Posts Tagged ‘high winds’

On the Road: The past and the present side by side on Route 66's Enchanted Trails RV Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

  “A person has to do what a person has to do.” — Pat Bean

Days 13-16

I was on the road for only about 20 minutes before yesterday’s wind resumed. It tricked me into thinking it was going to be a calm day. My RV and I wrestled with while headed west on Interstate 40 for 125 miles. In Tucumcari, New Mexico, I surrendered to a roadside KOA. The place quickly filled with other RV-ers who also hollered “Uncle!”

The next day again started calm, but once again the wind picked up before I had traveled far. This time I gave up after 85 miles, stopping at the Enchanted Trails RV Park on the west side of Albuquerque. A look at the upcoming weather forecast convinced me I needed to stay put for the next three days.

It was a good thing I did because my revered Mother Nature rained, snowed, hailed and blew over semis all around me for the next couple of days. Fortunately, my camp site only experienced an hour or so lightning show and 15 minutes of a light rain. The wind, however, rudely shook my RV around for the full three days.

Leftover Route 66 memories -- Photo by Pat Bean

Interstate 40, roughly follows the colorful and historic Route 66, where business such as reptile zoos, Indian trading posts and old-fashioned ice cream shoppes made traveling an adventure. Enchanted Trails is one of those businesses that survived by catering to present day travelers. The former trading post sits on the original 66 highway in view of today’s Interstate 40, where travelers have forgotten the journey in the rush to reach the destination.


Walks around the camp to take care of Maggie’s business — and fill my ears up with blowing sand — revealed bits of Route 66’s colorful past. I’m glad I got to travel the original route in its heyday. What you didn’t miss is the up side of aging. I’m also glad that I still understand the importance of the journey.

Life is good, even when one finally gives in and screams at the noisy wind rattling their tiny home to “Just stop it already!” Sometime you have to do what you have to do, even if your canine companion looks at you as if you’re crazy.

Copyrighted by Pat Bean

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Y'all come for dinner, Big Tex says to visitors headed west on Interstate 40. He was the landmark just before my exit to the Amarillo Ranch RV Park

 “Botanists say that trees need the powerful March winds to flex their trunks and main branches, so the sap is drawn up to nourish the budding leaves. Perhaps we need the gales of life in the same way, though we dislike enduring them.” — Jane Truax

 Days 10-11

The first thing I saw on hitting Interstate 40 heading east into Amarillo was Big Tex, urging y’all to drop by the Big Texan Steak Ranch. It was one of the numerous billboards advertising this restaurant that I had seen as soon as I reached the Panhandle. The restaurant’s gimmick is a free 72-ounce steak if you can eat the whole thing in an hour. The odds, like in Vegas, are in the establishment’s favor. If you lose the cost of the steak is $72.

 I kept my money and fixed myself a bowl of my homemade crab and shrimp gumbo soon after I checked into the Amarillo Ranch RV Park – they throw the word ranch around a lot in this part of Texas. I planned to stay two nights so I could catch up on chores, but ended up staying three because of a wind storm.

 The next day, the only good one weatherwise,  I did  laundry, grocery shopping and got a haircut. I now had clothes that once again were lavender-smelling clean, a full  food cupboard, an overflowing tiny refrigerator – and bad hair.

“I want my bangs to touch my eyebrows and leave some fullness on the side,” I told the stylist.

 She was either deaf, unskilled or mad at the world and wanted to take it out on me. I left the beauty shop with too much forehead in front and too little hair above my ears. Thankfully my hair grows fast.

Cadillac Ranch, another I-40 landmark. This one a public art installation that says much about Texas. Photo by Richie Diesterheft, Wikipedia

 My plans to get back on the road the next morning were then thwarted by Texas-sized winds that kept my motor home rocking and rolling all day even though it stayed parked. They also took me down.

I was going out to walk Maggie when the wind grabbed control of the door, slamming it up against the side of my RV and tossing me 20 feet across the grass when I didn’t let go of the handle quick enough.  I landed, thankfully, on my padded bum but still with a  clumsy kid’s scratched knee.  Maggie nuzzled me, then gave me a look that said,  I thought we were going for a walk.

 Amarillo in my rear-view mirror the next morning wasn’t a bad sight.

Copyrighted by Pat Bean

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