Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cotton, windmills, grasshoppers and hay

Thursday, December 15, 2011
Left Kerrville, TX at about 9:30am with a destination of Sweetwater. The drive from Junction, TX north to Sweetwater was through a very rural part of TX. Mostly large ranches with cattle, or course, but also goats and sheep. We took a break in Paint Rock, a small community that has seen better days.

On the way to Sweetwater, we saw the largest windmill farm we’ve seen anywhere. There were hundreds of them. It’s nice seeing competing energy sources like oil rigs and windmills sharing the same land.

Tonight we’re camped at the Newman City Park in Sweetwater. The camping area is basically the parking lot surrounding the coliseum building complex. $16/night for a site with electricity and shared water connections. There is a dump station on site. Tomorrow there is a stock show in the coliseum. This afternoon, participants are bringing in their animals for the show.
As I had hoped, we drove through a nice rain storm today. It washed off any salt spray and sand I might have missed at the car wash in Port A.

Friday, December 16, 2011
Continued north to the Amarillo “Best” Wonderland RV Resort in Amarillo, TX. That’s a real mouthful for what is a very basic RV park. Ordinarily we go to lengths to avoid commercial campgrounds but tonight the temperature is forecast to be well below freezing so we wanted someplace with electrical hookups. $26/night for a full hookup site; a fair enough price and a great location right off our planned route.

Texas is a huge state; just mile after mile after mile. Today we drove through cotton, oil and cattle country.

Texas has lots of cows!!

There were several cattle feed lots along the road. It’s interesting to see the different ways in which hay is baled. On Amish farms, the small, traditional cube of hay is most common; probably because it’s the easiest to handle manually. The round bale seems to predominate in most areas but the feed lots around here tended to use very large cubes of hay ; most likely because it’s more efficient to stack and store cubes then cylinders.
There were thousands of acres of cotton fields and perhaps a dozen cotton gins. I can’t drive past a cotton farm, I suspect cotton plantation is not a politically correct word, without thinking of the role cotton played in the Civil War. Fatalities from the Civil War are estimated to be from 600,000 to 700,000.
Overall the quality of the roads on the drive from Corpus to Raton was very good. We like Texas; we’ll be back.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Today’s destination was Raton, NM. We topped off the propane tank in preparation for the very cold weather we expect in Longmont. The drive to Raton was pretty. The elevation is increasing, there is snow here and there, and the snow topped mountains are in view. A few days ago we were camped at sea level along the Gulf Coast. Right now we’re at 6,553’.
Tonight we’re staying at the Summerland RV Park. $33.34/night. Once again, a very basic place to just spend the night. We can see the traffic on I-25 but the camper is so well insulated, we can’t hear a sound. The plan is to dump the tanks tonight, put the antifreeze in them and then make minimal use of the tanks until we head south to where it’s warm enough for them to thaw out so they can be dumped. The weather forecast for the Longmont area is for sub-freezing weather every day.
In the morning, we make the drive north on I-25 to Suzanne’s house.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I also love all the back roads of Texas. Hope it is not too cold where you are going, but suspect it will be. My Lazy Daze holds up surprisingly well in the cold climate. Can't wait to head south for so warm temps.