RV’s). There’s a couple of vault toilets, but no water….. so be sure and bring plenty of drinking water. You’ll need it.
Unlike most national parks and monuments, there are no scenic overlooks near a parking lot around here. The only way to view the tent rocks and observe this stunning landscape is by foot; hiking via a dirt, sometimes sandy trail. And by the way, no dogs allowed. You won’t even be allowed through the fee station with a dog in the vehicle.
The 1.2 mile Cave Loop Trail is rated easy and partly handicap accessible. There are some unique rock formations and a hand dug cave along this trail, but the real gem of the park is the Slot Canyon Trail …… definitely not to be missed.
The Slot Canyon Trail is a 3 mile out and back hike with a 630-foot elevation gain and connects with the Cave Loop Trail.
We hiked the combination of both trails making for a wonderful 4.2-mile hike. For my level of hiking ability, this trail offered me the perfect amount of challenge and visual stimulation.
Although from Al’s point of view, there may have been way too much visual stimulation (if there is such a thing) which resulted in an excessive amount of photo-op stops, much to his chagrin. Perhaps that’s why my subsequent hiking visits to Kasha-Katuwe were tackled as a solo hiker 😁
The moment we connected with the Slot Canyon Trail, the cliff walls rose on both sides and I felt like I had entered a secret garden of sorts. I believe, oh my gosh, was uttered by me around every bend. As the canyon walls continued to narrow, we were greeted with obstacles along the trail.
Nothing we couldn’t handle … however, those that are vertically challenged or suffer from short leg syndrome, like moi, may find themselves stretching out those leg muscles just a tad.
In some spots, the slot canyon became very narrow, so narrow that there was only room for one foot at a time.
Once we exited the slot canyon, we were welcomed by those teepee shaped hoodoos …. each uniquely sculpted by the elements and each equally as impressive.
It didn’t take long and we could feel the trail climbing and instead of looking up at the amazing tent rocks, we were now looking down upon them.
We continued up the trail and stopped frequently to look back.
As we reached the top of the trail, we had temporarily hiked away from the tent rocks. The trail continued out onto a narrow mesa which provided a bird’s eye view of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.
And of course, a few more “Oh…. my…. gosh’es were uttered as I stood on the edge gazing down.
The return hike to the trailhead was every bit as amazing as it was entering.
The Pueblo de Cochiti people view Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks as a very special place and justifiably so. After Al and I made this first hike, I returned three more times to tackle this perfect (in my book) hike. Perfect – even when considering all the obstacles one might bump into.
One morning, I hit the trail at 8:15 and encountered only one couple on the trail for that first hour. It was awesome having this amazing place to myself and hiking in solitude. All of my senses were alert.
The visual delight of the sun peeking from behind a rock was a reminder of a new day unfolding. I listened to the light sound of a lizard moving, and the loud squawking of birds soaring overhead. I breathed in the crisp clean air scented of pine. There was the random sound of tiny rocks tumbling, acting as a reminder that this land is in a constant state of change.
There was the occasional touch of admiration and respect for this special and sacred place.
Yes indeed, some places touch my soul more than others and Kasha-Katuwe touched mine more than I ever expected. I know I’ll return!
When we hit the road in the RV full-time almost three years ago, we weren’t sure what to expect or if we’d have any regrets. Considering we sold the house and moved into the RV on a whim and all within ninety days of deciding to do so, one can’t help but wonder, “Whatever were we thinking?
But it’s those hidden gems, those unexpected discoveries that have Al and me wanting to keep those wheels on the RV rolling. The first time we pulled into City of Rocks State Park, I was giddy with delight. This time was no different. There’s something surreal and unworldly about this place. It’s all about the rocks… it’s a rock thing.
While hiking around City of Rocks State Park, voices swirled in my head, “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!” I know, I’m dating myself, but I couldn’t help thinking what a fabulous location this would make for a Lost in Space episode.
It really did feel like I had stepped onto another planet. Around every corner was another fascinating rock formation, another cluster of interesting shapes accompanied by a multitude of color and light.
I’m afraid I could wear out the use of the word unique around here. How about dazzling, splendid, delightful, superb, appealing, awe-inspiring …… ?
Since we didn’t have a reservation….. as a matter of fact, we made the decision to overnight at City of Rocks State Park while driving through Las Cruces, New Mexico, only an hour away. Remember in my last post when I talked about flexibility? When Al and I are transitioning between locations or reservations, we have a tendency to wing it and find ourselves changing our minds numerous times. The original plan was to do a quick overnight at a RV Park in Deming, New Mexico, but how boring is that?
So at the last minute, we decided to go someplace fun and maybe stay a couple of days, considering we were running ahead of our loosely planned schedule anyway.
But we needed to ask ourselves, what if all the electric sites were taken? After all, we were driving thirty miles out of our way – 60 miles round trip back to interstate 10 and the town of Deming, NM. We always have a backup plan and sometimes a backup to the backup. One of the backup plans was to pick out an awesome dry camping site – and they are one-of-a-kind, unique, and awesome – but with freezing overnight temperatures predicted, dry camping was our last choice regardless of how distinct and amazing the dry campsites are. I wanted to run that RV furnace to my heart’s content without worrying about the RV batteries or running the generator like crazy.
We pulled into the loop that offers electric and water hook-ups around 1:00 in the afternoon and snagged the last electric site available. Site #1 is rather short and required us to unhook the truck from the 5th wheel. We didn’t mind and were thrilled we procured an electric site. Although the intention was to stay a couple of nights, I paid for one just in case we changed our minds, a gals prerogative ya know! And remember, state parks don’t give refunds.
I absolutely love City of Rocks State Park, and it’s these kinds of discoveries that have me living in the RV full-time with NO regrets. However, this was February, aka winter, and with daytime temperatures barely reaching 50 degrees Fahrenheit and in the 20’s overnight, we decided to hook up and move on the next morning in search of warmer weather. Hmm, have we turned into winter wimps?
The state of New Mexico never ceases to amaze me with all its splendid landscapes. There’s so much untapped raw beauty to explore around here, but let’s keep that a secret between us. After all, we don’t want to share this amazing solitude and gorgeous scenery with hoards of tourists. So mums, the word 😉
When I looked at the calendar this morning, I realized it’s our 2 year anniversary. Yep, it was two years ago we sold most of our stuff, minimized, and moved into the RV full-time. It’s been an adventure to say the least.We’ve explored some amazing places. Camped amongst some unbelievably stunning scenery. Driven challenging roads. Made wonderful new friends along the way. And learned a lot about ourselves.
How long will we continue to live in the RV full-time? As long as it remains a fun adventure.
Is living in the RV similar to being on a constant vacation? Yes and no. Life goes on and sh*t continues to happen. Bills need to be paid. Family obligations beckon.
But when the stars align, the weather is great, birds are chirping, and wildflowers are blooming….. well, it just doesn’t get much better.
Are we living a dream? No. Although it’s been a fantastic journey, there have been days I felt I was living more of a nightmare than a dream.
Everyone’s journey is different. Time can be fleeting. I still miss my dog immensely.
Knowing what I know now, would I still move into the RV full-time? In a heartbeat!
It has been a memorable journey with many more places to see and explore.
At this stage of the game, I wouldn’t trade my 250 square foot home on wheels for a 5,000 square foot stationary home….. well…… maybe if that home sat on 40 acres in the Rocky Mountains with my own private lake, perhaps then I could be coerced 😉
Views…. it’s all about the views, and boy, have I seen some views.
I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying some spectacular backyards……and front yards……. and side yards…..
I’ve driven some famous, well-known roads that I’d longed to travel.The journey shall continue. Let’s see where the road takes us in year three.Happy trails my friends….
This post was written in response to the WordPress Daily Post – photo challenge. Muse = the RV. I’m always taking photographs of the RV either meandering down the road or camped in some amazing place.
Our second day in Alamogordo, New Mexico, consisted of plenty of wind. Wind around here is normal and expected. After all, it is the wind that helps form the sand dunes at White Sands National Monument. That’s why I scheduled a minimum of a three-day stay in the area. Weather is not always accommodating.
So just for fun, we headed off to the small mountain town of Cloudcroft. Not only did we want to explore this little mountain town, Al and I wanted to check out the road to see if we would be comfortable pulling the RV via this route. Several folks highly recommended against taking this road with the RV but we’re from Colorado and seem to be a little more comfortable with elevation changes and mountain passes so we wanted to lay our own eyes on the route.
Our starting point was Alamogordo, New Mexico, at an elevation of 4,335 feet and our destination was 19 miles to the east. Cloudcroft sits at 8,650 feet in elevation. Thus there’s a 4,315 foot elevation increase in less than 20 miles. Yep, that’s quite the pull and although there was nothing scary or intense about the road, we would probably avoid driving it with the RV just to refrain from straining the truck.
Once in Cloudcroft, we stopped in at the Lincoln National Forest Ranger headquarters (on Halloween I might add) to pick up maps and info on the area. The campgrounds were already closed for the season and it was definitely colder than we anticipated. As a matter of fact, colder than our hoodies would accommodate. A quick drive around town and we were on our way back to warmer temps LOL.On our return trip, we stopped at the Old Apple Barn. It’s fall and anything ‘apple’ gets my attention.
Back in Alamogordo our next stop was a pistachio farm. McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch was recommended to us by friends and this too turned out to be a fun stop. There was plenty of sampling to hold our attention.
First we started with the sampling of pistachios followed by wine tasting. And of course, there were a few purchases made.
Our friends particularly enjoy the Chocolate infused Cabernet by Arena Blanca Winery and although good, we opted for a bottle of their red wine called “Outlaw Red”. It’s a fruity red that is actually served chilled.
Back at camp, we made short order of the bottle of wine and bag of nuts. The pistachios turned out to be some of the best we’ve ever eaten and we regret not having bought a larger bag……. yet another reason we’ll be returning to Alamogordo, New Mexico.
As I sit in San Antonio, Texas, snuggled up in my comfy RV engulfed in a deluge of never ending rain (it’s finally easing up), I’m given the perfect opportunity to get the blog caught up with our travels. I admire those of you who are able to keep your blogs updated while traveling all the while engaging in the sights and sounds of new territory. That’s not me… as usual, I’m over a week behind 😉
The sands of time; so as time seems to get away from me, what better time to talk about sand dunes…..
Rising from the Tularosa Basin near Alamogordo, New Mexico, sits the largest gypsum dune field in the world – 275 square miles of glistening brilliant white sand aptly named White Sands National Monument.
We entered the monument from the east. As we continued driving the 8 mile scenic road west, the dunes increased in size; some of which are over 50 feet tall. The vegetation also gets sparser the further west we traveled along with changing sand grains. At the eastern edge the sand grains are very small and round while to the west the sand grains become larger and consist of different shapes. To categorize this place as unique is an understatement.
Al and I climb a sand dune and then another. A child like exuberance comes over me. I try making a snow angel and then I pretend I’m walking on the moon. A couple of kids in the distance are sledding. Yep, sledding on sand! You can even bring pooch – leashed of course, which is so unusual since dogs aren’t normally allowed on trails in National Parks or Monuments.
And think pooches paws will be bothered by the hot sand? Think again. Gypsum does not convert the sun’s energy into heat and thus the sand can be walked on with bare feet even during the hottest of summer months.
Al and I are awed by the raw untapped beauty. The vision leaves us speechless and we decide to find a place to sit and watch the sun set. As the sun lowers, we watch a film crew from South America do a photo shoot. Boy, I’d love to see the finished photos of that shoot.
Strong southwest winds keep the dunes in a constant state of change. They grow, crest, then slump but always advance. We lucked out with sustained winds of only 5 to 10 miles per hour, allowing us to enjoy a beautiful sunset.I’m very glad the weather cooperated and our schedule finally allowed us to take in the White Sands National Monument. It was so worth our time. 🐫
Today’s drive was an easy 2 1/2 hour drive from Deming, New Mexico to Alamogordo NM. However, I wouldn’t categorize it as uneventful. Al has chosen to allow Hildi to do the navigating. Not wanting to get into an argument and second guess the wench, I leave the atlas in the backseat and leave the navigating to her.
For those of you new to the blog and not sure who Hildi is you can click here for her story.
We leave Rockhound State Park in Deming, New Mexico, and continue on Interstate 10 toward the city of Las Cruces.
Hildi has us exit the interstate in Las Cruces and pick up Highway 70 where we encounter plenty of stop lights and road construction. Way to go Hildi! Finally we get around the city and we’re headed toward Alamogordo. Traffic is light, winds are calm, and it’s a beautiful sunny day.
I can see tuffs of white sand dunes off in the distance. Ooh, my excitement starts to build with anticipation as we get closer to a place I’ve wanted to visit for a very long time. What’s this? We need to stop?Why do these stops always make me nervous? We watch the dog get a little excited around the mini van pictured top right and the driver was told to pull over into that spot. Hmm, wonder what the little doggie smelled. I nervously watch the dog as he quickly moves down the line totally uninterested in us or the RV. Thank goodness. After all, we have Colorado license plates (some places assume since the use of marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado, anyone with Colorado plates is in possession…. not cool).
We pull up to a guard and are asked if we are U.S. citizens? We respond, “yes” and are waved on. Thank goodness hubby kept his sense of humor in check and didn’t respond with a “Si, Señor”. I sure would NOT want to find out exactly what kind of sense of humor these border patrol guys have.
After the inconvenient stop, we continue our journey and it isn’t long before Hildi has us making a right onto highway 54. So far so good, but then she has us turn left a little too soon in my opinion. There’s no brown sign noting Oliver Lee Memorial State Park and although paved, the road looks narrow – not what you would expect for regular state park traffic. I recommend we not turn and that we shouldn’t trust Hildi.
Al turns. We continue down this little residential street and when it ends Hildi has us turn right…. right onto a gravel road. Mind you, we’ve traveled on rougher roads, but this is not what Al or I expected.
We eventually make it to our destination: Oliver Lee Memorial State Park. We’re a little dustier and dirtier but no worse for the wear. We get settled into an electric/water site with the help of our Lego leveling blocks.
I slap together a quick lunch rushing Al. We have some exploring to do ….. I’ll do the driving and we’ll leave Hildi at home!
“That one looks good”, I say to hubby as I point to the campsite. “Are you sure you don’t want me to drive around the loop?”, he questions. “Nope, looks perfect and level”. Within fifteen minutes we’re all set up in site #25 at Rockhound State Park near Deming, New Mexico.
What a pleasant surprise this little state park turned out to be. All the sites are large, well spaced, and most are pretty level. I’ll admit I was tempted to return to City of Rocks State Park as I was so enamored by that place last winter, but that campground is located 30 miles north of the interstate and Rockhound is only 12 miles off the interstate.
Since we’re only staying one night we even tossed around staying at the Escapees Club Park – Dream Catcher RV Park. That RV Park is right in the town of Deming making it easy on and off the interstate. But you know me, it’s all about the views…. gotta have those views! I’ll gladly give up hook-ups for views, but here I’ve got views AND electric…. score.
While my chauffeur checks out his MacGyver’s handy work to make sure the repairs held together after a 4 1/2 hour drive, I check out the hiking. How convenient for us to be parked right across the street from the Thunder Egg Trail trailhead. This is an easy 1.1 mile trail that leads from the campground to the day use picnic area. It meanders along the Small Florida Mountain Range.
There’s prickly pear in every direction along with various yucca plants. But the main attraction here are the rocks. Folks come here in search of precious gem rocks. The gathering and collecting of rocks is ok and expected.
Yep, feel free to help yourself to a few rocks. Personally, I didn’t take even one rock as visions of Lucille Ball in the Long, Long Trailer came to mind.
All in all, we loved our one night stay at Rockhound State Park and hope to return for a longer stay next year.
Moving on down the road, we continue our journey toward the town of Alamogordo, New Mexico……
It’s a new day and a new journey. The large rear window in the RV offers an unobstructed view of the mountain and meadow to the east. As I sit in my chair drinking a steaming cup of hot black coffee, I watch the sky toward the east start to glow.
It’s a cold, brisk morning in southern New Mexico. The tall meadow grasses are touched with frost. After a great nights sleep, Al and I sit in a toasty warm RV watching the sunrise. While we eat a breakfast of left over cherry pie, we wonder why anyone wouldn’t want to do this……I’m referring to the RVing thing but on second thought, why wouldn’t anyone want to eat cherry pie for breakfast while watching the sunrise? Pie and coffee with a beautiful view…..aahhh!
This was the perfect overnight stop. This is our church. It’s what renews us. We savor the morning; savor the view, the coffee, the pie. Life is good. No hurry this morning.
We’re tempted to spend another night, but it’s cold and expected to get even colder. Even Al is torn. Do we go? Do we stay? With a little warmer weather, I assure you we would stay another night, but with the cold temps we move on.
We reluctantly leave City of Rocks State Park near Deming, New Mexico with the promise to return for a longer stay in the not too distant future. (FYI for my international visitors or those geographically challenged – New Mexico is a U.S. State located between Texas and Arizona and not to be confused with the country of Mexico)
While traveling along the interstate through the sprawling city of El Paso, Texas, we glance to the south across the U.S. – Mexico border . The Rio Grande River acts as a divider between the two countries. We can easily see the city of Juarez, Mexico. It’s not a pretty sight and with a reputation of being the deadliest city in Mexico, we won’t be crossing the border here anytime soon, but being this close to the border we did encounter a random check point stop; not uncommon traveling the roads in the southwest.
All traffic is stopped. The border patrol officer looks through the window and asks, “Is everyone on board a U.S. citizen?” We respond respectfully, “Yes”. He says, “Have a good day” and waves us on. Al no sooner has his window rolled up when he comments, “Si, Señor”. I’m very grateful his sense of humor was not released sooner or we would’ve been pulled over. Even then, when pulling a RV it’s not unusual to be asked to pull over and an officer will board the RV checking for the harboring of any illegal aliens….no E.T. onboard in our rig. I don’t know why these stops always make me nervous, but they do. Geez, I’m not even crossing the United States border.
By noon, we are east of El Paso, Texas and are changing the clocks to the Central Time Zone. Looks like we just lost an hour. We have a 370 mile (587 km) day of travel planned today; from Deming, New Mexico to Fort Stockton, Texas. The drive should take us about 5 1/2 to 6 hours depending on fuel stops.
Since it’ll be a cold night, we opt to spend $25 for the night for full hook-ups and stay at the Hilltop RV Park in Fort Stockton, Texas. Tomorrow will be another 5 hour drive. Texas sure is a BIG state!
The drive allows us plenty of time to reflect on our journey the past couple of days. We love meeting fellow RVer’s and discovering hidden gems like City of Rocks State Park. So many of the rocks created unique shapes….. many of which I have chosen not to post since my blog is rated ‘G’. Although I can’t promise after a couple of margarita’s that I won’t do a post on phalluses. For now, I’ll stay with a Sesame Street theme and share the letter ‘d’.
Oh, and FYI….due to poor internet connection, I’m behind on posting. This travel day occurred Dec.29th. For the past 6 days we have been hunkered down in Rockport, Texas. The polar vortex has reached south Texas as well with freezing temps and rain/sleet. Warmer weather forth coming. To all my followers to the north, “Ya’ll stay safe and bundled up.”