Hi all, Dianne here. We left Malibu, California Sunday morning for our long trek to Texas. We planned our departure on Sunday morning because we knew we'd have to drive the motor home all the way through Los Angeles, from west to east, on I-10. The city is so huge that it took us two and a half hours just to get to the eastern edge of town, with no traffic delays at all. I've read where if traffic is bad it can take five hours just to cross the city!
We had smooth sailing and drove as far as Quartzsite, Arizona for our first stop. We could have driven farther, but wanted to see for ourselves just what Quartzsite is all about. For my non-rving friends, RVs full of snowbirds and fulltimers flock to Quartzsite every January and park in the desert (free for 14 days). There are vendors, shows, and lots of gatherings. It would be fun to do in a group where you could gather around a campfire every evening for happy hour. People are just starting to arrive in Quartzsite, so it is still pretty empty and we had no problem finding a parking spot for our free overnight.
Roger took a picture of a saguaro cactus, since I'd never seen one before. Unfortunately, this one had no arms. We saw plenty of prettier ones as we drove east through Arizona's deserts.
Traffic was very light all the way across I-10. New Mexico has very welcoming rest areas. Here's a very cool sculpture of a huge road runner at one rest area. Immediately after taking this photo, a real roadrunner right in front of me hopped down off a rock and out of my sight. My attention had been on the sculpture, so unfortunately no photo of the real thing.
Second night was spent in Deming, NM at a Wal-Mart. We drove far too long that day, and got there just after dark, tired and cranky. We should know better! We needed groceries in a big way, though, so we wanted a Super Wal-Mart.
Third day we entered into Texas, at El Paso. Not far beyond that, we crossed through a border patrol crossing. I guess we didn't look very suspicious, because they waved us right on through.
I've read where the drive across I-10 in West Texas is long and boring, and we were about to find out for ourselves. I guess I'm easily impressed -- having grown up in flat cornfield-land -- but we thought West Texas was really pretty!
Here are several shots I took through the windshield as we drove along, including the photo at the very top of the blog.
We stopped the third night in Fort Stockton, Texas. For you non-informed, you might think we were almost home at that point.
Texas is so huge that at that point we still had a day and a half of driving to get to Mission!
Another night of boondocking at a Wal-Mart in Alice, TX got us almost home, but even Alice is still a couple of hours away from Mission. Another photo for you uninitiated:
If you ever go to a Wal-Mart early in the morning and are surprised to see a flotilla of RV's in the parking lot, it's a very common thing. Some areas are more RV-friendly than others, and Texas is very RV-friendly. We pulled in and the friendly security guard drove up to welcome us, direct the parking arrangement, and assure us that they'd be patrolling all night long. By the time I got around to taking this photo it was too dark, but there were 14 other RV's in the Alice Wal-Mart parking lot that night! I went in, did some shopping, and even got my hair cut on the way out. (Before you scoff at my $14 hair cut, she did a good job and I really needed one.)
We woke up early Thursday, excited to finally see our new rv home in Mission, so we were on the road before dawn. To our Indiana friends: Guess what this photo is?
They are constructing I-69! Ironically, we lived only a mile from I-69 in our stix and brix house in Pendleton, Indiana, and when it's finished, I-69 will go all the way to our new home in the south tip of Texas!
Check back soon for photos of our new digs! Here's a teaser photo, taken of part of our new landscaping. Best part is, we didn't have to lift a finger. Must say I heartily approve of their choices!
Our whippet photo of the day shows Jasper one chilly morning riding along on my lap as we drove through the desert. He doesn't know he's too bony and big to be a lap dog, and I'm not about to tell him! Note to Robyn: Notice the warm, comfy slippers that I'm wearing!