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Thread: Looping the USA

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Looping the USA

    We finally got to start our summer trip, after months of planning and questions. Hopefully we will be able to complete this one. This is the 3rd East coast trip we have planned in the past 20 years; the previous two got aborted for one reason or another.

    Our first day out was a simple 360 miles from our home in Southern California, to my parents home in Tempe. It was uneventful, thank goodness. We stopped for brunch in Yuma at IHOP, armed with a coupon so at least my meal was free. We spent the evening visiting with my parents and some friends of theirs who were also visiting.

    The second day out, which was the real first day, was full of delays. We were up quite early, knowing that this day of travel was going to give us two lost hours when we went from Mountain Standard Time to Mountain Daylight Time and then into Central Daylight Time before reaching our day's destination. Getting fuel at 5 am wasn't particularly tough, and really is the best time of day to fill up with diesel in the heat of the desert! Getting onto I-10 Eastbound was another matter -- traffic accident closed the freeway and rerouted all of the traffic onto streets. We had to go further south to pick up the freeway!

    One of my favorite views, approaching Tucson, is the ever-changing vision of Picacho Peak. (Pronounced "pih-kah-choh")



    Going through Tucson was an eye-opener. (Hi, AZBuck!) I'd lived there in the early '70s but haven't been back since about 1988. BOY, have things changed! The place where we lived no longer exists -- I think it might be under a brand new intersection (Twin Peaks Rd). We did have a lovely breakfast at the Crying Onion Cafe on Orange Grove Ave. Great service and good food.

    However, there is always the blight on ones' views: the billboards trying to entice one to visit "The Thing". They start before Tucson and don't end until Exit 322. No thanks, never been, don't want to.



    Second delay was in Las Cruces. We'd intended to fill up at a Flying J or a Pilot Station at a specific exit. Well, New Mexico was plum full of construction. More slowdowns and one-lanes drove us nuts anyway, but when they closed the exit from eastbound I-10 to the fuel station, we were mad! We tried getting off at the next exit to see if we could take a frontage road back -- nope. We ended up getting fuel at the NM/TX border. Our truck is getting 16+ mpg and our fuel ran $3.37/gal this morning and $3.60/gal at Anthony, TX. (Diesel.)

    Here's one shot from the road in New Mexico:


    Third delay was in El Paso. Another accident brought traffic into the left 3 lanes which were stop and go for about 3+ miles. YUCK! Then more congestion in El Paso. We could see into Mexico at several points along the route. I'm so glad we live where we do.

    Last delay was at the Border Patrol checkpoint. Frankly, I'm glad they're doing their job. The big trucks seemed to wail through the point, but the Greyhound was there for a long time, and we waited 12 minutes or so before we got up front in line. The people in front of us were sent to the side. We were just asked a few questions, they told us to have a great vacation, and sent us on our way after peering into the back of the pickup (camper shell).

    Texas has 80 mph speed limits in places, so hubby chose to hit 80 to make up for the lost time. We made it into a Ramada Inn in Van Horn. We were in "early", so the manager gave us a first floor room with a brand new king size bed. It's nice and clean, we can park right outside the door. We hit the grocery store and then the pool before making dinner in the room. I used an electric fry-pan to make a hamburger type casserole. Served with a salad, it turned out to be a nice (cheap!) meal. Believe me, there wasn't much choice in Van Horn. It was fast-food, a Mexican sit-down, or do-it-yourself.


    Donna
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-20-2012 at 08:08 PM. Reason: You need to grab the actual photo link, not the page name!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default More to come?

    Looking forward to reading more of your report (and please go ahead and add those photos!)

    And I loved this....
    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Well, New Mexico was plum full of construction.
    I think you might have meant "plumb full".... I can't imagine New Mexico full of plums....

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-21-2012 at 06:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    6,936

    Default

    Sounds like you got off to a great start, despite the delays. It reads just wonderfully, and not at all full of the frustration you must have felt. Lovely pics. I love the Tucson region, despsite its proximity to the Mexican border.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Last delay was at the Border Patrol checkpoint. Frankly, I'm glad they're doing their job.
    Yes, I agree, I am always happy to wait when security is the issue. But what border crossing is this? Did you go into Mexico?

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Checkpoints -- not at the border!

    No, these are Border Patrol checkpoints -- none are near the border, some are more-or-less stationary, but most are set-up within a few hours and stay operational for a day or so before moving someplace else.

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default

    Sounds like you're having a great time so far! Hope the folks are doing well!

    One question: just what is "The Thing?"

    Stay safe, and remember to buckle up!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default No telling....

    No Spoilers on this forum!

    You have to stop and pay the toll to see "The Thing"

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
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    Default

    I would have NO idea what "THE THING" is. It's one of those places that we don't ever have any plans to stop.

    Day three went just okay. My poor husband almost didn't get his morning coffee, though, because we had troubles with the coffeemaker we brought, then troubles with the one in the hotel room. Finally he got coffee at Love's Truck Stop, but had to take regular (with caffeine), as they hadn't brewed any decaf yet.

    It took us almost 9 hours to make the trip from Van Horn up to Decatur, TX, where we were visiting with friends for a couple of days. Most of the trip was on I-20 until we left the interstate at Weatherford, TX.

    In Weatherford, we made a brief detour to see the childhood home of one of my favorite actor, Larry Hagman. I leaned out the window of the car as hubby pulled up, shot a few photos, and we moved on.

    Our friends are well set-up in a rural area, with a pool, lots of sun, and more. We enjoyed their pool but it was too hot to be in the jacuzzi.

    To be continued....


    Donna
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-22-2012 at 11:08 AM. Reason: added link to actor

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default LIke I said....

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    I would have NO idea what "THE THING" is. It's one of those places that we don't ever have any plans to stop.
    What? A RoadTrip Enthusiast who doesn't stop at road trip attractions? How peculiar... if you want a few hints... Look at this article penned by Chris Epting...

    I've stopped at just about all of these kinds of places and if you'd like to see a few more of our favorites... be sure to look at the RoadTrip Attractions pages.... (listed by state).

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Well - there's a pretty blurry distinction between a road trip attraction and a tourist trap..........

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default It's all in the moment and how it feels when you are there!

    Tourist traps can be road trip attractions, but not all road trip attractions are tourists traps...

    Mark

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