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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Open Road, The Dusty Highway

Howdy from Interstate 10! We hit the road on the 4th of July, celebrating our independence from conventional life as we towed our new home behind us. There's something comforting and strange about always being home. And seeing all this new terrain, driving through parts of Texas, New Mexico and now Arizona, is widening my sense of being -something I knew would happen as we embraced a mobile lifestyle. When "home" isn't any one particular spot -a place grounded and firm in location- then the whole world becomes your home. It's kind of like finally being okay in your own skin. Actually, it's exactly like that.

But enough philosophizing. On with the story telling!

We left Georgetown at noon (on the dot) on Sunday and headed down I-35 towards I-10 to make our cross-country journey to Escondido, CA. With anticipation equivalent to an 8 year old on their way to Disneyland, we pulled into Camping World in New Braunfels. We'd been eagerly eyeing various Camping World store locations ever since we got the RV itch (a contagious virus, but you'll like it!) and now -yes, now!- we were about to enter and see all the fun things we could outfit our new home with. Unfortunately we were less than wowed. But despite the smaller assortment of items than anticipated, we enjoyed our time browsing and Wilder had a blast running all over the store and driving me crazy.
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Brian hadn't slept in over 24 hours, so we found a KOA campground in Junction, TX around 7pm and set up camp. What a place! Right on the N. Llano River, complete with swimming pool, playground, ducks and ducklings (just 17 days old), plenty of shade trees and the friendliest groundskeepers ever -we LOVED our site and decided it would make an ideal long weekend jaunt for future travels. Wilder delighted himself with hours of rock throwing and chased the ducks into their pen -frightening the crap out of them (and a few laid eggs, I'm sure.) This place was perfect for us. And we even got to see Junction's surprisingly brilliant firework display!

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More rock throwing was on the schedule for Monday morning while Brian prepped and packed the RV. We hit the road around 11am and so began the most adventurous part of our journey yet. West Texas doesn't have much in it. Not even gas stations. And there's the crux of our adventure. With half a tank of gas, we unwittingly passed the last town for HOURS. Gas stations were nowhere to be found and we slowly watched our truck countdown the estimated miles left before we'd be Fred Flinstone-ing our vehicle and RV. Nothing on the horizon. Nothing. The gas meter was at rock bottom, our truck's fancy computer told us we had zero miles left, yet on we kept going. Let me tell ya, the tension was thicker than Elmer's paste (the kind kids ate out of the jar at school.) "But what's that? Do you see it?! A GAS STATION! TWO GAS STATIONS!! Oh, I HOPE we can make it! C'mon, Bessy, C'mon old girl -you can make it, even though you're pessimistically telling us you've got nothin' left." We pulled in to a Chevron and jumped for joy! Brian was ready to bust out his running shoes, watching the road signs that told us the next town was 12 miles ahead -while I truck read 2 miles left until empty. The sneakers stayed in the trailer and we celebrated the few extra miles of grace Ford built into it's tank reader. (It took all of my self control not telling the gruff lady at the cash register how overwhelmingly glad I was that they had a gas station RIGHT HERE!)

Phew! That adventure done with, we continued west and on the horizon spied mountains. Oh my goodness, MOUNTAINS! The limestone hills of Texas were a neat site to see with the obvious layers of sediment created from years under the ocean, but these mountain ranges were so unexpected (to me, at least.) And then came the Rio Grande, passing through El Paso and seeing Juarez just across the way. It was fascinating being so close to Mexico -just a rock's through, really- but we kept driving. I'm not too much for rock throwing, that's Wilder's specialty.

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We made it to Lordsburg, New Mexico and stayed at another KOA site. We knew we'd arrive late, so I called to make a reservation and ask about late check in during a moment of quiet, sandwiched between the 2 kids in the back seat. As SOON as the gentleman on the other end of the line answered, ERUPTION of CHOAS! Ho-ly-COW. I was shoving binkis, bottles, milk cups, scooping up toys, blankets -anything to try to keep the kids quiet while I gave our information to a man I could hardly understand (thick accent) who could barely hear me over the screaming children. Why is it the single moment you truly need quiet it becomes a war zone? Parents, you know what I'm talkin' about. As frustrating as it was, I found it completely hilarious. Oh, funny, funny.

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Another night down; it's Tuesday morning and we're now in Arizona. This morning while Wilder enjoyed New Mexico's fine rock selection as Brian prepped for travel, I was amazed by the dryness of the air. In Texas, you stick your hand out the window for two seconds and it's covered in dew. Here, my palms were sweating and it evaporated in 2 seconds. I wanted to put on my running shoes and see what it was like not being drenched in humidity and sweat. Talk about a dry run...

I left my camera connections in the RV, but I'll upload pictures soon -oh, I can't wait! Wilder terrorizing the ducks, the fascinating mountains, the enormous rock mounds we're driving by right now -so much to share!

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So, how do we like our RV life so far? It may be in the honeymoon faze still, but we're really -truly and seriously- liking it. And the adventures continue...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about you guys. Glad to hear that it is going well.

Katie C

Anonymous said...

You can bet I'll be sittin' by the "radio" to hear your next travel log story. Happy Trails! Love, Mama

I AM JOE PESCI said...

So sad we weren't in AZ to hang with you guys. Next time!!

Loving the adventures so far. Keep 'em coming!

Levonne said...

You are having an adventure! My husband and I left Tucson eleven months ago to have an RV adventure. We're campground hosting in Morro Bay, California currently. If you have a few minutes, drop by for a visit. My blogs are The Camp Host Housewife's Meanderings and Levonne's Pretty Pics.

ginamurrow said...

So glad to read an update! You should also keep a log of funny things any of you say as you go along. Quotable quotes!

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