We had a cold night in Las Cruces, NM where we were concerned about the Roadtrek’s water lines freezing. RVs have issues with water freezing in pipes just as houses do. If you have very cold weather and live in the northern states you have to do a complicated process of winterizing. It involves draining of all water and putting in a special anti freeze in the fresh water tanks. I don't like the idea of putting chemicals in the tank and then having to flush it out since people say you can taste it and I am concerned about the chemicals so we tried to avoid this process. We have one inside tank that is protected from frost, but we had problems with the water pump working correctly when we began the trip. We checked the weather and thought it was warm enough to get by but when we arrived at the RV park in New Mexico we found ice in the dog walking area at 4 pm. They had a notice up at the office to make sure not to leave the water hoses hooked up over night since they will freeze. It got down to 24 degrees overnight but we avoided any problems by keeping the inside at 69 degrees, bathroom door open and the hot water slightly dripping. I got up a few times to run both hot and cold so nothing froze. This is the coldest spot so we should be fine after this. They said in Casa Grande that it was the coldest winter in 25 years.
In Las Cruces, NM we had dinner at La Posta de Mesilla which had a historical past that was quite interesting even if the food was less than inspirational. It is national historical landmark and was originally built in 1840 and among it its many incarnations included a stagecoach stop Butterfield Express and it was once one of the finest hotels in the Southwest. The menu claimed that Billy the KId, General McCarther, Poncho Via and other famous people were there. The building was in the old town which had a feeling of old Mexico with narrow streets, high sidewalks, adobe buildings and all around a zocolo.
In Arizona we saw lots of little trucks marked Border Patrol with a government seal. They have a very small enclosed windowless container in the back with one small opening in the back. I've seen better air conditioned containment for animal control. I honestly can’t imagine cramming people on a hot day into that hot box where a person could not even sit up.
In the middle of Texas there was Homeland Security stop that closed the freeway and stopped all vehicles. A dog sniffed the back of each vehicle while the guards questioned the driver. They asked us if we were US citizens and who else was in the car.
Even though it was the middle of winter Arizona, and New Mexico it had me snapping photos for future landscape paintings. The mountains and high desert were so subtle in their beauty, the shadows were great and sky was clear and bright. As we hit Texas there were less mountains in the distance the landscape or perhaps they has less variety. The audio books were keeping us entertained when the length of the state was making itself known. They cactus were almost gone and the tumble weeds and low brush became the norm when we hit the Texas Hill county.
We had planned on stopping in Fredricksburg, TX to see a friend, Johnny Nicholas, who owns the Hilltop Cafe. It’s a great place that I’ve wanted to visit for years. We bought a 50’ Buick from Johnny around 1989. The link to the cafe ishttp://hilltopcafe.com/ Some of you may remember the great 50‘Buick that we had parked in front of our house for years. You can see on the this link behind Johnny in the album photo. http://hilltopcafe.com/gifts/When Johnny used to come into the Bay Area to play music he would come by our house to sit in the car. If we stop on the way back from Florida instead of going the Texas bluebells may be in season. Johnny sent us seeds years ago.. It’s a definite stop on the return trip. It will be Friday night on return instead of Sunday and the place should be jumping. I love his music and then there's his wife, Brenda's cooking.
Yesterday I had a sighting of a strange stripped creature in the campground in the camping spot next to us. At first I thought it was a dog, but then there was a moment of doubt before I realized it had been given a pink Mohawk and was painted. When the pink poodle came out I learned that the owner was a dog groomer. I just can't image that the dog liked the look, but you never know. The dogs certainly got a lot of attention. I will post a photo of their camper later which was equally flamboyant.
Headed to Louisiana this morning, but we have a bit of Texas waiting for us to cross first.