Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Turning left for the long haul...

We picked up I-10 just east of Tallahassee, thus starting the approx. 2250 mile journey west. We have one more designated stop, and that is to visit Howard's cousins in Silverhill, AL, an easy drive.  We conveniently stayed at the Rainbow Plantation Escapees Park in nearby Summerdale for a couple of days, and enjoyed a drive to Gulf Shores for a final oyster po-boy fix at Bahama Bob's.

We had not seen the cousins, Jon, Julie, and Georgia for many years, nor met Jon's new wife Wendy, though I felt I knew her from our Facebook connection.  We enjoyed their southern hospitality and meeting all the extended family, and especially some great fried chicken.  Jon is an English sports car enthusiast and proudly showed off his '72 TR6:

Miss Scarlett is her name

Now, back on the interstate cities and sights fly by my window in a blur.  Time zones and temperatures create havoc with our minds and bodies.  The motorhome and jeep are covered in layers of nasty grime and grit, but we are headed west to our beloved families and soon the desert will once again be our home.

Here from the relative comfort of my passenger lounge is a composite of drive-by shootings through Alabama to Texas, and on through New Mexico to Arizona.  We had an overnight at Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles, LA but I did not even get out of the motorhome to take photos.

The Bayway to Mobile, AL

The bridge through the Atchafalaya Swamp on I-10 LA is the 2nd longest in the US!

The Horace Wilkinson Bridge crossing the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge.

Driving through Houston, above, was a little surreal as there was no traffic.  Howard had just been talking about our last trip to Big Bend NP and the little town of Alpine,TX where we spend the night en route.  Remember that great restaurant, he said, the one that Martha Stewart reviewed, and was so good.  Hmmm, not off hand but let me check online.  Here it is, the Reata Restaurant.  By now we're nearing San Antonio and, just like that, exited the interstate for the more peaceful Highway 90 drive! Noteworthy here is that we spent the night at the Escapees Park in Hondo, TX that night and the temperature was a balmy 75 degrees.

The High Bridge, above, towers over the Pecos River Canyon, near Del Rio, TX.  When we pulled over to take pictures we were nearly blown away from the cold winds.

Once we got to our Alpine destination and The Lost Alaskan RV Park, we felt as though we just might have landed in Alaska.  The temps had dropped over 40 degrees from the previous night, down to low 30s.  We stayed two nights to enjoy a fine dinner at Reata and by the time we left the next morning it was 22!  Our water pipes were frozen and ice caked on the windshield was so thick we needed the hair dryer to assist the defroster as we prepared to leave.

We re-joined I-10 at Van Horn, TX and continued on, through El Paso and Las Cruces, NM, all the way to Deming and the Escapees Dream Catcher RV Park.  Our driving days have actually topped 400 miles, with many in the 380 range.  We're stopping for fuel far too often but at least the prices have been lower, averaging $3.75 for diesel.  And it is freezing everywhere!

El Paso, TX

New Mexico welcomes us

Interstate art!

Crossing the Continental Divide between Deming and Lordsburg, NM was uneventful as the terrain was flat and any elevation gain had been so gradual as not to be noticed.  But we are officially west and the landscape has changed significantly.  We continued on to one of our favorite little southwest desert towns, Ajo, AZ, with another long driving day behind us.  We would normally boondock out of town off Darby Wells Rd., but since this was just for one night and it was very cold, we opted to visit the nice folks at Belly Acres RV Park, and watch us some Sunday night football.

This is getting good!

We briefly considered turning south

At Texas Canyon near Benson, AZ

Just driving into Ajo makes us happy!

Now on I-8

And this brings us to Yuma!

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