Thursday, January 11, 2018

Nine Nights of Pull-Throughs

The weather forecast is for a deep freeze to settle over the nation.  We are ready to go, so ready to get on the road and head for Arizona!  Do we wait for the freeze to pass and take the chance on more snow and ice after the freeze?  No, of course not!  We hit the road, hoping for the best. The weather is fine that Saturday, the day before New Years Eve and we make it from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Meridian, Mississippi.
By bedtime the internet is full of cautions for tomorrow morning…icy streets, hazardous driving conditions.  I am thinking we will not be going anywhere!
But we do.  It is almost 11AM before the road seems safe and we get another 200 miles to Fontainebleau State Park in Louisiana.
It’s New Years’ Eve.  The wind is howling. The forecast is 24 degrees! We pay 2 bucks extra for a pull through and do not exit the trailer till morning.
Our destination for January 1 is Beaumont, Texas, Gulf Coast RV Park, another Passport America campground that has a great free breakfast!  It being a holiday, the office is closed but there are instructions guiding us to a vacant site.  It’s a repeat.  Another 24 degree night where we hole up to keep warm. We cover the Fantastic Fan’s screen with aluminum foil and stuff plastic grocery sacks in the weatherstripping around the door.
Sylvester staying warm.
Forgot to mention that the trailer is winterized. We are making do with a few gallons of fresh water in jugs and keeping antifreeze in the drains.
At Gulf Coast RV
We hit Houston just before 10:30 am and it is less of a problem than usual. We are shooting for Boerne, Texas where we usually boondock at a visitor’s center….but not tonight!
Top of the Hill, another PA park, is 10 miles past Boerne. For $22.50 we are escorted up the hill and have the run of a nice clubhouse with a large screen TV. I consider showering and decide it is too cold!  It will be 20 degrees in town tonight and colder at this elevation. The wind is brutal! We are not having fun!  But we are eating good due to the mini Instant Pot.  Our freezer is full of meatloaf, mexican casserole, ham and chicken.
The next day in a small western town we encounter Jerry and Wanda of Egg Rollings at a gas station.  They are heading for the same RV park in Fort Stockton.  It is great to see them!  That night we enjoy a great dinner together at the Roadrunner Cafe. 
Another pull through at Fort Stockton RV.
We are members of the Escapees RV club and so are Jerry and Wanda, so it was only natural that we were again going to the same campground, DreamCatchers RV Park in Deming, New Mexico.
From Deming we always go straight into Arizona…normally as fast as possible.  This year we decide to take a look around the area and go south down to Pancho Villa State Park.
There’s a museum at the park that explains the history of Columbus, NM being invaded by Mexico in 1916.  Enjoyed our time there but we were ready to leave the next day, skipping the almost mandatory trip to the Pink Store across the border in Mexico.
Pancho Villa SP, $14 a night with electric and water.
As we drive the last stretch into Arizona, it is finally warm, in the 70’s!
We stop for lunch at a I-10 rest area in western New Mexico and pull in behind another Escape….which looks real familiar.  I go up to check it out and, yes, it’s our old friends, Duke and Beverlee from Texas!  We exchange hugs and promises to visit in a few weeks at Quartzsite.
Saturday night, day 8 on the road, we stay at the SKP park in Benson, AZ.  Great place!  We stayed here for 7 nights January 2017.
This time we boondock….$5.58 for members!We are planning to spend another night when I manage to reserve three nights McDowell Mountain Regional Park, close to Fountain Hills, AZ.  We hear that it is really nice…..I’m excited!
We leave Benson with a plan to stay at the Escapees park in Casa Grande but for some reason it just does not feel right. We pull off a side road and call Usery Regional Park where we land on night 9.  Another pull-through and after 2100 miles we still have not unhitched the trailer.
But that status changed two nights ago when we set up camp at McDowell. 
For two and half days we rest. I ride the bike, read, walk and write.  And sit gazing at the mountains….my favorite thing.
Will close with photos from Usery and McDowell.