The plan for Friday morning was to drive out of Oklahoma, across Texas, and just into New Mexico. The goal for the day was to find camping somewhere near the Carlsbad Caverns. And I managed to convince Doug to let me drive for a little while! Doug likes to drive and it's not my favorite thing. I like to navigate and organize stuff, and that's not Doug's favorite thing. But still, I wanted to take some of the long task of driving for the day. And we learned that passenger Doug really doesn't like being at the beck and call of the driver. Oddly, my driving stint didn't last very long.
Lesson for the day, not all towns in Texas have a gas station. Better yet, it can often be a hundred miles between gas stations, at least on the road we were on. Earlier in the week, we had decided to pick up a 5 gallon gas container. That morning, I had argued that it was silly to have it empty in the back of the truck, so we filled it up. And we ended up needing it, about thirty miles before the next possible gas station in the middle of the day. I'm considering picking up a second spare container.
According to the our silly rules, we needed to find an EPIC stop in Texas, so we could qualify for our Texas sticker (see the details on Part 3). We opted to stop on the far side of Lubbock, TX to see the 13 ton granite carved John Wayne head. It was at a small university, inside the library. We got there, relived that the library was still supposed to be open, but sadly, with school out (for the summer?), they had closed early. We peered longingly through the windows, and could see the large stoney lump, but that was about it.
I had also decided that we needed to stop for a nice steak dinner while we were in Texas, so we did. Yum. While we waited for our meals, and gauged the 2+ hour drive still left to go, we decided to find an easy place nearby to stop for the night. We ended up at a free overnight RV stop next to the Coleman Park in Brownfield, TX. The town's Chamber of Commerce has a tiny little RV stop, with electricity, water, and a dump station. For free. It was not really picturesque, but free and easy are had to argue with.
In the morning, we pulled out early, and two hours later, we were at Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, NM. Along the road we saw lots of hawks and lots of mule deer. We pulled into the campground, did a quick set up, and headed out for our first hike in the desert.
Lizards galore, prickly pear cactus in bloom, and lots of dry, hot wind. Then we headed in to Roswell for lunch and to enjoy the alien craziness. The International UFO museum was pretty much as advertised. Lots of aliens, lots of theories, lots of blurry photos of flying saucers. We also did a tour of the town's roadside alien attractions, although we never managed to find the "stealthy home-built flying saucer on wheels".
Back at camp, Doug took a bracing dip in one of the "bottomless" lakes. It was chillingly cold and minnows impolitely nibbled at his toes.
And I sat in the shade, and typed up these blogs! Because this state park has wi-fi!
And soon I will sleep in my hammock, in the balmy 59 degree desert night.
Up next, Part 6.