Well, we did not ring in the New Year as anticipated….. We had the best laid plans of visiting friends on their ranch outside of Water Valley Texas. Barb and I were really looking forward to seeing Kim and Breanne along with another friend of ours from Minnesota who was going to be down there at the same time doing a little hunting.
We had staged ourselves back in Junction Texas at the city park for a couple days in anticipation of heading a couple hours further north to Water Valley. The more time we spend in Junction the more we like it. It is what small towns should be like, kinda Mayberryesk… Everybody knows everybody and even if they don’t, they are very friendly. The City Park allows 3 days of free camping, provide a water spigot with a hose, the bathrooms are not locked and there is no graffiti to be seen.
|Great free site!|
|View from across the river|
|Daisy did some tree climbing!|
Although it was overcast and cold, we enjoyed our 3 days there reading and taking the dogs for long walks. My only complaint is that the donut store was closed on Saturday. What donut store is closed on Saturday?!?! And to top it all off it was my birthday and I wanted a birthday donut! Oh well, Barb made a great breakfast of French toast roll ups that were better than any donut I would have gotten anyway.
I guess if I had another complaint it would be the Verizon service in the area. We had to go park outside the library to snag their free Wi-Fi. It was here that our travel plans changed. We had been somewhat out of touch so we were planning our travel route and checking the weather in Water Valley. When Barb said the highs were going to be in the 20’s and a low of 14 over the next couple days I was sure she had looked up Water Valley Wisconsin and not Water Valley Texas…. But a quick double check confirmed that it was indeed the Texas forecast. One thing we learned in South Dakota this fall is that the pipes in our rig tend to freeze up in the teens.
Frustrated, disappointed and depressed we canceled our Water Valley trip and headed southwest towards Big Bend. It was foggy and misting along the way and we watched the temperature plummet over the next couple of hours 32 turned into 30 then 28…. Ice was forming on our antenna and the front of the rig. By the time we got to Fort Junction it was 26 and getting slippery so we decided we better stop for the night.
|Our front cap was a sheet of ice at the end of the day|
We rang in the New Year at the Roadrunner RV Park. At $15 a night for full hookups (Passport America) this park might be overpriced. It is pretty run down and crowded but served the purpose for an overnight. Actually, we did not even try to ring in the New Year, we were fast asleep when we were startled awake by a loud boom, followed by another and another….. a quick glance at the clock showed it was 12:04 am and someone was lighting off fireworks. Barb and I mumbled a happy new year to each other and fell back asleep.
Despite our best efforts we did not avoid the cold, we woke up to snow on the ground and temps in the low 20’s. But at least we had not froze up. Taking advantage of the hookups we had a lazy morning before hitting the road and heading south.
|A frosty morning at Road Runner.....|
So what is our New Year’s resolutions? Actually, we did not make any. We have goals for the year but no resolutions. We would like to get the concrete pad and all the underground electrical/plumbing done for our build site. Anything beyond that would be a bonus. In the short term, we have put ourselves on a diet. A monetary diet that is.... we have been spending way too much over the past couple of months and need to start saving some money. So when you see us eating ramen noodles for dinner, you will know why. Actually, this birthday was kind of a milestone for me. Turning 55 I finally get to start collecting my pension! That will go a long way to helping us get where we need to be to continue to work on our house.
New Years Day we carried on south towards Big Bend. It was cold, the lowest we saw was 14 but the roads were in good driving condition. The cold air mixed with moisture in the air made for some spectacular scenery.
|There were old telegraph lines along the road|
|The Rio Grande with Mexico right on the other side.|
|The plateau on the other side is in Mexico|
There were two hikes we were interested in taking if we had the opportunity. We just did not know which one we were going to do. Our first choice was Lost Mine and the other was The Window. Both are about 40 minutes from our site but only 10 minutes from each other. As we arrived at the parking area for the Lost Mine hike we saw that all the parking spots were taken so our decision was made for us and off to The Window trail we went.
At 5.2 miles this trail descends down a wooded wash with great views of the mountains on either side. It ends at a pour off with expansive views of the surrounding landscape. It is a pretty easy hike and a nice way to get back into hiking shape as have several aggressive hikes planned in the coming weeks.
|We saw no lions or bears but we did see some wildlife!|
|View of the valley from The Window|
Next up we head to New Mexico and Carlsbad Caverns!