Woke up to a wet cold morning. We spent the night at a Holiday Inn in Ozona, Texas. This town has taken a major down turn related to the oil crisis. At one time, securing a room at this Inn was impossible. Travel trailers on the side of the road used an extension cord leading to a house that has rented that minute space to a oilfield worker; the trailer parks now have spaces for rent. The job cuts are noticeable here.
Gas has been at 1.67 to 1.99 a gallon on this trip. We expect to spend 200.00 in gas for this trip from Lafayette, La. to Casa Grande, Arizona. Usually this would easily be 600.00 prior to this oil field bust.
Since we have decided to watch this bust from the sidelines, we are doing some traveling and what better time for a long trip with these gas prices.
Listening to CNN this morning, proclamations of layoffs with American Express are starting. More co lateral damage. People enjoying these low gas prices will hesitate to revel as their jobs are impacted.
We are heading for Las Cruses today where we will spend the night. The weather is wet and cold with lots of fog wrapped around the ground cover. The sagebrush and century plants are a bright green against the soft tan sand of the desert. Across the buttes stand rigid against the sky, miles and miles of wind turbines spinning their 3 arm salute. Knowing that they are generating wind energy does little to quell the sadness I feel on their marring of the natural landscape of the desert.
The highway is flanked on either side by the cuts made through the buttes enabling this road to have a straight shot, no curves to slow the need for high speed travel. I enjoy seeing the different layers of the earth in these cuts.
My imagination wanders. Wagon trains, cowboys and Indians used to hunt, live and fight to live here. Years before 3 armed windmills and miles and miles of asphalt, the wagons slowly crossed this desert. When I get a little uncomfortable riding mile after mile in this truck, I simply place my self in an unheated, no shocks and no cell phone covered wagon. An instant cure for self pity.
I'm off to watch the rain, gently splashing the windshield and hoping it this moisture continues in this form. Driving in rain much preferable to snow!
And later in the afternoon, the flurries began. The flakes were small and occasionally not the soft fluffy kind. Pings on the windshield attested to the ice mixed with the snow. The desert was white which is something I have never experienced. Sand trucks were loaded and ready for the snow forecast for this evening. The cars and trucks off the road and down embankments was a silent testimony to last night's weather and slick roads.
We arrived in Casa Grande and moved into our reserved room. The husband contacted his sister and neice and we spend the remainder of the evening sipping on Fuzzy Navels and Screwdrivers. Tomorrow starts the round of visits to family members! Are we having fun yet? It IS nice to be on the road with no real set schedule on being anywhere at any time!
Signing off from Casa Grande, Arizona!