It’s been a mostly quiet winter but we have put some miles between Kat’s Cradle and south Louisiana. Bret and Allison have a new baby, Will, so we camped outside Bryan, TX for three weeks. We did what we could to make a good first impression on a kid who is yet too young to walk or talk. The young lad implied that we succeeded.
Next stop was a Corps of Engineers campground outside Georgetown known as Cedar Breaks. If you visit Austin, peace and quiet abounds at Cedar Breaks. It offers electricity, water connections, and a dump station plus hot showers and a lovely view of Lake Georgetown. If you possess an America the Beautiful pass Breaks is a bargain.
After Georgetown we turned northwest toward Lubbock. The scenery quickly went from lush lawns and golf courses to scrub oak ranchland best suited for goats and sheep. Nearer to Lubbock the terrain became drier with fewer trees, first mesquite, and then dwarf cedar. The view from the truck featured cattle feed lots, then wind farms with thousands of turbine towers, each tall as a football field is long. And soon the landscape returned to the old Texas done a new way, tightly packed pump jacks lifting crude oil.
Our next stop was 40 miles northwest of Lubbock at the Waylon Jennings Free RV Park in Littlefield, TX. We are getting well ahead of spring and chose to slow down a bit. There isn’t much to do or see in Littlefield. So we cooked, replaced a sheared grease zerk on our hitch, worked on an interior door, and enjoyed free full hookups. And then we left en route to New Mexico.
Sunday, 20 miles past Clovis, the Sled’s Check Engine light glowed and gonged. The overhead diagnostics revealed no problem; the gauges were all good except, Holy Moly! 245 degrees! Switch from A/C to heat, put the fan on high, hope we can make it to the next little town to park in safety. No! Steering is getting stiff; better pull over on the curb. Brakes are failing: hang on! But the trailer’s brakes worked. For hours we were parked on the shoulder of a 75 mph highway, with a dust storm driven by 50 mph winds rocking us even when 18-wheelers didn’t. This is no way to get your adrenaline high, but By Jove, we got ours. The tow truck arrived but despite prior promises, he could only take The Red Sled. Kat was becoming unhinged and told the guy “Just get another truck! We are not leaving our home on the side of the road.” In time he did. The best face to put on this is … it’s over.
On Monday we found our campsite (# A7) in Santa Rosa State Park outside that little town. We had a good view of the town’s reservoir from a pull-through spot with water and 30 amps. This is a New Mexico state campground, reasonably priced and in lovely condition. Kat considers it one of our best ever.
Dancing Eagles Casino just off I-40 rents full hookups for $10 a night plus tax. The casino has slots and hearty food at low prices. I wanted fry bread and roasted lamb ribs, but played it safe. Their burgers were tasty and filling. We were surprised to see that most of the casino staff are tribe members (Laguna Pueblos) and so were many of their diners.
I’ll end this with a promise to write more interesting things in the near future (this blog doubles as our travel log) and this Laguna prayer.
“Hold on to what is good,
Even if it’s a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it’s a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it’s easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.”