Thursday, March 19, 2015

Route 180 East

Odometer 45113 miles
Trip Meter  209 mi.

Tuesday March 17,2015

Joan and I decided that we would make a quick visit to the museum in Deming before heading east this morning.  We got there just as they were closing at 4 o'clock yesterday and by the look of it, we had the feeling that it would be a good one to see.  We got up earlier than we normally would, in order to get to the museum when it opened at 9 AM.  We had a quick breakfast, rigged the coach for travel and drove separately out of the park and down to the local Kmart.  We left the motorhome in the parking lot and took the CRV downtown to the museum.  
Photo of the Deming Museum

The museum was everything we expected and more.  It is housed in the old armory building and has actually outgrown the two floors of the original building and expanded with a wing off the armory that almost doubles the space.  This museum has something for everyone.  We spent the next 2-1/2 hours seeing some of the highlights.

Ancient pottery on display

They have an amazing collection of ancient pottery, basketry, and tools.  the pottery includes many pieces found at Casa Grande.  It humbles one to consider the incredible craftsmanship and artistry that these pots exhibit. 

One selection of spear points is incredibly old dated at 10,000 years old!

Fire Chief's red 1909 Model T

The other areas of the museum are equally well appointed.  We browsed militaria from Indian conflicts to WWII and the Korean Conflict (including a battle tank), we saw lots of cowboy history, early cars and fire equipment, rocks and minerals, a "street" of shops from the 30s to the 50s which included dentists, barbers, telegraph office, appliance store, tack and saddlery, and at least 10 more.  I haven't even touched on the Doll room, the Liquor Bottle exhibit, The Beer Steins, the Alaskan artifacts, Cameras and Office Equipment, the Medical room, which includes an iron lung...  You get the idea.  We were very glad to have carved out some extra time to see this amazing museum.  Those wanting more information should go to Luna County Historical Society's website (

We reluctantly left the museum and rendezvoused with the motorhome to connect up the CRV for towing.  Before leaving Deming we stopped at Taco Bell for a couple of their vegetarian Cantina Power Bowls.  Fast becoming our favorite fast food the Cantina Power Bowl consists of rice, black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, and we usually have them hold the sour cream and grated cheese.  

Picture looking down US Highway 180 in New Mexico

We now have to lay down some tracks.  We hopped onto Interstate 10 and pointed the bus towards El-Paso.  A blogger we follow has given us the secret way to avoid the traffic tie-ups in and through El-Paso, and since we don't need to do any shopping we are game to miss it entirely.  We took route 404  which heads east above the town, then south on 54 along the east side of town to loop 375 which connects up to US highway 180 which we want to take all the way to Dallas/ Ft. Worth.  This should show us a little different territory and allow us to avoid any further interstate driving. US 180 will take us from El-Paso in Texas, back up into New Mexico at Carlsbad, then back out of New Mexico at Hobbs and into Texas again.  

Military transport passes us near Fort Bliss, TX in a driving rainstorm

Following this route we will drive through the Guadalupe Mountains National Park about half way to Carlsbad, so we formulate a plan to camp at the NP for the night.  Then it starts to rain...we trudge on through the rain all the way to the Park.

Rain smeared image from our rear facing camera

One of the things I'd like to fix about the camera system on our motorhome is to rig a better rain shield for the rear view camera.  Whenever we get a heavy rain the image quality drops off significantly.  When it stops raining I have to climb up and clean the glass in front of the lens.

Photo of Guadalupe Peak nearly obscured in clouds and fog

Close to the park we get a glimps of a high promentory is this the elusive Guadalupe Peak?  Moments later it is totally enveloped by clouds.  With the clouds, the rain and fog drifting in we can't see much of this scenic beauty tonight, maybe tomorrow will be better?  It rains most of the night, and in the morning the towels on the dashboard are soaked from our cracked and leaking windshield.
Arriving at the park we find our way into an overnight spot in their RV parking area (really- it's just a paved lot with white stripes).

Tuesday March 17

Odometer 45394
Trip meter  257 miles

Here is our route for today on Google Maps

Motorhome enshrouded in fog at Guadalupe Mountains National Park

This morning, the scenery consists of FOG.  Pea soup fog, down to the ground fog.  Uou get the idea, it was foggy.

Not much to the set-up to get rolling this morning.  We had breakfast and pulled in the slides, stowed the jacks and started the engine.   The first ten miles, we needed curb feelers to stay on the road, eventually the fog lifted- or we drove out from under it.

Motorhome parked just off the street in downtown Hobbs, NM

By a little after noon, we found ourselves in Hobbs, on the Texas- New Mexico line, where we stopped for lunch.  One of the benefits of this mode of travel, is that we can pull over just about anywhere and have a quick lunch.  Hobbs has a lot of closed businesses, and we had no trouble finding a vacant parking area to pull into.

We motored on down US route 180 through towns like Seminole, Lamesa, on our way to Snyder.  Why Snyder?  No particular reason, it's just the right distance.  There were several miles of road construction, however the traffic seemed to flow fairly well and the delays were not significent.

We got to Snyder at around 4 PM and went to the address of the first RV park we decided on.  There is nothing in the Trailer Life Directory for Snyder, so we were searching on Google.  Google doesn't give ratings and particulars, like we could get in the TL directory or on Good Sam's site- all you get on Google is the address of the park, and it sounded good to Joan when she looked at it.  Turns out the photos on the website for the park we headed for, were at least 10 years old or more and the park was so run-down and empty we just drove on by.  We looked at 5 RV  parks and all were really bad- even the ones that were full and had no spaces.  We finally took a space at Andy's RV, a small park just off US 180, and the clerk told us we could take several spaces if we wanted to angle in and leave the car hooked up.  Turns out the places he indicated were really trashy, however the electric pedestals and sewer and water looked to be very new and in excellent condition.  We hooked up and then I started to pick up trash.   It took about an hour.   I loaded 3 large lawn and leaf sized bags with trash to haul to the dumpster.

I was just about finished, when I spotted a cable TV hook-up that I had missed  before.  Out of curiousity I hooked our cable up.  Low and Behold!  We found we had scores of cable channels- what a pleasant surprise.

I believe that the oil drilling boom of the past several years has ruined a lot of RV parks.  The parks have been full to capacity, and  have found that they don't need to have any curb appeal or even a pleasant appearance and well maintained facilities.  Spaces have been so scarce that crews would live any where they could park their RV.

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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