Thursday, April 8, 2010

West Texas

After a quick stop in Boerne to catch up with some friends and meet a few new ones, it was time for us to head West. We dodged a couple of severe thunderstorms on the way out of town yesterday. But, by the time we reached Kerrville we were in the clear. For the next hour or so we enjoyed our last look (for awhile, anyway) at scenic Hill Country. We're really going to miss those wildflowers!

Just past Junction, it happened. Suddenly, we were in West Texas. We weren't exactly looking forward to this 450-mile stretch of I-10. For folks in cars, it's a speedy day's drive: You just put the cruise on 80 or 85 and fly. But, since we're traveling in a rolling billboard, we decided to make it a two-day drive. West Texas has a reputation for being vast, boring, dusty and very windy. It is, indeed, vast. Along the way, we saw miles and miles of Texas (and had that Bob Wells song going through our heads).

Day One wasn't quite as boring as we thought it would be. The scenery did change. We counted windmills to pass the time. There were so many I lost count.

When you see windmills like this you know you're in a windy part of the world. And, West Texas did not disappoint. Yesterday's winds were in the 20-to-25 mph range, with occasional gusts that were higher. The winds came from every direction but the way we wanted. Traveling West this time of year you can just about bet you'll fight crosswinds and some pretty fierce headwinds, and we did. Our trusty moose handled it all in stride!

By mid-afternoon we were ready to stop fighting the winds and call it a day. We discovered the Hill Top RV Park in Fort Stockton and called it home for the night. The very friendly owners gave us a warm welcome.

This brand new park offered just what we needed: easy access, a level pull-through, good power and water, and a quiet place to to spend the night - all for just $25.

The park sits on the top of a bluff and offers spectacular views of the West Texas vastness. Off to the South something caught our attention.

This silhouette of a group of Comanche Indians on horseback is one of two sculptures that flank Fort Stockton. On the east side of town is a column of Calvary. Both pieces were created by hometown artist Brian Norwood and installed earlier this year. If you're passing by Fort Stockton on I-10, look to the south and you'll see these beautiful creations.

From our hilltop perch, we had a perfect view of the sunset with the Davis Mountains in the distance and a few late evening travelers on I-10. Thankfully, the West Texas winds calmed and we enjoyed a quiet and peaceful night.

Day Two looked the same as Day One with one notable exception. It wasn't windy! And, you know what? When the wind ain't blowin' in West Texas the drive is down right enjoyable. When we pass this way again to explore Big Bend National Park and other sites near here, we hope we can find a few days like this one to make that trip.

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso, I couldn't get that Marty Robbins classic out of my head. We have heard horror stories about traffic here, but on this early afternoon it was a breeze.

A few miles north of El Paso, we entered New Mexico. It's the Land of Enchantment and, by the looks of things, red and green chili peppers, too!

Our home for the next few days is the Las Cruces KOA. With a stunning view of the City of Crosses and the Organ Mountains, we are happy to have our long drive across West Texas behind us and sit for a bit. We have a day trip or two planned and look forward to exploring this beautiful area.

After covering nearly 600 miles in two days, we're all ready for a good rest. Some of us got to it faster than others.


squawmama said...

We stayed in Fort Stockton also at the Fort Stockton RV Park... Very nice park and PA price was $10... Fort Stockton (did a post 0n both)has a nice little hitoric district too... Some of the RV parks there were really BAD!!! Great post and I am glad your journey was safe. Have fun & travel safe...

Margie M. said...

Glad to learn the West Texas winds weren't too bad during your drive to NM. El Paso had grown so much since we went through there the last time. It is now such a huge city.

Enjoy your weekend.

sue and doug said...

welcome to a new state!!..enjoy your stay..loved the kitties on the windshield..doing what cats do best!!