Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Leaving Arizona and heading to Red Bay, AL.

This morning, Friday the 27th we started out by driving 53 miles on I-10 until we got to Las Cruces, NM where we picked up US 70. This is the view coming into Las Cruces looking to the east and Organ Mountains.



In between Las Cruces and Alamogordo is the White Sands Proving Grounds and the White Sands National Monument. One of the disadvantages of having a 40 foot motorhome and towing another 24 feet is getting into some parking lots. It didn't look like we could get in and out of the small parking lot, so we took these two photos from the road and on the move.


This picture shows why they call it the White Sands.  It could almost be mistaken for a snow scene in Minnesota right now. 


We stopped for lunch at Taco Bell in Alamogordo. After lunch we stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up some essentials, pop and beer, and then we headed out on US 82. The following photos are on US 82.


They sure didn’t get much of a ski season here at Ski Cloudcroft this year. It’s already over and it's only February 27th.



We found a place to pull over along the side of the road to get a photo of this Staghorn Cholla Cactus in bloom.


After crossing the Sacramento Mountains the scenery took a drastic change and we came out onto this high plateau that went on forever.


This is an oil refinery in Artesia, NM


After leaving Artesia we drove at least 30 miles where there must have been one oil pump for every ten acres for as far as you could see on either side of the road. The next 20 miles thinned out to about half that many oil pumps. Most of them were actively pumping.


In Hobbs, NM we picked up US 180 and drove to Lamesa, TX where we spent the night at their city park. The campsite has free water and 30 amp electric hookups as well as a dump station. During the night we had winds of 26 MPH with gusts of 39. From Lamesa we took US 180 to Mineral Springs where we took US 281 north to US 380. Once on US380 we drove to Greenville, TX and then north a little to Cooper Lake State Park where we are going to spend the night. Again, I managed to find a very narrow road to travel, but in this case, it was for only 6 miles.


Then it was back on to a little bit better highway.


A nice thing about US 180 and US 380 in Texas is that they are almost like a freeway in that they skirt most of the towns so you can maintain a good average speed. Sandy loves all the big old oak trees in Texas. The scenery looks much like it does back in Minnesota.


The low this cold March 1st morning at Cooper Lake State Park was 24.5 degrees. But the morning dawned with a bright clear sky with Cardinals everywhere. Notice the ice above the back of this Cardinal. Lorraine, the Cardinals are wishing you were here to see them.



We are going to spend another day here and enjoy this park, even if it is cold.

Here is our rig.



Sandy found this pretty purple flower.


And a few more pictures from in the Park




Double click on this picture to enlarge as the center looks so interesting.


After leaving the park on Monday the 2nd, we drove NW to catch US 82 and followed it over to the Natchez Trace where we proceeded north to Tupelo, MS, and then over to Red Bay, AL. Here's a picture as we are leaving the Texas State Park.


As the next two photos show, the trees are starting to bloom in the southern part of Arkansas.



This is a new bridge being built to cross the Mississippi River on US 82 by Greenville, MS.


But this is the bridge we had to cross.


New bridge again.


Back to the old.


Here we are heading up the Natchez Trace in the evening near sunset.


This turned out to be a 544 mile day. We drove 4 out of the last 5 days, covering 1689.1 miles in 32 hours 45 minutes of driving time which turns out to be a 51.6 MPH average. That is not too bad as I had the cruise set at 61 MPH when I could and we only drove on the freeway about 200 miles.

Now it's time to get ready to have some work done on the motorhome over the next few days at "Camp Red Bay".

Bye for now,

Dave and Sandy.

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