Monday, November 24, 2008

THE DAY STARTED OUT OK, BUT...............



Another cold 32F degree morning with frost on everything, but no wind, so not too bad. Quick doggy walk in the park, packed up the motorhome, dumped the tanks, & we were on the road by 8 o'clock. The land is very flat here just like the Canadian prairies with gently rolling hills and the road from Brownfield to Roswell New Mexico is as straight as an arrow with little traffic. We would drive for miles & miles & never see another vehicle. Grasslands with scrub brush & very few trees. It is the land of the huge Buffalo herds a hundred years ago. A quiet land, a peaceful land.

Saw the dim line of our first mountain through a thick haze along the far horizon. Probably 75 miles away & about an hour later we rolled into Roswell, New Mexico. I knew exactly where Wal-Mart was because we had spent a night in their lot early last March on our way home from the west. When you travel in a solitary mode like we do without a lot of human contact along the way it's always kind of nice walking into the big Wal-Mart stores with all it's hustle & bustle & people skittering around to & fro. Wal-Mart is where we get the majority of our groceries while traveling.
Gassed up at the Wal-Mart gas bar as well & according to Kelly's calculations we have spent about $200 less in our first week of travel than we did last year in our first week of travel. Our grocery expenses are down over last year as well. Average gas prices we encountered have been around $1.89 a gallon. Didn't fill the gas tank because we had some moderate mountains to go over so lighter is better.
The drive from Roswell up into the foothills is a gentle climb & it soon becomes apparent the plains are behind us as we see forests of pine trees beginning to fill the fields & roadside ahead of us. We roll through towns like Picacho & Hondo. Soon we are in Ruidoso, birthplace of Billy The Kid. Mount Sierra Blanca is near here. We reached the summit of Apache Pass & began our gentle descent to the picturesque little town of Tularosa. Another 14 miles south we were at our destination for the day, Alamogordo New Mexico. Another RV couple we had met in Brownfield told us there was free RV camping at the fairgrounds in Alamogordo so that's where we went, pulled in, & quickly pulled right back out again because the whole fairgrounds parking lot had just been coated in small crushed stones & fresh oil. What a mess that would have been!! Well, plan B. Noticed a State Park about 12 miles south of Alamogordo on the highway to El Paso Texas so that's where we headed.

Oliver Lee State Park is a great little place with 48 privately quiet sites about 4 miles east off the highway & snuggled right up against a mountain range. Found a neat-o site with a view of the whole valley floor below & nobody near us. We were on the eastern side of the large valley & the San Andres mountain range was on the far distant horizon to the west. The White Sands Missile range was to our north. Unhooked the car & drove the rig onto the slightly uneven site. Put the right hand levelers down on the passenger side of the coach but it was a little more uneven than I thought so decided to retract the levelers, put some blocks of wood under them & re-level. When I got out to get the blocks I noticed the rear leveler had not retracted & no matter what I did I could not get that leveler to come up. Big problem 10-4!!!! The motorhome was now immovable & I had visions of huge expenses coming up because it looked like were going to need the assistance of tow truck personal with experience in dealing with hydraulic problems. Not a nice way to finish an otherwise real fine day. Nothing we could do about it to-day so now I can now I get to lay awake all night & worry about the problem. RVing......ya just gotta love it!!



Will add new photos to the photo album shortly..........


  1. We stayed at Oliver Lee for a week a few years ago. Great place but hot in June and look out if the wind comes down the hills. Blows cactus needles right thru you.

  2. The Great Plains is under-estimated, I think. Everything sounds prettier in Spanish--"despoblado" might be the right word for the west Texas that you just drove through. Depopulated.