Categories
Texas

Arizona!

Finally I made it to Arizona! I didn’t get quite as far as I’d hoped, but I drove 350 miles and that’s a pretty good day for me. I just have 55 more to go tomorrow morning. Much of today’s drive was on the back roads again, through the desert which is pretty boring except for trying to figure out what all the squished animals are on the road. In case you’re wondering, there were probably 100 jackrabbits, with a few raccoon and a coyote mixed in.

As I left Guadalupe Mountains National Park I drove over to the Frijoles Ranch Museum exhibit. The buildings were not open so I just wandered around a bit.  The ranch was started in the 1870’s, then changed hands in 1906. The Smith family added onto the house and made their living by truck farming and a small orchard. The nearest market for their produce was in Van Horn, 60 miles away. So they would load up the wagon, hitch up the horses, cover the produce with wet paper & rags to protect them from the dust and heat, and drive all night, arriving the next morning to sell to their customers. Phew, sure sounds like a hard way to make a living!

This is the little red schoolhouse, built in 1925. The Smiths hired a teacher who was paid $30 a month plus room, board and the use of a horse! They had as many as 8 kids in attendance.

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And here’s my last view of Guadalupe Mts.

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Ahhh Arizona! Back in the land of magnificent sunrises and sunsets. The past few mornings I have been up in time to catch the sunrise, thanks to Roxie. (Grrrr) It’s definitely worth seeing; I just don’t want to get up and go outside at 6:40 a.m.!

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Categories
Texas

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

I said a sad farewell to Big Bend this morning, with a hug from neighbor Neal and exchange of email & Facebook Friendships. I believe we’ll run into each other again somewhere in Arizona this winter. I think this time in early December is a really good time to visit Big Bend….not many people, good weather, and plenty of campsites to choose from. I hardly ever saw another car on the road!  As I was going out our bad dirt road this morning I saw the remains of someone’s bike rack or something in the road….three separate piles of “stuff”. I hope they were able to pick it up and put it back together on their way out.

I drove all day on little 2 lane roads (speed limits usually 70-75, but I only go 60). I was getting tired when I got to Van Horn, TX but I went another hour and made it to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The Pine Springs CG here is just a big paved lot with no shade but the price is right; $4 with the Geezer Pass! There’s a really cool Aussie-style camper across the road from me. I wish I had the guts to ask if I could see the inside….but I don’t.

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Here’s our campsite; barely got set up before dark! Pretty nice view.

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It’s pretty windy here; hope it calms down soon. It seems impossible to keep the wind from blowing straight through the camper, even with all 4 corners stuffed with foam.

(Next morning) The winds remained really gusty all night long…we were really rockin’ and rollin’! I was again giving thanks for my good friend Jenni’s help in installing the handy wind straps that keep the roof closed tight.  I was grumpy this morning because Roxie made me get up at 6:45 but what an amazing sunrise I got to see! And the mountains are bathed in beautiful golden light….compare this sight to the photo at the top that I took yesterday.

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I guess I may as well get an early start on today’s drive….if I do really well, we could get to Whitewater Draw Wildlife Management Area today! It’s 325 miles though, that’s quite a long driving day for me. So we’ll see.