The trip from Dauphin Island, Al to Yuma, Az
December 27/2020-Jan 1/2021
12/27 So, we left John Snieder in Holden, LA and traveled to Baytown, Texas. It was a haul of about 275 miles. We will not be fast travelers, also, we like to read and relax. So we did, we arrived at a Cracker Barrel in Baytown, we relaxed for the afternoon and had a nice dinner at CB. Got into bed all nice and cozy, went to sleep (ok, it was before 10 pm) and I wondered why we had not been invited to the party in the parking lot?!
I kid you not, the “kids” who I assume were working in the kitchen, of course had to take the trash out and do the closing chores they would normally have to do. BUT they were yelling and crashing stuff around, laughing and more yelling… okay, you get the picture.
And then, because I’m sure this is normal for a Cracker Barrel, their trash dumpsters were dumped (REALLY LOUD) at 4 am. Need I say more… I don’t think so.
Up until last night we had had pretty good luck with CB’s and so I was not so eager for another one tonight. So, we traveled almost 300 miles to a rest area just outside of Comfort, Tx (Texas is a big state). We were really surprised to hear someone from John Sneiders place tell us that they were from the “hills of Texas”? Anybody else think that Texas is flatter than a pancake? Whelp, here’s a couple pictures to prove us wrong.
Just so you know, today was not without tons of fun. We went to our first ever “highly acclaimed” Buc-ees’s! Just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about here are a couple pictures…
Buc-ee’s is huge incase you can’t tell. They have almost everything the “traveler” could want including sugar coated pecans, fudge and healthier things like breakfast sandwiches. WE don’t know anyone who bought these things.
12/28 So we’ve experienced our first overnight at a rest area, whoa! (Kerr County West Bound I-10)Come on people, it’s called a rest stop, rest for goodness sake! REST! To say I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck is almost accurate, add that the wind (which kept us cool) blew our blinds all night making a rattleing noise and just the activity, well, let’s just say, these rest stops may be far and few between for overnights for us. However, we decided to move from one end to the other thinking it would be better, it was a really good thing we did because one of our stablizer bars was loose and had moved! It wasn’t dark yet, we had street lights all around us, it wasn’t cold, it wasn’t raining, it was asphalt not gravel and Paul (although not easy) was able to fix it. So grateful, I have to say it, God is good, I prayed the whole way through it. So, although it might not have been a great place to stay overnight, it was a great place to fix an rv.
Sunset at the rest area
12/29 Thought I would put a picture on of our map so the trip is somewhat trackable, it’s to Arizona and back to Georgia. (we didn’t stop everywhere there was a number, they were overnight options I’d found in case we were too tired to keep going)
12/30 We drove another 300 miles to a little city called Balmorhea, TX, and stayed at the Saddleback RV park. After two nights of trucks flying by us while we were trying to sleep and the fact that it was going to be in the low 30’s overnight, we decided to go somewhere where we could use their electricity. This rv park like alot of the little places in Texas has you just drive in and park in a spot and put your $20 in an envelope, honor system, it’s alive and well. We could have used our propane heater but we are rationing our propane for the frig and for hot water for showers. (these are things I thought I would never think about much less say)
We slept very well last night, and at 5am my eyes popped open, I was awake. I always look at the weather when I wake up just so we know what’s ahead. What was ahead was a WINTER STORM WARNING ! What?! Is this Indiana?! Nope, this is Texas, highway 10, its the Southern Hudspeth Highlands, which runs along the mountains and which we are driving through, 3-10 inches of snow expected! WE DO NOT want to get snowed in, in a little campground in Texas! So we had to figure out did we have enough time to unhook, (we wanted to drain our black and grey tanks and keep our fresh water tank below full just incase we were in an area that could cause our tanks to freeze, like if we got stuck somewhere overnight in way below freezing temps) put everything away and get fuel, oh and get dressed, eat and on our way before the snow hit?! The answer was yes! We reviewed and reviewed the weather between Balmorhea and El Paso to see if and when the blizzard was hitting. If we moved fast we might just miss the worst of it, it was going to start about 100 miles away from us in Sierra Bianca. By the time we went through there it was not snowing and still around 35 degrees. The next 100 miles was a little trickier. At 65-70 miles per hour we were moving faster than we like for good fuel consumption but hey, we were sorta in a hurry. About 60 miles before El Paso it started sleeting and snowing, the pavement was wet. Other RVs, cars, and semi’s were all flying down the road, most at the 80 miles per hour speed limit. There was a pretty strong wind that kept tossing us back and forth abit but Paul, being the professional driver that he is, got us through to El Paso. I’ve been a typing fool so I didn’t have to look out the windows, mostly. I did get a couple pictures. Thank goodness none of them are depecting a foot of snow!
These two pictures are the snow over the mountain, that dumped the 10 inches, thankfully not on us. We were off the mountian and going into Deming, NM, where we had this view in the morning when we looked at the temp on my phone.
12/31 Escapees rv park, called Dreamcatcher in Deming, NM we were plugged into electric all night and could run the heater. Then we had our propane furnace as a backup. We had dumped our black and grey tanks, no one wants those tanks to freeze and burst! We had water in our fresh tank and had run the water heater so we thought that all would be well. Our water tank did freeze and we used our water pump. Note to self if it sounds weird STOP using it! We didn’t want to run the risk of ruining it so Paul opened the cabinet that housed the water pump, we ran the electric heater directed at it. We got ready and hit the road headed for warmer weather, by the time we got to Tucson, Az the temps were in the 60’s. Our water tank had thawed, the pump wasn’t damaged and worked well.
It’s really fun to think that we started our trip from Dauphin, Island a week ago tomorrow. Our first’s night stay was at a Harvest Host and tonight’s stay is also a Harvest Host. El Pais Motel and Campground in Tucson, AZ is really a cool place and I salute the drive and creative desire that is behind the makings of this place. Mother and daughter (possibly with the help of others) have reimagined this deserted motel into something very vintage and unique. It’s taken them 3 years so far to renivate some old RV’s (they have more waiting to be worked on) and the motel rooms. They’ve added a couple tiny homes and there are a couple spots for people like us to stay a night or two if we want. All the decor is vintage, which really cracks us up because so much of the decor we have had over the years!
The nights stay also comes with free eggs and a free wash and dry in their laundry area. I couldn’t stand it I had to add more pictures…
This was where we spent our New Year’s 2020. Traveling like this is our life long dream, but it’s not without a bit of sadness. We’ve spent every New Year’s with our son’s family having our “New Year’s Eve Party”. It made us feel so good to get a text from them last night saying they missed us too and a picture of the buffet like we always had for the evening. So, we will close out 2020, what a year it has been, and as we do I am grateful, to God, beyond words for our family’s health and safety in these “covid times”.
and I am grateful as always for the beauty of God’s paintings…
Here we come 2021!