Off we went on Sunday (after church….Ha!) with the aim of getting to Van Horn TX in about 7 hours. It was going to be a long day….. but little did we know just how long.
Everything was going fine until about half way through the trip when the generator stopped working and, of course, the A/C stopped dead. We managed to find a gas station with extremely poor signage and bought oil for the genny. Only after Nui overfilled the reservoir did she figure out that lack of oil wasn’t the problem. The poor generator simply overheated from running the A/C for five hours. (Note to self: get it fixed.) So we would alternate between opening the windows (which caused the dog house to blow off), running the generator and the A/C, and wearing cold, wet towels on our heads and bodies.
Did we mention that we don’t like El Paso. Last year, the coach threw a spark plug and we had to spend 2 days and lots of money in El Paso before we could hit the road again.
This time, we were just on the outskirts of town when we found out that the geniuses that run the road work crews decided to shut down the only interstate highway that runs through town. We sat in a line-up for an hour and a half while 5 lines of traffic filtered down to one and then exited the highway. That would have been fine, except that from then on, we were on our own. There were only one or two signs that indicated where the detour route was and there was no indication of where the construction finally ended so we could get back on the highway. We spent over 2 hours in bumper to bumper traffic, slowly winding through El Paso. We were extremely grateful that a car full of young women stopped beside us and offered to guide us back to the interstate. We followed these El Paso Angels and managed to get back on the road at around 6 p.m.
Make that 6:00 p.m. our time. We still had 2.5 hours of travel ahead and figured we would make it while it was still light out. We hadn’t factored in that we had actually passed through not one, but two, time zones and it was actually 8:00 p.m. Central time. Ignorance is bliss, but we did wonder why it gets so dark so early in Texas. Needless to say, we wound up having to drive in the dark (not a big fan). Of course, it wasn’t that simple – there were mountains, there were curves, there were border patrol stops, there was a lot of road work, including one on a hill, on a curve with grey concrete abutments that Nui saw just in time to avoid a rather spectacular crash. Remember those 7 dirty words that George Carlin said you can never say on TV? Nui said them all.
We made it to the Van Horn KOA at around 10:30 p.m., exhausted, hot, hungry, frustrated and very thirsty. That’s when Nui found out that her nice new little car is a worthless POS. You can’t run the brake buddy system without having the car on. (Note to self: get it fixed) This means that the battery is dead and we are basically hauling around a large doorstop. Nice….thanks Chevy. Good planning….. let me introduce you to the road crews in El Paso.
So today we are still in Van Horn because a) we’re exhausted b) the time zone has thrown us off our schedule and c) it is so windy that the coach is rocking. We leave for Abilene tomorrow. I wonder what time it is there.
PS Having a wonderful time!