Last night we welcomed in the new year as we have welcomed in quite a few - drinking champagne and making the RV Navigator podcast which is always posted for download on the first day of the month. Drinking champagne doesn't do a whole lot for the quality of our comments, but our virtual friends in the RV community seem to get a kick out of this annual tradition. It's hard to believe we have been podcasting for ten years.
As we finished the drive through West Texas today we passed many large warehouses with signs advertising that cotton and peanuts were inside. Without the signs we would have had no idea what the scrubby little plant remains in the snow had been. When we crossed into New Mexico the scenery was no longer agricultural. Oil pumps and a refinery were the way people make their money here. The elevation rose gradually and we found ourselves driving through an icy fog once again. The pavement looked wet, but could have been ice as the temperature hovered around freezing. In the countryside it was hard to tell how much snow had fallen, but every small town we drove through had large heaps of snow pushed to the side, slowly melting into giant puddles with nowhere to go. The snow fell here almost a week ago and the locals just don’t know quite what to make of it.
We are camped just outside Carlsbad Caverns, the first destination on the list for this trip. The campground is nearly full, but there hardly seems to be anyone here. Strange. It is is attached to a hotel and the clerk said its was warm enough to wear shorts just before the snow arrived. The water spigots are frozen so we are making due with the water we took onboard in Tulsa. The Jeep which has been towed 1,300 miles through the freezing slop is unrecognizable, so we took it to town for a bath. Finding a washing bay large enough for the motor home is a challenge best saved for another day.
The caverns are a constant temperature well above freezing and the weather forecast hints at improvement. We’re grateful that the long driving days are over and hope that that the ice will soon be a distant memory.