Posted March 29, 2018 – Narrated by Carmen
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It’s that time of year again! We’re almost back to our home base in San Diego where we legally reside, register our vehicles, receive mail, pay taxes, vote, bank and visit our docs.
Most of our San Diego time will be spent with family and friends, rig maintenance and the ritual medical visits. Due to our pre-Medicare status, outside of California we’re only covered for emergencies – which we’ve not had this year.
Hopefully, we’ll pass the SMOG (Strong & Merry Old Geezers) test at Kaiser so we can continue our extended galavant into one sunset, and then the next, and the next, and …
A fellow traveler recently told me that she hopes to make no cattle-guard music when she crosses over into that great BLM campground in the sky, and if it takes a year or so for her friends to notice she hasn’t stopped by in a while, then so be it.
I totally respect the nomadic impulse to gradually fade into the distance. For us, the connection to friends and community are still quite strong and that’s what this blog is about.
Every post is just to say, ”Hey! We’re okay! We made it!” because you should be concerned. If you’re not concerned you should be betting against us in a dead pool because we do some crazy stuff – like driving 55 mph through Texas.
So far, we haven’t 4-3-2’d through Texas. The Lone Star State is the lone exception to the LIB rules. A lifetime of annual two-week Mississippi pilgrimages from San Diego cultivated the tradition of the Texas marathon. That’s right, contrary to our usual slow-travel philosophy, blasting through Texas is a matter of pride and respect among the menfolk in our family and Daddy holds the record.
Truthfully, we’ve never given Texas a chance.
After our stop in West Monroe, Louisiana at Landry Vineyards for a big ole Cajun Saint Patricks whoop-de-doo …
… I suggested to Jim that we stop in Marfa to observe the lights, hunt down fields of wildflowers and bluebonnets, maybe visit Big Bend … but that was like trying to distract a greyhound from the lure.
Nope. We’d tow our rig on the I-20 in three days and cross the New Mexico border, alive. It’s always a joy to wake up alive, but waking up alive in Texas is cause for celebration.
Due to sheer panic, the three-day trip flew by. Whoever wasn’t at the wheel averting disasters would research craft breweries with camping nearby.
Not becoming the hot creamy center of an 18-wheeler sandwich cookie on the highway requires good judgment and something nice to look forward to, so, just to keep things real we passed the time thinking up beer names to celebrate our 2018 victory over I-20:
- Over-sized Load (Black IPA)
- Close One! (unfiltered hefeweizen)
- Drunk or Texting? (pale ale)
- Brake Lights, Brake Lights, Brake Lights!!! (Irish red ale)
But after three days of road-anxiety, tattered oil wells
… and refineries and so much roadside litter! (Come on Midland, you got something against Ladybird?) the air began to freshen and The Land of Enchantment summoned us into the mystery.
Thrilled to be alive and unharmed and our rig undamaged, we decided to go places we’ve never been …
White Sands National Monument
Truth or Consequences and River Bend Hot Springs
Then, a stop for lunch at our favorite steakhouse, The Adobe Deli in Deming …
A sudden sandstorm…
…almost deterred us from our encampment destination at Pillsbury Vineyard and Winery…
…but we pulled in just in time for a superb wine tasting and then, for our last night in Arizona before entering California, we bedded down in the beautiful Wilcox countryside.
Next morning we drove to Tombstone for lunch …
… a quirky but appropriate place to confront the scary, sometimes terrifying moments our LIB adventure demands
… and to see the World’s Largest Rosebush in full bloom. A living legacy of horticulture and a fascinating story of travel and homesteading.