A Day of Extremes...

Trip Start Dec 31, 2012
Trip End May 04, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Friday, April 19, 2013

As some of you know, when we left Texas and headed for New Mexico, we hit the wind and dust storm of our lives.  I had stopped in Las Cruces to get our dash air conditioning fixed.  It took about three hours out of our day.  As we headed out into the vicious wind toward Deming, we saw the sign: Road Closed Ahead.

Instead of driving to the closure, we pulled off beyond the right shoulder into a fairly level sandy spot, behind another motorhome and a Semi.  Before long, several other Semis had done the same along the shoulder of I-10.  We cooled our heels for awhile in the protection of the rigs surrounding us, turned on the generator and AC and relaxed.  I called NMDOT and visited with a woman who told us the reason: high winds and zero visibility.

As time passed, dinnertime approached, so we had a nice meal of leftovers.  I could get the internet easily with the phone, so spent some time there and reading.  Lynn read.  Suddenly, after about four hours of downtime, the rigs ahead of us took off down the road.  We hesitated, but were soon in the swing of things too.  But, it was not to be so easy... We were gridlocked for another hour or so and watched the sun set over the dust-filled horizon.

Finally the traffic started to move, as full darkness came about.  I'd never driven Shorty at night, so I was a bit apprehensive.  I'd wager that at least a hundred Semis passed us as we drove at what I thought a reasonable pace.  The wind hadn't let up much.

Finally we struggled over the thirty miles to our exit to Rockhound State Park.  Then the excitement really began.  A two lane road with a vague centerline and darkness...  We made it to the next turn, but missed it.  We easily turned around in an area that many others had used before us.  

Finally we got to the campground shrouded in darkness.  No lights anywhere were to be found to guide us.  After talking with a couple of other campers, we unhitched Sooby and found our site.  A nice level spot it was, and very welcome.  As I came in after hooking up the water and power, all we could do was laugh!  We've seen it all now, so far.  Tornado warnings, rain, wind, dust and wild drivers were in the mix.  But, those you who really know me, know that I'm a man of faith.  It got me through it all again.

The next morning it was calm and sunny, albeit cool.  We took a nice hike on the Thunder Egg Trail and another trail to the Visitors Center.  It's the driest we've ever seen here.  Most of the cacti are dormant and the Creasote bushes' leaves are crisp and dry.  Only the plants near the campsites are in a normal state with the extra water they receive.  

I got some pics which I will edit and post on http://flickr.com/photos/ralphieboyo.  They include some taken along the highway in the wind and dust, plus some of our hike.  Many will be deleted later on.  I put them there just to let you all know what we've experienced.  I'd appreciate if you give them a look.  They should be up by later this evening.

We drove into Deming last eve and wend to the "Si Seņor" Mexican Restaurant.  After I wrote about Lynn's Enchilada Casserole, my nephew in Sand Point Idaho got hungry.  He did a search and found this restaurant, which was highly recommended.  I have to say that it was good, but not as good as it sounded.  I'd give it a B.

We left Rockhound at nine AM.  Our trip was about a hundred and fifty miles.  As we again entered Arizona, we gained an hour at San Simon Rest Area.  As you may know, AZ does not practice Daylight Time.  Not a bad thing, but it surely messed up my lunch!

We're now in Willcox, AZ at the Sagebrush RV Park where we stayed in 2011 to visit the Chiracahua National Monument and watch the Sandhill Cranes.  It's under new management and very friendly.

Lynn did the laundry and I vacuumed the coach.  Then we dusted and washed away the dust that we had collected over the last few days.  With that extra hour, we got a lot done. Lynn is happy.  I am tired.

We'll go into Tucson tomorrow to a new Park and then look at newer motorhomes.  We're still excited to see what's available.  Check back later for the photos.  It will fill in the story.
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Dennis on

Sounds like harrowing day that you are glad is over. Relax and enjoy.

Dennis on

Loved the hummingbird shots.

ferdie on

JeeeeeZ.....WHAT A TIME YOU HAD! Glad you finally got to your destination! To bad it is so dry and everything is parched! Got to 50 here today, didn't feel like it at all! I miss the sun coming out and staying out! Take care and look forward to the pics!

cherie on

We were in a heck of a dust storm in hoenix May 8th--50 MPH winds. SOme folks told us about 1 25 car/semi pileup from the storm between Tuscon and Phoenix that afternoon due to zero visibility so we can imagine what it was like

Mary C. on

I don't envy your journey today...that one picture looked like you were on I-5 in Seattle at rush hour during a dust storm. I had to go get a drink of ice water just lookin' at it! I guess the only thing worse would have to have been all alone.

Mike Noble on

So you got to "experience" one of the infamous Texas/New Mexico dust storms---good thing you pulled over.. It was one of those that ripped the top carrier you sold me off of my Toyota a couple years ago. Anyway, you are safely in AZ now. We woke up to yet another morning of snow...lucky us. However, the weather forecast is indicating 70 by this Saturday. Lot of activity here with Hailey's upcoming wedding shower...and much company. Talk soon.

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