We stayed in Deming for 3 nights, waiting for the high winds to abate and watching dust obliterate any view we might have had. During that time, Interstate-10 was closed for several hours on Saturday, from Las Cruces to the Arizona border, and on west to Willcox, AZ. We weren’t sure if we were happy to be out of Benson. But at least it was a start on our long-distance travels.
Winds were supposed to be below 30 mph today, so we left the Dreamcatcher SKP park in Deming about 8:30 this morning and headed for Tucumcari, NM, about 360 miles. I took the wheel for the first leg, knowing that wind typically gets stronger later in the day. We stopped for fuel in Las Cruces, about 55 miles away. I continued to drive to the west side of Alamogordo, about 130 miles in all. We stopped and ate a bite of lunch, then Don took over driving. Heading north on US-54, the wind started to kick up. We later learned the winds were about 43 mph sustained, with gusts to 60 mph! And it seemed like it was always a cross-wind, never a tail-wind!
The road surface on US-54 varied in quality from bad to worse, including miles and miles of construction with speeds reduced to 35-45 mph.
Some of the worst, bumpy, narrow road, with no shoulders, is going to be rebuilt, but current work is on viaducts in low spots. While it was annoying to have a low speed limit, our ride was so rough we really didn’t want to go faster.
When we reached Vaughn, about 100 miles from our planned destination, the high winds were starting to bring dust with them, and we were all tired.
Jan had been driving their truck-towing-5th-wheel during the worst parts of the trip, so they changed drivers back to Bill. We all agreed to stop in Santa Rosa rather than push on to Tucumcari. This made the trip about 305 miles for today.
The last 40 miles of the road seemed endless!
We arrived about 3:30 and got side-by-side pull-through sites at Santa Rosa Campground. We swapped sites after I discovered we wouldn’t be able to get our passenger side front slide out due to the tree.
Since Bill and Jan’s 5th wheel doesn’t have a front slide on that side, they didn’t mind.
Then we thought they had a bad electrical post, so Jan had to walk back to the office to get the manager.
I felt bad about trading sites with them, but it turned out the electric source was okay. Maybe our meters just didn’t want to work right in the wind. And, after all, they have site #66, here on Historic Route 66!
The RV park has a small restaurant on site, so we took advantage of that and Bill drove us the short distance up to the building so we wouldn’t have to walk in the wind.
We fondly remember the last time we were here with Larry and Carol Jennings. We celebrated her 66th birthday on Route 66! Carol, we thought of you, and we know your birthday’s coming up again soon! Good thing you’re counting backwards now, so you don’t have to worry about that BIG NUMBER!
Tomorrow’s plan is to go to Liberal, KS, where we’ve stayed at the fairgrounds several times. But Don just discovered that we’ll be in more 30+ mph winds. Maybe we’ll have to consider Plan C… In any case, it’s fun to be sharing this adventure with Jan and Bill.