Monday February 27th 2017
I timed my departure from Van Horn TX to arrive in El Paso TX, about 120 miles west, after the rush hour. Leaving at 10AM central time was perfect for an arrival in El Paso around 11AM Mountain time. The time zone change was only a few miles west of Van Horn as you climbed out of the valley.
The road wasn’t bad getting into El Paso. The hardest part of the journey was the climb out of the valley west of Van Horn. It seemed to be the longest climb I’ve made during this cross country trip. It starts to get congested and commercial long before you reach El Paso proper. This was a big change after all the miles since I last saw big box stores in the San Antonio area. Traffic was heavy but it kept moving through the entire city. The only down side was construction on the west side of the city.
Shortly after passing through the city Texas comes to an end and New Mexico starts. Traffic made it difficult to stop at the welcome center, so I continued on north toward Las Cruces where Interstate 10 resumes its westward direction. New Mexico is the first new state for me on this journey. Louisiana and Texas were new with an RV. I had been to both on business or vacation in the past.
The westward trip started with a stop at a Boarder Patrol Checkpoint. I was just waved through, but the backup was 20 cars or so. While waiting in line, I wonder if they would need to come into my home to look for aliens. Next up on the trip west were ominous warning signs about dust storms. “Exercise Extreme Caution Dust storm area”, “Do not stop in travel lanes”, “Zero visibility” were all on successive signs. At the same time I’m reading these signs I notice the wind is picking up. I made it through the warned areas without any incidents.
Most of the way across the state so far has been pretty flat, high desert type terrain. At one point I passed across the continental divide. The sign indicated the elevation was 4500 feet and change. It may be the lowest crossing by an Interstate road. The elevation in Lordsburg, where I am tonight, is 4230 ft. Tucson, the next major city on my trip west, is 2388 ft. I think the flat level road is over. Two thousand feet over one hundred and fifty miles isn’t huge, but it’s a drop.
After about five hours of travel, I’m at the KOA in Lordsburg NM about 200 miles from my destination for the month of February. I may stay here an additional night. The wind forecast for tomorrow is 30 mph with gusts to 60 mph. If that’s still the forecast in the morning I will extend here.