We enjoyed a fun holiday trip over the 4th of July long weekend, meeting our son and some friends to go RV camping in northern New Mexico. The weather was cool and beautiful and was such a welcome relief from our July heat at home.
We had a total of four RVs in our group, and this was our first trip to camp with that many couples and a few grown kids in the mix. We shared lots of good food and laughs over the course of three days, and I think a good time was had by all. Of course, we always miss our “Lil’ Firecracker” daughter on this holiday, since it is also her birthday.
One of the couples in our group is still pretty new to camping in their trailer, and they quickly discovered that their sewer hose wasn’t long enough. Fortunately, we were carrying a new hose extension, so we just gave it to them. I was happy that we were able to help them out because there wasn’t a store anywhere nearby where they could buy one.
Northern New Mexico provided us with cool nights, warm days and a daily afternoon shower or two. On one day, though, the afternoon showers actually became afternoon storms with some pea-sized hail in the mix. Fortunately, everyone managed to get their awnings put away before it hit, and no damage was done to any cars or RVs.
We certainly enjoyed this trip in our new-to-us RV, as it is much roomier than our previous RV inside. It was especially nice to have the extra room while our son stayed with us, as well as more privacy between the living room area and our bedroom.
For the second time, we attended the amazing fireworks show in Raton, having attended it for the first time in 2014. We were happy to return and take more friends with us this time, but, unfortunately, our son had to drive home on the afternoon of the 4th and had to miss it. We secured a fabulous spot early to watch the show, right in front of the historic train station where Amtrak stops in town. This is such a neat area of this town, too.
I opted to leave my good camera behind at the RV, and I’m kicking myself now that I chose to do that. We were so close to the action, and at it seemed that the fireworks might literally land in our lap at times. Next time, I will not make that mistake, if we are fortunate enough to attend the show again in the future. I challenged myself to do the best job I could do with my phone camera, and I managed to get a few decent shots, even though they hardly compare with what I could have captured with my good camera, tripod and cable release. Still… I’m fairly impressed with what my little phone camera was able to do, too.
After we returned to camp for the night, the stars were out so nicely on a dark sky night, and I captured some neat long exposure photos that I will share in my next post. This was the first time that I photographed the Milky Way, so it turned out to be a “bucket list” photography experience for me. I posted one of these photos in my previous Wordless Wednesday post, too.
The most interesting part of our trip was definitely our drive home.
Traveling by RV is just not the same as traveling by car, and the longer we travel in our RV, the more we realize just how different it can be and how we must be willing to adapt, when necessary.
Once again, Mother Nature stepped in to play havoc with our drive home on Tuesday, the 5th. While the weather was pretty great over the holiday weekend in New Mexico, the very next day, a terrible heat wave quickly hit along our drive home and caught us a bit unprepared, along with other travelers. As we approached Amarillo shortly after lunch, the temperature was already over 100 degrees and only looked to get hotter, possibly much hotter. The RV air conditioners did their best to keep up, but when the outside temp on our RV house thermometer showed 107, we threw in the towel and decided to pull off at an RV park where we had previously stayed. (It’s a great park with top notch facilities.) We could also see storms building quickly closer to home.
The weather only got worse as the day progressed, and we are so glad that we opted to pull off for the rest of the day and just wait it all out. Storms closer to home became quite intense with rain, hail and very high winds. By dinner time where we were stopped, the winds from the back of those storms gusted up to 60 mph at times. It was also the first time that Hubby actually had to help me shut the door to the RV, as the wind from the south was catching it just right and made it very hard to close. Closer to home, two trucks were actually blown over by those high winds, too.
It was definitely not a day to be driving a high profile vehicle, and when the winds became so rough, we finally decided to just keep our great site for the night, get a good night’s sleep and head home early the next morning in time for Hubby to go on in to work. It was a pleasant drive the next morning, and Hubby was at work shortly before 9 am. I was done with laundry by noon, so it worked out just fine, was definitely less stressful and was much easier on our rig, for sure.
When traveling by RV, sometimes you just do what you have to do, and this was surely one of those times. While we have pulled off on a few other trips for a few hours, this was the first time that we were actually delayed overnight. Fortunately, we had a good option to take, and we took it. We were definitely not the only RV travelers that took that option to pull off, judging by how many others were pulling in right behind us.
We’ve pretty much decided now that if we are going to travel in our RV in the hot summer months, we need to only drive before noon… or even earlier depending on where we are driving. The weather was not forecasted to be *this* hot, so we cannot depend on the forecasts.
More and more, I just don’t see us ever taking to the road as full-time RVers. While we could likely be quite content to go on some extended road trips or possibly full season trips, I think we are both discovering that we are “fair weather” campers, especially where heat is concerned. I just want no part of it, to be honest.
Of course, I’m writing this on the heels of this one driving day, which turned out to be the hottest day in two years in the Amarillo area. Give me a few days/weeks, and I will probably just laugh about it. I’m not there yet, though, because as I’m writing this, it is still 113 degrees outside at our house.