Sunday, July 12, 2015

Back to Texas... But Not For Long

New Mexico 

We crossed into New Mexico in the warmth of mid October, inching closer to our winter home, Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.  We watched the US Border Patrol float quietly above the warm desert and mountains - in an unmanned blimp drone.

We parked in the Deming, NM Walmart parking lot - one of three RVs seeking refuge on the asphalt campground that night.  Compared to other Walmart's we'd stayed at, it was relatively quiet but we still heard traffic noise all night long.  Walmart lots offer a free overnight stay option on those days that we just need to stop and sleep.  Otherwise, we prefer city, county or state parks as our stopping points.

The next day we decided it was still too early to arrive at the refuge, as we were not expected until October 26th.  Instead, we decided to go to El Paso, Texas.

Rio Grande River isn't very grand after use for irrigation

Haze and smog from the cities

Texas. Again.

Returning to Texas allowed us to do two things.  First, we'd be able to find someone to work on the Jeep, which needed the front end rebuilt to rid it of the "wobble of death" we'd been experiencing since buying it.  Second, Kathy had reconnected with her favorite high school band director, and mentor, on Facebook who now lived and taught in El Paso.  She hadn't seen him since 10th grade! He knew we were headed to town and arrangements were made to visit over dinner.

We decided to stay a few days and located Arvey Park,
Our ride for a few days
an Escapees park on the outskirts of town. Escapees is an RV club that offers many benefits, including discounted stays at affiliated parks.  We paid $15.00 a night which was a steal, even if the park  was run down and occupied by full timers, almost like a mobile home park.  This one was nothing fancy but very practical.  

After researching automotive repair reviews, we found Jerry's Automotive and spoke to Jerry, who actually understood what "death wobble" was.  He said they had just rebuilt his son's Jeep for the same problem and were very successful.  When we told him we lived in the RV and that the Jeep was our only mode of transportation while in town, he offered to lend us a car, for free, while we waited for the Jeep to be repaired.

After completing the paperwork, Jerry walked us out of the shop and towards our ride for the next few days - a vintage 1988-ish 4-door sedan that reminded us both of our high school days.  The car was relatively clean and ran like a charm.  We drove it up to Fort Bliss and through Franklin Pass towards the Franklin Mountain State Park.  The park sits above the city and has great hiking trails if you are well prepared for the desert heat, even in the late fall.  The view of the city as well as Ciudad Juarez is spectacular from the mountain.  

While at the park, Jerry called with an estimate and we were approved for a 1 year interest free credit card to allow us to pay for the repairs.  Things continued to go well for us and we were grateful.  We returned to the RV to walk the dogs and then headed north again through rush hour traffic.  Traffic patterns of those going home after work have a certain rhythm. Revving engines and tired frustrated drivers are typically not a good mix. It was some of the worst traffic we'd driven in since hitting the road.  We refused to participate in the surrounding insanity and simply let the mania around us occur as we drifted with the flow.    

We met Mr. Quintanilla, Kathy's high school band teacher, for Mexican food.  Mr. Q had quite a story about his life after leaving Killeen High School.  We found out he had applied and was accepted into a PhD program at the University of North Texas.  At the time, his only mode of transportation was a motorcycle.  He left early in the morning on his way to the final interview, hit a deer and sustained substantial injuries.  After months of recovery, he never reconnected with the university and the opportunity was gone.  In response, he recommitted himself to high school music programs - eventually making his way to El Paso.  Our dinner meeting was too short and ended with an invitation to watch Mr. Q's current marching band practice the next morning.  Sadly, we declined as we were heading back out on the road the next day.

After picking up the Jeep the next morning and returning our hoochy ride, we we headed north back into New Mexico on the eastern side of the Franklin Mountains through Fort Bliss.  The area is very active with war games and we watched them along the highway for miles as we traveled to our winter home.

No comments:

Post a Comment