Monday, December 12, 2011
Getting Back to Normal--Whatever Normal Is.
The RV Vagabonds are once again on the road and traveling through new territory; that's a feeling we like. The trip from Oklahoma City to Amarillo, Texas was an interesting one since the landscape changed quite a bit due to the icy fog that had settled over Texas early in the morning. The result was a fairy land of vividly white lacy trees and bushes with long grasses bent with a heavy sheath of ice. The skies were gray so the effect wasn't as stunning as it would have been with bright sunlight and blue skies, but I didn't remember seeing the pure white coating of hoarfrost and ice that an icy fog leaves compared to the clear coating of an icy rain. The fog had lifted enough that we had no difficulty driving but the landscaped was muted and foreshortened to our view.
Our stay in Amarillo was only scheduled for one night which was good since it was bitterly cold--so cold that at first our hydraulic jacks on the front of The Beast wouldn't lower . Denny and I looked at each other and wondered "what next?", but after I went inside to turn on the furnace in hopes of getting some warm air into the compartment where the hydraulic fluid reservoir and pump are located I was able to get the jacks to lower. Whew! I swear The Beast is trying to see how much we'll take before we crack! Patches had forgotten about snow but quickly learned to avoid the patches on the ground as we took a very quick walk for exercise and exploration. It was a hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps night for sure!
When we got up the next morning we thought about going out to breakfast but then decided we simply wanted to get away from the cold, because our next destination of Roswell, New Mexico was supposed to be several degrees warmer per the Accuweather forecast. The route I had decided upon, a four lane U.S. route, took us through a section of Texas and New Mexico that we had never driven so we enjoyed what scenery we could see since once again fog had settled in. I will say we have never seen so many cattle feedlots since we've hit the road and I think it's going to be a while before I get the smell of cow manure out of my nose.
Having crossed yet another time zone, we arrived a bit too early at our reserved campsite which was still occupied so we chose a different site and got ourselves set up. Poor Black Beauty and The Beast--they were covered with mud and an oil/asphalt mix from newly laid roadway! Goodness knows when and where we'll be able to wash the trailer as fewer and fewer campgrounds are allowing rv owners to wash their rigs on site these days.
Since we've been stepping over a nine foot long box that has the remnant of our vinyl flooring since we left Oklahoma, our task this morning was to see if we could find a piece of PVC pipe that was at least six inches in diameter. My idea was to carry the flooring rolled up inside the PVC pipe which Denny would fasten with metal straps to the underside of the trailer. Unfortunately, the big box hardware store only carries four inch PVC pipe so the flooring is now wedged at an angle in our storage bin with a 1x3 for support. I simply was not going to leave that flooring at the rv dealer since we had to pay the entire cost of the flooring and shipping it to Oklahoma and they only used a segment of it to splice in a section where the flooring had been torn by the broken slideout roller. I figure by carrying this big honking piece of vinyl I'll pretty much guarantee that nothing will happen to the flooring inside. Kind of a reverse psychology/beating the odds ploy on our part. Thus there was a lot of extra work involved to make room for said flooring and the day was pretty much shot. Weather-wise it was another cold, foggy day which means the weather forecasters got it wrong yet again. I know there's sunshine and warm temperatures somewhere out here in the West!
Tomorrow's agenda takes us to a couple of the local museums and the visitor center and the taking of at least one touristy photograph of an alien. I believe that is de rigueur for the author of this blog, n'est-ce pas?