Fun and Frustration – Our 4th of July Trip

We enjoyed a great holiday trip but had a challenging drive home to due weather once again.

Advertisements

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.

2016-07-01-14.49.20smfs
Driving on Highway 64 between Clayton and Raton, the scenery is vast and beautiful, a truly great drive in the RV!

 

2016-07-01-14.41.23smfs
Driving past Capulin Volcano National Monument on Highway 64

 

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.

2016-07-01-18.59.02smfs
The view from the front window of our RV at our pretty campsite during one of the afternoon rain storms.  When it wasn’t raining, this view stretched for a very long distance to the south.

 

2016-07-01-19.38.37smfs
View of the mountains just to the west of us at our campsite.

 

2016-07-04-18.20.57smfs
Our nice campsite on a typical late afternoon with rains moving in from the mountains to the west.
2016-07-04-18.20.18smfs
An afternoon rain wasn’t quite making it all the way to the ground at camp.

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.

2016-07-04-06.35.47smfs
Girly Girl enjoyed jumping on our bed in the mornings to wake us up and look out our window, the one we left open overnight.  It wasn’t unusual for her to spot a rabbit or a deer walking by in the mornings, too.

 

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.

2016-07-04-20.20.07smfs
Our spot where we watched the great fireworks show near the train station at right.  This is such a neat part of town, too.

 

2016-07-04-20.19.48smfs
Read the signs on the front of this store! 🙂
2016-07-04-20.57.44smfs
Just before the fireworks show.

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.

 

 

2016-07-04-21.26.37smfs2016-07-04-21.28.43smfs2016-07-04-21.11.41smfs2016-07-04-21.14.45smfs2016-07-04-21.19.37smfs2016-07-04-21.21.31smfs2016-07-04-21.23.29-1smfs

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.

2016-07-07-15.53.39smfs
Ugh.

 

 

Author: DK

Blogger at My Five Fs (Faith - Family - Food - Fotos - Fun) and Animal Wonder. Empty-nester that now shares life with my hubby and our two standard poodles. Enjoys camping in our RV, taking and editing photos, trying new low-carb recipes, baking pretty decorated cookies for special occasions, walking daily, spending time with family and friends when we can, playing with the dogs, and is grateful to God for every single day of this blessed life and for the opportunity to share and connect with some great people here.

5 thoughts on “Fun and Frustration – Our 4th of July Trip”

  1. You made the right decision to camp! We want through similar weather in North Texas and hail and wind conditions caused a truck to go over a bridge. Great seeing Raton. We pass through it, never have stopped there. We pick our weather when we travel, and are enjoying a 70 degree day now in Montana versus our previous 100-degree forever Texas summers. Full-timing is great once you get used to it and plan to be in the temps and weather you want. We research average precipitaion for each month, so we can avoid the worst rain seasons in each state we visit too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I confess that I wish I was in Montana right about now! 😀 You no doubt understand what it’s like here, and good for you to seek out a cooler place. I usually take the heat pretty much in stride, but it just seems to get harder to “survive summer” these days. We have years to make a decision about possibly going full-time on the road for awhile, but I really think we are going to limit our summer travel in the RV going forward. We can get to cooler locations fairly easily, but the drive there and back can just be brutal, not to mention how hard it is on the RV. Enjoy Montana! I visited there many years ago when I was a kid with my family and loved it, especially Glacier National Park.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll be happy if I never see the likes of 113º.
    The way we’ve been traveling the last couple years we haven’t been moving very much during July & August. We have on our first trip back from OR but our coach really doesn’t like temps over 100 and neither do I.
    I love the ‘weather’ impression in the very first two images… glowering clouds fascinate me.
    It does take time to sort out what kind of RV’er we each want to be…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would also be happy to never see the likes of 113 degrees again, too. Really, really happy! I don’t lose it too often where the weather is concerned, but I kind of lost it that day when the weather guys really blew the forecast high by 15 degrees. That makes a huge difference to us when traveling in those conditions, but it all worked out ok. I really don’t like to be on the road in the RV when it’s even in the 90s, much less 107. It is just too hard on the rig, and I think we will just stay put now until fall when the weather hopefully cools down significantly. Thanks for the compliment on the photos. I really love that area because it’s so unique and just like a picture postcard nearly everywhere you look most of the time. Winter is brutal there, though.

      Like

So, what would you like to share today? Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s