Monday, December 31, 2018

A Long Day Brought Us to Deming, NM

December 30, 2018

Before you start to read this post I give you fair warning there is picture over load and all of them were taken through the windshield of the Stinger "B" which got dirtier as the day progressed.

It was about 7:35AM when we pulled out of Santa Rosa Campground.
The sun was shining and the sky was blue.

About 10 minutes later we were driving up the ramp and on to I-40.

The roadway looked pretty good and traffic was moving.
We did see this trailer in the median the tractor was gone.
Hopefully, that means the driver was okay.

Then ahead we could see this cars, RV's and semis as far as we could see.

This was pretty much our view for the next 2 hours.
We saw quite a few semis pulled over and stopped on the shoulder.
We watched one pull a sheriff"s truck out of the ditch.
I for whatever reason watched and never took a picture. 

A couple of pictures of what we were riding on.

These signs were out our window for a long time today.
Lots of money spent on billboards.

At one point I wanted to check how fast we were moving.
Only 8 minutes to go that mile.

Towards the end the roadway was completely covered and then
we could see some of it was melting.

Then the roadway was fairly clear and traffic started to move again.
A note: the traffic going East was moving pretty steady this whole time.

Then there was another short slow down and we saw this.  They were being
pulled out as we went by and we could see the couple in the truck..
From what we could see their rig was fine, also.
There was also a semi on the other side of them.

Another slow down this time when we got to the reason we found two wreckers
in the right lane getting ready to pull a semi out of the ditch.
Again I failed to take a picture.

A 4% grade but the road was pretty dry by this time.

About 25 miles west of Albuquerque it really was beautiful driving through here.

Finally going through Albuquerque.

Then ahead our exit.

After 5 and a half hours of driving, this time includes a stop for diesel, we turned South on to I-25 and clear dry pavement. It was beautiful to see.

We had heard that Belen had gotten quite a bit of snow and as we
drove by we could see that was true. You cannot tell in the pictures but
the trees and bushes were beautifully covered in the white stuff.
The roadway though was still clear and dry.

If we could have taken the cut across we would have come out right by this
RV Park. We have stayed here in the past.

Stopping for lunch.

We saw quite a few of these signs today..

The roadway is still clear as we drive through Nogal Canyon.

Then there was no more of the white stuff.

Turning onto NM 26 towards Hatch, NM the Chili Capitol and Deming, NM.

The sun setting on what ended up being a beautiful day.

I have no quote for today. We are just thankful for the prayers and good wishes we received on here and  Facebook they are what we truly believe brought us safely through. We are grateful for the total slowdown that kept us all safe driving through the icy conditions. We had heard there were several bad accidents along this stretch during this storm  so, yes, we truly are thankful for that. The best part was this slowdown was not caused by an accident.
I am personally thankful that Tom had the confidence and belief that everything would be okay, he said it to me several times those first 5 and a half hours. He drove for a good 2 hours in icy road conditions, granted we were moving slowly but it was icy and snow packed just the same and knowing I was scared he remained calm the whole time. It was a long day driving for him but he got us to Deming, NM safe and sound.
All of us who drive/ride in RV's, just like the semis, encounter a lot close calls with vehicles on the roadway and adding bad road conditions does not help but except for one vehicle who kept switching lanes everyone else riding next to us today seemed to just accept this is what it was and there was no changing it.  (By the way we never lost sight of that vehicle until the roadway opened up in front of us.)

One last note: we will never come this way, at this time of the year, again. It does not matter what the weather guessers predict we will not do it. We have learned a valuable lesson.

So that was our yesterday. In the end a good day. 
We hope  you had a good memory making day.
Within the hour we will be merging on to I-10 and making our way to Arizona. 
We are glad you took the time to stop by and see what we are up to.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Sun was Shining in Santa Rosa

December 29, 2018

We were both up around 6:30AM this morning and once the sun was up we had blue skies and sunshine. Tom made the coffee and we sat and enjoyed our caffeine while we discussed if we should stay another day or head out. We decided to give the roads one more day and wait until tomorrow.
Around 10:00AM I decided to take a walk and snap a couple of pictures. It was surprisingly not to bad walking considering the temperature was at 20 degrees. It probably helped that I had a chook, mittens, boots, and winter jacket on. Plus, the sun was shining. Tom was busy adding some water to the Stinger "B" and talking with a neighbor. They are a young couple traveling home from Arkansas and live in Albuquerque. To get this close to home and not be able to travel the last 90 miles, now that is frustrating.

By this evening there were several rigs parked in here.

Looking back at the Stinger "B".

Empty when I took this but throughout the afternoon several rigs pulled in.

Nice white fluffy snow. It was twinkling in the sun light.

At least Tom's beer is cold.
Though he is down to his last three.

The Stinger "B" looking all shiny in the sunshine.
From a distance she looks so clean.

We spent a good part of the afternoon playing Gin. A card game we have played a lot over the years while camping. It was a game even our kids enjoyed. If we were camping we were playing Gin. When we bought the Crusader, our 5th wheel, we started keeping score in a notebook. One of these days I should go through and see who has won the most games. Right now while we have played here in Santa Rosa we are tied at two wins each.

So that was our day and we enjoyed it.
Hope you had an enjoyable day, also.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

According to our weather app there is another storm coming in tomorrow evening. So we have decided to leave this morning. We are praying, hoping, and I am keeping my fingers crossed (Tom is driving) that we make it to I-10 today.  We can see snow in the forecast for Tuesday along the I-10 corridor so again praying, hoping, and I will be keeping my fingers crossed we are in Tucson by Monday evening. It will be two very long days for Tom but like he said even though we prefer not to do we have done it in the past. Please keep good thoughts coming our way.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Cold, Snowy Day in Santa Rosa, NM

December 29, 2018

Today was not a very exciting day. Except maybe for the people we give our money to. They all got paid, Tom did bills.

I started reading a story in a Select Edition of a Reader's Digest Condensed Book. I use to get these years ago and when we were getting rid of "stuff" I found one I had never opened. What I had liked about getting these was I could sample the works of four authors and if I liked there writing I would then head to the library and pick up more of there books to read.

It snowed lightly most of the day and at one point there were those big fluffy snowflakes coming down. The temperature stayed in the 20's during the day. The good news we are saving on ice in the cooler. (In a situation like this you have to look at the bright side.)

Big fluffy flakes coming down.

That was our cold and quiet day. Though inside the Stinger "B" we were warm.
Hope your day was a good one.

Friday, December 28, 2018

It Snowed and It is Snowing

Thursday, December 27, 2018

We knew it was coming we just thought we would get far enough South to miss it. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, when I published this morning, we got up to very wet snow. Not even good snowman making snow just really wet watery snow; the type that when the temperature drops turns to thick ice.

We began checking the New Mexico Road Condition's site but could not come up with anything concrete about our planned route.  So a little after 8:00 we decided to take off, keep checking, and decide how far we would go once we were on the road and saw how it was.

Driving through Tucumcari, NM this morning.

We have stayed in Tucumcari before but I do not remember
 seeing an airplane parked in front of a motel.

This is the RV Park we stayed at in the past. No frills  and you needed to be
self contained. It was the Cactus RV Park.. 

When we decided to follow the same route as last year I went online to check for some Passport America Parks and noticed the Cactus RV Park was missing. So I googled the park and found out that after 40 years the owners had decided to sell and retire. The sign was sold to an Albuquerque collector and was removed in October. The article talked about how the historical neon signs along Route 66 are disappearing and this is the second one this year in Tucumcari to be sold. The Motel that surrounded the RV Park opened in the 1930's and had closed in the 1990's  when the Patels converted the grounds into the RV Park.  The article mentioned that the motel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property, it said, was being purchased by the O'Rielly Auto Parts chain.

As we merged onto I-40 it did not look that bad but the farther west we went
the more snow we saw. and there was some ice on the road.

I was still searching trying to find out the road conditions on the route we planned to take. I finally clicked on the right link and found out there were a couple of spots along the way that were snow covered and icy, though, it said the roads were being salted. We have taken this particular route twice before to connect to I-25 and avoid Albuquerque. We turn onto US-25 at Santa Rosa and at Vaughn we connect to US-60 which takes us to I-25. It is a two lane highway and, as we recalled, there a several good size hills to go up and down. So with any snow or ice on the roadway this was not a good option in our opinion.

We talked about staying on I-40 into Albuquerque where we could turn south onto I-25. Then we discussed the what "ifs". Having looked ahead at the weather we knew the storm warning extended down at least as far as Truth or Consequences what if the road conditions ahead were less then favorable how far would we get. What if we drove into snow would we be able to find a place to stay. I voted we stop and since Tom knew I was not happy with moving on he agreed. I am not sure he was totally on board with the decision at that moment but it changed once we got to the RV park. When he went in to register he asked the owner if he had heard anything about the road conditions. He said, he had heard there was at least one bad area on US-54 and that Belen had gotten quite a bit of snow. Belen is just off of I-25 and we would have been driving through there. So in the end the decision to be safe and not sorry we both agreed was the right one.

We are presently parked at the Santa Rosa Campground in Santa Rosa, NM and we will stay here until the roadways are clear. In the meantime, if our food runs out, there is a Restaurant here at the park called Western Bar-B-Q.

Our view out the front window when we parked this morning.
I feel like I just channeled Lorne, who writes a blog called, A Place Called "Away"

Maybe the roads would have been just fine by the time we got to any trouble spots being reported this morning. In the end it  was a "maybe" we decided not to check out,  If we were just driving the Jeep I know we would have kept going. We have driven through white out conditions more than once plowing through deep snow on I-75 in Michigan on our way to see our kids and grandkids but driving a large Motorhome in bad conditions is a whole different "ball game".  So feeling good about the decision we are not going to second guess it.

It is snowing.

So that was our day not what we planned but as we all know plans change 
and you need to learn to accept that if you want to enjoy the journey. 
Hope your day was a good one.

Friday, December 28, 2018

I just finished yesterday's post this morning. 

A Reflection on winter's past: We both spent 60+ winters in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We remember all the mornings we woke up to snow and sat by the radio anxiously waiting to hear those wonderful is cancelled. In no time we were dressed and out the door playing in the snow and if we were lucky there where drifts to jump through then if the sun melted the snow just enough there were snowmen to be made. On really lucky days one of our parents would bring us down to Ludington Park so we could sled down the hill. Enjoying the fun of the fresh snow blowing up in our faces as we felt like we were flying down the hill. In those days Tom, has told me he was one of the enterprising ones and would go around the neighborhood shoveling sidewalks to make a little extra money. We were young and it was a beautiful day.

Then when we had our children I still remember waking up and being excited if the radio announcer said school is cancelled. Though on most days for our kids it was not always because there were large drifts of snow it was a combination snow and ice that kept them home. I loved those days, staying in our Pj's snuggled in our bed watching movies with them. Some days it was good snowmen building snow so outside they went to do just that. 

I remember so many days looking out the windows at the world covered in snow so white and sparkling in the sunlight. I remember the ice clinging to the trees looking like crystal with the sun shining through. I remember taking walks at night with big fluffy flakes coming down twinkling in the street lights. It was a beautiful world to live in.

As the years went by I still loved the snow but enough is enough. I love all the memories and Tom agrees. We want the snow to be a memory, we want to think back and remember, we want to enjoy pictures of snowy scenes. We do not want to be in it.

This morning and it is still lightly snowing.

Thanks for listening...:)!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

It Is Raining

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Travel day and we slept in until 6:00AM and when we got up it was raining. Tom finished getting us ready to leave between really hard rains when it was only a steady downpour. Hooking the Jeep up was fun. Lets just say we got wet. We finally pulled back onto I-40 heading west around 9:30AM leaving Sayre behind. It was still raining.

The highway ahead rain fog and a general grey day.

I finally got two pictures of windmills today. They may be through a rain
covered windshield and a side window with reflections but I got them.
I do love seeing the windmills.

We are in Texas. I missed the sign. I did catch the Big Texan through
the rain covered window.

What I did miss was the Leaning Water Tower. It was that foggy and I never saw it.

Did I mention it was foggy?
These wind turbines have no heads.

Then all of a sudden as we were going through Amarillo it was like
someone turned on a light and we could see blue sky.

Then we were west of Amarillo and could see the Cadillacs on our left.

After we stopped at a picnic area just past Vega, TX the sky started to look
pretty dark and not long after this picture we were in a hail storm.

The road was covered in hail  and I did not think to take a picture. When the first one hit I thought the truck passing us had thrown up a rock. They were good size hail stones. 

We have made it to New Mexico.

Our stop for the day.

We are in Tucumcari, NM at the Blaze In Saddle RV Park. I read on the Passport America that three brothers bought this place about 8 months ago and have been fixing it up ever since. You can see all their hard work and it is still a work in progress. I saw one of the owners busy fixing something at one of the sites while Tom went in and registered. It is a clean park and the sites all look pretty level. We were chatting with one of the owners after he brought us to our site, it was the first time we ever followed someone riding a bike, and he was saying they have done a lot but there is still a lot to do.
Interesting side note: When Tom went in to register one of the owners was wearing a Navy hat and Tom mentioned he was in the Navy, also. I was out in the Stinger "B" during this time wondering what had happened to him. Ends up they were in a lot of the same places at the same time so they were comparing notes.

They even gave us a treat.

So ended our day and when we went to bed we could hear the rain on the roof.

Hope you had a good day.
We are glad you stopped by. 

One small addition: It is Thursday, December 27th, what we hope will be another travel day, we were up at 5:00AM to very wet snow on the ground. We will be waiting until sunrise at 7:02 to decide what to do today. Checking ahead to Santa Rosa, where we turn off of I-40 and work our way to I-25 heading south, it says they have snow, also. According to the weather app they are going to get hit with 1 to 3 inches between tonight and tomorrow so we are hoping this dries up enough so we can get out of here this morning. It is turning into an interesting year. I guess the above quote I chose for to the blog last night was appropriate.