We left San Jose on a bright sunny Halloween morning. What a beautiful day to be on the open road. We stopped for lunch at Casa de Fruita before heading over Pacheco Pass. Our waiter was a bit grizzly but provided service with a smile.
We arrived at one of our favorite RV parks – Orange Grove RV Park off of Hwy 58 on the East side of Bakersfield. The staff were very friendly, facilities were clean and the spaces roomy, with long pull throughs.
Sunday found us setting out to see one of the “famous” sites in Bakersfield-Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. We had a very nice brunch and enjoyed the Buck Owens museum.
Due to rain and windy road conditions we decided to hang out in Bakersfield a few days. We were able to get some needed errands done. One of the best things about staying for a few extra days was learning Bakersfield is known for its Basque food. What a pleasant surprise. We had a fantastic lunch at one of the local favorites – the Wool Growers Restaurant. So good and more food than we could possibly eat. Thank goodness for to go boxes.
Tomorrow the storms will pass and we will continue our travels to New Mexico.
Headed out of El Paso today for Deming, NM. Thankfully we only wanted to go as far as Deming, the winds rose fast and it would have been very hard to continue on. Traffic in El Paso was easy since we followed sage advice Connie’s Aunt Nikki gave her “Drive between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. to miss the Mad Rush in the San Francisco Bay Area.” We applied her advice and glided through El Paso. We did see a big rig brake in front of us and start swerving to the left. With disbelief we saw this yellow 18 wheeler heading against traffic on the highway.
OMGosh!!! Then we realized it was actually moving with traffic and being towed. WHEW!!! When we were closer we did see small flashing red lights on the trucks grill. You would think they would have REALLY BIG RED LIGHTS. I’m sure the truck driver and us were not the only folks freaked out. Even the rest stop Roadrunner took a second look.
We did luck out once we arrived in Deming. We found a new restaurant the “Rancher’s Grill”. The steak was some of the best we have had in a long time, and the salad bar was fantastic.
The restaurant is easily accessible with plenty of parking in the back for an RV.
We rode out the windy day at an Escapees Park “Dreamcatcher RV” in Deming. It is a quiet park with level gravel parking, clean restrooms/showers, and friendly people.
Tuesday, April 29th
We woke up this morning with howling winds – surprise, surprise! We also woke up to missed phone calls from ADT (our home security system). The house alarm went off around midnight, and we both missed the call. So did our good friend Matthew who is our contact when we are away. When ADT could not get in touch with any of us they had the local Sheriff check and secure the house. The Sheriff report said the front door was wide open but nothing seemed to be disturbed. Maybe the wind blew the door open or someone was scared off by the alarm. Big sigh of relief as we decided to head straight home with out any other stops.
The winds were still blowing hard, but Connie handled them like a champ. Lisa has stopped at a restaurant in Lordsburg, NM every year on her way to and from Dallas. Connie was nice enough to forego breakfast (we each had a banana) so we could eat at one of Lisa’s favorite restaurants. Kranberry’s is a nice place with both American and Mexican food on the menu. They have some pretty good baked goods, too. Like brownies, cobblers, sticky and cinnamon buns. (I know it seems like all we did was drive and eat. Yep, pretty much.) If you are ever driving through Lordsburg we highly recommend stopping in for a bite to eat.
After a great lunch, we continued on I-10 west past Wilcox and then turned off on HWY 191 South towards the house. Arizona Lizards were back in the familiar landscape and dry conditions of the desert. Ahhhhhhhhh. That means the house was not far away.
We made it home in time to enjoy a quiet evening without the thought of another windy days drive!
Wednesday, April 29th
Up and about early. We have a lot to accomplish by the time the Auctioneers arrive on the 26th of May to start tagging the items in the house. We made time for breakfast at the Morning Star Cafe. This is one of the places we will definitely miss once we leave Arizona.
Once home from breakfast it was time to assess the property and see the changes that were taking place.
One of the first tasks to take care of – getting rid of a heck of a lot of splattered Texas bugs from the front of the RV. Connie usually does this, but today Lisa and Pepper took it on (not that Pepper was a lot of help). While Pepper supervised, Lisa scrubbed away (er, Pepper was slacking off and sleeping) and Connie started working in the yard.
Once the front was shiny and clean we put the window Magna Shades in place to help keep the sun out and the curtains from further deterioration.
It was great to get back to the house and find another lizard soaking up the sun.
That is all for now. Will post more in a few days.
Spent a nice day relaxing and doing laundry at the Fort Stockton RV Park. We decided to stay put due to the increased winds in west Texas. With wind gusts upwards of 45 – 50 miles an hour it is like driving a giant billboard down the highway. Ok maybe a slight exaggeration.
One of the few things we will miss about living in a sticks and bricks house (S&B) is our own washer and dryer. I (Lisa) seem to lose at least one thing every time I go to the laundry mat. Usually Connie’s socks. (You can tell when Connie adds to the narrative). This time it was Miss Pepper’s stylish sleep shirt. Yes, we do put a sleep shirt on her at night when it will be cold out. It is actually a Thunder Shirt, they are made to be snug around her little body calming her down during storms.
We really enjoyed the Roadrunner Cafe at the park, liked it enough to eat 2 dinners and a breakfast there. They have a small menu and the food was excellent. One of the things we both enjoyed was the vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce included with dinner. It reminded us of our childhood. It is nice to find “Mom and Pop” cafes on the road. Reminds us of our own local “Mom and Pop” restuarant the “Morning Star Cafe” owned by Brenda and Matthew Pratt in Palominas, Arizona.
Saturday, April 25th
Left fairly early this morning, we thought a short trip to Van Horn (120 miles) could be done before the afternoon winds picked up. Once near Van Horn we made the unfortunate decision to continue on to Sierra Blanca, Texas – only another 33 miles up the interstate. What a mistake! According to our old version of “The Next Exit” there are two RV parks in Sierra Blanca; but both seemed to be closed. Actually the whole town looked closed!!! Dead!!! Nada!!! So decided to keep on moving West to El Paso. It is only about another hour; however, we were caught in some very high winds which made the trip seem longer more difficult and our bodies down right weary. Thankfully, Connie was at the wheel and she handled the winds very well.
Lisa did a stint of driving earlier in the day. (Don’t worry we won’t bore you with to many driving pictures).
We made it into El Paso at about 4:00 PM and stayed at Mission RV Park.
Sunday, April 26th
The weather for today between El Paso and Deming, New Mexico was again very windy. Been there, done that. So we decided to get back on the road tomorrow (Monday). Slept in today, went out for breakfast, stocked up on groceries and replaced Peppers Thunder Shirt.
After a great time birding and meeting new friends in the Mission, Texas area it was time to head home. We felt rushed on the way to the hop and that is NOT the way we want to travel. Our bodies are much happier when we take our time and go slow. We decided not to rush in any way on the way back to Arizona. We have plenty of time to make it back by the 1st of May, so will go slow. We headed out late Sunday morning and spent the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Alice, Texas. We had stayed there on the way down, so figured it would be a known stop on the way back.
Monday, April 20th
It was on to the Escapees Park in Hondo. Fairly equitable day of sharing the driving. Connie drove further than I did but not by much. I made a mistake and forgot to put the gas cap back on the RV when we filled up with gas so had to go find a new one upon arrival in Hondo. Lucky for me, the local Napa had one in stock. We decided to spend two nights here and rest up a little. We really are not into driving hard every day and want to enjoy the journey. On Tuesday we took the CRV for a drive around the area and ended up in Castroville, TX. Castroville was settled by folks from the Alsace region of France. We wanted to try Haby’s Bakery, and boy are we glad we drove there. What a place, if you are ever near Castroville you really need to give it a try. On Wednesday we left the Escapees Park and travelled to Sonora, Texas. Another parking lot night. The drive from Hondo to Sonora was pretty windy and at times rainy; it was also very pretty with all the Texas wildflowers on the back roads.
Thursday, April 23
Hard day of travel in the winds today. We had thought we would make it to Balmorhea State Park. Unfortunately, the winds that come roaring over the plains had other plans. Connie drove the first 75 miles and I was due to drive the next. The winds were to strong for me so Connie took over and got us the rest of the way to Ft. Stockton. Very difficult to control the RV when the wind is blowing hard enough to send it off the road. We settled in to an RV park on the outskirts of Fort Stockton and made arrangements to stay until Saturday morning. We are hoping that by staying we might miss some of the super strong winds between here and Van Horn. It is supposed to be blowing in excess of 40 mph on Friday and later Saturday afternoon. If we get out of here early enough Saturday we can beat the late afternoon winds to Van Horn. Pepper took all of the wind and hard driving in her usual “it is a riding day” style.
We are hard at work preparing to go full time. We are hoping to be out of the house and on the road by April 1st. In order to accomplish this we need to complete the following: decide what each of us is taking, storing and getting rid of; get the house ready for the auction house to come and take everything we are not keeping; prepare the house to be put on the market; and prepare the RV to go.
It is going to be a lot of hard work and some hard decisions but I am positive we can make it.