Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2 Days...664 Miles...1 Day...0 Miles

Day 1 (Sunday, April 2, 2013) 361 Miles

For two people who do not know exactly where they are going we are moving fast. Well maybe fast is not the right word it is more like slow and steady but we are putting the miles behind us. We really try not to spend more then 4 hours on any given day driving and that is about 200 or so miles for us. Every once and a while though things do not work out as planned...what a surprise.

(Most of the pictures below were taken through the front windshield. You will notice spots in the pictures, even though Tom did clean the windshield twice, bugs just kept flying into the windshield.)

Pointing the nose of the Singer B East.
It is official we are heading back to the UP.

A tiny wildflower making its way up
through the gravel in the park.

Jarbo Pass elevation 2330 feet
The mountain directory says it is a narrow, windy road...and
it is. It says it is a 4% grade the sign said 6%.
For the passenger the views are wonderful.

Past the downhill ride the road ahead stretches off into the distance.

Fields on both sides of the road.

Stopped at Holt's Shell in Gila Bend for diesel and lunch.
We always take pictures of the dinosaurs so I decided to
take something a little different. One dinosaur did sneak in.

Okay, I had to take a picture
of at least one little dinosaur.

Back on the road we are driving through the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The Saguaros can be seen as far as the eye can see. Plus the yellow along the side of I-8 is beautiful.
(From what I have read the Saguaros bloom from late April through early June. The flowers open at night and each one only lasts about 24 hours. I would love to be here one time to see them blooming it must be beautiful.)

Merging onto I-10

Driving through the Tucson Area.

Goodbye Saguaros.

It is hard to see them in the picture but they are there.
Prickly Pear cactus as far as I could see in the distance.

We decided to stop at the Walmart in Benson for the night. As soon as we pulled in we remembered having tried this before with the 5th Wheel and hopefully now that we have done it twice we will not pull in here again. The woman I talked to said the store's policy allows us to park overnight out on the edges of the parking lot as long as we are out of the way. She said there are signs saying no overnight parking and the city police do patrol the parking lot but have never given out tickets unless there is a problem with the visitors. She then added there is a dirt area in the front of the store which belongs to Walmart and we would be welcome to park there, also. (FYI: In our opinion this is not a good choice for a large rig. The only type of RV that would really work here is one that fits in a regular parking space.)

This is our 5th time driving through here and the
awesomeness of the large boulders is still amazing.
( This is the Dragoon Rest Area and are back-up
plan for tonight's stop . I will only say parking
issues made this impossible and we kept going.)

When I mentioned we move along slow and steady I was
not exaggerating. To be in the left lane passing someone
is very unusual. What we usually see through the windshield
is other rigs in the left lane passing us.

We ended our day parked in the San Simon Rest Area, the last one in Arizona.

Day 2 (Monday, April 3, 2017) 303 Miles

The "plan" this morning was not to repeat yesterday. It included spending the night at the rest stop just before Las Cruces at mile marker 135. It sounded like a wonderful plan...the road runner...picnic tables to cook dinner at...and looking down over the lights of Las Cruces after dark. It did not include checking the weather ahead only to find out it was going to be very windy ahead of did not include driving through El Paso under windy did not include ending our day in Van Horn, TX . Guess what, that is exactly where we are at the Desert Willow RV Park in Van Horn, TX and where we will stay until Wednesday morning. They are under a high wind warning until tomorrow evening and we are ready to not move. One good thing both days we were parked in a spot, for the night, before dark.

We made it to the "New Mexico Welcomes You" sign and
pulled over. The Stinger B "requested coolant. So while Tom
took care of the request I had the chance to take the best
welcome to the state sign I have ever gotten.
(Picture from Facebook post, Arizona is in our rear view mirror.)

Spotted these little wildflowers, while I walked around.

We are lucky enough to say we have never experienced a
day so windy this has been an issue as we drive this corridor
of I-10 in New Mexico.

The yellow is a field of wildflowers. 

I managed a picture of the Continental Divide
 on purpose this time.
Scenery of today's ride.

We pulled into the rest stop, we had originally thought we would park at for the night, it was windy and with the predicted winds decided after a brief walk around to keep going. As you can see in the pictures below the spot is up a hill overlooking Las Cruces.

The Roadrunner
He is made of refuse from a local dump and is 20 feet tall
 and 40 feet wide. He was refurbished by his creator, Olin
Calk, and put back in place at the rest area in 2014. He is

 perched on a fake rock. 
This rest area is only accessible going east.

The roadrunner can be seen from I-10.

First you see the sign that you are leaving New Mexico,
second you can see the large star, and then
Welcome to Texas.

Driving through El Paso.

We are now only about 20 minutes away from our stop for the next couple of days. The sun behind us is lighting up the mountains ahead and making wonderful shadows in the mountains and across the highway as we close in on the end of our day.

Interesting side note: As we traveled down I-10 today a grey and silver Wanderlodge passed us; at the time Tom mentioned it looked just like one that was parked near us in Frankenmuth, MI back in October. That same Wanderlodge was parked at the Las Cruces Rest Area when we got there and we pulled in and parked next to them this evening. The owner came out to talk to us because they had remembered seeing us twice today, also. During the course of the conversation Tom mentioned seeing a Wanderlodge just like theirs in Frankenmuth last October. Well it turns out they were in fact parked near us in Frankenmuth, he seemed surprised he didn't remember seeing us, he had just mentioned he had never seen a rig like ours before. The thing is back in October we were still in the Crusader. It turns out they are from Lower Michigan...again it is a small world. After exchanging cards I could hear Tom and him talking a little longer. It was nice meeting you Geoff, hope to run into you and Marita sometime down the road. On last note, they are traveling in a beautiful Wanderlodge call the Greygoose.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

So here we sit "rocking and a rolling" in the wind. It did not start in the middle of the night as predicted but by this afternoon it was in full force. We can see dust in the distance all around us and are glad we made the decision to stop for the day. After two days of pushing it we needed this break.

As mentioned above, we are at the Desert Willow RV Park & Campground in Van Horn, TX  the owners are very nice and accommodating and the park is well maintained. It is definitely a park we would pull into again, for the night, in this area. Most of the sites are good size pull-thrus, the Stinger B is 40 feet long and we tow a Jeep Trailhawk, and we would not have to unhook to park here. This is currently a Passport America park and the cost for the night including tax was $14. Included in that price is cable, WiFi, and 50 amp full hook ups. If we had to be stuck some place because of the weather this is not a bad place to be. Though, since, it is mostly dirt and some grass in the wind it is a little dusty.

The wind, according to the weather predictors, will let up by morning and we will continue our trek east and veer somewhat north on I-20 towards Whitney, TX. When we purchased the Stinger B Lazy Days gave us 14 free days of camping at the Thousand Trails RV parks and we have never visited the Ft. Worth/Dallas/Waco area so we thought this would be a good opportunity. When we stopped for lunch in Lordsburg, NM yesterday we made reservations starting Friday. We have a short term plan for heading back to the Upper Peninsula.

As I was getting ready to add this picture to tonight's blog...

the clouds turned a beautiful pink as the last of
today's sunlight hit them.

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”
— Dr. Seuss / Oh the Places You Will Go

Hope you enjoyed your day.
We would love to hear from you, if you have a moment please leave a comment.


  1. You are making good time, just moving right along. Travel safe.

    1. Just a little faster then we planned the first two
      You two stay safe, also.

  2. Sometimes Dr. Seuss nails it, eh? You are the ones who decides how far you go and where you go in a given amount of time. We found the same thing our first couple of real travel days. Stay safe and I'm glad you said goodbye to the Saguaros like I did. :)

    1. He sure does...:)
      I always feel a little sad when I know we have seen the last of the Saguaros. Yet, I know there will be more wonderful things to see ahead. We have reached North Central Texas and the we are starting to see Bluebonnets along the side of the highway.