Arizona 2024: Day 30: Fort Lancaster, TX: Sins of the past

Good night sleep for the price of a dozen eggs! Earlier wakeup than we like, and it was raining a bit. I got ready and headed out with my windbreaker on towards the paths along the irrigation ditches. About 450m in, the light drizzle became a heavier rain so I turned around as I was ill-equipped for getting wet and drying the clothes. Alas, the rain lessened and I continued on my merry way. I got a little muddy but that will normally dry in this arid environment pretty quickly.

We hit the road around 0900 for a long drive to our current location. As we navigated to the I-10 in the northern suburbs of El Paso we saw police vehicles with some pickup trucks pulled over and 6 people with identical black hoodies sitting politely at the side of the road. Sadly, my dash camera can only retains about 4 hours of driving so no pictures of that. I shall procure a bigger microSD card. We made up stories on what was going on. If this was youtube, I’d ask you to add a comment on what your theory is. But this isn’t youtube and I have comments turned off.

Weather was OK at the start, some rain east of El Paso but not much wind yet. Later, we experienced the weirdness of dust storms and moderately heavy rain at the same time. One minute you get a free car wash and the next nature is coating you in mud.

The wind picked up quite a bit as was forecast but did not get terrible until Fort Stockton, TX. Fortunately most of the wind was at our tail and as an added bonus we got great wind assisted fuel economy at 12.11 litres/100km.

At an immigration checkpoint the car two ahead of us really excited the sniffing dog. The police dudes had a quick chat with the driver and pulled them over. Many more police dudes came out. The dog really wanted that car. Sadly, dashcam overwrote that too. At that moment we realized that the drug people simply need to stop at the last rest stop before the checkpoint (hmm, we did that) and rub the drugs on a car. Then follow that car a few behind. Dog goes crazy to the first car. This is not advice.

The wind picked up and so did the dust in the air.

Update: Yesterday we crossed the continental divide.

Captured by Mrs Milddogs

Fort Stockton was a windy mess. The pumps at the gas station wouldn’t work (on to Walmart gas station) Amy would not do her business because of the wind(on to some other area where we were better sheltered). We had to decide if we thought the notoriously windy Fort Lancaster lookout was a viable spot for us today. We chose to forge ahead and took the scenic route through Sheffield, TX. Don’t do that. We discussed stopping at Fort Lancaster but it was closed. We arrived at the lookout as the only RV here. Later we were joined by a truck camper from Washington state and an Airstream from Ontario.

We chose this spot for several reasons. Firstly, it is halfway between our last and next stop. Second, two years ago on Mrs Milddogs birthday eve we stopped here and discussed staying for the night. It was so beautiful (but windy) but made the next day really long. We (I) chose to keep moving and we overnighted at a nice, but very loud highway rest stop. Happy Birthday Mrs Milddogs, I got you no sleep.

When we arrived it was 32C. That was a nice change from the 8C it had been most of the day. The views here are amazing. Well, at one point during the day it was so dusty we could not see anything in the valley. Then it rained a bit and made a nice layer of mud on the windshield so it still looked crappy out. Fortunately, things cleared up a bit, the wind speed dropped to a tolerable level and we got a sunset. Not optimal, but beautiful. That must mean sunset pictures are coming.

Tomorrow we are heading to Austin, TX. Probably get an early start. Might have to hit a Buc-ee’s if we can route properly. Apparently we need to get to a Zaxby’s as well.


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