Escape from Winter - 2012 travel blog


The downpour started as we drove back to the motor home from the kite festival. This was the first rain we had seen since we arrived in the Valley over a month ago. Cars and trucks driving around us slipped and slid as if they were driving on ice. The roads are much cleaner now since it has been raining on and off since then and the annual rainfall total now exceeds the average. Although the drought in Texas has been in the news for months, we didn’t really feel it here. This agricultural area is laced with canals that carefully disperse the river water for miles inland and everything looks about as green as always. There were no prohibitions against washing cars and RV’s, Keeping those rigs sparkling is a favorite avocation around here.

We feel more disappointed by this weather than we should since January was so beautiful, but we wanted to get in one more twenty mile bike ride, one more round of golf, one more swim in the pool, and one more Banana Street cocktail party before we leave next week.

The veggie man came yesterday as he does every Wednesday and displayed his wares in the rain. His tomatoes looked even more appealing with a glaze of droplets than they did in the bright sunshine last week. He had fewer customers than usual, but was beaming broadly nevertheless. He said he had been up until 3am turning off and rearranging his irrigation system. These rains will save him much more money than a few unsold melons would have netted him today.

Clean water is problematic here in the Valley. There are signs in the campground warning that the drinking water contains high levels of salt than could cause problems for those of us with high blood pressure. There is a steady parade of campers lugging containers to the water purification machine in our park and we see water kiosks in parking lots everywhere we drive. Last time we were here this situation caused us to purchase a portable osmosis machine which we also use at home. No more lugging or buying those little plastic water bottles that are clogging landfills.

We also routinely filter the water that comes into the rig at the water spigot. Every few weeks the water in the shower goes down to a trickle so feeble we can’t rinse the shampoo out of our hair and Ken has to go out and change the filter. It is full of brown gunk that has plugged the flow. Usually these filters last us much longer. It makes us wonder about the health of the locals that drink this water routinely. When we are served a glass of water at a restaurant, it makes us question if we should drink it at all. At home we live next to one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world and rarely give the water a thought, but here it’s a major topic of conversation.

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