Category Archives: RVing

Weathering the New Year

For the holidays I traveled with my friend to visit his family in Texas and to spend some time investigating interesting places. We left Tucson on December 13 and during most of the three weeks we were gone we were under cloud cover, rain, snow, cold, wet, uncomfortable weather. We carried a small portable electric heater so most of the time we used it when we had electricity. Last night however, we were stopped in our tracks on the highway by the worsening weather, and were forced to dry camp.

Road conditionWe left Fredericksburg, TX in the cold and wet, with freezing rain. As the day progressed the weather got worse. We were stuck on the highway for nearly an hour and a half waiting for an accident that we couldn’t see to be cleared. As we traveled we saw many tractor-trailers overturned, and a few cars that had slid off the road.

Truck 1

Truck 2

Truck 3

Truck 4

Truck 5

Truck 6

Truck 7By the time we stopped around 5:00 p.m. a few miles west of Ft. Stockton it was clear that we had to pull off. We found a safe place off an exit to ‘nowhere’ and parked. It being New Year’s Day I quickly prepared the black-eyed peas and rice traditional dinner, turned on the small portable propane heater and we got into bed with multiple layers of sleeping bags and blankets.

When I looked out the window this morning I saw that we’d gotten some snow and there were many tractor-trailers and cars parked on the shoulders of the road and around the exit where we were. Another RV was parked next to us.

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 002

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 003

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 004

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 006We were expecting to have a nice bowl of hot oatmeal for breakfast; however, it seems that there is a leak in the trailer propane system, so we were out of propane. And we also had to hold our breath that we had enough gas to get to Van Horn, TX – luckily we did!

As the day progressed, and the miles passed the weather conditions changed frequently. From snow to freezing rain, to clear to fog, to windy, to not windy, to more snow, or rain, to sunshine, to snow again. It was a very chaotic weather pattern.

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 019

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 020

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 022 cropped

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 026

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 030

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 034

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 037 cropped

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 045 cropped

 

Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, Highway 055 croppedI made a video of the snow showers in Arizona; however, I wasn’t able to insert it in this post. Will learn more about that later!

We arrived home in Tucson about 5:30 p.m. and unloaded our stuff. It was a long day, but we arrived safely, with a story to tell!

Oh, Beautiful Colorado!

I arrived yesterday at my destination, just south of Pagosa Springs, to camp host for the summer.  It was a long drive, and a long day.  The elevation is 7,070 feet, and I’ve been a little on the shaky side because of that.  I should soon be fine, though.

I’ve been into town twice already.  Yesterday for groceries and propane.  Today to look around and get information about where things are.  On the way to Albuquerque two days ago it was raining.  My windshield wipers decided to do their own thing, no matter what setting I put them on.  So I will be getting the wiper motor repaired or replaced soon.

On the way into town this morning I stopped to take these photos of the San Juan mountains.  Aren’t they glorious?  The other photos are from the RV park where I am staying.  The setting is just beautiful, although the entry into the place is down a steep dirt, rutted road.  I guess I’ll get used to it.  I got the trailer in, but I hope there’s no trouble getting it back out!

When I got here I was met by the welcoming committee, Dakota, Ginger, Trey, and Spot, the four dogs on the place.  They are very friendly.  Ginger especially likes the attention!  I also met one of the cats, the most social one, Katy.  And today I met the three ducks.

I found a great bakery in town and bought some homemade bread.  I stopped at the humane society thrift shop and bought a tension rod for the bathroom that I’ve been looking for for weeks now (none in the stores!)  I bought a bottle of peach schnapps and I also had lunch at one of the town’s restaurants – a chili burger open face hamburger sandwich with green chili sauce, mmmmmm!  Brought half of it home for dinner…

It’s still cold at night, below freezing.  I put water in my tank rather than unhook the hose every night.  And I set the furnace at 55 degrees and put an extra blanket on the bed.  The days have been warm and sunny, sometimes with a cool breeze, and sometimes with gusts that rock the trailer.  I guess it’s a mountain spring time.  I noticed that the trees haven’t started greening up here yet, but soon…

It has been fun having standard electricity again!  I’ve heated a couple of things in the microwave oven, run the furnace, and turned on lights that haven’t been used for two months.  I almost put the frig on ‘gas’ until I remembered I was ‘plugged in’!

So I’m settling in and will be on my own this coming weekend while the owners take a family ‘away’ time for the wife’s birthday.  While I do have internet access, I do not have any cell phone access here.  I will have to drive up to the ‘hill’ or into town to do my personal phoning.  The park office phone is available for local calls, however.

It Could Have Been Worse!

Wow!  As anyone in southwestern New Mexico knows, the winds were something else yesterday!  Where I am the gusts approached 70 miles per hour.  I think it’s a very good thing that I wasn’t exactly positioned for solar, with the panel facing south.  That would have put me broadside to the wind.  As it was, I had a ‘side-swiping’ wind on the front corner.

As you can see, the wind tried to unfurl the awning.  And it blew the blocks right out from under one of the stabilizers.  I hunkered down all day, staying inside.  Luckily the sun was shining so I could be online.  Actually, the wind was so intense that I couldn’t even open the door to get out.  I was able to crack the door open enough, though, to see what was happening to the awning.

The  trailer rocked and rolled pretty wildly, and the sound of the awning being buffeted made it feel worse than it actually was.  The winds today are supposed to be less intense; however, they began blowing early this morning.  I guess I need to wait until it’s much quieter, and if I can locate some help, I’ll rewind the awning before pulling out over the weekend.  I can do it myself, but it takes me longer than if two people do it.

Making Decisions

It’s interesting how something ‘comes’ to you and all of a sudden your plans change…

That happened to me on Friday, May 30. My rent – the fee for saving my spot for the year at this RV park, so I can return here as frugally as possible in October, after my trek to the Northwest – was due on June 1. Here it is – June 1 – and my plans have changed.

When I get back to Tucson I’ll be here just long enough to collect my things out of my storage shed, sell the shed, and head down the road to Deming, NM. Being very concerned about my financial picture, it pained me to have to part with nearly $4,000 to save my spot so I could live here six months out of the twelve I was paying for. I am a member of Loners on Wheels, and they have an RV park in Deming, where I can stay on a monthly basis for half the monthly cost of my current park. And I can have a storage space for one-fourth the cost of what a ‘public’ storage space would cost. Yes, concern for resources.

So, after making a call to the Loners park to get information, I went to the office to pay my rent for June only. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my rent was less than the published amount because it is ‘summer’. And I was further pleased that I am allowed to leave my storage shed on my site, with my stuff in it for a monthly fee comparable to what I would pay at an outside storage facility. For the cost of a standard winter monthly rate I will have my June rent and four months of storage paid for!

Another aspect of this decision is that this park, which is very nice, is mostly made up of residents who are paired – married, living together, etc. – and who are still into living in a regular home, even if it is a park model. Being a 55+ park many of the residents are quite a bit older. The newer folks coming into the park, who are younger, like me, come from the colder states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc. And they are still living the culturally acceptable lifestyle they were brought up with. The thought of living here another six months after my trip was suddenly unbearable! I saw that I needed to be with other RVers, who are also single, and enjoying the friendship of others who have the wanderlust.

Now, the thoughts about New Mexico, Deming, and Silver City and checking things out there weren’t new thoughts; however, I’d not made any movement toward that. It seemed that all the pieces finally came together in my brain, and I decided. It was quite an ‘aha’ moment for me! And after I put things in motion I felt so much better.

In the summer, the folks who live here year-round get together for a potluck dinner every Saturday. Last night, when I was talking about my new plan, I was asked if it wasn’t true that everything ‘fell into place’ because I’d spent time working on it. While I’d had the thoughts before, I hadn’t been working on anything in particular. So I feel that things fell into place because that is the door I’m to walk through.

I wrote my most favorite Desert Crone and my friend and beading teacher about my decision. She understands that there may be another ‘call’ for me in New Mexico. So we will have to spend as much time together as we can so I can learn everything she knows! Just in the last month or so I have become a ‘beading fool’! And I’ve sold two pieces before they were even finished. It’s amazing to me how, after almost 64 years of my life, I’ve discovered beading!

The Desert Crones of Tucson have been my family, and my inspiration. I just recently learned that a member who moved here from New York had the same elders teaching her Native American ways as I did. I came to Tucson via Denver, via Virginia, where I was instructed in Native ways. Our teachers were the same people!!! Awesome…The Crones is where I received my nurture, where I could really be myself and speak of things that most people find irreverent, heretical, and unbelievable. Not these ladies – they are warm and unconditionally loving. I will miss them most of all. Without knowing it they helped me through some of the most difficult times of losing Doc. I will carry their love with me as I begin my new life.