Well it has been a heck of a week. Tuesday last week (Jan 31) was a very sad day. It was the last day we could spend any time on the beach. We went for a while but the heat from the sun was diminished by the breeze off of the Gulf of Mexico so we headed back to our RV spot and put our chairs in the sun and out of the wind. After putting away as much stuff as we could, the rest of the afternoon was spent visiting with our neighbours who are from Ontario. They have been coming here for over 7 years and we are looking forward to seeing them again next year when we both return.
Wednesday (Feb 1) we were up early to complete the packing, have breakfast, and get a move on. Of course we were held up for a while chatting with all the new people we got to know around our site. It seems moving day, whether coming or leaving, seems to be a big thing. The temperature was in the 20’s when we left and during the day we had to put the A/C on. Travelling out of South Padre Island toward Corpus Christi on SR-7 we encountered our second Border Inspection Station. The first one was when we were coming back from Boca Chica, remember to as Bev about her experience there. We ended up for the day at a rest stop south of Belton TX after travelling through both San Antonio and Austin. There was quite a lot of construction in Austin that we had missed on our way going to South Padre Island because we had headed west for our first major stop at Marble Falls. The landscape sure has changed today. From the sandy sights travelling north on US-77 to the ranch land along I-37 and into the hill country along I-35.
Thursday (Feb 2) saw a drastic change in the weather. We woke up to a cool +6 degrees Celsius and throughout the day it never really got above +9. Needless to say the furnace was on when we stopped at a rest stop just east of Sweetwater TX on I-20. During the day we had travelled through or around Waco, Fort Worth and Abilene. Again the landscape has changed. Today we were in the hill country with nothing but low-lying brush to look at in the fields. The hills were very scenic.
Friday (Feb 3) we entered oil country but not before scraping frost from the truck windows in the morning. I think we are going to pack our short pants away. I don’t think we will be needing them anytime soon. We sure are missing South Padre Island. It seemed every where you looked today there was evidence of the oil industry. Whether it be oil derricks bobbing their heads in the fields, the many oil field service companies seen along the highway or the safety training centers seen in the towns we passed. Oil seems to be everywhere. When we weren’t seeing derricks in the field we were seeing evidence of cotton fields. The soil was almost red with little red sticks poking out of the ground a foot or so, often with a hint of white on the top. We passed a farmer today who was out in his cotton field. It looked like he was preparing the field for the next crop as he was pulling a HUGE lawnmower behind his tractor, snipping off these little red sticks. The drive was pleasant today. The sun was out which made the truck warm and what little wind we had, was at our back. We drove over or through two mountain ranges. The first one was the Apache Mountain Range and the Baylor Mountain Range. We stopped today at a rest stop on I-10 just west of Wild Horse TX after passing through the small towns of Monahans, Odessa, Midland and Big Spring. This would be in the Baylor Mountains. Tomorrow we will stop at the junction of I-10 and US-90 for fuel. Over our travels we have seen the price of fuel range from a low of $2.17 US/gallon to $3.09 US/gallon.
Saturday (Feb 4) saw the temperature hovering around 22 degrees. The landscape changed from dry brush to short grass and every so often we would drive by rows upon rows of trees. It seems out here in the desert there are irrigated fields with thousands of trees that produce Almonds and Pecans We are in the desert and when I think of a desert I think of sand. Well there isn’t a lot of sand around here, it looks more like a perpetual gravel pit from horizon to horizon. But I guess when the wind picks up it can get ugly. As we drove today we saw numerous signs warning of zero visibility due to dust storms. We are glad we didn’t encounter any of these. We also got to cross the continental divide today so now I guess it is all down hill. I often think it would be kind of interesting to see a plot of the change in elevations along our route. Before we reached El Paso we ran into our third Border Inspection Station. We get basically the same questions, anyone in the back? Are you US citizens? and when we tell then no; Canadian, they wave us on through with a “Have a nice day”. We stopped today at the New Mexico Tourist Information Centre just west of Lordsburg NM. We had stopped earlier in the day at the New Mexico Tourist Information Centre by the Texas border for lunch. At this location we were about 3 hours from our next RV stop in Benson AZ and we were a day ahead of our estimated arrival. We thought we would pull in on Monday but in fact we could be there tomorrow (Sunday). A quick call ahead and we were able to add a day on the front side of our week stay and arrive early.
Sunday (Feb 5) we got off to a slow start as we knew we couldn’t check in until after lunch. We also had a time zone change to take into account. During the day we could see one or two mountains that appeared to have white tops. Bev informed me that it was probably snow and I quickly told her, “I’m turning around”. Well it turns out a little over two-hour later we were on the west side of Benson AZ and turning left (south) onto SR-90 for a short distance to our next RV Resort, Cochise Terrace RV Resort. We quickly got registered and escorted to our site. It seems like a nice place with a pool (54 degrees), a spa (101 degrees) as well as a restaurant. Because of the Super Bowl the restaurant was closed today and there is a pot-luck supper on Monday but we got complimentary meal tickets for Tuesday. The menu for the rest of our stay looks interesting, so we may visit a few times.
Well that is our week. There will be more to report as we get familiar with our new surroundings. Stay tuned.