Under the Lone Star–Into the Land of Enchantment

I left El Reno, OK this morning at 7:30 a.m. The roads all of the sudden became smooth and easy to drive on, and this lasted until somewhere near Amarillo. It was overcast again, but the sun appeared when I got close to New Mexico.

I-40 through the Texas Panhandle has some interesting rest stops – the one I’m referring to going west is called a “Safety Rest Area”. It is mounded with earth and is a haven during severe weather, including tornados. Rest area parking lots usually have one row for trucks and RV’s, but in the Safety area there are at least three rows. The east bound rest area is built above ground, but the entire building is constructed with severe weather in mind, and there are actually rooms where people can gather to stay safe from tornados. They are both modern structures, aesthetically pleasing, and serve a much needed purpose in this part of the country.

The eastern Texas panhandle is sort of rolling terrain, much like western Oklahoma. The middle is flat, and the western side is beautiful “cowboy-looking” country. You can just picture some of the old westerns – and I’m talking the grade B movies we watched on TV – not the fancy schmancy productions featuring Clint Eastwood or John Wayne. There are hills and mesas where you can picture the Indians waiting to ambush the cowboys and settlers. The good guys were recognizable with their white hats, while the bad buys wore black hats or war paint!

Then I arrived in New Mexico. While I’m not sure I would want to live here year around, it is one of the most beautiful states in my estimation. I hope I can catch a couple of photos of the sunset this evening and sunrise tomorrow morning, because that is what I always picture when I think of New Mexico – the gorgeous skies.

I stopped in Tucumcari for the night, and hope to cross over into Arizona by tomorrow afternoon. That is a lot of miles towing a 5th wheel, and I’ll be content to stop at Gallup if I’m tired. I wish I could make a birthday party in Sacramento on Saturday evening, but it is doubtful I can do it. I’ll give it a try though.

The interstates in the west are so much easier to drive – and I am not including California’s freeways in that statement. It just seems like the traffic isn’t as heavy or as treacherous here as it is, for example, on I-81 or, god forbid, I-95. I hope I never have to drive on I-95 again!

The Garmin has been acting up lately, and I wonder if it is due to the aborted attempt to update the maps. She kept insisting I get off I-40 through Amarillo and head for downtown! Luckily I know my way pretty well from here on, but I hope she is accurate through Albuquerque. I’ve always driven through it guided only by the signs, but then it was easier to change lanes when necessary before I became an RVer. The only trouble with driving through Albuquerque is that it is so spectacular it is difficult to watch the road rather than the sculpture in the median, the bridges, the colors of the overpasses and decorative tiles on the side rails, and the last time I noticed even the commercial buildings along either side of the interstate were southwestern looking – building materials, colors, and decorative touches.

The Garmin also tried to have me get off the interstate about 30 miles early yesterday, but I ignored it because I was looking for the KOA sign and didn’t see one. I don’t want to have to buy a new one but I guess I’d better start watching the ads.

It is too nice outside for a change, so I think I will take Lady, a cold beer, and a lawn chair and sit in the sun for a while. Tomorrow, hopefully Arizona!

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9 Responses to Under the Lone Star–Into the Land of Enchantment

  1. gumo says:

    WELCOME TO TEXAS! I am glad you are enjoying our highways. My tax dollars are good for something, I guess. I am glad you are enjoying your road trip.

  2. Sandra says:

    Our GPS was acting strangely for a while, all it said was recalculating over and over and over ad nauseum. I hooked it up to the computer and did some kind of a reset from the Garmin site and it's been fine since.

  3. Driving thru Dc wasn't too bad. It was the middle of the day so traffic was only crazy instead of horrendous. We used to live only a short distance from the Abingdon Cracker Barrel and it was one my favorite places to eat.

  4. Hit the wrong key, I wasn't finished. Be safe on your way back to CA. and I am sorry you are going to give up the full time life but you gotta do what makes you happy.

  5. You are getting closer and closer to the "promised land" Gypsy – keep up the good work!

  6. Dione says:

    Just get in the middle lane on I-40 and go straight west thru Albuquerque. You are doing wonderfully in your travels so far.Dione

  7. There are countless reasons we love the southwest & you have touched on just a few of them. Take your time & enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. It may be awhile before you pass this way again.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Target has the Garmin 205W for $99 this week according to the Sunday paper ad.

  9. squire says:

    Dang gal,You are moving right along.

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