Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day Three of our travels to Cottonwood

This morning we woke up to 25 degrees! Fred had to knock off some ice from our drain hose to pack it up.  We took showers and headed back to El Mirador, the restaurant we ate in last night.  This morning it was Huevos Rancheros with plenty of green chilies for me.  Fred had a Spanish omelet with "Christmas" chilies, both red and green.  Yummy and quite filling to keep us going all day.

We headed south out of Deming along state highway 11 to Columbus, NM, right along the Mexican border.  This is the town that Pancho Villa raided in March 1916.  He was angry at President Wilson for siding with the Mexican President during one of the Mexican revolutions.  Columbus was and is still not much of a town, they actually call themselves a village. The pictures in the link below show you all there is to see in Columbus. There are maybe 200 people living there, not sure.  Anyway, the Mexicans did kill about 12 people and the Army, which was camped there killed about 200 Mexicans before it was all over.
In retaliation, President Wilson sent General Jack Pershing into Mexico to find Pancho Villa.  This was an unsuccesful expedition.  Pancho Villa was assinated in 1923 near his home in Mexico.
We did spend about an hour in the Columbus railroad depot which is now a small museum.  It has a bit of Pancho Villa info with pictures and stories from the survivors.  They even had one of Pancho Villa's hats and a copy of his death mask! Also on display are various railroad memorabilia and settler/inhabitant artifacts. They have a 1929 Sears & Roebuck's catalog, which they have taken apart page by page to put in plastic sheets in a binder.  There was an interesting saddle with a turquoise pummel.  It was all interesting. but the heat had been off during the night and we arrived just as it opened at 10am, so it was darn cold.  Time to get back in the van and turn the heat on high!,_New_Mexico

From there we continued on state highway 9 west direction Arizona.  This was a small highway, which was exactly the way we like to travel.  We were stopped at a police check point on this road, checking Id and vehicle registration and the officer laughed an said "did we know there wasn't any parties or anything else along the road we were traveling?"  We all chuckled and told him we were just exploring back roads. On we went with very few vehicles going or coming along our path.

Continuing our drive, saw a small monument marking the site where Geronimo surrendered.  Did not stop, so just a passing view.

Eventually, we arrived in Douglas AZ, then on to Bisbee and finally for the night in Benson.  Was a good trip today, doing the kind of non-freeway driving that we enjoy.  Also no wind today- yipee!

Tomorrow we reach our destination, Cottonwood.  We are both eagerly looking forward to our visit with everyone there.
Till we next have adventures to share.
Michelle and Fred
Traveling the country so you don't have to!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

on the road from Somerset to Cottonwood

Day one started out with us closing up the fifth wheel, sliding in the 4 extensions, shutting off the propane and water, then turning on the AC in the hope that it would not be too hot inside this summer.
Next step was to go to Starbuck's to get a mocha and a latte to set the right trip mood.

Then off we went down the road.  What a miserable driving day - wind was a steady 30  mph with gusts 50-55  mph.  At times the air was just full of brown dirt, picked up from the surrounding fields, causing areas of zero visibility.  We could actually hear the bits of dirt hitting the van, an odd sensation. While Fred was intently keeping us on the road, I was intently staring ahead to make sure we did not run into someone almost stopped on the road. We had taken what was to have been a more scenic route, heading a bit south on US90, rather than just starting out on I-10.  Scenic it was not!  It was like driving in what I imagine to be similar to the dust bowl times. Most of the day was like this unfortunately.  It always reminds me how much we are aware of the weather when traveling.   But we made our destination which was Van Horn at the junction of US90 and I-10.

Fred with ocotillo in picnic stop, after the sandstorm

By the time we were camped, the wind was not bad and the sun did a nice job of warming up the inside of Mr. B.  It knew it would be cold that night, but we have a small portable heater that does a good job of keeping us toasty warm.  If needed, we also have a built in heater in the van.  We did get a quick stroll around 1/2 the RV Park, too cold to do much more and saw the moon shining full on us.  A beautiful sight!

We woke up on the morning of day two and found a calm, cold but  sunny day. Fred made us some coffee which we enjoyed with yogurt and a couple of donuts.  We have really turned the corner...donuts are a main stay for Texans.  We cleaned up and headed off towards El Paso, our next driving destination for that morning.  On our way got a phone call from our friend Clarice in Kirkland Wa.  Was great to hear from her and will be happy to be seeing her again next month.
We stopped at the El Paso Saddle Blanket store to check out the many offerings of Mexican made blankets, rugs, knickknacks and all sorts of things you never knew you wanted.  In addition they also have great Tex-Mex style furniture for your home (and coffins for later!).  A good way to spend an hour.

Once again we jumped in Mr B and headed to Las Cruces, New Mexico. Decided to stop at the White Sands Missile Range Museum and Missile Park which is just a bit north of Las Cruces.  It is located on an army installation, but you can get a pass to the museum.  It had an interesting outside display  of over 50 rockets and missiles, which had once been tested at the missile range.  There was an inside museum which included information and artifacts from 100AD when this was Indian territory, also the story of ranching in this area and lots about the operation of the missile site.

By the time we were out of there the wind had picked up again, not unusual for this area.  Lots of highway warnings about dust storms and zero visibility.  Well guess what, we were in it again, wind and dust blowing in our directions as we left Las Cruces and headed to Deeming NM for the night.  Have stayed here before, in the Little Vineyard RV Park, though I see no vineyards in any direction.

Since this is the land of green chillies, my favorites, we hunted on UrbanSpoon for a place to have dinner.  Found a great little local restaurant and were not disappointed.  Feeling well feed as I write this.  Looking out our front window and the sky is very pretty with the setting sun.
Will be another cold night tonight, but we should be fine again in our little "home".  Tomorrow we will be in Arizona.  Probably try to stop in Benson at an RV park we have stayed in before.  We'll check out that area a bit to see what there is to see.
Bye for tonight,
Michelle and Fred
Travelling the country so you don't have to!