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.