On The Road Again, Day 1: Deming to Van Horn

Currently at the Oasis RV Park in Van Horn, Texas. We are traveling back to my hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi to spend some time with family for Thanksgiving. I’ll be doing a short update each day of our drive this week.

It’s so exciting to finally be on the road again, doing some serious nomad traveling! We pulled out of Rockhound State Park near Deming, New Mexico this morning around 9:30, where the temperatures were a mild 58° under mostly cloudy skies. We spent a total of 12 nights in that park, and loved every minute of it.

Folding up the patio mat, and then we’ll be ready to roll!

We headed east on I-10, stopping first at a Love’s station just before we hit Las Cruces, where we fueled up both the vehicles. Then we drove another hour or so into El Paso, celebrating our return to our “home” state of Texas (we are domiciled in Livingston, TX).

We made a planned stop at Costco in El Paso to pick up a bag of cat food, some coffee beans for Andy, a big supply of hearing aid batteries for my parents (excellent prices on those at Costco!), and some new brush heads for Andy’s electric toothbrush. After getting the shopping done, we had a delicious lunch of hummus, avocado and veggie wraps in the rig. It’s always nice to have our kitchen and bathroom with us wherever we go. The kitties enjoyed the break from the drive, but soon it was time to get back on the road again.

Stopped at Costco for some shopping and lunch in the rig

As we were leaving El Paso to continue heading east on I-10, we started feeling the brunt of the wicked cold front that is moving through the country this week. The winds were coming out of the north, so they were hitting us on the driver’s side. Of course, Andy was driving the RV and I was following him in the truck, and I could see how much the rig was rocking from the wind, especially when the large tractor trailers passed by. We kept our speed between 55 and 60, even though the speed limit is 80 MPH on that interstate.

At first there was just dust blowing across the highway, but eventually we started getting rain. Fortunately it was never more than a very light rainfall, and as we got closer to Van Horn the winds did seem to lighten up a little bit, although it was still a struggle to keep the vehicles between the lines.

We got into Van Horn about 3:50 CST (we lost an hour driving east), and then it was time to find the Oasis RV park where we’re staying tonight. When we made our reservations for this week, we stuck with parks that offer the Passport America discount (50%), and this one is the only one in Van Horn that does, since the Desert Willow RV Park changed management.

The Oasis RV Park and Apartments in Van Horn

When we first saw the establishment, there was no clear “Office” or “Entrance” sign on the front. There were just a few old cars, a pink building that looks like an old motel, and the big Oasis sign. We drove around to the back where we found the RV park, as evidenced by the power posts that were in the gravel lot behind some more old cars and trucks. But still no sign of an office.

So I told Andy to stay put, and I drove back around to the front of the pink apartments to see if I could spot anything. First I found a building that had a neon “Open” sign in the window, but the lettering on the windows said it was the laundry and indoor pool, along with the location of the weekly church meeting and movie night (“Bring Smokes Beer You”). I stepped inside to see if I could find anyone but there was no one there–and that place was quirky!!

First time I’ve ever been invited to bring smokes and beer to church

I went back outside, and that’s when I saw a small sign at a breezeway between two of the pink apartments that pointed me to the rear of the apartments. Then there was another sign directing me around another corner, and then there was a third sign that said the office was in the “back door of the house”. Sure enough, there was a blue, two-story house behind the pink apartments, and there was another neon “Open” sign in the window beside the somewhat dilapidated door.

I pushed the door open and found myself inside someone’s very cluttered living room/tiny kitchen. I didn’t see anyone so I said “Hello!”

I heard a raspy male voice say “Come on in!”, but I didn’t see anyone. I said “Hello!” again. Again, louder this time, the raspy male voice said “Come on in!”.

I walked a little further into the room, where I first saw a little tiny dog on a footstool, and then I spotted the source of the raspy voice–there was an old, bearded man sitting in a recliner behind a short bookshelf. He was wearing a black headband around his long white hair and he was puffing on a cigarette.

I told him that we had a reservation, so he yelled out “Hey, Betty Jean (name changed), you need to get down here!”

I heard a female voice from upstairs yell back down, “I can’t come right now, I’m peeing!”.

Well, that was awkward.

So in the time we were waiting for the peeing to be completed, the old guy told me all about the junk cars and trucks and other vehicles he has scattered around the place. He has some ambitious plans for fixing them up. In fact, he said that if I was mechanically inclined, he would trade me a couple nights free stay in the RV park for helping him work on his projects. I told him I wasn’t the right person for the job.

The latest acquisition by the owners of the Oasis RV Park.

“Betty Jean” finally came down the stairs and got me checked in to the park by hand-writing me a receipt for the payment. With our Passport America discount, plus sales tax, the rate was $15.12. I gave her a $20 bill, and she gave me a $5 bill in return (evidently there were no coins in the till).

She walked me outside to show me where we could park. All we had to do was wend our way through the various “antique” vehicles sitting around so we could get to the pull-through sites, where we had our choice of #19, #20 or #21, all identical.

The weather when we got here was absolutely frigid. The temperature was 34°, but with the wind chill, it felt like 20°. There was some light moisture falling that felt like sleet, but it wasn’t consistent. Andy hooked up the electricity, but we didn’t bother with the water (supposed to get down to 26° tonight and we don’t want the hoses to freeze) or the sewer (only going to be here one night and we emptied the tanks this morning, so we’re good). They do offer cable television but we didn’t hook that up either, and they have free wi-fi, but it’s so slow it’s basically worthless.

Our site at Oasis RV Park in Van Horn, TX

As we started getting everything put back in order from the drive, Andy noticed that there was a little water on the floor under the dinette table. Our first thought was that the water pump we just replaced was leaking. Nothing to do but take the dinette apart to check it out. We removed all the cushions and opened the cabinets to examine the pump and the water tanks. Thankfully, the pump and all its connections appear to be fine. From what Andy could tell, it looks like there may have been some water intrusion from somewhere in the lines when he filled up the fresh water tanks this morning. It doesn’t appear to be anything actively leaking, so we’ll do some further testing when we get parked at our site in Tupelo.

Look for the source of some moisture under the dinette

So that was our day! We drove 221 miles, and those were some very stressful miles, especially the second half of the day with the wind and rain in East Texas. We’re all tucked in for the night with the electric heater going, and we’ll turn on the gas furnace as needed to supplement as the temperatures drop overnight. We have Reflectix on almost all the windows to help keep the cold out and the heat in.

Tomorrow, our first order of business when we leave here is to have the vehicles inspected, and then we’ll head further east to Lorraine, TX, to Ms G’s RV Park about 273 miles from here. Stay tuned for more excitement! 🙂

Thanks for taking time to read our blog! Feel free to share it with family and friends who might be interested in full-time RV living. If you want to keep up with our adventures, please subscribe. You can also find us on Instagram at Instagram.com/JustCallUsNomads if you want to keep up with us between blog posts. And we do occasionally post videos to YouTube–if you would like to subscribe to our channel, check it out here.

Safe travels!!

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