Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12/25/12, Tuesday:  Merry Christmas from New Mexico!  It's suppose to be in the 40's today for a high. We've been lucky that it's been in the 60's or 70's in Texas and New Mexico so far. A lot of areas got snow last night north of us. Our furnace and little heaters are runny pretty constant this morning. 

Did we think last Christmas that we'd be in New Mexico the next one? We had no idea at that time. We were still in the selling house, getting rid of things, planning stages. We knew we'd be gone, but that's about it. It's been a lot of learning in the last 8 months.

12/23/12: Arrived at Midway RV Park at Dexter, New Mexico, 7 miles south of Roswell. On our highway we didn't have a Welcome to New Mexico sign, I guess it's too small of a highway for that. But as we went through the town of Bronco, the highway changed and that was the state line and we were in New Mexico. Speed limit changed from 75 to 65. We changed to Mountain Time also.  As we got further into New Mexico there is an area of white sandy soil. Then it started getting more into rolling plains, less trees. Kind of reminded me of North Dakota for a while. Midway RV Park is another small park which accepts Passport America. Most of the campers parked are fifth-wheels which are longer term. There are about 6 open sites for short term. 

12/20/12: We were going to stay at Walmart in Brownfield, TX, but it's a really small lot so we checked to see if they had a city RV, which they do. Coleman City Park is another free city park. This one is free for 5 days. It also has 30 amp and water, and a dump. It’s also at the edge of their park where they have a swimming pool (closed now), tennis courts, horseshoes, disc golf, ball fields, etc. There were 2 other campers when we got there. As we pulled in to the campground, trying to decide where to park, Curt said he smelled something burning. Then we saw smoke coming out of the dash behind the backup camera. He told me to get the fire extinguisher from the bedroom and he took the backup camera out of the dash. He was able to get it unhooked and that’s where the smell was coming from. For some reason, it decided to burn out. Luckily we weren’t driving at the time, and we didn’t have to use the fire extinguisher.  Nothing like spending time thinking that everything we own is in this vehicle, or attached to it, and it could all be gone in a matter of minutes. After we parked and got set up, Curt got on the internet and started searching for a new backup camera. We can’t see the Jeep when we’re driving without it, and backing up with it is a lot easier.

The next morning Curt ordered a backup camera and had it sent to the next park we’re going to near RoswellNew Mexico. I e-mailed the kids and let them know we would be stopping next week if they wanted to send the rest of the packages out. A City employee stopped by and said we could stay free for 5 days. Curt told him we’d probably be leaving the next day or Saturday. The other 2 campers took off after that. Around noon I went for a walk and Curt went metal detecting.  A lot of City vehicles drove through the park during the day; nobody stopped to tell Curt he couldn’t use his metal detector. (Some cities have ordinances against it.)  It seems like the park is a place people come for their lunch hour; there were vehicles coming in and stopping, but not getting out of it. So as I walked around by myself, I started getting kind of leery of that and decided to walk around near Curt. We were outside for a couple of hours; it was beautiful out. There were other people walking, playing basketball and baseball. We decided that since this was free, we would probably stay another day or two.

12/19/12: We stopped at the Haskell Municipal City Park, which is free for one night and $16/ after that. It has full hookups, 30 amps. There were about 6 other campers there, but they were long-term. I went out for a walk around their park/ baseball/rodeo area. Curt went metal detecting. As I was taking pictures of the fountain area, a man walking his dog said that I should take pictures of the sky as the storm comes in. There were wind warnings, and we had driven in wind all morning. It looked like a dust storm coming tonight. The man said that it’s from the fields west of town that are plowed, in between the cotton crop and planting wheat. I got back to the RV before the storm came in, but Curt was caught in it, spitting out dust/sand when he got back. We later learned that there was a multivehicle  accident on the highway because of the storm and one person was killed.

Texas is a big state (I know I’ve said that before). We want to go straight west to the RoswellNew Mexico area, on Hwy 380. Trying to find places to stay could be tricky. I did find a Walmart and a city park, so we’ll try that. As we drove through some of the small cities, we noticed a few of them had small RV parks. So there must be a few people that drive this out-of-the-way road. There is a lot of oil activity, so there is truck and pickup traffic. Some of the oil wells are old and no longer working, but there are some new pumps going. The old pumps are small; the newer ones are larger, like the ones in North Dakota.

The terrain varies a lot throughout the state. It’s very dry; some counties have burn bans. It’s mostly flat, but then there’s an area of rolling hills, back and forth like that. Lots of cactus. There are areas with cattle and horses, and then you get to big farming areas. We found out later that it was cotton crops, and after they were done they planted wheat. We had no idea there was cotton in Texas.  There was a lot of irrigated areas. The ground is very red also; reminds me of the scoria in North Dakota. We had watched The Dust Bowl on PBS about a month ago and I could see why it would keep blowing like that. These farming areas where huge with no breaks in them and the topsoil was blowing into the ditches like snowbanks. Some fields still had cotton in them, some were plowed, some planted.

12/18/12, Tuesday:  We got ready to leave, to go to above Dallas, and stop at McKinney to pick up the oil that Curt had ordered. I asked him if the guy had called and said that it came in. He said he wasn’t going to call back, we should just stop. And if it wasn’t in yet, then what? Curt called the company and they said they didn’t order it because McKinney Walmart has it and they can sell it cheaper than he can. Curt was surprised that Walmart would have it, because we haven’t been able to find any. Curt called both Walmarts in the McKinney area and neither one had the oil he wanted. Okay, so much for that idea. Guess we wouldn’t have had to stay the weekend. It was a nice quiet place though. We stayed at Decatur Walmart for the evening. Definitely back in the city noise…screeching tires, honking horns, sirens.


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