Monday, February 3, 2014

Back In The West

We were up early readying the rig for departure. It was an extremely unpleasant grey morning, with s strong wind blowing out of the south-east. We said Good Bye to our good hosts and 30 minutes later we were part of the San Antonio morning traffic. But they have 7 lanes in each direction so it isn’t really too bad. We marveled over how much this city has grown over the last years. The hills to the north seem to be “overgrown” with housing developments stretching 20 miles out of town. I am glad that I don’t have to live there. Daily commuting must be painful in the long run and I wonder whether city planners are actually spending one single thought over how today’s traffic problems are a direct consequence of where developments are allowed.DSC_0207 San Antonio has a lot of older buildings creating an old-world charm.I feel lucky that those are not really my problems.

Instead, my attention is focusing on the road, trying to stay at a steady pace, while we’re going through the hill country.

DSC_0220 DSC_0230DSC_0218 Goats along the road
Soon we are reaching Texas “outbacks” where the dark band of the I-10 cuts through the endlessly stretching desert vistas. Yes, we are back in the desert. We are back in the real west getting farther and farther away from overpopulated areas.
We lay eyes on table mountains all around, and in spite the rather dull weather we enjoy the ride. The south-easterly tail wind pushing us along.
In the afternoon we reach Ft.Stockton. The town is currently experiencing an oil boom, which has brought new activity to the old Fort. We have been here years earlier and have enjoyed a walk-about through the historical district and seen the remnants of the old Fort. We were also puzzled about the big roadrunner sitting at the entrance to the historic part of town.
Texas has become a major producer of wind energy

After we had seen a gas station asking incredible $3.99/gal. we found another one just a few miles down the road where the price was $3.19/gal. Talk about being out of touch with reality. But Ft. Stockton had gas for as low as $3.03 which we took advantage of. We also needed a refill of propane as the cold weather is diminishing our supplies. And we found the same propane company as we used 7 years earlier. While the last fill of a 30lb. tank in Florida was outrageous $33.50 we paid $21.00 for it today.

DSC_0210 DSC_0231
We were passed by a bunch of those
But then we ran into something real nasty: Dense freezing Fog!
We have actually never traveled this stretch of the Interstate in anything else than nice weather, but as we reached an elevation of over 5500ft, we got fog. And it got pretty dense. It stressed me out. It was after sunset already and we were just trying to reach Van Horn,TX before complete darkness. Just south-east of Van Horn is a rest area where we pulled in – dead tired. We are about 120miles south of El Paso and we hope to reach Tucson,AZ tomorrow.
That’ll be all for today.


  1. Fog, dust, wind, snow, rain, sleet, ice - I hate driving in all of it. But like you we've never driven through west Texas in anything but sunny weather. Good luck getting to Tucson tomorrow. Be safe.

  2. Think I know that Rest Area you are in southeast of Van Horn. Last time we went through Van Horn heading east there was snow on the ground there. We had actually come through heavy snow in El Paso as well........Keep your winter coats handy.

  3. WOW, You guys are sure putting the miles behind you fast !!

  4. That I-10 is sure a long stretch but you are getting here, safe travels. We have stayed at that rest area a few times over the years.

  5. West Texas highways can get pretty nasty. We've usually preferred staying around Fort Stockton because of the elevation at Van Horn. You never know what kind of weather will be there this time of year. Glad you made it and are almost to Arizona. Safe travels the rest of the way.


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