Day Nine started out tough - horrible wind. We weren't sure we should even venture out on the road. But we decided to give it a try and it did get better ... Miles Driven: 255 ... One new license plate: Oregon ... Money spent: went crazy here! Gas $125; ice cream sundaes and coffee $8; camping two nights, $9.
7 a.m.: There is serious wind here. It kept me awake all night. The camper rocked when the gusts hit it, and the air zooming underneath the camper sounded like a whistle. ALL NIGHT LONG. At one point I thought of the wind as something alive, circling for whatever it could get. I remained tucked-in, nice and safe in my bed, with lots of covers, but very awake.
We had to decide to leave or not to leave. With winds at 25 mph and higher with gusts, our first thought was to stay put another day and wait it out. But tomorrow is bringing thunderstorms and hail, and we need to be in Albuquerque on Sunday to get Kim.
9 a.m.: We are packed up and leaving. Filled the water tank to add weight. If it gets unsafe we will stop. It seems there are camping places fairly often along I-40 (unlike rest areas). I wish I could send you the sound of this wind! The local news is full of the impact the wind is having on the wildfires in western Oklahoma and the panhandle of Texas. The news also informed us that in spite of the wind, tornadoes are unlikely, as there is little moisture in the air. So there is that.
9:15 a.m.: A pack of motorcycles just went by. Seriously? Do they have a death threat?
9:25 a.m.: Loud banging on the roof. Something is letting loose. Got off the highway and Paul is headed to the roof of the camper ... he’s off the roof and checking the sides of the camper. Not able to find the source of the banging. Everything appears to still be bolted on tight. OK, here we go again.
9:30 a.m.: More loud banging. I think the roof is being ripped off in the wind! Actually, we now know it is the awning. The wind is catching it and pulling it loose. Paul is outside, again, this time with bungie cords to tie it to the camper. He is so skilled! The sky to the north is getting dark.
10:49 a.m.: New Mexico! The landscape has changed again. There are all these scruffy bushes, and windmills in the middle of nowhere. And then there are cows that seem to belong nowhere. I wonder if the windmills are pumping water for the cows that will eventually be rounded up by the cowboys? Just a thought. Time change. So, it is 9:49 now? The black sky is gone. Now it’s just gray.
1 p.m.: Lunch at a roadside rest. Tomato soup and tuna on crackers (with onion and ketchup). Not as windy now, about half as much as before maybe, but still windy enough to toss us around a bit.
1:30 p.m.: For those of you from South Carolina, you will understand this. We found the Sparky’s of the west. It is called Flying C Ranch. Signs for miles telling us all the wonderful things you can get there. We HAD to stop! Yep, it looked just like Sparky’s in Marion, except it was all things western rather than all things beach. All made in China. We had a sundae.
I could have saved myself all this effort in trying to find all 50 states license plates. Here they are, all at the Flying C Ranch!
3 p.m.: Arrived at our new home for two days, the Hidden Valley RV Park. It is a mix of Big Buck and the place we just left. Not as swanky as some of our stops, and not as rough as others. Very small sites, but full hook-up.
Considering there are no fires and the wind is too strong to want to eat out, who needs much room? There are several walking paths that we will try tomorrow. I asked, and it is too cold for snakes. The good news is if we see one, it will be too stiff to care, and I can pick it up. Paul said no.
Very different scenery here. Looks like cowboy movies.
Following a railroad track to our right for over an hour. We have seen Chessie, Pacific and Sante Fe engines so far. Lots of very long trains.