We Tried, We Really Tried . . .

But Nick Lied.

After yesterday’s early morning, we got to sleep in a little this morning since we didn’t plan to leave until about 11am. That’s CDT, and we’ll in MDT about 5 miles down the road. So we’re really leaving about 10am. Which will put us in Las Cruces about 1pm since it’s only about 165 miles away.

Jan had planned to drive some today, but since it was raining pretty steadily when we left, she decided to put it off for another day. Maybe Friday when we head to Tucson.

The rain finally cleared up about 50 miles along the way, and the sun actually came out, but still with a lot of clouds

Like the last couple of days, today’s trip was smooth with no problems . . . until . . . well . . . Nick lied.

For the last few years our friend Nick Russell has been recommending the Loop 375 Transmountain Drive around El Paso to avoid all the traffic. He even talked about the scenic views. But it was all for naught.

Once again Nick had led us astray.

We had actually tried to take this route twice before. The first time the road was closed for some reason, and the second time traffic was back up out on the Interstate at the exit, and was stopped as far up the road as we could see.

But Nick’s siren call lured us in again, and we took Exit 34 for the Loop. And of course, as soon as we took the exit, there’s a sign saying, “NB 375 Closed. Use Alt Route.”.

And exactly why couldn’t hey have put this sign out on the Interstate BEFORE the exit?

So we continued on down the feeder, finding no other exit except the SB one. We kept looking for any sign of an “Alt Route”, but no luck. So instead, we trundled along in a line of cars, making all of 20 mph.

This went on for about 8 miles, as we watched all the cars on the Interstate to our left streaming along at 60 mph. There were no more exits in any direction, until finally we were led right back out onto I-10. So apparently, the “Alt Route” was just to eventually put us back on I-10, and that’s it.

We pulled into the Coachlight Inn RV Park in Las Cruces, NM about 1pm and got set up. We’ve stayed here a number of times, and it’s a nice little park, And Passport America, to boot. So it was $18.60 for 50amp FHU. Nice,

Later, a little before 4pm, we drove over to old Mesilla to have dinner at La Posta de Mesilla, where we always eat when we’re in town. I first ate here in 1981 when I was out here at White Sands working on some Shuttle stuff with NASA. And then I brought Jan here on our first RV trip in 2007 in our rental Class C.

We’ll be here for two days before we head over to Tucson on Friday for the Escapade that starts Sunday, the 8th. Don’t forget I’ll be giving a seminar on Gate Guarding during the rally, so check it out.


Thought for the Day:

Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile I caught hell for. – Earl Warren


Headwinds and Peach Cobbler . . .

We were up about 6:45 this morning, much earlier than normal, but for two reasons. We wanted to leave earlier since we had a 315 mile trip today, and we wanted to have time to have breakfast at Isaack’s Restaurant, a mile or so away. Voted one of the best small-town diners in Texas, It’s a favorite of ours.

After another great meal, and after stopping for gas at $2.25, we were back at the park a little before 9. After dropping off some Gypsy Journal copies at the park office, we were on the road a little before 9:30.

The weather was overcast and foggy, but not as bad as yesterday, especially with not as much drizzle. But the drive was still nice, at least until we hit a headwind a little west of Balmorhea. And my MPG went from about 8.5 down to 5.9.


Coming through Ft. Stockton we stopped for diesel at the Pilot, paying $2.79 a gallon. Still not bad. The only problem was the slow pumps. We were using the separate RV pumps, but it took almost 20 minutes to get 54 gallons. Unlike getting gas this morning, when I got 22 gallons in the truck in about 5 minutes.

We pulled into the Southern Star RV Park in Van Horn about 3pm and got set up.

Southern Star RV Park

Then a little after 5pm, we took the recommendation of the guy at the park office, and walked right next door to the Van Horn Cattle Company Restaurant. And we’re really glad we did. The salads and the steaks were great.

Van Horn Cattle Company 1

Van Horn Cattle Company 2

My salad had a delicious homemade Chipotle Ranch dressing that actually had some heat to it. Really good

Jan had their 8 oz.  Flat Iron Steak, something that they’re known for, and I had the 12 oz. Top Sirloin. Somebody in the kitchen really knows how to cook a steak.

Then for dessert, we shared their Peach Cobbler with Cinnamon Ice Cream, all homemade. The perfect end to a great meal.

We were sitting by the window looking out over the road, and watched a steady stream of RV’s coming in. And then a steady stream of RV’ers walking over from the park. Really hope the park guy got his kickback for the recommendations.

By the time we walked back to the rig, the 46 site park was about 3/4 full. Some of that may be due to the bad weather coming through here. The guy in the site next to us was worried, and said he was going to hunker down for a couple of days to avoid it.

Although the high tomorrow (Wednesday) is going to be in the mid-50’s, it’s supposed to start raining in the afternoon, and then go down to 22! degrees tomorrow night., with snow and ice. But we’ll be moving on to Las Cruces tomorrow morning and will be there for two days, so it should be gone by then.

Brandi send over some more ski trip pics, this one of Landon and Ruthie, the daughter of the couple they’re traveling with.

Really cute kids.

Landon and Ruthie

Brandi says they act like brother and sister. Of course that could mean they fight a lot, too.


Thought For the Day:

The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps. – Benjamin Disraeli