Good Bye Yuma
Trip Start Oct 14, 2013
35Trip End Apr 13, 2014
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Yuma to Heiskell (northern Knoxville, TN): 3368 km
Travelled through: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee
After 10 days travelling through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, we are in Knoxville, Tennessee. Our second day on the road we took a side trip through New Mexico, past the White Sands Missile site, and visited the White Sands National Monument. It should be a 'Wonder of the World'; the sand is water soluble gypsum and has the texture of sea salt but because of the area’s dryness the sand does not dissolve. We drove on sand roads between gigantic sand dunes and then stopped so we could climb one of the dunes. There were people lying under huge beach umbrellas, others flying kites, and others sliding down the dunes. It was like being at the beach, yet there was not any water, anywhere
Our stop the next day was in Roswell, site of a "UFO" crash in 1947. We went to the UFO museum and to some of the many UFO souvenir shops on the main street. The museum was rather interesting, presenting photo, affidavits, and other mementos of the event. Greg and I left there more confused than when we arrived. Aliens? UFOs? Military cover-up? The truth is out there somewhere…
The scenery along our route in New Mexico was incredible. We travelled up mountains that lead us to the high plains: vast areas of flat uninhabited land. We dodged tumbleweeds throughout this area. Then we drove through forested areas, the first trees that we had seen in months. We still hadn’t seen any bodies of water, just small streams but we did see snow in the mountains.
The towns along our route through Texas were comprised of huge cattle yards and dairy ranches. One of the towns was actually called Hereford.
Then on to Oklahoma
We had fantastic weather along much of the way, that is, up until Arkansas. Then the severe weather warnings started: thunderstorms, baseball sized hail, tornados. We were listening to the weather every chance we got. When we stopped for the night in Russellville, Arkansas, the gentleman in the campground office told us that if the weather became too severe we could spend the night in the laundry room. Thankfully it wasn’t necessary.
The bad weather didn’t catch up to us until we were Jackson, Tennessee
We decided to stay in Knoxville, Tennessee a couple days to relax before we make the dreaded big left turn, the one that takes us north. We shopped in Camping World, the mecca for RVers, shopped at a consignment sale, similar but on a smaller scale than the consignment sale in Oklahoma City. We also visited the Appalachia Museum. This museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute and has an incredible display of Appalachian artifacts. The museum is set up as an Appalachian village. The founder moved actual homes, stores, mills, barns, a school, a jail, and other buildings that were built in the early 1800s from areas around Knoxville to the museum site. Greg and I spent over 3 hours there since there was just so much to see.
Tomorrow we leave Knoxville and head north. We are hoping that the weather cooperates, ie, no snow!