Saturday, February 27, 2010

From Tucson to Florida, On the Road

On the Road

I headed out this morning after hitching up the 5th wheel.  Had a few minutes of angst as the hitch would not completely close.  Discovered a  bracket that had swung in front of the bar that locks the pin in place.  I corrected the problem and before you knew it, I had swung out of the campsite and onto Bopp Road.

After merging into traffic on hwy 10, I was heading east and towards my final destination Florida,  2,000 miles away.  The truck and camper purred as we drove along at 70 miles an hour.  The traffic was light with a fair amount of semi-trucks as well.  Did you know they still flash their headlights when it’s safe to merge back into their lane?

It’s very chilly out, barely reaching 48 degrees today with a stiff wind as well.  I reached Deming NM around 12:30 and proceeded to not find the campground I’d planned on staying at.  Checked  out my Passport America book and found a couple other campgrounds in the area, finally settling on one for $10 a night.

Deming is a small town on a desert plain.  Hwy 10 and a rail line streaming commerce past the town.  The train line appears to be continually busy transporting all those Chinese containers east and west across country.

Wonder what we actually produce anymore.  Paperwork?

The next day I headed out early and got as far as Fort Stockton Tx.  Settled into another passport America campground, cost $14 total for hookup w/cable tv.  Woke up in the morning to a couple inches of snow on the ground and 26 degrees.  Along with ice.  I’ve got snow on the roof and slide outs and will need to get it off before heading out.  By 10:30, I was able to close the slides and head on south towards hwy 90, sort of a bypass of hwy 10 at least as far as San Antonio.

As I was traveling along 285, a most desolate road that I’ve ever been on.  The scenery was dry desert plains coated with a light dusting of snow, the sky and landscape a dreary gray, making everything look more dead and bleak than usual.  The only signs of civilization along this lonely road were a couple gutted stone buildings, abandoned many years ago.  A few trucks passed on by.  A few cars and the rest was silent travel along the wet back asphalt.

My gas gauge continued to go lower and lower, as I traveled deeper and deeper into this no mans land.  Finally signs appeared for Sanderson Tx.  Hard to read as snow was covering most of the signs.  But I made it with less than a quarter of a tank of diesel.

On down the road a few days later and I’m still in Texas.  Found a nice small campground in Luling Tx.  After unhitching the camper, I headed into the small oil town.  What makes it an oil town?  How about 184 oil wells within the towns city limits.  An artist has created some unique art and citizens have attached it to the pumping units throughout town.  I had a fun time driving around town trying to find all of them.  The town is a throwback to an era when railroads were king, as the railroad goes right through the main street of town.  Or should I say main streets, as a road parallels each side of the railroad tracks.  With grass and trees along the train tracks and town buildings on either side of the tracks.  

A true southern town with tons of charm.  It’s an active working mans town with just enough historical sites and shops for the tourist.  Along with a river for canoeing.  By the way, the campground I stayed at has a race horse training course and I watched as they were training a horse early in the morning before I headed out. Even a small petting zoo.  I never know what I’ll find at some of these small campgrounds.

Yep, this is one of those gems I’ve found by getting off the beaten path. Lunling Tx, just off hwy 10 east of San Antonio.

Back on the road (hwy 10) through east Texas and Louisiana, I’ve seen just a ton of police cars.  They’re spaced about every other mile it seems and even are in groups of 3 and 4 patrol cars off to the side of the highway.  Handing out lots of tickets as well, though how anyone can get up much speed through this part of the country is beyond me, as the traffic is quite heavy.

Stopped at a flying J truck stop and had lunch.  While sitting there, they had the Tv set on the health care debate.  So I asked the waitress if she had health insurance?  She said yes, but it wasn’t as good as when she worked at the Dollar Store.  Flying J makes you work for 9 months before you can get insurance and the cost is very high.

The next day I was having a free breakfast at the Bay Hide-a-way Rv park.  The gal preparing the breakfast setup was all in a dither.  She’s under a lot of stress.  Less work hours, her mother recently passed away, her ex-husband won’t let her see her young son and with the medications she’s taking her blood pressure is too low and she feels depressed.  Not having insurance doesn’t help.  Amazing how people will share their lives stories at the drop of a hat.

I arrived in Bay St Louis, Miss. And found out that there has been a lot of construction going on in the past two years since I was in the area.  Apparently either Gov help or insurance companies have finally broke loose of some money so these folks can start to rebuild.  Lots of homes being built, most all raised up on stilts, even miles inland.  The shore line is still pretty much empty.  How many years ago was the hurricane?

I’m making good time on my progress to Florida, though this is not the typical pace I prefer going.  There are so many places to explore along the way and I’m whizzing by so many of them. Till next time, your roving reporter…. On the road..

1 comment:

Don Tucker said...

Happy Trails Doug! Looks like you are still having fun and taking in all that surrounds you.

Drop me a note if you make it back to Reno.