02 May 2008
April 30, 2008
The trip to Dallas was long and harrowing! We stopped at the KOA in Van Horn, TX, which is about 100 miles south of El Paso. Now theres a place El Paso, TX. Not a place either of us is in a hurry to come back to. It looked dirty and desolate, and not very inviting. It may have just been the side of town we went through, but even the people didnt look happy to be there. Once we got near El Paso we began to see a lot more of the US Border Patrol. They seemed to be in every canyon and nook. We had to stop twice at checkpoints, yet no one even talked to us, they just waived us through. I guess we dont look like smugglers. As we skirted the border through the high desert I was brought back again to the desolation of the countryside, and the determination one would need to cross it, or subject oneself to the perils of hiring a coyote. The illegal aspect of it doesnt even seem very daunting when I look at the terrain. All I can think abut is the desperation of those willing to attempt the journey. And how does one live out in the middle of nowhere? We passed quite a few homesteads with a small shanty or trailer/mobile home on them. There was no sign of plumbing or electricity, hell there werent even real roads! I cant imagine living in such non-civilization! These are the people who will survive after a nuclear incident. The rest of us wont last a week without the bare necessities!
We got to the KOA just before dark set in and, knowing that this was just a rest stop, we didnt even set up fully. I even made frozen dinners to avoid having to cook. We seemed to have crossed 2 time zones, so we lost 2 hours as well.
The next day we started out again for Dallas. We had heard there would be wind issues, and we were not disappointed! We drove through 300 miles of wind gusts the likes of which neither of us had ever encountered before. The RV got blown all over the road and we both fought to maintain control. Add to that the resistance encountered when a large semi passed and you can feel our pain! Theres nothing quite like the experience of a passing truck being blown your way. I cant tell you how close the respective mirrors got from each other. We stopped several times at rest areas just to take a break. Of course Ms. Paranoid saw the makings of a tornado in every passing cloud formation! I would love to go storm chasing someday (sans Rick as hes already said Hell No!) but not without the proper sherpa in tow to guide me through the journey. It was very cool to see the dust devils, though. Those huge columns of dust being swirled into the air I can totally see how the native peoples could think they were magical or mystical. Like fingers from above reaching down to touch the ground. Its scary and fascinating all at once. As we got deeper into Texas, the oil wells started to dot the landscape. Even the shacks had oil wells on the property! Its not just a clich, Texas really is fueled by oil (yeah, OK, I know that one was bad)
We got to Arlington at dusk and found the KOA (Dallas Metro) without incident. Its a nice little place tucked into the middle of an urban area. It sits back off the street and has lots of trees and grass areas. And as usual, the staff is as friendly as anyone could ask for. Turns out one of the manager is an avid Yankees fan, so he wanted to tag along for the ride. When asked were one could get cook Texas BBQ, they both had different of opinions, so well just have to try and get to both places. Oh well!
The air is think and humid here, and the wind has not let up! Everyone says its not usual to have strong wind here for this long, but apparently its not as bad as the front that moved through last week. That one brought thunderstorms and hail, and is the one I suspect that spawned the tornadoes in Virginia. The weather maps show this front goes from Texas all the way through the south and up the eastern seaboard. Well get a break once we get closer to Houston on Friday, and then shouldnt have to deal with it again until we get to Atlanta. Im so exhausted! Time for bed!
posted Friday May 2008