Milestones and Memories

Sunday, December 28, 2014

We left Oklahoma refreshed and optimistic. Sure I did not win my millions at the Casino like I had wanted but there would be other chances in our future. Besides, you do not need to be a millionaire to enjoy the warm weather out west.

It was Christmas eve and we had hopped that we would be settled somewhere warm by now. I had accepted the fact that Santa would not know were to find us. If we couldn't be at Mamaw's house it didn't matter to us that we didn't celebrate. We just wanted to be sitting somewhere safe after hearing so many horror stories about Christmas travel.

You really would not have known it was Christmas eve though. We did not turn on the radio the entire day, every where we stopped was open, we did not see many decorations, and we got very few phone calls.

This photo was taken from the campground we were in.
We did not get far before we were ready to stop though. I wanted to check in some place early so we would not run into any trouble. I know people want to go home early on Christmas eve. Just outside the Texas border we pulled off the interstate to a little RV park with a big sign in a tiny border town known as Texola.

It was just a gravel circle with no-frills lots down the middle set up in front of one of the oldest gas stations we had ever seen. The place only took cash and it is good we got checked in when we did because this place did not have a night check in and they were about to close.

They did not have much else either. Water, power, and a place to dump your tank. Two other campers were parked there but it looked as if they had lived there for a while. A long while. They did have restrooms with showers and laundry. I really wanted a shower but I was never able to find one.

We were told they were behind the restaurant that sat on the side of the campground facing the interstate. It did not look like that place had served a meal in a long time. The back side was much worse than the front side and that is were the bathrooms were. The first door I went to was the laundry. The lid was off the washer and someones wash was still in it. The room looked like it had a lot of the outside environment inside. I feel like I would have had to wash my clothes a second time if I would have put them in that dryer.

The next door I came to was a supply room that looked like a scene in resident evil. The last door was at the other end of a broken walkway sandwiched between a dilapidated shack and the restaurant. It looked like nature was trying to reclaim the place and I would let her have it.

So we spent another night cuddled up in front of Eastenders, which really is a good way to spend the night. After we settled in though we got a few phone calls and made a few phone calls and said our Happy Christmases. We did not stay up late that night and before too long we both had visions of sugar plumbs dancing in our head. 

I was up early and ready to go before our neighbors had time to open their presents. It was Christmas day and we had a lot of ground to cover. The trip was rather uneventful and that was very nice. The roads were not so deserted that we felt alone or so crowded that the traffic was unbearable.

We turned on the radio to look for carol's but mostly just listened to classic rock that we could sing along with. Texas was flat and easy driving . You could see Americas largest free standing cross from miles away and as much as I wanted to stop I thought it would likely be over crowded with pilgrims.

I loved the scenery through the pan handle, which was mostly nothing dotted by billboards. It seemed like every other one was for a truck stop in New Mexico. The scenery seemed to change to more of what we think of when we think about the wild west after we left the sprawling city of Amarillo.  Before we realized it we were out of Texas and in New Mexico.

We stopped at the first gas station we came up on in New Mexico. We had both heard that you do not want to pass up a chance to get gas in New Mexico. The first place we came to was a full out convenience center. Complete with a route 66 museum and an arcade room.  On our way out of the store I noticed we lost the service vent cover to our refrigerator. We must have lost it somewhere in the panhandle, but we were not going back for it.

We were not far from where we had planed to stop for the night. We were headed for Tucumcari. From what we found on the internet we would have a chance to stay at an inexpensive, clean place with full amenities. We were wrong.

This route 66 ghost town was not at all as it seemed on the internet. After the 3rd RV park we decided it would best to continue on. We prefer to find our spot for the night as early as possible, good friends told us before three in the afternoon was best... but we were not staying in this town.
This photo was not taken in Tucumcari, it was taken in NM.

After we got out of Oklahoma we started seeing billboards for a truck stop in New Mexico. We saw more and more after we left Amarillo. By the time we made it to NM it seamed as if every other sign was for this place. They would have everything; Souvenirs, cheap gas, food, and free WiFi. When we finally got to the place I just had to stop. It was closed. We still had free WiFi so we looked for a place to stop for the night. We called RV parks until we found one that answered; it was Christmas day after all.
Making sure we filled up at the rustic little gas station on I-40

We knew we did not have far to go but I told you earlier in this post how we felt about making sure we stopped for gas. So we pulled off one more time before we got to Tijeras.This was a rustic place with an awesome view. A plateau was not far off in the distance and train tracks ran at its base. I imagined painted warriors lining the rim with bows in hand, or cowboys in bandanas with rifles drawn. The rest of our trip out west often inspires such daydreams.

It was nice to stop for gas at a place and not have to prepay to fill up. You had to go inside though these pumps could not read a card. I would not have wanted to pay at the pump here and miss the chance to talk with the friendly locals. The place felt like a southwestern Corner Gas.

We arrived at RT 66 RV Park a little later then I like to, so I was kind of cranky when we got there. After we played a few rounds of musical parking spot we made it to the top of the hill in the back of the park.

This place was in the mountains and it had one hell of a view. I spent a long time in the palatial shower enjoying the warmth. This was a nice place to stay for the night. The night couldn't have been better, and then it started to snow. I was dreaming of a white Christmas after all.

As I said we were in a mountain in the back of the park on a hill. We went to sleep that night as a gentle blanket of snow covered the Defiant hoping we would be able to drive out in the morning.
When we got up it was still snowing. It stopped about ten with a total of around six inches of snow and we thought we would brave the snowy roads and head on our westward way. The roads were fine and the trip was an easy one. I was in a hurry to get to warm weather and our friend out west. We had planned one last stop before we got to Bullhead City at a nice little RV park.

It was clean and had all the things you want in a RV park. We had a chance to wash laundry and clean up the camper some. It was a quiet place and I think we could have had a a few restful days there. Still it was hard to relax so close to where we really wanted to be. We stayed at OK RV Park only long enough to rest and get ready to be back on the road.

Arizona was beautiful. The drive through this state was one of the times I wished I was sitting in the passenger seat. We got to see more than just the interstate though as my famous sense of direction led us on a long ride through a small town. We even passed by a school house that looked like on old red barn near Flagstaff.

The closer we got to Bullhead City the harder it was to sit still. When we started to see signs I felt my spirits rising and when we made it to the infamous mountain pass we had to go through to get to Bullhead I felt like I could get out and push us up that hill faster then our engine could pull us.

After that long slow assent up the mountain it was a fast twisting ride on the way down, at a 6% downgrade that was twelve miles long, and then we were there. The traffic was thick but not hard to navigate. This place had the feel of a tourist trap and I loved it. Lots of lights, lots of people, and I was excited to explore.

Not today though. Today we just wanted to settle in at the RV park. I was worn out. When we left home we said we had no real destination for our journey but we did. Way back in the summer while enjoying sandwiches in the gazebo with our friend Anna we decided we wanted to go to the Silverview RV Resort. A goal of ours was accomplished this day, we had driven across the country.

When I started this post I had intended to mention that this is our 100th post*. That is kind of a milestone for us. When we started this blog it was going to be about our homestead in North Carolina. Now we are way out west and not a chicken in sight. Funny how things change.

We knew we wanted to get here to Bullhead City and we had our trip all planed out. Not one mile went the way we had planed. Life seems to go like that sometimes. I do not know if you read our first post but I'm sure glad you read this one. I plan to write a lot more for you. This city is full of inspiration for writing.

*This is the 100th post we have published on the blog, however some of our posts are hidden from public view because of recent affiliate-ships we took on.


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